I still call them in-laws, and they still introduce me as "Ram's wife". Although, they are more closer to outlaws.
There was a lot of drama during my husband's illness, and his death, thanks to my mother in law. After almost 24 years of marriage, we became extinct when he passed. I still see them from time to time, but not like before.
We have progressed well, and as long as we have our wonderful memories, nobody can take that away from us.
I still love my inlaws or shall I say outlaws. They have very little contact with me which breaks my heart - but its their loss not mine.
Dan's siblings, their spouses, and their kids all treat me exactly like they did before Dan died, even staying with me when they come to visit. I always regarded them as family and have not changed the way I refer to them. All his sibs live out of state and Dan and I stayed in the hometown (we were HS sweethearts). He had been caring for his mom since his dad died 20 years ago, doing things like getting her groceries, taking her to appointments, etc. since she has mobility issues and hasn't driven for 5 years, although she is still in her own apartment. Since both our families were near I always called her by her first name to differentiate from my mom and Dan did the same in reverse. Since Dan died a year ago, she suddenly wants me to call her "mom". My mother passed on a few years ago, so I guess I could, but years of habit are hard to break. I'm now doing all the stuff Dan did for her, because no one else is around to do it so I see her at least weekly. I just wish she'd forget this new "mom" thing since I called her by her first name for 40 years and see no reason to change now. (Even if I could get in the habit of doing it after all these years.)
I just read today's Widow's Voice blog and wanted to share it here. What a beautiful story of a mother-in-law with a loving and open heart to accept the new love in her son-in-law's life. Here's a link to it: http://www.soaringspirits.org/the_fields_of_tomorrow
Sadly, we buried my MIL 7 months before Dean died. So my FIL, who I call "Pop" when I speak to him and refer to him as my FIL when speaking about him to others, buried his wife and then 7 months later buried his ONLY son. I had a great relationship with them/him before Dean died and I wouldn't allow it to be any other way. I would like to see him try and get rid of me now. He is the only link my kids have to their last name.
I was married for 37 yrs. My FIL and MIL were my extended family after having lost every member of my side. After my husband passed my SIL's and BIL's told me at his wake that they considered me still "family". But when I considered that was not going to change for me; it was like an insult to me as it was as if they had considered me NOT to be. Maybe I over-thought this but it ended up to come to fruition. No calls, no Bday or XMas cards, no texts, etc. My son and daughter feel totally cut off and hurt. I thought for awhile that maybe it could just be poor communication as when my husband was alive I had to prod him to call his family for Bday's, anniversaries, etc. Now I realize that they are just hurting when we meet as we serve as a reminder of their brother. They are lost in their grief and have not yet discovered that we are all hurting. My daughter made the mistake of voicing her hurt on FB and my late husbands family who were friend-ed felt betrayed and have since dropped off the FB radar. I don't know that this will resolve itself and have decided to just accept the situation. I wish I could share some worldly wisdom but just wish to share Philppians 3:13; "forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. "