I love reading widow blogs. They give me someone else to relate to and I find myself nodding my agreement and seeing similarities sometimes.
In this post from Poor Widow Me, I was reminded of my own guilt monster and I also realized that I have my own "Mean Jean" therapist, except he's not as mean and not a woman.
"[Mean Jean] explained that guilt is a useless
emotion. This is exactly what I needed to hear although I detect a tinge
of 'Get over yourself' tone in her voice. I sit up straighter.
"Listen, Carol, if you want to keep
beating yourself up, be my guest. It's good for business." She added a
'ching-ching' register sound.
At this point, I was seeing her twice a
week and our three month anniversary was approaching. I noticed that
the couch I was sitting on was new. I looked around. So was the carpet.
For those reading this and wondering why
oh why was I seeing her? After all, Mean Jean certainly was a fitting
nickname. Here's why ~ she didn't let me wallow. I know myself. With a
softer shrink I might have curled up on a couch and spent the 50 minutes
sucking my thumb. I kept going back because every so often she gave me a
gem and my breathing was calmer when I left her.
This day, as I wrestled with feelings of
guilt, she blurted out wisdom, a little ditty, that seemed to come out
of nowhere, but it made sense to me and it helped me. She had extremely
She told me that when widows want to
re-marry they often go to the cemetery to ask permission. I nodded my
head. "I can understand that," I said.
Mean Jean lifted that one evil eyebrow
again sarcastically. "Really?" she said. "It makes sense to you to ask
permission from a dead man?"
"Well, I figured that…" I stammered.
"Just for the record, Carol, none of the husbands ever say no."
"So, you're saying…"
"I'm saying our time is up!" She snorted and slapped the arm of her chair. "I'm kidding, kiddo. You should have seen your face?
Eventually, she stopped chuckling and leaned forward to gently touch my arm.
"Honey, emotionally healthy widows and
widowers do what they want to do. If they want to remarry, they remarry.
If they want to buy a foreign car when their spouse only bought
American they say, "Hey, I'm the one driving it."!
She continued, "It's a process to get to
that, of course, but they know that it's their turn now and they know
that life can be fleeting. They know that better than anyone.
"They look back, they regret, they give
themselves and their marriage a report card and in some subjects they
acknowledge that they failed. So what? Dwelling and it's first cousin,
guilt, don't change a thing. It only keeps us stuck."
This is why we pay for therapy. Preach on Mean Jean!