A friend of long standing, now a former friend for various reasons, recently accused me of dragging my good husband’s name around. It is quite shameful, she stated.
Followed with I know things about Chuck, indiscretions (regarding women) but it would be unkind to say things about the dead, plus you wouldn’t believe me.
I only mention this because I guess I’m still floored when people get viscious to suit their own needs, and passively-aggressively attack Chuck, through me. And, also, because I’m a storyteller and such obvious dribble is rich in the telling.
Honestly, reading what she wrote immediately struck me as humorous. I’m stronger now, 4 years later, than I was when a close family member threw similar ugly words at me, not realizing that she really wasn’t maligning me, but a person she claimed to love. Similar to this latest attempt.
4 years ago, the ugly words sent me to my knees and it took me years to deal with the trauma. Not the words that were said, because I knew them not to be true (as I know these words not to be true), but because, back then, days after his death, I was raw and on the floor with grief and I allowed her words to get into my bones for a brief second and I thought are those words true? Did I not truly know the man I was married to for 24 years? Because he couldn’t have been who she described, and be the man I knew. There was a clanging dissonance between those two images. The words, by themselves, weren’t what caused trauma for me. What caused the trauma was the idea that I’d even allowed a nanosecond of doubt, as a result of her words, to creep in, and that made me feel as if I’d betrayed Chuck, which devastated me.
It’s funny, really, how people, claiming to love a person who is now dead, while claiming that of course they’d never slander the dead….do that very thing, in hopes of destroying the one left alive. Whoa. Fucked up humans, right?
I guess I didn’t realize the strength that now resides in my bones and my heart and soul, since Chuck’s death. These latest words only made me shake my head that this person, who knew of the first circumstance, couldn’t even be original; instead, knowing my reaction the first time, she made an attempt to piggyback, hoping for….I don’t know…that I’d be destroyed once again.
All it did was make me realize my present day strength. And more, it made me realize the ugliness that can exist in a person’s soul when envy and jealousy take over. It made me realize that my mom was right, years ago, when she taught me to always consider the source when ugly words get thrown.
Oh, also…that part about dragging my husband’s name around? I’m not quite certain what was meant by that. Am I dragging his name through the mud, as she attempted to do? Besmirch his reputation, as she’s trying to do?
Each day, as I travel this Odyssey, I honor Chuck’s name and I honor the legacy of love that he left behind, not just for me, but for so many others, and there is nothing about that that suggests dragging. The love story that Chuck and I had is my story, one he left with me. I own it.
And to those who would say otherwise, my response is the same as it was to the woman who accused me of the same thing early on…
Find your own damn love story.
*Names purposefully left out of this blog. The names/relationships are un-necessary*