In one of those debates about fiction and reality in which we waste so much time defending the obvious, a writer told me that there is no experience that can not be faked. In literature, he argued, you can pass yourself off as you want and, if you count it talented, it will strain. I answered that I could sneak in for a majority of neophytes, but that I could not fool those who knew the experience. For example: Enric Marco, as Javier Cercas narrated in The impostorHe was able to defraud millions of people by posing as a survivor of Mauthausen, but he could not sustain the lie long before the survivors of Mauthausen. In every story there are intangible marks that betray the liar: although you do not guess why, if you have lived something and read a story about your own experience, you know if the narrator is a witness or a storyteller.
The story of the impostor is almost always very orderly, it makes a lot of sense and responds to expectations and prejudices on the subject. A widower of fiction resembles the vague idea we have of a widower. A real widower rarely fits into a preconceived image, because widowers are each in their own way. Your story, therefore, will also be different and difficult to pigeonhole.
That's why it's hard for me to buy the milonga for my admired Ricky Gervais in After Life (Netflix), because I think he is not counting the mourning of a widower, but imagine what his life would be like if he lost his partner. An exercise in speculative masochism that every lover has ever practiced and that draws us finishes and more dead than the body of our love. But imagination is almost always poor: we are unable to conceive how we will live something we do not want to live. Nothing replaces the experience, and the stories that are not based on it are, by force, very poor and cheesy. To say something interesting about the duel, one must watch over a corpse first. If not, everything is chatter.