The Other Widow: Mourning Alan, by Kirby Sommers

Carousel in Central Park, Photo: Kirby Sommers (Copyright)

A couple of days ago I posted on my Facebook page that my best friend passed away.

To most people he wasn’t exceptional. He wasn’t the best looking man. He wasn’t the most successful man. He wasn’t the richest man. He wasn’t a lot of things.

To me: he was the man I fell in love with in my 20’s. He was the love of my life. He was my Ashley (as in ‘Gone with the Wind’ Scarlett O’Hara and Ashley Wilkes). Yet he was my Rhett Butler, too.

On Wednesday his widow called to let me know he passed away 3 weeks ago. I still cannot fully grasp what that means. Other than I will not see him or feel the sun on my skin until I too am on the other side.

I had two opportunities to marry him — the first when we met and decided to live together (which we did for two years). The second, just a little over three years ago, when his marriage irretrievably fell apart.

Because he was married, I lived in the shadows of his life. I knew all the bits and pieces of his life. He recounted every important moment as the years flew by. We shared our triumphs, our downfalls. We became more than the lovers we had once been, we became best friends. As he lived his life, I lived mine with ample boyfriends, lovers, and even husbands.

However, whenever I was in his presence — during the 30 plus years of our relationship — I shown the brightest for him. My skin literally felt like the sun bounced off it whenever I was in his presence. I was my happiest when I was with him.

Regret sounds very hollow when there is no time left.

I lost the man I exchanged wedding vows with over 30 years ago.

Our vows weren’t taken in front of any clergy, or family, or friends. Our vows were made to one another privately with no witnesses when we were very young and believed life meant forever.

I am the other widow.

I spent my life in the shadows of his conventional life.

I will not live in the shadows now that he is dead.

I am mourning and will mourn publicly. I will stand on his grave and cry as I cry now — as the woman who loved him. As the woman he loved.

I want to have a private ceremony and honor his memory.

As I write those words: “I want to have a private ceremony and honor his memory” — I hesitate because convention would have me do otherwise. Convention would have me continue to live somewhere in the shadow.

But, no, today I walk out of that shadow and into the sun where he always waits for me.

I am in mourning and I am his other widow.

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Copyright Kirby Sommers

Kirby Sommers is the CEO/Founder of LandlordLinks.Net — she is also the Founder of Katrina Home Drive, has been a subject of a Tedx talk, and is presently the caregiver for her 55 year old nephew.

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