May is springtime in Wisconsin. But for me May is also the month when my husband died, and so it carries a tinge of melancholy. But also, memory—the memory of over four decades of a love story I could never have imagined.
This summer, I am releasing the memoir I have written about my beloved’s last six months and my first two years alone. I am calling it The “W” Word: One Woman’s Journey TO and THROUGH Widowhood.
Here’s a brief excerpt:
I didn’t choose this—no one does.
The first time I filled out a form asking for my status, I automatically colored in the ‘M’ box—as in ‘married.’ I was still married, right? After 40+ years, that was still a valid response, right?
But then there was the ‘W’ box—the identity no one chooses as they might choose to marry or divorce or remain single. Widowed is not a choice. It is an identity thrust upon you, and no matter whether you saw it coming (as I did) or not, there’s not a damned thing to be done.
And so, you become…widowed. You cast off the identity you spent years shaping with another to reveal this stranger—this person who is only half of what they were just a day earlier.
There have been many times in my life when starting over was the order of the day. I wrote this with the hope that my journey in this situation might inspire others to see the whole starting over process as something they could manage, regardless of the circumstances. I would love to hear YOUR story!