Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

To Share or Keep My Mouth Shut?

Monday, March 9, 2015
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Eden Maheras

My social graces are not exactly up to Emily Post's standards. And when it comes to explaining my situation, I have not found a good way to introduce the widow card to a conversation. Oftentimes, I will drop that bomb and try to rush through the obligatory shocked "I'm so do's so nice your parents could..." reactions, and try to change the subject. Maybe someday I'll unlock the secret to artfully broaching the topic and not coming across as Captain Awkward. Maybe.

This weekend I found myself at a birthday party, where all the kids were in a room doing gymnastics, and the adults were in the viewing area chatting. I was talking to two other moms and the topic turned to Disney movies, and what scares our kids. One mom brought up the Lion King. "I mean, how do you explain THAT to a kid? He just saw his dad die!" Part of me wanted to say, "well, my little guy understands a bit more about death and loss, since his Daddy died when he was 6 months old," but instead I just sort of floated out of the conversation. I think I mentioned living with my parents, which often is the trigger for me to explain the whole scenario, but didn't get into my life.

More and more as I prepare for Max to head to kindergarten in a year and a half, I find myself overwhelmed by the sheer number of instances in which I'll find myself having to give the Widow Elevator Speech. I'm not looking forward to that, but events like yesterday, when I kept my mouth shut, are emotionally taxing in other ways.

In the meantime, I guess practice makes perfect? I'll keep on working on it. Not like I have a choice!


Eden, very applicable to all of us. Extra thoughts to you as your son begins Kindergarten and all of your circles of interaction are "families", standard families, and Mom's who don't have much to say other than negative things about their husbands and complain about how "their husbands are always out of town on business", or about "what color flooring to put in their kitchen remodel". If only that were the case for us...

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