Home » My Stories » Single Or A Widow?

Single Or A Widow?

Free Wedding Clip Art: Wedding RingsThis might be a strange thing to write about, but it’s a subject that does come up from time to time.  When asked what my relationship status is, I sometimes stutter and stammer and go back and forth on what to say.

You see, a lot of people consider being a widow the same thing as being single.  I get that.  I’m not really married because my husband has passed away.  Therefore, I am considered to be single.  I’m the type of person who tries to make everyone happy, so I usually just state that I am single to avoid any unnecessary explanations.  I mean, it’s really not the business of people who don’t really have a part in my life, right?  It makes no difference to them if I used to have a fantastic husband.  They don’t really care.

But I do.

And yet I succumb to pressure and just state that I am currently ‘single’.  Not anymore.  Never again.

To do so belittles the time my children and I had with my husband and their father.  It makes it feel as if he never existed or just didn’t matter.  I was married.  We only had him in our lives for nine years, but I was married and I did not leave him.  He didn’t leave us on purpose, either.  Therefore, I am a widow and not single.

My husband died twenty-one years ago and yet in my mind, I am still married.  It might sound strange, but I never let that go.  I dated a few times, but it always felt wrong.  I had no interest in replacing him, and I kept true to that.  I have never regretted it, either.

For some reason I had strong feelings to clarify this publicly.  Maybe others feel the same way?  When I state that I am a widow, I’m not doing it for sympathy.  I do it to honor the memory of my husband.  He was a wonderful man and deserves to be remembered.

That is my rant for today.  I will have another one another day, I’m sure.  *wink*

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12 thoughts on “Single Or A Widow?

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic,years ago I worked in a call centre and it common for the lady on the phone when responding the the question of status would respond with the word widowed,I remember always feeling awkward,I did not know if she lost her husband recently or if she was still upset in some way,reading your post was a good insight into all of ladies I spoke to years ago,thanks for sharing.

  2. An interesting conundrum; I like your take on it and agree with your decision to use ‘widow’ to describe yourself. But how should a woman describe herself when she’s are separated or divorced? You DON’T want to say ‘married’ (obviously), you’re not REALLY ‘single’, and ‘separated’ or ‘divorced’ almost sounds like you want some sort of sympathy. For several years, I didn’t know WHAT to say. I ran into a similar problem when my second husband and I were ‘living together’ but not married – what to call him? He wasn’t yet my ‘husband’, he was (in my mind) too old to be my ‘boyfriend’, he was more than my ‘partner’, and while he WAS my ‘lover’, that was a bit too lurid a descriptor for me. I usually stumbled through some sort of explanation about who he was … and I occasionally tease him now by saying that I married him just so I’d know how to refer to him in ‘polite company’. Great post!

  3. A good friend of mine is also a widow. Her husband died less then a year ago and they were married over 20 years. To me she’s still married and sometimes when she’s joking about meeting other men, it hit’s me, that she’s actually not.

    This was a nice post. 🙂

  4. Loved this. I just interviewed a local woman, well into her 70s, and asked about her hyphenated name. She said she’d kept her first husband’s name when she got remarried. He died in 1988… but they were together 33-years. She had to keep it. It’s also the name of her children.

    I completely agree with what you’re saying and think it’s a profound and touching tribute to someone who will always be with you.

  5. I couldn’t agree with you more. I am single – never been married. If I had been married to someone that I loved and respected, I would definitely consider my status as “widow” and say it sadly but also with pride. There is a big difference between the two. So good rant for today!

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