Shades of Gray

A New Dear Norman!

0 Comments 13 February 2013

Dear Norman

What do you say to a widow whose late husband used to be your lover? I am at a total loss. I lived with the man for two years, then he married someone else (so did I, for that matter), and then he died….leaving me nothing by the way.

I know this widow, and don’t much care for her, not because she married my ex, but because she’s a total bitch – and still has the pearls that Randolph reneged on when ‘we’ went south.

But my former lover died pretty young (45), and we have a lot of friends in common, and I know we’re going to meet again sooner rather than later, and I don’t want to say something like, “I’m sure he would have lived to a ripe old age if only he hadn’t married your bitchy boney ass.” Although that’s probably a fair remark.

Brimming with resentment in Raleigh


Dear Brimming,


A body in mourning requires a different set of rules compared to what applies day-to-day. Do you want to leave the vile taste of resentment in the ether? No. But the need to express righteousness to the wicked is incumbent – as you suggest.

Experience provides nothing if not to sharpen perspective through the blurry refraction of hindsight. If your widow personifies the ugliness you put forward then the results she so badly needs will come to her a thousand times over without your sacrificing grace.

So be compassionate. Empathize with the pain and suggest hope. And if you can get those pearls back be ruthless – I haven’t seen a good pearl since ‘51 in Havana.


- who has written 512 posts on The Shade.

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