A loss is a loss, a death is a death.

I ran into a woman from my old church last weekend. She was wearing a long winter coat with the hood up and I didn’t realize it was her until she dropped the hood and said “Hi”.

A little back story. Her husband was killed in a freak traffic accident about 3-1/2 years ago. He was a father of three and a great guy. He was 43. He was also a grade school teacher so to say this death impacted a lot of lives would be an understatement.

After D-Day my closest friend who was texting me constantly, keeping my spirits up and generally checking that I wasn’t planning anything nefarious shared something the widow had told him.

She said right after her husbands death, she didn’t think she could handle the waves of grief that were washing over her. But, with time, the waves got smaller and more manageable. They still came, but with much less intensity and frequency.

I’ve seen her here and there since D-Day but we’ve never spoke of it.

When I saw her last weekend we immediately hugged and just looked at each other and I could tell she knew. Not of the betrayal, everyone knows about that. But she knew, she just knew. The pain, the anxiety, the loneliness, the crushing depression, the loss.

She asked how I was and I asked the same. She shared how her Dr. had put her on antidepressants. She’s off now, but if he didn’t, she said she was becoming an alcoholic. We spoke of our children and the need for therapy.

In the end, we both had tears in our eyes and she just said” it sucks, it all just sucks”. I couldn’t speak anymore, so I just said “we’ll talk” and I left.

Most of my family and my stbx’s family have treated her betrayal like a death. It’s the death of the wonderful person that we knew. The wife, the daughter, the sister, the aunt, the Mom.

I’ve always thought to myself that this is worse than a death. Her husband didn’t choose to leave his wife and kids. He didn’t leave that morning and say “I love you, but I’m not “in” love with you, or another classic ” neither of us wanted it to happen”. She has no chance of running into her husband with another woman.

I don’t like to compare my situation with hers because unless you’ve been through it, that comparison seems unfair. But it is fair in my eyes. The death of my marriage, my intact family, all of our hopes and dreams. They’re dead. She killed them.

The waves are much smaller these days, sometimes it’s even calm as glass out there. I know my friend and I will be fine someday. It’ll just take time. And then we’ll talk.

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9 thoughts on “A loss is a loss, a death is a death.

  1. I have thought about this many times…comparing what my H did to death!
    It is like a death in many ways.
    I even told him within those first few days of DDay that I would have rather he died than put me through this…the look on his face was horrible and pure shock and he said “you would rather I was dead?” I said “yes, you don’t understand how much this hurts and I would rather you would have died than have done this this to me at least if you would have died that wouldn’t have been on purpose or your fault”
    He didn’t know what to say and just hung his head.

    Hope you have a good weekend ❤️❤️❤️

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  2. I’ve come to accept that the atomic bomb my wife dropped on our marriage made me grieve harder than over any loss I’ve experienced. It did hurt worse because she did it to us and I still had to see her around every day after she tore my heart out. We’re back together in a new relationship and still I mourn for the woman who walked down the aisle.

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  3. My Step-Mom just passed away – and I LOVED loved loved her (can’t type love enough when I speak of her), but grieving death and betrayal is very different.

    Many told me that death is an expected part of this journey, sexual betrayal is not and the grieving of betrayal involves so much more than death (i.e mind movies of them fucking, the lies and deceit, the trying to connect the dots, the risk of disease and ongoing involvement from the OW/M, trickle truth and most likely never knowing the truth etc.). Both are incredibly traumatic, no doubt, but I can honestly say I am so much more traumatized and heartbroken from Mr. Perfect’s betrayal than with the death of my beloved Step-Mom because there is so much more to process. Your friend is right, both do suck.

    xo

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    1. I feel guilty about thinking this way, but I still think betrayal is harder. The moving on part is tainted by the fact that they’re still out there, amongst the living, living their lies at the expense of former loved ones . Ugh

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I try not to compare. Loss is loss and people deal with it differently.
    Betrayal is so much worse than I ever could have imagined. After the first knife in the back there are the 1000 cuts that come with ending the relationship. It’s sucking me under right now and I am struggling to maintain my balance.

    Every day I ask how a person who’s ever loved me could be so cruel and selfish. And not even see it.

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    1. I’ll never know why she became the cold, selfish person she did. Was it brainwashing, mental illness,was she a narcissist all along and I didn’t recognize it? We just have to live our best lives and not let the questions and their choices drag us down with them. Here’s to finding peace.

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