I made a Remembering John E. Smith page on facebook...I have been thinking about it for a little while, and when I found the one for my old high school crush, Matt Eisenfeld, and his fiance (wife? I don't remember if they were married yet right now) who were killed in a bombing in Israel, I decided I wanted to make it sooner rather than later....
I like everything about it. But for the lack of "Dude". You would think his best man would want to be on something like that...would be at least peripherally involved.
But my desire to be held, comforted, and to feel like I was not alone, like I was not going to rinse spinning down the drain of life as the man of my dreams died, made him uncomfortable. I told him about the long standing crush I had had on him and that John knew. It was really a harmless thing...I was sort of flirting a little in my grief, but I would never have pushed anything anywhere...I just wanted closeness. And I wasn't willing to do that without honesty.
He held on for a day or two, then let me know that he couldn't have anything to do with me anymore. It ended the week after John died, with him using phrases like "your behavior toward me these last few months". Really? You mean these months where my husband, best friend, the father of my kids, my lover and life partner has been dying? Where he has been becoming less and less capable of doing anything? Where I have had to take over caring for our three kids and five pets, plus help him get dressed and walk down the stairs? Where I have started to have to help him to the bathroom? Where I have begun needing to call hospice and get people to help him shower? To listen to his voice daily get weaker, to watch his memory start to dissolve...where I lay beside him and reach for him feeling a little less life in him each and every day...these months? I have made you feel uncomfortable with my attempt at figuring out how much you might offer me and my family in the time that is coming? You poor, sorry, sackless, selfish little man...
So I unfriended him on facebook, but reached out one last time to let him know I had received John's ashes and that if he wanted to be included in spreading them, I was okay with that. Instead of a response, he blocked me.
He wasn't the only one I reached for. But "Beau" dealt with it. He let me lay beside him, although it made him uncomfortable. He told me, later, what made him feel weird and I explained some and apologized. AND WE WERE FINE. How could we not be? It isn't like these guys were involved in my side of life these last 8 years...not really. We didn't all go to dinner. We stopped having game nights long ago. There were nods in my direction, brief chats while I was getting John for them. But one lives across the country and the other travels with his work and is actively involved in all sorts of different extra curricular type activities. Which meant that when they invariably faded to the back ground, it wasn't going to be all that hard, not too shocking, nothing that was particularly diffcult (especially compared to losing John). All I wanted was to have someone close to me that had been close to him. That Rent-a-human idea from the widows blog that I found recently.
The most honest things I can say here are that I would have been okay if he had kissed me, but I would not have kissed him first. I would have been okay if he had touched me, but I would not have touched him first. I would have been okay if he had just held me. I would have been quieted and comforted.
The extra crappy thing is that I was always so scared, over the last few months, to interact with him in my need. I tried to be so careful. I tried to keep a distance. I figured he might think I wanted something more than I did. So I tried to give him space, and only found myself calling him when I was close to falling apart. And one time, I think he helped me take the trash around, we were standing in the street behind my van and I told hiim that I just wanted him to be comfortable being in our lives after we lost John because he has such a unique and strange and interesting line into things John. He told me he would be. I told him I didn't believe him. He said "I know." Sometimes, I hate being right.