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Being a Widow

My experience of dealing with grief as a widow


About Jane's brain tumour journey: Astrocytoma.co.uk

"I saw you as still married to Jane"

06 March 2012

This is what a friend told me this weekend. Still married to Jane.

Am I? I guess the fact that my Facebook status says that I am still married is a big thing. But I took my wedding rings off after only a few weeks. I had them turned in to a necklace which I wear all the time. Because pretty early on, I felt I was Widowed, not Married.

I don't really feel married to Jane anymore. More accurate would be: I am in a relationship with Jane. But Facebook does not allow you much space to define your relationship to someone else.

Idealy I would like to say Widowed. But if I do that, then Facebook will automatically close down Jane's page because they can see I have gone from being married to Jane to being widowed. The page will stay up but you can not longer log in.

I guess I could just call myself single. But then Jane would become just another one of my many Facebook Friends. She would no longer be special.

I could select: It's complicated. That would be the truth. But then Facebook will change our marital status from "Married since 2006" to "It's been complicated since 2006". Which clearly is not true either. It was all pretty straight forward until a few years ago. Nothing complicated.

I think in the end, I will have to bite the bullet and list myself as Widowed. And then in a few months, I will go for Single. After all, I have no problem at all telling people in the real world that I am widowed. So why should Facebook be any different.

The remark my friend made also made me realise something else. If other people still think of me as married to Jane, is that how I see myself as well? And does that mean that, in a way, I am closing myself off from the chance of meeting someone new? It will certainly put 'potential' candidates off if I still claim to be married. It will put them off either because they feel it is inappropriate for them to make 'a move' or because it signals that I am still very much wrapped up in my life with Jane and nowhere near ready to look for or find love.

And frankly, I think I am getting to the stage where I think I might be ready to open my eyes and look at the world. My world, not Our world. To look at the future. My future, not Our Future. Ready to accept that other people can make my stomach do backwards flips as well.

I am not saying I am looking for a relationship. I am merely saying I am going to stop actively NOT looking for one and just let life happen the way it happens.

If that makes sense.


HB said...

It all makes perfect perfect sense to me.

I couldn't bear to have widowed on my status so I took down married and have no status at all, which in itself feels like some sort of statement.

But no, as I have written before, I don't feel married any longer because for me to be married, I need a spouse who is alive in the real sense, not just in my head. And that is harsh, but for me, sadly true.


hodders said...

HB said: "I couldn't bear to have widowed on my status" .

Well, each to their own, but I was comfortable with it. Other sites don't have that possibility eg LinkedIn, they only have "Married" or "Single".
Now my FB says "in a relationship with..." anyway.

Marieke, this is wonderful & great news:
"I think I am getting to the stage where I think I might be ready to open my eyes and look at the world. My world, not Our world."

Dutchcloggie said...

Thanks for your comments, both. A lot of things have happened this week, mostly in my mind. It turns out I might be much further on in all this than I thought I was. And something has shifted in my mind.

I feel quite positive about the future. Just a shame Jane is not in it....

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