Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

Thinking about death. And sex

SATURDAY, November 7, 8:30 – A long walk with our dog Elsa.  No pressure, nothing that needs seeing to. This gives me the mental leeway to think about ‘good things’, to reflect on how the past week really was. I think about Jenn, her death, her life, our life, myself.  I also think about how strange it is – or perhaps hopeful – the way emotions can have a physical charge.  I have very tangible sexual desires.  I masturbate and fantasize.  Not that I invent a new relationship or a new partner, but I do speculate on how long it will be before I begin to long for someone else. What will it be like to find someone else, to experience that intimacy again?

My thoughts reach further.  Ludicrous, but still there is this sensation that’s both physical and emotional. I look at women, make a list of acquaintances who might be eligible candidates – some day.  For now, my lad, we’re on manual control.  No idea how someone else would fit into our present life.

Would the status of widower have more advantages than disadvantages compared to that of a divorced man?

17:15 – Sander and I have come up with the ‘taking a shit theory’.  What if.  ‘What if’ is constantly going through our head. It’s the question-of-the-week for me, for Sander, for Eamonn, and for all three of us collectively. What if. What if we had done this or what if we hadn’t done that, then…

A few seconds would have made all the difference.  The difference between life and death.  I’d begun to philosophize out loud when Sander, again, asked that maddening question that I was getting a bit tired of thinking about. The very pointlessness of it.  So, I tried a different approach.  ‘Look at it this way: If Mom hadn’t picked up the phone in Januay 1991 when I called her boss in New York, then we would never have met and she would never have come to Holland and we would never have moved to the States and you would never have been born.’

I could see the light dawning in Sander’s head. Time for the philosophical knockout punch.  I reduced that idiotic ‘what if” to the following scenario.  What if I’d gone to take a shit before calling Mom’s boss in New York?  What if.  Mom had told me that she was just about to go home. What if I had taken a shit before calling…?’

It began to get through to him. ‘Gee. You know what, Papa?’ Sander said. ‘When we went to the park with Elsa, I did have to shit.  If I had, then none of it would have happened.’  Exactly, my son, the difference between life and death is a lousy turd.  Shit happens, and even that doesn’t change anything.

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2 thoughts on “Thinking about death. And sex

  1. How the personal needs one must have! We can’t run from them, can we? I like the way you finally started to get through to Sanders. It made me laugh. it reminds me of how I need to explain things to my own sons at times.


  2. Many people fish eye me when I tell them I am glad the younger children will not seek explanations of where Daddy went for years after the fact. Autism can have some benefits. My heart is heavy for those who are still faced with “what if”. Truly, it can be brutal.

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