“Your sad story.”

I guess that is what it has been reduced to.

Somebody who I’d think would have perhaps used a little better judgment has now on multiple occasions referred the situations that occurred in my life as “your sad story.”  As in… maybe you need to make new friends who, “don’t know your sad story.”  Or when referring to a phone call from my pastor, the comment was made “I guess everybody there knows your sad story.”

I bit my tongue.

Reminded me of the time when I overheard whispers… “is that the one who’s husband died.”  Pretended I didn’t hear.

I bite my tongue when somebody says, “you know I feel like a single parent, my husband never helps me.”  In the cases where it has been used it may be correct that the husband rarely helps and tends to be lazy and not proactive… but… he’s there… he makes a good income… he can take up the slack… he’s there if the mom is sick or injured… he’s a sounding board for challenges in parenting… he may not be up for parent of the year… but he’s a part of the family life.  So… NO, YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE A SINGLE PARENT.  YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS LIKE TO LOSE A SPOUSE AND RAISE A CHILD ON YOUR OWN!!  I want to scream at them and say they just need to shut the $(*% up…  But, instead, I bite my tongue.

On that note… fishing widows, hunting widows, or your husband is gone all weekend driving a snow plow… does not constitute a real widow’s life and is far from equating… your husband is coming home… and in the case of the latter with a big fat check for overtime.  Again, I bite my lip.

You know, I usually have a tender spot on my lip from biting it.

Yeah, I know… people mean well… they don’t think before they speak.  Some people think that it is best to be able to relate and be the same.  And in general most people really don’t care about anybody besides themselves and immediate family.  The “it’s all about me syndrome”- It’s either woe is me… or I’m so great…  I have yet to understand why the majority of people ask how you’re doing.  They don’t care.  They want to hear fine or great & walk away and most have forgotten what you’ve said after they’ve waked out of the room.

The conundrum… if you’re not “fine” or “great” do you fudge it just to say the expected answer even though it’s not the truth.  Or do you say how you really are at the risk of causing  emotional baggage which could drag them down by bringing up “your sad story?”

About Mary K. Smith

I was widowed in July 2009, when I lost my beloved husband, John, to melanoma. Cancer SUCKS. We have a young son who was just a year old when his father died. I live on a small farm in Maryland which is home to horses, cats, and a dog. I started this blog as a way for me to heal, a way to remember my husband, and eventually I'd like to share it with our son so he can see the love that his father had for him, the love that we had for each other, what a great person his father was, and how hard his father fought to live.
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1 Response to “Your sad story.”

  1. Maria says:

    This is one of the hardest things to deal with as a widow, with or without children. People get to the point where they are sick of hearing “our sad story” because for them, it’s in the past. For us, we’re living it, everyday, and trying to survive it.

    It takes incredible amounts of self control to finally realize how useless it is to try and explain to someone that they have no idea what it’s like, and that they can’t compare themselves to a widow, because they’re living husband is otherwise occupied.

    I share your frustration, and I admire your grace.

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