I know you’re all waiting for the explanation, as far as it can be explained, of how Lesbian Widow is having a dalliance with Boy Widower. I’ll at least try and set the scene before I get graphic. For the less patient, ignore Part One and jump straight in at the Part Two post.
There is no instruction manual for grieving. Deal with the mishmash of grief shit however you need to in order to survive and start living again. Buy a new bed, get the feng shui flow flowing the right way through the house, move house, move to a different country, get Botox, talk to a therapist, go to church, take up a new hobby (mine’s wine), watch shit loads of Netflix, keep a journal, practise yoga, shop, eat, go travelling, volunteer for a good cause, turn vegan, be reckless, have meaningless sex, meet other widowed people.
Of these things, I choose to write today about the last. I decided to seek out widowed people in real life. Eighty per cent of my friends and wedding guest list fucked off after wife died (it’s my fault she killed herself, obvs) so I needed a wine buddy. It’s not like paedophile truckers lurk in widow chat rooms for shits and giggles so when my now Widow Bestie pinged me an invitation for a drink, I gladly accepted. We nattered as if we’d known one another for years, cried in the middle of a rammed pub [who are those crazy ladies in the corner?], coined #powerwidow, registered the domain name, made a pact to never be defined solely by the label “widow”, tottered tipsily back to the tube station in our stilettos, and set up what we now call Widow Whine and Wine club.
I’m so glad I met her. Widow Bestie has been with me through tears of frustration and guilt, literally propped me up at my wife’s inquest, let me cuddle her dog, provided me with ample blogworthy scandalous tales (don’t worry, A, it’s only the internet), and is just a phone call away whenever I have a ridiculous situation to fix. Likewise, I’ve been there as Lesbian Widow providing a shoulder to cry on and an empathetic ear for shit in-law stories. Birds of a feather.
Widow Second Bestie (don’t tell her I ranked her second) lost her long term boyfriend in a horrific air incident. I knew her by name because I had law tutorials with her late boyfriend when we were 18. She knew me by name because she and her boyfriend also knew my wife at university. Small world, huh? A year ahead of me in her grief journey, I’ve watched that wonder woman blossom, get a fabulous new job, buy a flat, make the whole thing indulgently girly, go travelling and do it with enviable style, grace and a discretely swish Rolex. We laugh, we love, we talk about skin hunger, we reminisce about university.
Spurred on by these two friendships with widows, and lacking in holiday partners, I decided to venture solo to Toronto for Camp Widow. A massive widow convention. I’ll write about that another time but, suffice to say, despite being a bit of widow overload and observing some weird shit going down, I met a few gems of crackingly sardonic and ambitious widows who were tremendous fun and particularly skilled at carrying a cocktail in one hand and a pack of Kleenex in the other.
I like widows.
But I’m starting to like a little bit too much…