Second Edition

Kindred Spirits

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A soul mate is a once in a lifetime thing and when this lifetime is through the departing soul crosses to the other side where it waits patiently to be reunited with its mate because it is incomplete without its match. Like a pair of socks.

The patient part alone is more than enough proof that this theory is not true. I can’t remember a time when Will waited patiently for anything. Much as he loved me, he never let me forget that I kept him waiting in the beginning.

Our match was, in some respects, purely an emotional and physical one; we had very little in common in terms of interests in the very beginning, but I knew the moment I  saw him that we would be together at some point. It began as a friendship, and when he decided this was no longer enough, he waited me out an entire summer while I dated other people and got over my fear of the emotional intimacy he represented. It’s impossible to say how we would have held up over time, but had I not met him, I would be never married today.

The topic of soul mates comes up from time to time on the YWBB. One of the first times I put forth an opinion about it in my early posting days, I came down on the negative side. At least this is according to Rob, who is currently cleaning out his collection of favorite posts. He ran across my original reply over the weekend and brought it up when we were on messenger the other night night waiting for my daughter to fall asleep.

I have thought more about the soul mates issue since as I have run across other posts that mention or discuss it. I am still not inclined to believe in it myself. I think that what is meant, when someone refers to their significant other as a soul mate, is more in line with the idea behind kindred spirits. In fact Rob made reference to this term once in our early correspondence. According to the dictionary it means “of similar nature or character”. I do think that sometimes you just connect with some people in a way that defies logic, and that some people are destined to be a part of your life. I don’t think it is a once in a lifetime thing though, and I think that this can apply to non-romantic relationships as well.  For  example, I knew my daughter before she was born, and she has actually told me that she chose me to be her mommy, not once but twice.

Rob and I are kindred spirits. I sensed it a bit in the beginning when I would read his posts. It was a feeling that compelled me to reply to a post of his in the General Forum one night. I offered to be his “evil twin”. I needed to meet him. Learn about him. Know him. I have experienced this before, with Will of course, but also with friends I have made over the years.

I have no great guru-like theory myself about this type of connecting, but I’ve read, or maybe heard, the following one somewhere, and it makes sense to me. This theory is based on the assumption that reincarnation is a fact and that we will live our way through multiple lives on this plane before moving on to the next. It proposes that we go through eternity with a set group of kindred spirits, or soul mates if you prefer, with whom we are always connected. Our relationships change from one lifetime to the next. Husband/wife. Parent/child. Siblings. Friends. There is the inevitable ebb and flow which naturally takes on different dimensions when the vast breadth of time is considered, but the connections are always evident to us.

What’s funny to me is that the people most likely to be spouting the soul mates line are those least likely to be introspective enough about relationships to require likeness of mind in a prospective mate to justify the label in the first place. It is purely a physical thing with them. It is love at first sight with a heavy emphasis on sight. The sharing of ideas and values is less important than the establishment of mutual chemistry. In my opinion that is not what is meant by soul mates, as they explain it, and is certainly not kindred spirits as I know it. A poster on the board wrote something to the effect that she didn’t believe that two people could, or would, reveal their innermost thoughts via email or on the phone. I suppose that is true for some. For me it would be impossible to keep myself to myself and from someone with whom I felt I already knew. I trusted Rob with my first blog entries before we even began to correspond in earnest. My blog was raw and rambling and much of what I wrote could have been easily misinterpreted, but I knew I could trust him and he has more than shown that my trust is well-placed.

When I read about looking for another soul mate, I am puzzled. Kindred spirits seek each other out and with the help of destiny, cross time and space to be reunited. There are 1500 miles and an international border between Rob and I. There was a 10 year age gap between myself and Will. Rob and his late wife, Shelley, were born 2300 miles apart, but in each case it was meant to be; we all found each other. It is not a matter of finding however so much as being found which for the most part means simply being open to the possibility.

why I dance

Image by bluedance via Flickr

I have actually been working on a new entry on and off all day. It’s about soul mates. Something I don’t really believe in, which I think is almost heretical for a widowed person to say. But when have I ever followed the widow herd? Okay, maybe there were times when I did,  but certainly not meekly.


It is nearly done, the soul mates entry, but I am too tired to finish and post it tonight. The weekend was long. Getting my house ready for sale has been emotionally draining. Dee has been whiny for several days and finally had a little meltdown this evening. She is ready to start moving forward too it seems as she cried for her “daddy” Rob and her “big sister” Mick at the same time.


On the board today I have made several attempts to stem the tide of negativity about dating in general and men in particular. But it did no good. There is no choir there to back me up. When you learn to sing well enough, you leave.


Why don’t I?


I guess I feel I still have things to say, though it is mostly just trying to be a positive example of what can be for those who aren’t far into the journey. I remember when I first started posting. I looked purposely for anyone who had something hopeful to say. I am not a freak in that respect.


The house lists officially tomorrow. Another step in a forward direction.


James Tissot - A Widow

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The link at the bottom of the page is to a column in the local newspaper. My personal opinion of the paper and its editorial writers is fairly low. The newspaper itself is generally light on actual news, and whatever course reporters take in journalism school to learn about bias and the importance of neutrality and fair and balanced reporting is evidently not a required one judging from the slant in most of the news articles I have read. Columnists are generally exempt from being non-judgmental. In fact they are paid o be opinionated. Infuriating columns are read by those on both sides of the issues. Employing an irritating columnist or two (or all in the Des Moines Register’s case) is good for the business of selling newspapers. Newspapers are not in the business of reporting news these days, or maybe ever, as an educated and informed populace is not the point. News is entertainment and going strictly by the number of talk news shows and the heads that populate them, some people are being entertained at the expense of those who need to be informed.

Although it is hard to pick a least favorite member of the Register’s editorial team, Rekha Basu probably ranks close. She favors heavy-handed liberal social agenda stuff. Her style is fairly dry, and she is preachy. Her late husband was a much better writer. His style was personable in a story-teller way and had he chosen heavier topics, I think he would have easily proved his superiority. My dislike of her is personal though. It goes back to the early days of Will’s illness when I was trying desperately to get him on SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). Having been told by the kindly young man who walked me through the application process that it was fairly likely that Will’s claim would be denied, I was willing to try anything to call attention to our plight and elicit some help in getting him accepted. At this point I had already sent emails to both state senators and several legislaturers. I would eventually receive help from the Republican Senator, Charles Grassley, but at this point I was desperate.

Someone I knew thought that I should contact Ms. Basu. This person was a fan of her writing and thought that Will’s story was the kind of cause that Basu usually took up. And I have to admit, she does use her column to point out social inequities and injustices an often uses real life stories of Iowans to do this. Not feeling I had anything to lose, I sent her an email as well. Within a few days I returned home to a message on the answering machine from her and asking me to call. I did. I never heard back from her.

It wasn’t until much later that I learned, through her husband’s column, that she had joined me in the widow in waiting club around this time when he was diagnosed with ALS. Will was in a nursing home by then. It was closing in on the last summer of his life. I don’t think I paid much attention to the news coverage and columns that followed but to note that it must be better to be famous when you were terminally ill because you seemed to get more help and support that way.

She lost her husband the June after Will died. There was a lot of press coverage. She was sainted. Shortly after she began writing her series on Surviving. In her widow’s zeal to make sense of her tragedy by helping others, which many of us do early out, she wrote about all forms of loss as though they were equal. Any widow can tell you that in no way does losing your spouse compare with divorce or unemployment, but she was very early days and, evidently, number than most at that point.

There was a message board attached to the series. It invited people to comment and tell their stories. I was just coming out of the fog at that point, and shy I am not when it comes to sharing my opinion and feelings in a message board forum. Let’s just say, I could have employed more tact. But since no one ever responded to me, I quickly lost interest and went elsewhere.

A couple months later, Ms. Basu wrote a column about the WET group, Widows Experiencing Transition, that was active in the metro area where I lived. I had been trying desperately at that point to find a support group that wasn’t online. The only ones I could find though were mixed groups, not just for those experiencing the death of a spouse or for groups or widows and the divorced which I couldn’t fathom attending. Thrilled to know of a real live widows’ group I sent her an email. Judging from her reply, she had read my posts to her message board and apparently I was not someone she wanted to hear from. She sent the contact information for the group but wrote also that she didn’t think I was the kind of person who would benefit from it. Ouch. I wrote her an apology and then scurried off the the UK widows’ board to flog myself for having hurt her feelings. It was only then occurring to me that as the further out, I should have been more cognizant of the tone of my posts and more supportive of her efforts. It was a mistake I have since strived to avoid in my dealings with “younger” widows.

I don’t read Rehka Basu’s work much anymore. I find her writing clinical and self-righteous still though I was impressed by the piece she did on profiling when her son was victimized by it recently. I also read her column about the death of her mother-in-law which kicks off her semi-dormant surviving series was again. The link is below.