On April 28, 2009 I legally became a widow. I say legally because I refused to accept the title. Checking the widow box on a form was an act of total denial that would cause a huge war in my head. If there was any way that I could avoid the “W” word, I would.
About 4 months after Dave passed away, I was angry. I picked up the word and used it as a weapon or an excuse. I can’t go to that wedding because I am a widow. I won’t mow the lawn because I am a widow. I’m sorry officer; I was distracted which caused me to speed, because I am a widow. I know I am acting crazy, I AM A WIDOW!
After a while I started reaching out to the widowed community and they reached back. The widowed people I met were amazing, strong, incredible people. I started to wear the word as my badge of honor. It became all of who I was for a while. Almost everything I said or did had a direct correlation to me being a widow. I wore the word proudly and allowed it to become my identity. I think this was a necessary stage for me.
Eventually, as I was able to help others, I started to settle into the word. I finally could wear the word proudly but not let it define me and who I am as a person. It is a word that takes care of many explanations in a mere 5 letters. I am a widow that is PART of who I am, I’m also a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a sister and a daughter…
I have now added another name to my title, remarried widow. So many people have commented that now I am remarried, I am no longer a widow. I will always be a widow, I never stopped loving Dave, I never asked for this separation and I never wanted to be a widow. Now that I have gone through the stages of this process, 3 ½ years later, I realize that this word gave me a community, it gave me a diagnosis to my crazy mixed up life, if gave me acceptance and now a new life with wonderful blessings.
It is with gratitude that I wear the title widow, not that I ever wanted it but since I had to go through this terrible life lesson, I am so glad there was a word that helped me to find my way and other widows who reached back and helped me to accept the word when I needed something solid I could hold onto. Widows ROCK! We are united in loss and hope, what a powerful and scary place to be.