You Are Not Alone

So this is why I’m wearing flip-flops lately.  Apparently right now I can’t tie my own shoe laces.  It’s also summer.  But really.  Today I found myself driving over a bridge on the way into D.C., which would have been fine, if I had intended to go to D.C. today.  It’s just been like that a lot.

Fortunately, there are all these people who are ready, willing, and able to help me out.  They don’t stop me from driving into D.C. accidentally, but they help with the big things.  

My husband was retired from the Air Force.  That makes me a military dependent.  So I was able to go to the military legal aid office (also known as the JAG office) and have an attorney look over Don’s will and tell me what I need to do.  She also made an appointment for me with the tax preparer in the office.  Oh, and she opened up the claim on my husband’s military life insurance policy.

The JAG office also suggested that I talk to someone at the Casualty Affairs Office.  So I did.  The woman at Casualty Affairs is pretty much holding my hand and walking me through stuff I didn’t even know I was eligible for.  

I need this kind of help.  I mean, I need someone to tie my shoelaces (if I haven’t mentioned that already).  I’ve also been getting a lot of help from former employers and Don’s last employer.  

And in the middle of it, regular stuff just keeps happening.  I have to get the car fixed.  (That would be the car that I dented the night Don died, because I failed to notice the concrete pillar that I walked right by that I was parked next to).  I had to get the air conditioning fixed.  I have to replace two basement windows.  The plumber is coming next week.  I think it’s next week.  I should write more of these things down.  The cat got sick.  I have to pay the bills.  You know, the regular stuff.

What do people do when they don’t have support?  The Attorney General of Ohio is at this moment appealing a decision handed down by a federal judge that says that Ohio has to recognize the wedding of two men who were married in Maryland.  One of the men is dying and wants his husband to be listed as his surviving spouse on his death certificate.  How cruel is this Attorney General?

I’m so glad that DADT has been repealed.  At last, ALL surviving military spouses will be able to get the services that I’m getting right now.  

See, here’s the thing:  none of us is perfect.  There are nice people, and mean people, and crabby people, and friendly people, and curmudgeonly people, scary people, strong people, weak people, offensive people, and pleasant people.  But in the end, we’re all people.  We all have the capacity to grieve.  And regardless of how nice or not nice, how smart or not smart we are, we all deserve to be helped by one another.  We all deserve to have the space to grieve, openly, and we all deserve to get the assistance that’s out there.

I am so very grateful to the folks at the JAG office.  And the Casualty Affairs Office.  And most of the folks I’ve had dealings with so far.  Most of them.  

I’m grateful for friends and colleagues.  And for colleagues who are also friends.  

In one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes, the Doctor discovers that, indeed, he is not alone in the universe.  There is one other surviving time lord, albeit his nemesis.  As his nemesis is dying, the Doctor weeps.  He doesn’t want to let go, because he doesn’t want to be alone.  I know I’m not alone.  It helps a lot.


2 thoughts on “You Are Not Alone

  1. Madelyn, you ask, “What do people do when they don’t have support?” Just read some of the heart-rending posts on Facebook’s Young Widows and Widowers group if you really want to know: new widows lose their homes, their kids act out, they fall for predatory men looking for a “rich widow,” you name it. Very sad. If you have supportive people and organizations to turn to at this time, you’re one of the (relatively) lucky ones.


  2. I’m so glad there are so many resources out there for you. I got teary just reading this. And I say, just stick with flip-flops for a while. Less stress. 🙂


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