Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Remarried Widow?

Here’s an inside scoop for all of the non-widowed people out there. At widow gatherings one of the most popular lines is: “People who haven’t lost their spouse just don’t ‘get it.’” I shake my head and say it, too. It's true.

We widows don’t really expect you to understand, though, at least, I don’t. Life is full of tragedies that I haven’t experienced and therefore, I don't 'get'. Even within widowhood I don’t have the slightest idea what it feels like, for example, to have my husband run over by an ice-cream truck.

Would I give up ice-cream? Maybe only the flavors I never cared for? Would that count? Or would I just take a hard stand against buying ice-cream from a truck? It’s difficult to say.

Throughout the widow community here’s something else non-widows may not be aware of...There are:

 Widows who have re-married and still call themselves a widow!

Now, that’s something I don’t get. If I was fortunate enough to meet a man and fall in love and re-marry would I continue this blog/website and speak to widows?  Sure, having lived through this tragedy I would still have something to contribute to widows and widowers.

BUT: I wouldn’t continue to refer to myself as a widow. First of all, I wouldn’t be one. According to “A widow is a woman who has lost her husband to death and has not remarried. There’s hardly room for an argument here.

Some continue to argue anyway. “I’m still a widow!” “I’m still a widow!” “I’m still a widow!” Kinda disrespectful to the current husband and it has to make him nervous.

                            New Husbands Respond:

TOM: “Wait, honey. I’m still alive! Remember we signed papers and you vowed to love and honor me in sickness and in health ‘till death do us part? Well, I haven’t died yet. That was the first guy."

DICK: "You took my last name! You introduce me as your husband! I know you loved your first husband and will forever, but honey next year you and I will be married longer than you were to him."

HARRY:"Just because he was first doesn’t mean he’ll always be #1. He had you through PMS, but I got you at menopause. Neither one is a picnic.”

 Without mentioning names here are a few comments from widows about remarriage.

“Just because a widow falls in love again and remarries does not change that she went through the hell and heartache of being widowed.”

"Of course not" I say. "And I’m sure that pain rears its ugly head even after remarriage, but when you’re discharged from the army you may suffer flashbacks, still you hang up your uniform. At ease…you are no longer a soldier."

"Oh, and to stay with the soldier analogy.  If a man is in the Navy and he transfers to the Marines is he still a sailor?"  No sir!

“The new love does not replace the old one.”

"Yes, that’s exactly what he/she does. And, the new love might be a better kisser."

“They are now roommates in your heart.”

"Nice phrase, but only one of those roommates is taking up the closet space."

Hey, widows, divorce is a trauma. If divorced people remarry do they still tell people they're divorced?

Widows who are wives again have said that they are still widows because "My new husband sweetly helps to keep my late husband’s memory alive by talking about him and visiting his grave with me."

That’s called maturity and sensitivity and recognizing we weren’t born the second we met. That also may be called, “If I'm understanding about the dead husband maybe I'll get laid tonight.”

Some women still see themselves as married after their husband has died. That isn’t technically true either, yet it’s totally different than a remarried widow referring to herself as a widow.

Continuing to feel married after losing a spouse is pure emotion, a natural need to stay attached.  We cling to our old life while we are in a lane we never imagined we’d travel.  It's an emotional tie that’s tough to break, although two little words could break that tie for me,
          'Widow’s Benefits'...that ends when we remarry…