For the most selfish reasons I had always hoped that my mother would outlive my father. My father was a man of very few words, fewer friends and and even fewer desires in life. The one thing he loved and that kept him happy and going was mum. I knew if he would lose my mum, he would have died a thousand deaths every day that he would live without her. I always thought it would be him who would be unable to cope with the emptiness her loss would have left behind.
I have seen how well my mother has done without her husband. She has kept herself busy, and occupied her days with work, nights with TV. She exercises and travels and does all the things she like to do. But most importantly she socializes. Her family includes in her all family dinners, she has always been invited to weddings. My father’s family has started traveling together once a year. Somehow the family has become even closer than they already were. I often think even in death my father is taking care of my mother.
What has recently hit me though, that people would not have done the same for my father. The invitations would have dwindled.His presence at weddings and baby showers and birthday parties would be considered odd. People would empathize with my father but at some point pity would have set in. He would have felt the difference. The little semblance of normalcy that would take a mountain of effort would slowly not be worth it. He would have become lonely and distant. And then he would just be that poor old widow barely making it without his wife because you know men are so much weaker than women.
I’d beg to differ. As much as we complain about society being harsh to women, we completely forget that society is a bloody bitch to men as well.
“Dear Uncle, I am very sorry to hear about the death of Auntie. I am sure you will have people tell you that time is a healer. Let me tell you, time does nothing. You will however learn to live with the void and your pain. It is yours alone as no one will ever know what you go through on a daily basis just to get through the day. I am even more sorry because I know you have not only lost your wife, your social compass, your lover and confidant, your reason to smile and earn your bread, you will now lose family and friends. My only wish for you is that you take care of your health and continue to live this life with the wonderful memories you made with your wife of 40+ years. My deepest condolences and please believe me when I say, You will make it through.”