We were talking at work yesterday about lying, that being pretty topical in BC politics right now. I said glibly that I didn’t lie, but then admitted that i had gotten darn good at therapeutic fibbing while i looked after my anxious husband at home.
In fact after a few years of practice i could spin a fib without batting an eye, anything to calm his lost and frightened nerves.
Now i have discovered another useful fib. Or maybe more a way of living alternative reality.
Instead of his old forceful and awful refrain of “Let’s go Babe,” he now says calmly, “Well I’m going to leave soon but I sure don’t want to leave without you.”
“I’ll go with you,” i say happily. His face clears and relaxes. “Well that will be wonderful.”
I elaborate and embroider: “I’ll always go with you….We will always be together.”
“Oh boy! Really?… I’d be surprised.” He searches my face and I cast my thoughts to how close we are, and how he is always in my heart, talking, warning me to look after myself, cracking jokes. I hope that reality shows in my face.
“Yes,” I take a chance and push it. “We will be together forever. You know it. You in my heart and me in yours.”
He relaxes even more and kisses my hand. He shows no anxiety as i walk away.
What were we really talking about? A trip to Ontario was part of the context, something we have done by plane, by train, and probably two dozen times by car.
But more than that, it was about passing. So many times he has said, “I’m not afraid to die but I don’t want to leave you.” I have always responded with unconvincing assurances that I would be ok. Sad,(devastated actually) but ok.
It is common – or was in the older generations – for widows to have their name engraved on the husband’s gravestone, with the date of death left to be filled in later. The practice gives me the creeps, but he has always considered the custom both beautiful and natural.
After his loved cousin Bert’s funeral, wife Frances came home, insisted on showing her girls the dress for her funeral, laid down on the bed for a rest before dinner, and died. This story always brought my love to tears at the beauty of their love. I was very impressed but not so enamoured.
But now I have ditched the bs, the personal insecurities, and gone straight to the heart, telling the truth by fibbing, and we are both better for it.