The Lone Star State

The Lone Star State is usually a synonym for the largest state in the U.S., Texas, the nickname being a nod to the single star which is emblazoned upon the state flag. Texas is a grand southern state, the food country fried, the land open and wide, and the the people as hospitable as you ever could meet.

And the sky, a vibrant azure by day, and by nightfall, it gleams with stars (‘cept of course, if you are in Dallas or Houston, then it’s mostly taillights and neon signs). Any-hizzle, the starry night sky got me to thinking.

Forgive my stream-of-consciousness thinking patterns.

Stars are designed to shine, to emanate light. The biggest light payoff comes when stars are clustered around one another and reflecting off each other’s lights. This creates a collaborative effect-the shine more brilliant, the light distributed farther.

And you may have scanned the night sky and noticed stray stars here and there. They seem dim, by comparison to the clumps of stars you see elsewhere, them being deprived of reflective lights from nearby stars.

So it goes in Da Widdahood, as well (yes, I’m done with the astronomy analogy, sigh-o-relief)!

A well known saying in widda circles is that becoming widowed changes your address book. Or rather, in this age of advanced technology, your Contacts list in your cell phone.

Hate to break it to you (if this is news), but after about two or three weeks–at a push–the novelty of your Wid status wears off for folks. You find yourself not just alone–singular in this world built for coupledom–but lonely, also. Being widowed will hinder, if not dismantle indefinitely, some or all of your key friendships. Some friendships may go on hiatus–put on ice until the other party feels it’s “safe” to come around you again.

Why does this happen?

I’ve read quite a few books and other materials on the subject of being widowed, and from what I’ve cobbled together it’s due to a combination of reasons:

1. Associating with you reminds them of mortality: their own, their spouses, their children’s. The very entertaining of mortality overwhelms them, and that’s just plain unpleasant, right?

2. Your company unnerves them; they feel at a loss as to what to say or not to say, and your newfound propensity to burst into unexpected tears has them on edge.

3. You’re depressing. You find relief in talking about your deceased spouse, their lives, their deaths, and most subjects relegated to those themes. Seriously, wanna see a roomful of people scramble like hell? Just mention your spouse’s name. Trust me;)

4. You are no longer of their ilk: married and settled. You no longer surf the same wave-lengths. Married people with everyday married people problems mostly want to hang out with other married people with married people problems.

Those are just a few of the various reasons that I’ve gleaned from my resources and books. I’ve noticed this phenomenon seems to trend higher for women to experience (no, ladies, we have not cornered the market on good friendship conduct). It’s unfair,  and certainly it compounds your already exquisite pain, but there’s nothing you can really do to mitigate it.

Just know it’s not you, it’s them. Fair – weather friendships are more common than faithful ones, and the only way to discern which friendships are fair – weather and which ones are faithful, is when one party suffers a tragedy or trial.

I can certainly understand the desire to refrain from involving yourself in another person’s drama, but when that person is your close friend who has lost their spouse, I just think it’s rather selfish to sit back on your cushy lil laurels and abdicate the friendship.

For those of you widdas out there weathering this particular issue, big Wid hugs to ya. For those of you who are newly minted widdas, I’m sorry to be the purveyor of such an unsettling message. My hope is to arm you with information to prepare you in the event this happens to you.

For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself—Romans 14:7.



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