Thursday, June 18, 2009

"Widow" is not a dirty word.

It came to my attention very recently that the term "widow" is not an option on Myspace when selecting a "Status" option in the general user info. Im really bothered by this because I feel that the other options dont apply to me. That being said, I feel like I need to reclaim the words "widow/widower".

I think people are afraid of it/us. Sure, our new status is difficult and comes with a lot of work to do. That doesnt mean we are some strage, mysterious creature, not the be trusted or gotten close to. I like to think that it says I was a part of a loving, special relationship, that ended not by choice but by circumstance.

To my friends I say, "Believe me." When I tell you I am ok you MUST trust that at that very moment I am. Every day is new as I work through this. I have good days and bad days. Some days all I do is smile when I think of my husband, other days I can only cry. This doesnt mean that when I tell you I am ok, Im really lying or covering up my feelings to spare you the details. It simply means that I am ok. Not awesome, not wonderful, not wallowing in misery. When those times come I hope you'll be there too, but when Im ok trust me and let me be ok for as long as it lasts.

To the cancer community I say, "Dont ignore me." Bereaved spouses seem to have so few resources. Sure, my partner's story may not be an American Cancer Society commercial waiting to happen, but its mine, and it connects me to the larger community of those dealing with cancer in so many capacities. Im not going to rain on your parade of positivity, nor is my "widowdom" any more contagious than the cancer that put me here. I shouldnt get kicked out of the club because my story didnt have the happiest ending. Its still a story of hope, love, trust and living.

Being a widow is now a part of my story, a learning experience that makes me who I am. I learned this acceptance from my husband- that every experience has value, and it only has the power over you that you give it. It has happened, you have no choice but to accept it, so now what do you do with it?

You all already know my answer to that.

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