Life Before (Always Rosy?)

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I suspect that with most newly widowed in the full throes of mourning, all past trespasses pale and the “before” life takes on a golden glow. During the grieving process, hindsight is not so much 20/20 but rose–colored, putting life into soft focus the way a cheesecloth draped over a camera lens filters out and flatters. The widowed are grateful for the time they had together, despite the troubles of the past, the pain of the loss. At least we were loved. The tragedy is measured and balanced by the good times, the gaga moments of an exciting new relationship, the intensity of being in love, the commitment of years together, a full life of fun and laughter, holidays and vacations, joint efforts, shared secrets, tender moments, celebrations of life achievements, the easy comfort of a lifelong best friend. Although that thrilling mix of love and romance co-existed with heartache, disagreements, fights, broken promises and other inevitable pitfalls of married life, the freshly widowed find it difficult to see both the yin and yang of their love life; rather they focus on the beautiful moments, leaving the ugly underbelly for later, if ever. I discovered that some widows never acknowledged the ugly, but instead wiped the slate clean, a decaffeinated version of their marriage, their partner firmly installed on a pedestal. I would not become one of those widows.

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