By Karen England, the Edgehill Herb Farmer.
Today, May 3, is National Widows Day. Ugh. Next month sometime is International Widows Day. Global ugh.
It’s nice there’s a day for us, it’s very well intentioned, but, my gosh – ugh. I don’t want to be a widow. Of course, I have no choice about being one. (Well, I could date and possibly get married again, thereby resetting my status as a wife. But that requires dating and I’m not doing that anytime soon, possibly ever.)
I don’t want to receive a “[Happy] Widows Day” card, no matter how well-intentioned. It just cements my identity as a widow when I want to be anything but. I’m not living in denial (but maybe I am?) I know that my husband is dead and I am a widow. I am this every day, every night, day in, day out, month in, month out, year in, year out. It’s excruciating. What I want is to be me. On some random day, send me a “[Happy] You Day” card. Help me move from being identified as a widow to being known as me.
Disclaimer: I’m not saying any other widow in the universe feels as I do, so don’t not send them a condolence card, or not fix their toilet on this day or the next one because of me. I’d hate ruin a good thing for them!
All widows deserve your care, concern and thoughtfulness, but maybe ask them what they’d like first. It may not be to be reminded that they are widows two months in a row on Widows Days when they already wake up each morning trying to forget. Instead, being reminded by you any day, every day that they are still them, still loved, forgetting they are widows for the moment so they can forget too might be the gift you can give. That, and fixing their toilets…
One thought on “National Widows Day/International Widows Day”
I have a dear friend who just became a widow almost a week ago and she’s so fragile. I think you’re right about asking the widow what do they want. This is such a difficult time for my friend and I don’t know exactly how to talk to her about her new situation, except to tell her I’m here for her. I can take a plane ride to her and just hold her and tell her everything will be okay. But she’s overwhelmed and I don’t want to interfere with her grieving process. Thanks for your posting. Martha Beals