Today was International Widows Day and I chose not a participate. For starters, I was supposed to take a selfie at 7pm and at 7pm, I am chasing my daughter around the house trying to get her ready for bed. It had been a busy day. It didn’t matter that I was actually having a good hair day.
But that’s not the real reason I don’t participate.
I don’t want the fact that I am a widow to define me.
I admire the widows who participate. I just can’t bring myself to.
I am not ashamed to be a widow. I am Bryon’s widow. I would prefer to be his wife but I have to settle for being his widow. He was here for a short time, lived his life to the fullest and he chose me to be the leading lady in his life. I wish our years together were longer but I am happy I got the time I had with him.
I share my story. I have been very open about my grief process. So open that I post some of my most private and intimate thoughts on the Internet.
I share my story because I want people to understand what a widow, especially a young widow goes through. I want people to understand what my grief is really like.
I share my story because I want to help other widows. It helps to know that you aren’t alone. While every story is different and everyone handles grief differently, there are a lot of similarities.
I share my story because I want to preserve it for my daughter. This is part of her story too but she won’t remember. I want my account to be a good history for her.
I share my story to help others understand grief. We hide under the sadness and scars but we are there. Most of us are a stronger version of our older self but we are there.
I share my story but I don’t want my widowhood status to define me. During Bryon’s ICU stay, I told him at one point that we will get through this and that this horrific event will not define him. Bryon was fully aware but could not speak due to a tracheotomy but he nodded with determination. I could tell he appreciated that I still saw him for who he was and not the medical conditions that he had.
It’s the same for me. This has been a horrific event in my life. It has shaped who I have become but it doesn’t define me. I still want people to see me for who I am, not just someone who had one of her worst nightmares come true.
So even though I share my story, I will not be participating in International Widows Day.