Friday, July 07, 2006

Eavesdropping between cycles

I was at the laundromat a couple nights ago and overheard an employee and another customer having a conversation. It was just the three of us in there. I was reading a book, and they were talking loudly to each other across the room... so I guess I wasn't eavesdropping as much as I was overhearing.

Anyway, Customer was talking about her late husband and how long it took her to get over his death. Employee was relating, talking about how long it took her to get over her first husband's death. Customer said that although she misses her late husband, she would much rather be windowed than divorced. Employee agreed, saying that she is widowed and divorced, so she would know.

At this point, I still had my book open, but it was only for show. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. These women would choose watching their loved ones die over signing a couple of divorce papers?! Crazy.

As morbid as it seems to admit, I can almost understand their point of view. In some strange way, it must be a little comforting to know that your husband didn't choose to leave you. He didn't make the conscious decision that he didn't want to be with you anymore - he didn't fall out of love with you. He simply died, and that was the end of it. As a widow, I imagine you'd never have to live with the feeling that your spouse, at one point, promised to live the rest of his life with you and then changed his mind. You'd never have to wonder what you did to make yourself unloveable to him.

But at the same time... no! Death is absolutely not the better choice. Granted, I've never experienced either, but it just sounds so wrong to say you'd rather be widowed than divorced. I don't think I would want to live in a world without my ex-husband. There's always the possibility of bumping into each other on the street ten years down the road... reconnecting... remembering what it was that existed between the two of you in the first place. I think I would want the opportunity to torture myself with thoughts of what he's doing now, who he's with, if he's laughing. Maybe I'm selfish. Or a masochist.

Maybe Employee just didn't have a very happy marriage. Maybe her ex-husband abused her or her children, and she hates the thought of him going on with his life after what he did to them. Maybe she'd rather he was dead. I have no idea. But on the surface, the idea of choosing death over divorce is appalling to me.

1 comment:

Earl said...

And instead of getting 50% of his assets .... you get everything.