For a very long time I kept my writing a secret. I squirreled my notebooks away in closets, desk drawers, empty shoe boxes and the garage. I was embarrassed. I didn't want anyone to know that I was a writer. I worried someone would laugh at me.
But I kept writing wondering what was my niche and where was my voice.
One day after my husband died, I realized my niche had found me and I discovered my voice.
Today I share.
What We Want, What We Don't Wantby Linda Della Donna
We want our husbands back.
We don't want your husband, your son, your father, your grandfather, or your cousin's next door neighbor's husband, her son, her father, or, her grandfather.
If we ask the simple question, "How's he doing?" That's all we mean. We may not want to be alone, but we never want to wreck a home.
We want our lives back.
We want what we can't have; what we can never have again.
We want you to accept that.
We want to win at the game of life.
we hated losing everything.
We want the pain to go away.
we don't want to kill ourselves. Though we may say, I wish I were dead.
We don't want pity.
Your pity, or anyone else's. It causes us to feel pathetic. So, please, no preaching if you decide to stop and chat. And, if you see us on line in the Dunkin Donuts, please don't point at us to your friend when we pass. We hate it when conversations turn to whispers when we step one high-heeled toe into the party.
We want an ear; a shoulder. Someone to listen to our terrible horrible ugly day. Think King Kong with Faye Raye.
We don't want to hear, "If there's anything I can do, call."
We want, "Can I drop off a chicken and potato dinner Tuesday night at six?"
We don't want to tell anyone we are afraid, though we are scared to our core.
We are afraid to reach out, we are afraid to ask favors. We are afraid we can't pay back.
We want others to know that we are concerned about the future -- Ours.
We don't want to be alone.
We do want to be alone.
We don't want to answer the door, the telephone, or the sea of sympathy cards mountain-piled on the kitchen table. They act as reminders of death. Even emails can feel overwhelming to us. When someone is gone, they do not return. It takes time to process that.
We want space. We know you are there for us.
We don't want space. We don't know you are there for us.
We will reach out when we are able. We want others to do the same.
We want others to know we know you care. Be patient.
We want others to know, we don't know you care. Be persistent.
We want to measure time the way we once did. Not BD (Before His Death), or AD (After His Death).
We want others to know that for widows, time has changed. And we must process that.
We don't want to hear, "I know how you feel."
You don't. We pray you never will.
We don't want to hear, "I know what you need."
Even if you are an authority, it's not up to you.
We don't want to hear, "You'll be okay."
Especially when we feel nothing will ever ever be okay, ever again.
We don't want to be judged for something we did, something we said; something we didn't do, something we didn't say. We are human beings and now we are alone and we are vulnerable.
Under the circumstances, we want others to know we are doing the best we can.
We don't want to hear (not at this time, anyway) about a visit to a hospital to visit a best friend's cousin's dying milkman. Please spare us the details.
We want to know that someone in the world is mending, healing, getting better, and soon, very very soon, will be leaving the hospital on his own two feet.
We don't want to know about a stranger's funeral. Chances are, we already know. We just don't care. Not at this time.
We want never to forget Him. He was everything. He loved us back.
We want to cherish His memory. Please don't feel uncomfortable if we mention His name.
We want others to know, though life has kicked us where it hurts, we still find joy. We intend to go on living, we plan to meet someone new, to laugh out loud, to live and love and be loved back. We want the world to know, we dare to dream.