Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gossip and the Widow

Why is it when we become widows we are suddenly up for public consumption? Every aspect of our lives fodder for the masses?

I have experienced some real ugliness with the 'celebrity' that seems to come from losing a spouse. People who couldn't care less about you suddenly can't get enough of the gory details. Supposed relatives who never bothered asking you how you were doing now suddenly feel entitled to the intimate moments of your life. Acquaintances, neighbours, friends of friends...

I welcome most people into my life. I am a fairly open book (hello, blogging about all the heartache in my life should tell you I'm fairly comfortable spilling most secrets). And I love the new friends I have made and the new and wonderful people who have become a treasured part of my life.

But what I cannot accept and what I find absolutely deplorable are those who want to be involved, not because they care or are offering support, but because they love the drama and want to be at the centre of it.

I recently encountered a second wave of this ugliness from someone fairly close to me (ah, DNA, the great inclusionist). Lying, gossiping, relishing in the smut she was able to spin about me to anyone who would listen.

I find this absolutely reprehensible. I am struggling to survive. SURVIVE. Get out of bed, breathe, not give up. And someone who should be a blessing and a support to me instead finds my heartache too boring and would rather spice it up and peddle it to gain a little attention.

So here's a little attention for you:

THANK YOU for making me realize that even in the most painful time of my life I can still count on you to make me hurt even more.

THANK YOU for reminding me why Craig said you were nothing but bad news and not welcome in our home.

THANK YOU for helping me understand that nobody can be trusted, not even family.

THANK YOU for kicking me while I was down - bleeding, bruised, utterly broken.

THANK YOU for your testimony. For acknowledging God with your lips and then walking out the door and showing the world just what ungodly looks like.

THANK YOU for delighting in destroying the one and ONLY good thing in my life right now.

THANK YOU for trying to tear down and slander someone who has been there for me, cared for me, and bloody well SAVED ME while you were too busy destroying your own life to bother helping.

THANK YOU for taking something as sacred as the death of my beloved husband and trying to turn it into a circus act for your own amusement.

THANK YOU for reminding me that I am truly alone. Nobody has my back anymore.

To all of you on the outside looking in, let me remind you: Gossip is an ugly thing under normal circumstances. But to gossip and slander a widow? Heaven help you, that is one karmic b*tchslap you are asking for.

Remember that we widows live our lives in a fishbowl. Everyone stares, everyone has an opinion, especially those who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. And if you have never lost somebody this close or do not have a degree in psychology, you fall into that category. We live every day with the constant, crushing weight of everyone's expecations and opinions on us and what we are doing. Whatever decision we make, we offend someone. Often someone who has no right to be offended. In the end all we can do is try our best to keep breathing and make it through one more day. Please try to keep this in mind the next time you feel like judging.

Because I just pray that you never have to know what this is really like.

To quote a rather wise widow, "Stare all you want. I am fierce and not going anywhere. Deal with it."


  1. Man, Emily, this is alot to deal with. I am so sorry that on top of your loss, your fears, your coping, that you now have this gutter troll to deal with. I wish you all the best! You need to live for one person, and that is yourself. If you ever feel selfish, so be it. You are amazingly strong, and sometimes the smallest things will seem like huge victories. Continue to do what you are doing.


  2. YOU GO GIRL!!! Whom ever this person is deserves to be told what her gossipping is doing to you. Not all people are around you for the right reasons. My degree is psychology tells me that unfortunately there are those types of people out there who dwell, enjoy and gain some type of pleasure from other people's hardships and try and make someone else's life more miserable than it already is. Your blog continually amazes me and I don't know you but I have a good understanding of what you are and how you handle the nightmares of life. Talking, blogging and letting someone know how you are feeling will help you in the end. I also know that you will continue to have peaks and valleys in your struggle. Hang in there...I think you have many supportive people around you and don't allow the others to intrude on who you are. YOu need to look after yourself first and only you know how to accomplish that..one day at a time. I will continue to remember you in my prayers.

  3. Once again, your honesty is incredible. I am so glad you are getting that off your chest and letting people know that although you are struggling they can't walk all over you, take advantage of you and the situation, spread lies about your life-that you will still stand up for yourself! I am so proud of you and know it takes courage, although in the wake of what you have and are going through, it probably feels fairly easy. You are so strong, although I know it doesn't always feel that way, but continue doing what you are doing. Whatever you are doing to get through each day is what you need to do. Be with those who lift you up, put what you need first, listen with open ears and open arms when you need them. Thinking of you.