My wid sis, Lorri, sent me this meme yesterday, and I snorted with laughter til I just about choked.
Seriously. It’s frickin’ hysterical.
I laugh like a lunatic every time I see it.
Which is frequently, because I printed it out and put it on the wall next to my desk.
This kind of dark humor is pretty much the only thing that tickles my former funny bone.
You know, the one I had when Chuck was alive and I genuinely laughed at all kinds of shit, and enjoyed life.
Now it’s this kind of dark humor.
One of my other fond laughing til I snorted moments was last Spring, after I and two of my wid sisters had wrapped up Camp Widow Tampa and returned to MacDill AFB where we’d taken lodging.
Before going to our separate rooms, we hung out in the snack bar near the front desk, knoshing on french fries and sandwiches.
Talking about CW, people we’d met, workshops we’d attended. How the best part was just hanging out with our wid community, shooting the shit.
Our conversation quickly devolved…or evolved, as I see it…to our dead husbands. Funerals. Cremations. Urns. Memorials. Widowhood. The shit of widowhood. What it’s really like. How we’d love to say to those who are in early stages that it all gets better but mostly it just stays shit and you do life anyways and you make it count because what are the options and dating and marrying again and…everything.
We were laughing uproariously about all of it. Same as me and Lorri, with whom I’m rooming here in AZ, were doing this evening, over this meme.
As we sat in that snack bar at MacDill, and sat in the diner here in AZ this evening, laughing til our stomachs hurt, anyone looking at us would have thought we were having the time of our lives. The server at the snack bar commented to us about the good time we were having and how good it was to see people so enjoying themselves.
Bless her heart.
If we’d told her that we were discussing rubbing our dead husband’s cremains into our arms after scattering them…or scattering them and having the wind blow them back into our faces…or mixing them in with, say, brownies or muffins and how inappropriate that would be…but would it really be inappropriate?…I can imagine the look on her face, right?
Dark widow humor. It’s my saving grace.
It takes what is real and painful and forever and puts it right there in front of me and you and helps us cope.
Yeah, death takes us all at one point. Of course it does. In any couple, 1/2 of you will die before the other half and the remaining half will be left holding the bag, trying to make sense out of the wasteland you now stand upon.
I’m never been comforted by the memes that boldly state when you can bravely tell your story without crying, that’s when you know you’ve healed. Shit, I don’t even know what the word healing means, other than I’m sure it carries different meaning for each person.
I don’t know what the word hope means, except…shit, I don’t know.
I don’t care for the meme that says “you can cry because they’re gone or you can smile because they lived. That kind of shit diminishes the real and true and natural and normal expression of grief. I do, however, believe that I can cry because they’re gone AND smile because they lived, etc, etc...
I can’t promise those who are newly bereaved that it gets better, or easier. There are considerably too many components to grief to make such a blanket statement. Too many variables presented to each individual to say such a thing.
Call me a pragmatist.
All I know to really say is get ready for the shittiest, most confusing, exhausting, life changing and not always in a good way, ride of your life. Hang on tight. Hang onto your community. Find your community, as quickly as you can. They’ll save your life and, sometimes, with dark humor, your sanity.
Widowhood….grief in general, whatever the relationship…ain’t for the faint of heart.
So, yeah, I have a great sense of humor.
But it isn’t anything like the sense of humor I used to have.
And I’m okay with that.
Because, you know….