Sometimes I feel like the Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer of the widowed.

Rudolph was an outcast, with his bright and shiny red nose that everyone made fun of, and he felt lonely and isolated, even amongst other reindeer. His best friend, Hermie, was also an outcast. He was an elf that dreamt of being a dentist. All the other elves made fun of him because he didn’t want to make toys for Santa. He and Rudolph sang a silly duet in that Christmas cartoon classic that asked the question: Why Am I Such a Misfit?

That is me. A misfit. The widowed community has taken me in and treated me so kindly and warmly – and I love my widowed family that I never wanted or asked for – I truly do. But sometimes, I just feel like I’m …. different. Like I don’t actually belong here. Like maybe there was some mistake in the books …

There are many reasons that I feel this way, many reasons I sense this overwhelming loneliness and isolation, or this feeling of not quite relating to other widowed people’s feelings or emotions on things. First off, I do not have children. We wanted them – someday. But we were married merely 4.5 years and in no financial position yet to have them – and then he randomly dropped dead for no reason, and , well – there goes that dream.

I know there are other widowed people without kids, but a lot of times it doesn’t feel that way. It often feels like I spend a good chunk of my time entering rooms (virtual or real) where groups of widowed parents are having some sort of conversation about their kids. Widowed people with kids, when they get together, talk about their kids. A lot. They talk about how 7 year old Johny is doing with the loss, or how 2 year old Sammy won’t ever know who her mother is, or how 18 year old Ellen is graduating high-school next week, and doesn’t have her daddy there with her. Of course widowed people with kids talk about their kids. I’m certainly not faulting them for this. I’m just tired of feeling like a third wheel with absolutely nothing to add to the conversation except for a well-timed: “I don’t have any kids”, which usually brings down the room to a lovely shade of awkward.

One time, a few months after my husband died, I decided to attend a Support Group out on Long Island. I was still living in New Jersey at the time, in our old apartment, and I had Don’s old, beat up car. So I had to drive over 90 minutes just to attend this meeting, but I was that desperate to talk to other people who understood this life. When I got there, everyone went around and talked about their story, and then the group leader, who has 2 children, brought up something about her kids. Before I knew it, everyone was having a conversation about their children, and how they are coping with the loss. They didn’t even notice I was in the room, honestly. We sat there for almost 2 hours, and they managed to not only discuss various kid-related topics, but also plan a future widowed-people “play date” at a nearby park so that all their kids could meet one another and enjoy the day. How lovely for them. But what about me? When I go home, I am truly, 100% alone. Just me and my thoughts. I really needed to talk that night, yet nobody in that room even saw me.

I walked out of that room feeling ten times worse than when I walked in, because now, I was faced with not only the loss of my husband, but the loss of our dreams of a family – the family I will never have. I’m 41, and I was widowed at 39. The odds aren’t looking too good on me ever being a mother, considering the facts that I’m still living on “Broke-ass Mountain”, and I have NO desire to date, yet no desire to raise a child by myself either. I’m doing my best to accept that those dreams are dead, but it’s not fun when it’s constantly being shoved in your face. It just seems like it is automatically “assumed” by the widowed community, thateveryone has children. I often hear other widowed people say things like: “Well, we must do it for our children”, or, my favorite: “If I didn’t have my children, I wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning.” Well, thanks for pushing that stake into my heart a little further, by reminding me once again that I have no real reason to keep existing, no child to take care of, no face to look into and see Don’s blue eyes and beautiful soul. .

As if not having kids doesn’t make me feel like enough of a misfit, there is also the whole God thing. I am not religious. At all. I wouldn’t go as far as to call myself an atheist, because I do believe there is some sort of higher power. I just don’t pretend to know what it is, and I certainly do NOT believe that “everything happens for a reason”, or that my husband’s death was part of “God’s Plan”, or that “trusting in the Lord” will get me through this nightmare. So, hearing these comments from the non-widowed is one thing, but to hear them from other widowed people who are very religious, is very hard. These comments are not only unhelpful to me, but I find them slightly offensive. Why do people assume everyone is religious? Why do people feed you cliches as if they are effective ways to respond to someone’s pain? And where on earth do people like me go to get some words of comfort that don’t include “God will carry you?” People should believe whatever it is that brings them comfort along this muddy road. I just sometimes feel like I’m all alone in not believing much of anything.

misfits together

I am not a good widow.  I curse. I make crazy and inappropriate jokes that sometimes offend others. I’m a comedian, which, in itself is weird and strange in this widowed world. I was not the type of person who dreamt of her wedding day as a little girl. No. I was and AM fiercely independant, and only dreamt of my wedding and my marriage after meeting the man I knew I’d spent my life with. But that life only ended up being four and a half years, and now I’m too old to be young, and too young to be old. Too tired to start over, too stubborn to give up.

Often times, I hear other widowed people talking about “finding themselves” after the loss of their partners. That’s something else I cannot relate to. I have always known exactly who I am, what I want, and where I want to be in life. My husband was my biggest supporter, and he would be proud as hell of everything I am doing now. His greatest joy was in watching me succeed. So, I know that I will survive and I will make something and create something and mold something out of this new, unwanted life. I know that I will, and I know that he will be in my soul always. I just miss him like hell, and it took me forever to find him, and then he was just gone. And I’m not sure that I know how to ever be okay with that.

We lived together on the same Island of Misfit Toys. We fit together so perfectly. Now I am stuck here on this island, and I am all alone. There are just some days where it feels like the only person in this world who truly understood me – is no longer here.

I want him back. He was my misfit, and we were misfits together in life. Without that, nothing seems to make much sense.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

6 thoughts on “Misfit

  1. Oh god, this one really gets to me. I may not be a widow, but I TOTALLY share the feelings of being a misfit. I never felt like I fit in anywhere – still don’t – except for the family I’ve made with my husband. I never felt like I fit in with the family I grew up in, and longed to find out I was adopted.

    I’ve come to accept that the alienation is a gift, because it gives you a greater perspective over things and allows you to see things in a way that most people miss. It makes you interesting and different and special – which, when the time comes, you can use to your advantage. People are interested in those who are different. There is entertainment value in that, and I really believe you are going to find that right place to make it click and finally get what you’ve been working for.

    Until then, I salute you, fellow misfit, for carrying on. You are a Wonder Woman!

  2. I wish I knew what to say but I just wish it wasn’t so hard for you. This entire situation sucks and it isn’t any easier that you can’t find a connection with those you’re closest to.

  3. Kelley OMG…I think you and I are related in that our stories are similiar in many ways. I looked my entire life to find my misfit and he I. Darn Death stepped in suddenly. I am not religious but too believe in a Higher Power, Doug was my cheerleader, my bestfriend, my SoulMate…we joked if we ever had a little girl I would name it Dougllen…Combining both our names. It never materialized either. I am alone much like you. I have dreams that will never occur as a WE…just me. Being handicapped three months after losing Doug was tough, losing my identity and mobility is rough too. I try to make jokes of daily life and keep smiling. We all must stick close together and “Just Keep Swimming” and not drown. HUGS Sista…

  4. I love this blog Kelly. And I love you. I am bluntly honest, blunt in general, curse… a lot, and do a number of things that the appropriate world out there considers inappropriate.
    I LOVE that your brand of inappropriate has been embraced by our widowed community at Camp Widow. Sucks that I didn’t get to go this year. But I’ll be back next year and in the years to come and hope to see you perform then.
    I do have children, and I do believe in God (although not exactly the way most people do I think)
    Funny thing is…while I have said many times that phrase “Im only here for my children”, or “I don’t know how I’d have survived had it not been for my children”. It really isn’t quite the truth.
    The day after Todd died, I had my mind made up. I was going to slice my carotid artery open in my neck. It would be fairly quick. My best friend at the time (who later completely abandon me… but that’s a different story) would raise my kids who were 15 and 17 at the time. They would be fine. Better for them if they lost us both at the same time.
    What stopped me is that Im not sure about the after life. And if heaven and hell do exist… I didn’t know where he would be. His faith had been non existent for years… so he could be in hell… and I would kill myself and join him there. But if he made his peace with God in those final moments, what if he’s in heaven and then I kill myself and go to hell for it and we’re STILL apart. Shit… if Im gonna be in hell… I might as well be here…
    Crazy huh…
    The rest of my thoughts I will send you in a PM on FB… because frankly… they are misfit enough to probably really piss people off. lol
    Love hugs and prayers to you Kelly.
    Love Gina Buck

  5. Hey Kelley,
    So less than a few hours ago I discovered your hilarious comedy videos, and I was very entertained by your talent, and I admired your ability to ignite comedy in even the most crappiest of circumstances. I looked around a little more (stalked…) and found you posting recently on here, and I read this post. I haven’t lost anyone, or loved anyone enough to know what you’re going through, but I sincerely hope that things will get better. In reference to your memorial video, while your husband might not be watching everything you do like Santa Clause, his essence and his love for you are still present within yourself, and he lives on through you. I never really paid attention to the widowed community, and it seems that society tries not to dwell on it, but your situation gives me new perspective, and admiration, for you and those like you. And to say you’re a misfit is probably true, but it’s true for everyone else on this earth too. We all have different problems and struggles, some worse than others, and we all differ a little bit. I feel like a misfit because I have horrible vision and can’t seem to make strong friends, and although its unfortunate, I have accepted it and looked on the bright side of things (more friends = more problems…) Although my words won’t solve your problems, and my being misfit does not proportionate to yours, just remember that your never alone in your struggles (seriously, there are 7 billion people in the world, there are bound to be other childless widows) and there is always someone who cares for you, whether you know it or not. I do, and I know others do too :). I will leave you with a poem I wrote that sums up the moral of my too-long passage:


    As you lie down and think
    You’re not the only person
    As you sit and cry
    So did somebody else
    As you contemplate all the outcomes
    They have all already happened
    As you feel lonely and lost
    So have many others
    As you live your life
    Somebody has already lived it
    You’re not alone

Leave a Reply