Monday, October 22, 2012

In Charge

Whenever someone would ask Bobby if he wanted to make plans, he would respond, “I have to talk to the boss” - that boss being me.

I was in charge of our social calendar.  I was also in charge of the bills, what we had for dinner, paint colors for the walls, where we went for vacation, you name it.  He was very happy to sit back and let me be in charge, especially since he had a somewhat demanding job as a supervisor of his department and he was in charge all day.  It was a chance for him to relax at home and just “go for the ride”.

After he died, I was in a situation where I had to re-do my bathroom.  (Water damage behind the tile – the sheetrock had disintegrated, the tile in the shower was being held up by a wing and a prayer, and there was a hole in the floor so big that you could wave to the person in the basement.)  On my way to the tile store, I didn’t think about the fact that I was going alone, because had Bobby been alive, I would have chosen the tile anyway.  But it was a completely different feeling when I was actually there, picking out the tile, alone.  I realized at that point that I did depend on him, a lot, when making the decisions that I made daily, even though it seemed that he was just there, “for the ride”.  I missed his approval for what I picked out.  I missed his opinions and input and the veto power that he had but rarely used.  I didn’t realize until that moment how much I was really not “in charge,” but that it actually was an equal partnership.

I’ve made several important decisions since he’s been gone, like taking the kids on a cruise and having three trees removed from our property.  And every time I make one of these decisions, I question myself over and over again.  Am I doing the right thing?  Would Bobby approve?  Would he have done it differently?

I hope he realized back then how equal our relationship really and truly was.  He knew I loved him, but I hope he realized how much I needed him.  I hope he never thought that I was taking over, felt “second” or thought that I didn't think his opinions mattered.  I wish I could talk to him one more time, and let him know how much he mattered in my life, and still does.

Friday, October 5, 2012

New Show on TV: Go On

When I first heard that Matthew Perry was doing a new show that focuses on a young widower named Ryan King, I planned on watching it.  Not because it's about a widower, but because I like Matthew Perry.  I probably would have watched it even if he were playing a guy who lived at the garbage dump on Staten Island.

I've often thought that you can make humor out of any situation, given the right circumstances.  I believe that the statement, "If you don't laugh, you'll cry" really fits a myriad of sad situations.  Grief can be one of those.  (I loved the scene about the license plates.)  Yesterday was one of those times for me.  I was talking to a colleague of mine who told me that her marriage was not going very well at the moment.  In trying to make her laugh - I like to make people laugh - I said to her, "Well, Bobby and I haven't spoken in almost 2 and a half years!"  She laughed.  Mission accomplished.

However, there are some people who cannot laugh about sad situations, and I support them.  I was reading a blog the other day written by a widower who basically stated that if a widow/er cannot laugh about their grief, they have to "grow up".  That's harsh.  I do not agree with that statement.  While I am one of those who can laugh about grief, I fully respect those who cannot.  

Sooooo....what do I think of "Go On"?  I think it is a great show, because even though the show is humorous, it still has a scene or two in every episode that exposes the reality of Ryan's sadness that he still feels about losing his wife, despite the fact that he is "going on".  That's important, especially because not only is it another way to validate how we widow/widowers feel despite what we show on the outside, it also shows those viewers who have not ever lost a spouse the depth and breadth of grief.

The down side?  The only complaint I have about "Go On" is Ryan King's character.  While I do like the character, sometimes I feel like I am watching what Chandler would be like if Monica died.