Tuesday, March 11, 2008

getting over it

its taking a while for my friend to get over losing his wife to another man. this is, of course, expected. hes doing better than most of us would. hes focused at work. he is making jokes. he is letting himself get distracted by music and television, gossip in the rags.

every now and then though, something will pry the wound back open. maybe a song or an advertisement. a certain series of words spoken or a faint aroma in the air. it doesnt take much to trigger a memory, even those buried deepest can be easily exhumed. he has been surprisingly patient with this, much more so than i would be.

yesterday we were having a conversation and i off handedly mentioned an old song. a favorite of ours. an ancient diddy that we havent heard forever. just the title of it sparked pangs of misery in him. He winced then paused, then in a sobering tone, said, -Thanks a lot, now you've made me sad.

I didnt apologize. there was no reason to. at some point in life the songs we love and the songs we hate become ghost of our past and we need to expect them to haunt us and be ok in that. they attach themselves to an age or a memory and capture those moments and become part of them. there are times in our lives that will be forever linked to songs, it would be as if they didnt exist if they werent. without certain melodies, we would have holes in our history. it is these ghost that make up who we are.

to lighten the mood, i called him a pussy [men have strange ways of comforting each other] and he asked me if these sudden woeful occasions would ever stop. i told him eventually they would, but that it comes in waves and just when you think the ache has passed another one swells and then crashes inside. -There is no other curse like a womans hips, i said to him, Those stick with you for a long time.

he just groaned at that piece of wisdom.

and really, there is nothing i could say that would relieve his worries. I know this. there is no logic, no intellectual answers, no stern advice that will absolve him of this disquiet. a man cant help but feel what he feels and sometimes he feels without reason. i know this too.

when he asked me, in all seriousness, if it would ever end, i said i didnt think so. but then i added that, from experience [and lord knows ive experienced the loss of a woman] i do know that he will eventually be able to live with it. its just time and logic and slow, gradual feelings of rebirth. eventually, i said, you'll look back on things and that black streak of mean on your heart will have paled and you will still be bitter but you wont feel lonely and you'll say to yourself, well, i guess i needed to go through that.

he said thanks for that advice and i said no problem. but deep down i was unsure if what i said was true because deep down i dont know. i dont know. but its nice to try and help a friend.


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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.