We are all defined by titles. Those which we assign to ourselves and those which are assigned to us. We often believe that these titles make us who we are. Son, daughter, husband wife, doctor, teacher, baby, brother, sister, girlfriend, boyfriend, mechanic, server, niece, nephew and an infinite amount of other titles. We hinge our success, our likability, our worth on these titles. They define us to our very core. So what happens when you lose one without warning?
For me, I have had to look at what happens when you unexpectedly lose the title of wife. What do you do when the world feels cruel and takes a title from you? It is disorienting, confusing, and uncomfortable.
I became a widow. And yet there was life before becoming a widow, and I know there will be life after. So how do you wear this title as you move forward? Oh the complications. The end of a marriage, through death does not end the marriage in your heart. Do I wear my ring still? Which one, which part, which finger? I am a mother of two who still very much feels married.
Yet, I no longer am. So how do I define my relationships from this point forward? Have I been a single widow, or just single, or just widow? What if I am dating? Am I a dating widow or just dating? And then what if I get remarried one day? I am a young widow and the possibility is there. So then does that make me a remarried widow? Or remarried. Or just married. All these titles remind me of trying on a pair of jeans that have just come out of the dryer – they are stiff, uncomfortable, there is not enough room in them. Sometimes you can’t even breathe. 🙂 Until you stretch them and wear them for a little while, they are quite possibly the most uncomfortable things ever invented. Suddenly, after you have had them on for a bit, they become yours again, they become comfortable. I guess that is what I am looking for. Comfort. A title that I’m comfortable with. A life that I feel comfortable in. I will never not miss Glen. I don’t even know how a person does that. Yet today my heart burns with acceptance and willingness to move on. Moving on is not forgetting. Moving on is not denying the painful days. Moving on is accepting. Accepting a new reality. Accepting the reality of now. I have fought this acceptance. I have fought the belief that this all really happened. I have fought the reality. All along though, I have known that the truth was that at some point I would be ready to move forward. Move forward in this reality, in this life.
As I step into this new territory, I am compelled not to focus on my worldly titles. Perhaps we should define ourselves less by titles and more by the very characteristics that make us who we are. The title does not make the person.