28 August 2007

Who would have wanted that?

Since John died, I find that I often say, "That's what John would have wanted."

When I'm making decisions about anything—where to have dinner, what outfit to wear, when to put the kids to bed, who to call to fix something—it makes me feel better to base the decision on what John would want.

The crazy thing about that, and this is something I know even as the words "It's what John would want" come out of my mouth, is that I often don't really know what John would want. I can make a better guess than anyone else in this world. And usually what he wanted was the same thing that I wanted, so it's a great way to justify doing whatever I want to do. Hey! John would have wanted it! Let's go for it! I feel a bit guilty using that line as a justification for anything and everything since really, it's just a guess.

What's really interesting to me is that people expect me to use the WWJD (where J = John, not Jesus) logic. At the memorial, many people said to me, "This is exactly what John would have wanted," and seemed surprised when my reply was, "I hope so; all I know for sure is that it felt like the right way to honor him." Despite the fact that I regularly call upon the WWJD reasoning, it makes me uncomfortable and feel somehow like a fraud.

I wish I knew exactly what John wanted. I wish he was here to ask. All I know for sure is that John wants me to be loved, to get enough rest and to eat good food, to take care of myself, to not be stressed out, to be surrounded by friends and family. To be happy, that's what he wants for me and the twins. He always worried that I was spread too thin. The best way I can honor him is by asking for and accepting help, by taking care of myself and our children, and by treating myself with kindness and love. That's the way he always treated me, and I am not always so good to myself.

16 comments:

Beth said...

I haven't commented before but have read for a while. I just wanted to let you know that your description of what John would have wanted for you is movingly beautiful. Simple and perfect. You only had 4 years and it was way, way too few, especially seeing how amazing your love for each other was/is. I'm not sure what I really want to say; I just wanted to let you know how much you've touched me and how much this stranger on the other coast hopes for you that your journey has some easy days, too.

Kay said...

i understand what you mean when you "say that's what he would have wanted", my dad just recently passed and my siblings and i find ourselves saying that phrase alot. and in reality we do not know, it's really what we would think he would want b/c that's what we really want (if that makes sense). so i do sometimes feel like a fraud as well, but again we know our dad's best and you know your husband best so it is okay to say/think that.

Yankee T said...

Can I just tell you that I totally love you? You are so dear.
Do be kind to yourself.

OTRgirl said...

I'm glad you're trying to let yourself be cared for (and VERY glad you have people nearby who are willing and able to help).

In response to my sadness that any children I have would never get my Mom as a grandmother, a COUNSELOR responded, "She'll always be inside you, so they'll get her wisdom". It felt like such a lie. I don't know how she'd react or what she would say. That's what made her a person, not a dial-a-mom. That being said, I love that you're able to use WWJD to be able to do what feels 'natural' or good to do.

Robin J. said...

"To be happy, that's what he wants for me and the twins."

Absolutely.

Jolene said...

I agree with Beth. Your description of what John wanted for you is utterly beautiful. It's so simple yet so perfect. I wish he was here to ask too.

Klynn said...

"To be happy, that's what he wants for me and the twins." That's all that matters. You don't have to get any more specific than that. If something will make you and/or the twins happy, and you feel good about it, then do it. You don't need any other justification for living your life.

Even now, as my dad's been gone 8 years, I still think he'd have been so proud of the things I've done (married a good guy, graduated valedictorian of my class at ITT, had a beautiful son, gotten a really good job). I know my dad is somewhere that those kinds of things no longer matter, but it makes me feel so good to know that if he were here, he'd be happy and proud.

I guess that's why we always try to think of what our loved ones would have wanted...because that makes us feel good about our choices. Now if you're doing something that makes you happy, because you think he'd have thought it'd make you happy, then you should be doubly happy, right?

Just BE happy, Snick.

Christine said...

Snick, your whole life, how you live it, how you raise his children, is "how he would have wanted it." You do him proud. And I'm proud of ya.

Sylvie said...

I am having a sort of emotional day and that just made me cry. Being loved and knowing you were loved is a great gift.

susan said...

Who could want any more? This one is amazing.

bg's Little Sis said...

You are right, and do be kind to yourself, you deserve it, beautiful post.

Angela said...

After my husband's nephew, Joshua, passed away last year, all the family members wore the WWJD bracelets for "What Would Josh Do", we all still ask ourselves that question. It helps us all feel a little closer to him and honor his memory.
I am so glad you are honoring John's memory and his legacy by being good to yourself and asking for help when you need it and allowing yourself to be happy.

halfmama said...

I agree -- the best way to honor him is to honor yourself. It really is what he would have wanted, and you clearly know that better than anyone. You are not a fraud. You are a mother and a wife, and a terrific one at that. I am sure he is proud about every single thing that you are doing.

Emmie (Better Make It A Double) said...

What a beautiful description of what he would want for you. It sounds a little like he's still taking care of you guys in some way by leaving that with you. Knowing how to accept help is a gift.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like 'what John would have wanted' is totally what you need right now. Live by it.

Heather said...

What a beautiful post. I don't know what you believe in, but I believe that John can feel you trying to feel him. WWJD is a way to connect the two of you between realms. Sorry to be all philosophical on you - your post just touched me...