I am planning on being a grumpy old man. It would probably be a good idea to go on and tell my kids. But I think they already know. Believe it or not there actually are men that age quite well without the addition of any grumpiness. I know one quite well. He is a widower in his 80’s.
A week or two ago it was pointed out to him that there was a man at church who recently lost his wife. My friend immediately reached out to him. They enjoyed a meal together. The man adjusting to the recent loss of his wife was asked: “How are you doing with this whole grief thing?” He told my friend that he was doing “just fine.” He said he was “toughing it out.” Now of course my dear friend knew better. But he wisely kept his thoughts to himself and allowed the man some needed space.
They met again for another meal. The same question was posed. “How are you doing with this whole grief thing?” By this second encounter, the man toughing it out broke down and cried. He misses his wife of 51 years more than anyone can imagine. My friend immediately empathized and cried with him.
Tonight, my amazing comrade is accompanying his new found friend to a grief support group. They are quite the pair right now. The man new to being a widower has an ally. He has someone traveling on a very similar journey to accompany him. When I saw them together yesterday, I realized what kind of people I have to call friends. I am blessed.
I am thinking I had better abandon my natural inclination to grumpiness. As I continue to age, there will be no shortage of people in need. I won’t have time to be a grump. Perhaps I too can experience aging without any hint of grumpiness. Maybe….