Reading these words you would think they are exclusive titles. After all, a woman is married, or she’s a widow. I’m here to tell you that is not actually true.
A woman who becomes a widow after being happily married does not suddenly fall out of love with her husband. He’s been taken from her, stolen away without her consent. She is grief stricken, devastated. The pain seems insurmountable and for a long time she is unable to function. Suddenly she’s the only member of what was once a team. Alone, scared, sick at heart she struggles on, but she is never the same again. Never!
She tries to accept her situation. What choice does she have? Slowly putting one foot in front of the other she moves on. She holds her memories close, taking what comfort she can from them. She gets up every morning. She eats, probably a lot less than she did when cooking for ‘him’, but she does it anyway. Not because she wants to, because she has too. Because her body is waiting to betray her.
The sadness whispers to her, ‘come to me’, it says, ‘come to me’. It’s a struggle not to go. Each day she measures her success by centimeters. She makes it through another day, then another, but there is no sense of accomplishment, no reward. There is only a long, lonely night stretching before her. Another night in a bed that is too big, too empty, too cold.
I felt broken and betrayed. Frozen, unable, and unwilling to let myself reveal the true extend of my injuries, and you are injured. The only difference is no doctor can heal you, no surgeon can put you back together.
Sadly, this stage lasts for a long time, years for some women, a lifetime for others. I am no longer a warm woman. By that I mean, I don’t have the capacity to care about things like I once did. I love my family and will do anything I can for them, but I’ve noticed that emotions don’t capture me like they did. I can still feel empathy for others, but it’s much less intense.
I don’t cry. I literally mean I do not shed tears. No matter how badly my heart is hurting there are no tears. It’s very strange and to tell you the truth I don’t like it. Clearly parts of me are still frozen, and I have to consider they may never thaw. So again, the sadness becomes part of who you are now.
Bill will be gone four years in September. Perhaps that is why I feel the need to unburden my heart now. I’ve remarried. A good man I’ve know for nearly fifty years. We will celebrate our first anniversary next month.
I would like to say everything is wonderful. I would like to say that having this man’s love and affection has healed me, but it hasn’t. He is also damaged in many ways. You would think that between the two of us we could make a whole, but so far we haven’t gotten there.
I’m not in any way sorry I married him. He’s kind and thoughtful most of the time and appreciative of what I bring to our marriage. He never says things like “Good God, are you always going to talk about Bill?”
I’m grateful for that because I think the answer would be, “Yes, I probably am.”
It makes me sad that I cannot give this man everything he deserves. I think I am both less and more than he bargained for. I often feel guilty for marrying him, not because of Bill, I know he would not want me to be alone, but because of Mike.
To me it seems like Bill got the meal, Mike gets the leftovers. Thankfully, I think he views me as more like the dessert, something he waited many years to have.
We’ve talked about this. In a way, we’ve both settled.
While recognizing and validating my pain, he’s grateful he no longer has any competition. Bill is gone. Mike is grateful for every kind word, every gentle touch. He loves me and is willing to accept that while I love him, very much, I also love another.
I’ve settled in the sense that although he’s not Bill, I need Mike. I need his love, support, and affection. I need his strong arms around me and I need to feel I am not alone in this weird and often frightening world.
The Married Widow is in a strange sort of limbo, a woman who resides between two worlds. In some ways they are similar, in others extremely different and she tries to walk the wire between both, sometimes teetering and often falling.
However, because she’s a widow she gets back up. Because she has known such crippling pain and intense grief she has no desire to inflict it on others. She faces each day as it comes, sometimes grieving, sometimes thankful, often sad because she knows in her heart no one, and I mean no one, is getting the best of her anymore. They are getting what she can give, bits and pieces of what’s left of her. Like crumbs from the table, they get a small taste of what she once was.
Strength, Courage and Faith is my prayer and what props me up.
I am a Married Widow. Are there others out there like me?
This page is now my blog/journal about Widowhood. I'm not qualified to give advice. I'm new at this. I don't want to be qualified. I don't want to be a widow, but no one asked me. These are my thoughts, fears and feelings. Please don't equate them as anything but that.