Today I learned that my ex-husband had died. An email from my friend Karen informed me of this fact. It said: "I am very sorry to hear about Paul's death. I know this must be a difficult time for you, even though you have been divorced for many years. He was still a part of your life. Anyway, I'm here for you." My first thought, WTF? I didn't see his obituary in the paper and I read those religiously (It's a weird obsession I have). I then checked our hometown paper - still nothing. So, I googled him and up it popped - an obituary from Duffy-Baier-Snedecor Funeral Home in Odell. It says he died at home in Urbana, after an extended illness. So why no obituary? No matter what our history, I think he at least deserves an obituary. I'm not sure what I am supposed to feel or what I am supposed to do. We've been divorced for 22 years, after only being married 18 months. Yet I found myself staring at his obituary, near tears, wondering why it was hitting me so hard. After talking with a few friends, I realized that I am sorry for how his life turned out - no one cared enough to write an obituary. While Paul's death resurrected my fear that no one will miss me when I am gone, I know that I am blessed with good friends who love me and would miss me. I am lucky.
Two years ago I wrote a blog entry about a life well lived and I quote, "But I remind myself of the profound truth I have discovered -- it's how I live my life that matters. I have spent these past few months with cancer looking for its higher purpose. I don’t profess to have some cosmic understanding of that, but every day I see evidence of the opportunities it opens to me. Sometimes I feel like I'm all dressed up with no where to go. I walk the tightrope between maintaining hope that I will live to a ripe old age and living in the moment. I have every reason to be filled with hope. I am fairly sure that I will be able to face wherever this journey takes me. I hope to be a whole person, one who loves, accepts, serves, rejoices and opens up to others honestly and without hesitation. Then I might be someone worth knowing. That will be a life well-lived." That's really all I want.
I am sorry that there was so much rancor between us at the end of our marriage and long after the divorce. I am sorry that I didn't apologize to him for my part in the downfall of our marriage. I am sorry that I never returned the egg plate he so badly wanted (and was awarded) in our divorce settlement. I am sorry his life didn't turn out the way he had hoped. May he rest in peace.