I received an email last night concerning my Twitter bio containing the hashtag “widow.” It was the determination of the author that since I was remarried, then perhaps I needed to take that off.
I will not and let me explain why.
Does a victim of child abuse lose their experiences because they became an adult?
Does a mother who lost a child no longer grieve because she had another child?
Does a homeowner lose their memory of the loss after their home is rebuilt after a fire?
There are challenges in life that are a transition point or as I heard it put recently; a “hinge” moment. It’s those hinge moments that take you from your path and swing you in a totally different direction. It doesn’t just change your direction; it changes “YOU.”
Whatever your hinge moment was there is no denying that you will never be the same. That change of direction in your life is usually a time that your very soul was shattered and your view on what could possibly happen changes drastically. It took you to a place where you were completely vulnerable and had no control.
When I became a widow it was the last thing I ever thought I would have to deal with. Never mind the “how” of it all. It wasn’t something that I thought “normal” people my age faced. It drastically changed my life as a woman and took my beliefs on life to a whole new level. With that label I discovered a whole world of people out there just like me. Some had stood by their partner in illness and some had their partner taken in a blink of an eye. One thing was a constant though. We all had a new set of emotional rules we played by. One were mortality doesn’t discriminate. We had a new playbook on how to navigate life at our ages and having to deal with young children at the loss of a parent.
None of that changed when I remarried. I realized that the “til death us do part” is not reserved for cute 80 year old couples in rocking chairs. It makes me look at my husband in a way that knows I am not promised a tomorrow with him. It causes me to look at my life now and live it as intensely as possible.
Just because you step into a “happily ever after,” you don’t undefine yourself from your hinge moment. It is why you are YOU today. You were changed and it is a disservice to not acknowledge the path you took and the price that you paid.
I was not widowed. I am a widow.