Genevive Davis Grisham, in her book “Widow to Widow” says this, “To a fault, widows raise their spouses to sainthood.” She says that as time passes their husbands’ annoying habits and other imperfections become a blur and conflicts and discords are forgotten. She seems to offer this as a warning and suggests you look honestly at your relationships as you work your way through grief.
I think I understand what she means, but believe there can be more to this than denial or wistful thinking. I believe the shock of loss wakes us up to an appreciation for what we had (have). So many human imperfections can be so superficial. “Yes, he snored but…” He wasn’t very good at communicating but I knew…” I see this tendency to idealize as a positive (unless extreme) thing as we come to see this man we love more clearly. His strength, humor, honesty, or other positive qualities that we love are who he was and is, more than some annoying superficial quirks. If we were married for a long time we were probably already forgiving the unimportant and learning to cherish more the essence of the man. Over the years coming to see in him the things that are important more clearly and learning to forgive the trivial. To me this is part of the process of coming closer together in spirit.