marrying a widower

Wedding Dress For Happy Couple in Love

Image by via Flickr

On the morning of June 27th at just about this time in the morning, I will have been married for just a bit more than half a day. Rob and I remind ourselves often that time is too precious to wish away, but as I gear up for another week of separation I wish I owned a Toynbee Convector.


There is an old Ray Bradbury short story that I used to teach to my seventh graders back in the day. It is about a man who fakes a trip to the future in order to give the world hope of a better world to come. The faked proof he presents inspires people to go out and actually create the world he only imagined for them. I remind myself when I am feeling impatient and missing my love’s physical reassurance that what we are doing in our time apart is giving substance to our dreams.


You can’t build a future if you aren’t able to envision it in your mind’s eye.



Statue of (a) mother at the Yasukuni shrine, d...

Image via Wikipedia

Interesting article on MSNBC today by Wray Herbert who writes the “We’re  Only Human…..” blog. The title was Psychology: Time Only Heals Some Wounds. In it he talked about a research study by Michigan State University psychologist Richard Lucas.

Lucas questioned the idea that people have set-points for happiness in much the same way people seem to have set-points for weight for instance. It is the idea that some of us are just unable to sustain prolonged states of melancholy or conversely happiness. We are divided it seems into glass half empty or glass half full camps. What he found, however, was that people’s feelings are effected by life’s stresses and turmoils and that whether or not a person can adapt or overcome them is not predictable or even predetermined by personality. The stressful event has much to do with it.

For example adjusting to divorce is not the same as adjusting to being widowed. Widowed people, according to the study, seem to “get over” their grief though it appears to take about seven years on average* for this to happen, but the divorce appears to leave permanent emotional scarring that affects divorcees for the course of their lives. The reasoning behind this rather odd finding is that it may be easier for  people to adapt to an event that is a one time hit of “bad luck” than to adjust to a “chronic condition” like divorce.

They liken divorce to that of a chronic illness whose reminders are constant and go on to further postulate that people who get married and stay married until” death do they part” were actually happier people anyway whereas divorce seems to strike those who tend towards misery normally.

The widowed are able to reframe their thinking and adjust their goals/expectations and “escape” their misery and the divorced are trapped because the lack of real resolution makes it impossible for them to do that.

An interesting theory.

A poster at YWBB today,  Jenna, posted today about being irritated by the board and other widows. I could relate. Can relate. There have been more than a few instances when I have been “irritated” to the point of snarkiness at the defeatist lifer attitudes of another widow on the board. But what makes me, or Jenna, fight and “reframe” and others content to put on the black weeds of acceptance? Why are some of us “Scarlett’s” and others “Aunt Pittypat’s” or “India’s”?

*Update – Recent studies have found the time limits on grieving to be rather arbitary and anecodotal at best. Researcher George Bonnano has found that the vast majority of people, who have no underlying mental health issues, take on average 6 months to a year to leave active grief and begin to move on with their lives.

Wedding Dress

Image by LollyKnit via Flickr

So, we have gone from a small ceremony with just ourselves and our daughters to planning a wedding on location and with guests no less. And it makes me smile to think about it really because I can remember us not long ago joking about theme weddings in Vegas.

It doesn’t matter really. As long it is us. Rob and I. Our girls.

I bought a bride’s magazine the other day. It felt like an odd thing to do. At my age. Looking at “princess” gowns like a teenager getting ready for prom.

When I married Will, it was in a dress that I didn’t really like, wearing accessories that were better suited to my sister DNOS, who had picked them out, than myself. The ceremony was written by the Catholic church and the songs prescribed by them as well. The reception was old school with a sit down dinner and dancing afterwards. All I had wanted was my toes in the sand, a flowing, slightly sexy gown and white cake with sickeningly sweet thick icing.

This time I will have the mountains, and I have come to love them more and more, a very exotic Canadian who fulfills the sexy requirement more than just slightly, and a ceremony written by the province of Alberta.

I don’t know if Tool has ever written a wedding appropriate song, and I can’t eat cake anymore without making myself sick. And I don’t think the gown will be white much less princess-like.

Details. It’s a good thing I am marrying a Virgo*


*Rob planned the entire wedding really, I picked out a dress for me and a flower girl dress for Dee. I also arranged for the few flowers we needed. Mostly though – it was Rob. Interesting my late husband, Will, was also keen on wedding planning, the mark of an enthusiastic to be wed man though Rob did tell me that when he married his late wife, Shelley, he couldn’t have been less interested. He was just nineteen though and as he tells it, whenever pressed into wedding planner mode, he was more than willing to oblige her. (see How Do You Know)