This past year Bob's twin brother died at age 83. We have all grieved in our own way and in very different ways. Bob's grief was profound, no doubt because it was his twin. The grief process that I'm most affected by though seems to be his widow's, my sister-in-law.
You see we've been in this family together for a very long time. We're more like sisters than sister-in-laws. It surprises me I'm having such a hard time with her grief.
Nostalgia is not my thing, never has been. She, on the other hand is very nostalgic. Frankly it makes me uncomfortable. We talk often. Frequently she is playing music from the era when they were young and dating. I think this is very comforting to her. She spends a lot of time going through old pictures reminiscing. She tells me many stories from the past. I am most troubled though by the stories about her marriage. They simply are not factual. It would be most unkind and unthinkable of me to call her hand on these stories and remind her they actually fought like hell every day of the 59 years they were married.
I'm wondering if nostalgia is knitting together a set of happy marriage memories where she can find comfort. I would not want to take that away from her. Could some of this be about regrets? She often advises me to touch Bob more, to spend more time with him, not to argue or quarrel with him.
I'm wondering what I will do if this kind of grief should ever come to me. I believe in looking back only for what can be learned from the past, never to dwell on it or relive it. I don't have a lot of photos or spend a lot of time looking at the ones I have. I wonder if I'll spend a lot of time reliving the years I was married? I don't think I will but I don't know. I can't imagine I will have a lot of regrets. While our marriage is not perfect it's always been vastly different than theirs.
Are you nostalgic about the past? If so what am I missing?