But not the way you might be thinking.
Welcome to the world of widows! That was the greeting from a sweet and feisty older lady as I searched for my husband’s fresh grave marker at Miramar National Cemetery three weeks ago.
She was holding the tiniest terrier pup and walking another terrier (perhaps the mom) on a leash, taking them to visit Daddy. I’m not that well-acquainted with the smaller dog breeds but they may have been Norwich Terriers. The adult dog had the short, stocky build and friendly, alert look. It would be nice to see the widow again on another visit, so I can ask. Perhaps by then her husband’s headstone will have arrived and been put in place. She was grieving more because it still wasn’t there.
On the same day, a Polynesian widow was sitting in a peach-and-pink striped folding chair at her husband’s grave in the 2013 deaths section. She still comes to visit him almost every Saturday, she said. That’s devotion and she may not be quite ready to move on after a year. Far be it from me to judge. My own emotions are raw, as hers may well be, and she needs to commune with the love of her life in a way that he will understand.
Other widows have kindly advised me of what to expect after a husband has passed: the worms who come out of the woodwork even when there are no assets left behind, not to mention the old farts who will assume you are now “needy” as well as vulnerable. I have a wary eye and ear open for the worms I know (and don’t know) that are chomping their way toward me.
And were the widows ever right about the old farts?! Even so, I didn’t expect to get “hit on” only two weeks after my husband died.
In all fairness, sometimes it is single women who hit on the first available, “suitable” widowers (and still-married men) they meet! And that kind of desperate behavior is equally unacceptable. After my mother-in-law died, my father-in-law had no end of tiresome women trying to glom on to his wife’s jewelry and his house. When he himself passed away, we went through some annoying times caused by a much younger woman who still wanted his wife’s jewelry and his house!
Some women have told me they got hit on while still at the actual funeral for their husband. It’s disgusting, guys! How about a little respect? Most of us are not interested in taking on another partner anyway, not after decades of single-handedly caring for a spouse gradually stricken with multiple illnesses not of his choosing. Not everyone needs to be “safely married,” and can you spell e-x-h-a-u-s-t-i-o-n while you’re at it? Some “widder women” may be older but we still know the difference between the heartfelt “kind uncle” hug of a long-time friend and the wrong kind of squeeze, regardless of body parts involved.
Widowhood just may be for the birds and we’ll keep on singing our own song. There is still a sweet place for us on this earth until we are reunited with our husbands in the next life they have gone ahead to prepare.