I love all the answers were getting as LOST draws to the close this season. We now know why the button in the hatch had to be pushed every 90 minutes and that Charles Widmore is Faraday’s father. The latter wasn’t that big a surprise but it added to the complex relationship web that spans so many of the LOST characters.
I really like the destiny vs. free will theme that has been a constant part of LOST. I like the take Faraday’s taking on the people being variables and having the ability to change their future, even if it seems like it’s written in stone. Sadly the one thing Faraday didn’t take into account was the Island. Sure, people are free to do what they want but the Island seems to gets its own way no matter what the people want to do. I don’t see Faraday’s plan working unless the Island wants it to.
It was nice to get more back story on Faraday and his shrew mother Eloise. It gave the episode a classic LOST feel of learning about the characters while still moving the plot forward and a nice clip. It was also nice to see more context to Faraday crying upon seeing the wreckage of the plane Widmore placed in the bottom of the ocean and his being Orchid station with Dr. Chang. It shows that the writers are aware of the breadcrumbs they’ve dropped throughout the previous seasons and are trying to tie them all together.
And don’t worry about Faraday. He’s not dead. Maybe Alpert will take him to the temple to do some Egyptian magic and heal him. Maybe his mom will reach inside is gut and pull the bullet out. But the writers aren’t not going to kill him off – at least not right away. Who else can attempt to set off the hydrogen bomb and save the survivors of Oceanic flight 815 from crashing on the island? Write it down. The climax of season 4 is going to be that bomb going off (or about to go off).
My guess: It doesn’t matter whether or not the bomb goes off. The survivors of Oceanic flight 815 are not going to be able to change their fate. Their plane will still crash no matter how hard they try to prevent it.
Note: I’ve updated a dating post I wrote a couple years ago and posted it on the Open to Hope site. The article is also reprinted below.
10 Dating Tips for Widows and Widowers
Dating again after the death of a spouse can be an awkward experience. It can bring out feelings of guilt, betrayal from the person dating again. It can also bring out feelings of confusion and concern from friends, family, and those who were close to the deceased spouse.
If you’ve lost a spouse and are looking to date again, here are 10 tips to make sure you’re able to successfully navigate the dating waters.
1. When you decide to date again is up to you
There’s no specific time period that one should wait before dating again. Grieving and the process of moving on is something that’s unique to each person. Some people take years, others weeks, and then there are those who choose never to date again. Whatever you do, don’t let others tell you you’re moving too fast or waiting too long. Make sure it’s something you’re really ready to try before taking that step.
I started dating five months after my late wife died. Too soon? There were some friends and family who thought so. But five months was when I felt ready to at least test the dating waters. And thought it took a few dates to get the hang of things, I have no regrets about dating that soon.
2. Make sure you’re dating for the right reasons
If you feel like dating again, take some time to understand why you want to date again. It’s not wrong to date because you’re lonely or desire some company. Single people date for those reasons too. However, if you’re dating because you think it going to somehow fill the void or heal the pain that comes from losing a spouse, it’s not going to happen. However, dating does give you the opportunity to open your heart to another person and chance to experience the unique and exquisite joy that comes with falling in love again.
3. Feeling guilty is natural – at first
The first time I went to dinner with another woman, I felt like I was cheating on my late wife. As we entered the restaurant, I was filled with feelings of guilt and betrayal. Throughout our entire date I kept looking around to see if there was anyone in the restaurant I knew. I thought that if someone saw me out with another woman, the first thing they’d do is run and tell my dead wife what I was up to. It sounds silly, but I couldn’t shake that feeling the entire evening. A week later I went out with someone else. The same feelings of guilt were there only they were less intense. It took about five dates before the feeling went away entirely and I could actually enjoy the company of the woman I was with without feeling guilty.
As you date, feelings of guilt should subside over time – especially when you find that special someone you might want to spend the rest of your life with. If the guilt’s not subsiding, you might not be ready to date again. Give dating a break and try dating again when you might be more up to the task.
4. It’s okay to talk about the deceased spouse – just don’t overdo it
Unless you’re good friends or have known your date previously, he or she is going to be naturally curious about your spouse and previous marriage. And it’s OK to talk about the spouse when you’re first dating someone. Answer questions he or she may have about your marriage but don’t spend all your time talking about the dead or how happy you were. After all your date is the one that’s here now. And who knows, he or she might make you incredibly happy for years to come. Constantly talking about the past, may make it seem like you’re not ready to move on and start a new relationship. Showing that you care enough to get to know them can help reassure your date that you’re ready to start a new life with someone else.
5. Your date is not a therapist
Would you like going out with someone who constantly talked about issues she was having in her life? Dating isn’t a therapy session – it’s an opportunity to spend time with someone else and enjoy their company. If you find yourself dating just to talk about the pain in your heart, how much you miss your spouse, or tough times you’re going though, seek professional help. Spending $60 an hour on professional help you much more than spending $60 for dinner and a movie. Besides, your date will have a more memorable night if it’s about him or her then about everything you’re going through.
6. It’s okay to make mistakes when you’re finding your dating legs
When I started dating again, it had been seven years since I had gone out with anyone other than my wife. Because I had a certain comfort level with my first wife, I often found myself forgetting proper dating etiquette such as opening the car door or not walking a date to her door when the date was over.
If you find yourself forgetting simple dating etiquette, don’t worry about it. Most dates would understand if they knew it had been awhile since you dated. But don’t make the same mistake over and over. Learn from them and continue moving forward. You’ll be surprised how fast your dating legs return.
7. Defend your date
You may discover when once the family and friends learn you’re dating again they may not treat this new woman or man in your life very well. The treatment may come in the form of a cold shoulder at family activities or constantly talking about the deceased wife in front of the date. If you have family and friends who are doing this, they need to be told privately, but in a loving manner, that this behavior is not acceptable. If you wouldn’t let family or friends treat your spouse that way, why would you tolerate that behavior toward someone else – especially when your date could become your future spouse? Don’t be afraid to defend your date. If you can’t do that, then you have no business dating again.
8. Realize that not everyone will understand why you’re dating again
There will always be someone who will not understand why you’ve chosen to date again. They may give you a hard time for dating again or have some silly romantic notion that widows and widowers shouldn’t fall in love again. Their options do not matter. All that matters is that you’re ready to date again. You don’t need to justify your actions to them or anyone else.
9. Take things slow
The death of a spouse means losing the intimate physical contact. After awhile we miss the kisses, having someone’s head resting on our shoulder, or the warm body next to us in bed. This lack of physical and emotional intimacy is enough to drive a lot of people into the dating scene. Don’t feel bad if you find yourself missing these things. It’s completely normal.
In the dating world wanting something that was part of our lives for years can become a ticking time bomb. It can force us into a serious relationship before we’re ready. The result: lots of broken hearts and emotional baggage.
If you find that you’re on a date and it’s going well, don’t be afraid to take things slow. This isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s hard not to throw ourselves at our date if things are going good because we want to be close to someone again. We want that warm body next to ours and have the words “I love you” whispered in our ears. But it can save you and your date a lot of emotional heartache if you wait to make sure what you’re doing is because you love the other person and not because you miss the intimacy that came with your late husband or wife.
10. Make your date feel like the center of the universe
It’s a basic dating rule but it’s often forgotten by widows and widowers. Because we already have someone special in our lives, sometimes we forget to make our date feel special too. Treat your date in such a way that he or she feels like she’s the center of your universe. He or she shouldn’t have to compete against a ghost – even if you only have one date with that person. As long you’re out together, he or she should be the center of your universe.
Even though dating can be awkward and difficult at times, it can also be a lot of fun. There’s no reason being a widow or widower should hold you back from enjoying a night out. Part of the reason we’re here is to live and enjoy life. And dating is a great way to start living again.
Amy Paturel has the My Turn column in the latest issue of Newsweek which, interestingly, deals with her fiancé and herself having to make peace with the dead wife before they could move on. A lot of her emotions echo what women who are dating widowers have emailed me over the years.
I pored over her pictures trying to learn everything I could about the woman who came before me. She would always hold a place in Brandon’s heart, so I needed to know who she was.
A chill came over me when I visited her memorial page and read through the online guest book: “No one could ever fill her shoes,” someone wrote. That launched me into my next search: “dating a widower.” Every site I visited warned of men who disappear after a few months out of guilt, those who constantly draw comparisons to their late spouse and those who live in the tragic state of “what if?” Brandon hadn’t done any of those things.
But then I read this: “If he has pictures of her on the walls, clothes of hers in the closet and trinkets of their life together on display, he is not ready.”
Brandon insisted he wanted to move on, that she was dead and he was not. He even avoided the red flags I had read about. About a month into the relationship, the ring came off. Pictures were tucked away and replaced. Slowly, her clothes began to disappear from the closet.
Yet I still grappled with the feeling that I might never measure up to what he lost. In his mind, she will always be 33 and beautiful. Me? I’ll get gray hair, wrinkled skin and flabby thighs. What’s more, their relationship will remain perfect, frozen forever in newlywed bliss. In six short months, they didn’t weather the storms that come with age and time: sleepless nights caring for newborns, arguments over money, in-law drama.
Her essay is a good vignette on what it takes for both people to find peace and start a new life together.
Last night’s episode of LOST put me on an emotional rollercoaster. I want to hate the Benjamin Linus character so bad yet I can never do that despite all the evil and horrible things he does to people. He saves Alex then hesitates to kill Penny when he sees her young son. How can such a monster have the tiniest bit of good in him? Even after learning that he was planning to kill Locke (big surprise), I just felt bad for him. Sorry, for him actually. It had something to do with seeing the good side of him come out and realizing how he wasted his life ruining the lives of others.
Despite how I feel about him, Ben is still the best character on the show. Period. Since 90% of the episode was about Ben, the entire episode had an extra tension from the beginning to the end. I loved seeing how he tricked Cesar and was glad to get just a flavor of how he got Widmore off the island. I hope we see more of it because I didn’t see enough to understand why Widmore and Ben despise each other so much. And I’m willing to be that Ben’s death –whenever that happens – will be at the hands of the monster. He may put up with following John Locke for awhile but at some point I can see him thinking he can get away with thing again and trying to kill Locke will be his undoing.
And it was nice to finally learn more about the monster. Okay, we didn’t have all our questions answered but at least we know where it comes from and that it really can turn into other people such as Alex or Christian. I’m not big on my Egyptian mythology or history so of someone can tie it into a real Egyptian god or monster (or point me to a website that can offer some well thought out theories) that would be great.
The hardest part of the episode for me to watch was when Ben was “judged” by the Monster. There are some aspects of the show (like Locke’s attempted suicide a few episodes back) that just ring too close to home. It’s silly, I know. But sometimes guilt resurfaces even when there’s no logical reason for it to do so.
Behind every good writer is a good editor. Good writers who have a good editor (and a good relationship with that editor) know he or she can help with the storytelling process and give needed insight to turn an okay book into a great book.
The same is true with TV shows and movies. After the show or movie is shot, a good film editor takes images, dialogue, pacing, music, and actor’s performances to make the film or TV show into and turns it into a something the audience will become whole absorbed it.
Like good book editors, if film editors are good at what they do, the audience won’t be aware of the editor’s influence over the film or TV show.
So my hat’s off to whoever edited the first episode of LOST. By cutting out the original first minute of footage from the show, they not only set the tone for the entire series, but made the first episode an instant classic.
A lively discussion has broken out in the comments section of my “5 Signs a Widower is Serious About Your Relationship” post about photos of the late wife being in the house. Since this is a question I have to answer rather often via email, here’s my take on the issue.
The woman you’re dating should feel comfortable in your home. Period. It’s hard to fathom trying to spend time with someone only to have reminders everywhere that he there was another special person in your life that you loved enough to marry. Women already feel like they’re competing with a ghost without constant reminders of the late wife everywhere. Photos just reinforce that and make the woman worry about whether you can love her even more.
Once you become serious enough with a person that she’s coming over to your home on a somewhat regular, take down the photos and put them in a box. Just because there’s no photos of the late wife in your home doesn’t mean that you’ve stopped loving her. You can take them out of the box and look at them when she’s not around if you want. If you’re serious about starting a new chapter in your life, please show this new woman the same respect you showed your late wife. Keeping photos up makes her feel like some piece of meat that’s there to fill the hole in your heart or to take the place of the late wife. Try and treat this new woman the same way you’d like to be treated.
Also, don’t put the burden of taking the photo down on the woman you’re dating. Don’t tell her that you’ll take it down if she’s uncomfortable. The woman you’re dating doesn’t need to be dragged into this issue. Be a man and take it down yourself.
The only exception I make to the photo rule is if you have minor children living at home. Odds are your kids are having a hard enough time with you dating. The last thing they need is for you to strip every memory of their mom from their home. But maybe instead of 10 pictures of her in the living room, try 2 or 3 and let the kids hang the rest up in their room.
For Women Dating Widowers
Don’t run screaming out of his house the first time you go there and see a photo of the late wife on his wall. If he a new widower and/or you’re one of the first women he’s seriously dated, he may not think twice about the photograph bothering you. For him it may simply be the way his house has been for years.
What you want to look for is progress. After visiting his house several times are their sings that the photos slowly coming down? Does he go out of his way to make you feel comfortable in his home? Is he treating you with the love and respect you deserve or is he taking you for granted and insensitive to your feelings?
Please keep in mind that the house is not yours. If you go in and make demands about how things should change, the widower’s going to view you as a controlling hag and get out of the relationship as soon as he can. IMHO you can’t make requests about changing the house for her look to yours until you have a ring on your finger.
Also, will you please stop sleeping with widowers who still has photos of the dead wife in the bedroom? Do you enjoy feeling like a mistress? Because that’s how the widower’s treating you. Please have a modicum of respect for yourself and tell the widower you’re not getting in bed as long as there are photos of the dead wife looking down at you.
Finally, if you don’t see signs that the widower is moving on or willing to make you comfortable in his home, grow a backbone and end the relationship. There are other men out there who will be glad to treat you like a queen. Don’t settle for someone that wants you to be number two. And when you end it, don’t forget to tell the widower know why you’re ending it. If he loves you he’ll make the necessary changes in regards to the late wife’s photos.
If you could go back in time and kill Hitler before he began his rise to power, would you? LOST tried to answer that hypothetical question last night. Only instead of killing Hitler, the question is what whether or not to let young Benjamin Linus live and risk letting him grow up to be the most ruthless and cunning person that we all love to hate.
I liked seeing just how much the main characters have changed from the beginning of the show. Sawyer and Kate who were the two of the most selfish, self-centered characters at the beginning of the show are now the ones trying to save Ben. And Jack, the doctor who took an oath to do no harm, refused to help. (I’m really starting to hate Jack. Get over your daddy issues, already! They’re nothing compared to what young Ben has to deal with.)
The back story with Kate and Aaron was touching. I actually felt the decision to leave Aaron and go back to the island was a tough one for Kate. In past episodes it’s seemed like Kate was too big on being a mom but it was nice to see that leaving Aaron was a tough and heart wrenching decision for her.
And kudos to the writers for using Hurley and Miles to explain the time travel rules of the LOST universe. Their “geek” conversation was similar to one a coworker and I last week trying to unravel how the time issues worked. It’s nice to know that just because Jack, Hurley, Sawyer and the rest of the gang are back in 1977, they can still die because the past is their present. At least they gave us a reason young Ben can’t remember getting shot by Sayid or hanging around with Sawyer.
The big mosaic that is LOST finally feels like it’s slowly coming together. It seems like every episode answers questions and fills in a piece of the puzzle. And next week’s all about Ben. I’m really looking forward to learning more about what turned Ben into such a monster.