When you lose your partner, you lose so many things that you may not even realise you had. I’m still learning what those losses are, and I’m sure I’ll share many of them here as I figure out Version 3.0 – and all the quirks that go along with it. From the beginning I realised that one of the big things I lost was my confidante – which is something that I never truly had before meeting Paul and after seven years of having someone to share my thoughts and feeling with, it’s difficult to lose.
Note: This post was originally shared on my “widowhood” blog, “Frances 3.0: Still in Beta”.
Before meeting Paul, I never had someone I could trust completely to share my secrets and my true desires and emotions with. It was so reassuring to finally have someone who I knew wouldn’t judge me, and wouldn’t “accidentally” share my thoughts with others. I don’t expect to find a new confidant(e) anytime soon; with how guarded I am I may never again find someone to share my secrets with. And I’m learning how to be OK with that.
But more than sharing my secrets and my innermost thoughts, I was able to share the mundane and whimsical elements of my days with Paul. And he eagerly listened to me (or at least pretended to listen) as I shared. These little moments used to happen throughout the day. I’d read a funny news story online and pop a quick email to Paul with the link and my little commentary. I’d have a conversation at work that I just had to share immediately so I’d pick up the phone for a two-minute chit-chat. Something might happen on the way home from work – maybe I’d see a cool car on the road; a funny bumper sticker; or get aggravated by a bad driver – and I’d share the story with Paul over a cup of tea before dinner. And I got to hear his day’s tales, too. He’d tell me about his daily run; about the things the cat got up to; about his chat with the postmaster when he got the mail; or about some other random event in his day.
Now when things happen I have a silent giggle (or rant) to myself and think “Paul would have liked that” or “I wish I knew who to forward that to” and I realise that I lost that social outlet when I lost Paul. (And for all I know, the cat is getting up to all sorts of mischief now that Paul’s not there to keep her in check!)
Then there are the mini-celebrations or commiserations that I can’t share with Paul. Every four weeks I have blood work done to monitor my platelet counts (mine are always lower than the average range). In the past, the results would come in the mail and I’d open them with excitement and nervousness knowing that the results would impact my activities until the next tests. If they were “my normal” we’d chat for two minutes about the results, be thankful that they’re OK, and go about our day. If they were lower, I’d be prone to be upset and we’d commiserate together over a medicinal martini. If they were higher than normal, we’d celebrate by going out to dinner or by enjoying a medicinal martini – or both. Now, I open the envelope and realise that there’s no one to cheer my high counts or listen to me cry over low counts. So I just read the results and go about my day – good or bad.
There’s no one to celebrate my joys; no one to share a funny joke with; no one to complain to when the news anchor uses a word incorrectly (yes, I do that a lot); and no one to complain to when things don’t go well at work. But, mostly, it’s the happy things I want to share. I just wish there was someone to share the mundane with; someone to share the inconsequential nonsense with throughout the day.
Who do I tell when I get a pay raise or a promotion? Who do I send that funny joke to? Who do I laugh with over the fact that someone is walking around in the year 2009 sporting a mullet? There are so many happy moments of every day that don’t seem as interesting when there’s no one to share them with. It’s like a tree falling in a forest… if no one’s around, did it make a sound?
There are times when I really want to share something and I start composing an email, but I don’t know who to send it to. The few times I’ve actually hit the send button, there’s been no reply – and without a reply, it’s just not the same.
I don’t know how I’m going to fix this glitch. I don’t know if over time, I’ll just become accustomed to not sharing these things or if maybe I’ll meet a new friend who truly and honestly wants to get those silly emails throughout the day. I suppose it may be just the other side of crazy for me to reply to my own emails, so I’ll hold off on that plan for now.