Thorny Roses and Secrets

And so my gut feeling was confirmed. A very unpleasant person (although never to me – we’ve never even met) remarried the other day and a friend sent me a message to tell me. Barely nine months after his wife – and my friend – passed away in a way that was very unexpected to most people. Not to me, and you can bet your bottom dollar it wasn’t for this man either. It was a shock, but no surprise. And what made me different to “most people” is that I knew (just like her husband) what was going on with her. No one can go at it like that and make it alive, and she confided in me on many occasions about how she no longer believed she could fight it.

At the time, last April, I let this guy know I knew the score and I think that’s what made him tell me how it happened, as opposed to the version “most people” were told. He knew lying to me was pointless and I know he didn’t understand until that moment just how much my friend did tell me. Following her death, he went out on Facebook and made a big hoo-hahr about losing his “love, best friend and soul mate”. Fair enough – he was a grieving husband. Only he fkn WASN’T. And I know why. “Soul mate” – MY ASS!

I kept my friend’s secret because she couldn’t face going out with how bad things were – no one can be forced to do that, so rightly or wrongly I kept what she told me in confidence when she asked me to. I kept her secret because there was part of me that believed that if there was somebody – me – who would listen and be there for her even if she didn’t agree to take measures, then perhaps it’s make things easier for her. If I could be there for her, encourage her to take the right steps but never judge or turn my back if she didn’t. Perhaps I got it wrong, perhaps I should have taken a tough love approach, but I just didn’t believe that’d work – when others did, all that happened was that she’d stop being open and start hiding it instead. Who knows – these things don’t seem to have a sure fire way of being resolved.

Now, however, when this man – who could have prevented her life going to waste in such a needless way – has remarried not even a year after his “love, best friend and soul mate” passed away, I will confide in mutual friends that she and I had. Not to betray her confidence, but because this is leaving a very bitter taste in my mouth and the more I hear and find out about him, the more unsettled I feel. He is now on wife #4. Nothing too crazy, some people don’t get it right straight away, but when two out of four wives have died in a very similar manner you’ve got to admit something seems very, VERY wrong.

And that’s why I can no longer keep her secrets, any more than I can just stand by and watch when I know there was so much more to this.

Let’s call my friend Rose as I don’t ever name anyone here, and in this case it’s more sensitive so if a nickname is needed it’s now. It was her middle name, so it’s quite accurate anyway, plus she was much like a rose: beautiful, wild and thorny. And I loved her just that way, for who she was and regardless of what demons she had to fight and that ultimately claimed her. I just know in my heart it shouldn’t have happened. It needn’t have happened.

I am sorry, Rose, but I loved you – and love you still – too much to keep this to myself. The people I will be talking to are our mutual friends and the very ones we could always trust, so there will never be anything out in the open to shame or embarrass you or the sons you left behind.


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