Without a plan, prior notice, and an opportunity for input, I suddenly I went from wife to widow. From married to not.
I am periodically slapped with reminders of this.
There is usually an empty spot or chair next to me now.
Filling out a form in the doctor's office requires that a box be checked: single / divorced / widowed. The first time I had to do this, I couldn't bring myself to check the box that accurately reflected my revised status. Instead, I drew a crying face on top of the box.
Who do I put for an emergency contact?
I keep getting notices to update the beneficiaries on my accounts.
Facebook has a field for martial status. After four months, I reluctantly changed it from "married" to "widowed." (But it wasn't like I hadn't noticed. I just didn't want to admit it was true.)
A co-bereaver, PS, says that sometimes he isn't given the option of checking "widowed" - you are either single of married. But PS tells me that once a widow(er), always a widow(er.)
He tells me his is now referred to or described as "the widower." He wonders whether before, was he referred to as "the married man"?
My email address is still ezdz - for elizabeth zimmerman doug zimmerman. It implies a unit that no longer exists.
Are my in-laws still my in-laws? I hope so. But how do I describe them to others? My dead husband's parents?
Another transition of widow/er/ing is from plural to singular. Our, We, Us, Both become My, I, Me, Alone.
Yet I still FEEL married. To me, it was a forever commitment. We wrote our own wedding vows. I don't remember saying the "till death do us part" part. (Mormons believe that couples remain married after death. Note that they also wear magic underwear bearing sacred symbols, to protect them from the evils of the world. I hope no Mormons are reading this. Actually, my starting assumption is that no one reads this blog - it's too dreary, even for me. And I'm living it.)
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