What Do You Tell a Dead Guy?

That I find humor in my grief does not require psychological expertise. It is a coping mechanism of which I am well aware. Lest you cast me as a heartless shrew I share an excerpt from, Flipping Off The Devil, a part that might cast me less smartass and more grieving widow. For those of you that need that sort of thing. It’s a letter to The Norwegian one year from the day he died. The sexy parts are left out-you can’t handle his hotness.

Dear Studcat (Oops, another secret you didn’t ask for!),

What would I say if I had the chance? I would tell you that when you stare into the face of the devil, you have two choices. Run, knowing for certain he will catch you, torture you with your own pain until you scream in agony and wait for the Reaper to claim you. Or stand up on shaky legs, tears streaming down your face, fist in the air, ala Scarlet O’Hara and give the devil a big fuck you; drudge through the darkness, the mud, the yuck, the terror, the grim reality of what your empty life is going to be and grieve.

Grieve the loss of your best friend, your confidante, and your lover, your life. Grieve that you have no one to hold your secrets in that safe place that only husbands do because they aren’t really listening anyway.

I would tell you about your funeral and we would laugh—really. I would tell you about the non-friends who wanted a front row to witness our pain. That your mother wishes me to burn in hell for having you cremated—get it, burn in hell?

What you do need to know is that on that day, our friends held us up and carried us while the world crumbled to pieces. The kindness and generosity of spirit of those that enveloped us I will forever carry in my heart. It’s not who you would think. I would tell you about our children and their amazing lives through their agony. And agony it has been for them. If I could wish for one thing, it would be to take their pain away, to not hear the girls screaming and falling to the floor when I told them you were gone.

I would cry and curse you and push you up against the wall and pound on you for the mess you left. I would kick your ass all over Scottsdale that you allowed your life insurance to lapse. It makes me regret staying home with our children, sacrificing career for family and relying on another person for my security. People pray for the kind of love we had. I had it in every measure and now it angers me because in the mix I did not take care of myself if ever I was in the position to stare the devil in the face. He’s laughing his ass of now.

In that vein, I would tell you that, unlike everything I ever professed to you, this has shaken my faith. I struggle with God but totally believe the devil exists.

I would tell you that I pray for success—I asked the universe just this morning to signal me what the hell my passion is so I can make it a career. I would tell you that I sold your wine to pay the mortgage. I would tell you that as mad as I am, and some days I curse you, if there was some cosmic force, some freak of nature, some will of God or universe that would allow you to knock on the door, I would fall to my knees, wrap my arms around you and start the whole thing all over again. And I would drag you into my new bedroom and strip your clothes off in 2.2 seconds. Some things never change.

What I do know for certain is that death leaves us no choices. It’s not the life you wanted. It’s not the life you envisioned. Someday memories will serve me and make me happy I know. Right now, steeped in the sadness of one year ago, I am despondent, unreachable, beyond recognition, filled with longing, and fighting the urge to have a dirty martini at ten o’clock in the morning. Wait—what’s really different about that?

Remember how we played best and worst with the kids. What is the best and worst part of this or that experience? Here’s my best and worst about losing a husband.
The worst—killing spiders.
The best—closet space.

Love you Baby.


9 thoughts on “What Do You Tell a Dead Guy?”

  1. Linda, your writing (albeit through your pain, which I cannot imagine) says it all – this is your calling!


  2. Your funeral experience reminds me of Jackie’s funeral when my brother (who will remain nameless) asked if he could take home the rest of the lunch food since he was hosting a party the next day – and then went and asked the lunch ladies if they had more food in the kitchen – AMAZING!


  3. Linda, I don’t know you, but I love you! Seriously, I love your blog – your humor, candor, gift of expressing so many thoughts we have all have and in such a creative and endearing way – your writing is incredible. My husband died almost thirteen years ago, and reading this entry brought me back to that horrible time – I laughed and cried as well.
    You could combine all of your blog entries into a book and it would sell! And I am sure you can find a million other things to write about…….just do it : )


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