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Hello everyone, I am new to Widowed Village, so perhaps this has been discussed before, but I find my self struggling with the vocabulary of widowhood.  My dear husband of 20 years died this last September due to complications related to his disease of Cystic Fibrosis.  He had a wonderful, large, and caring family which I most definitely now consider my own, but I recently have realized I don't know how to refer to them in casual conversation when meeting new people.  For example, is my mother-in-law still my mother-in-law?  If I tell a story and reference "the sister of my  late husband," to a person who doesn't know of my loss, it seems like it just makes for an awkward conversation.  I still struggle to use the word widow to describe myself and terms like "late husband" are not yet comfortable to me.  I guess with time, I imagine, things will feel more comfortable.  Just curious how you all have been feeling about this.

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I get it. I hate using the term widow or even late husband. If someone asks me if I'm married I say I got married last November and my husband passed away I July.  I can't bring myself to say the word widow yet. I still feel married even though I know he's gone. 

I lost my bride 2 months ago. Her family will always be my family. Her sister calls me "brother". Her dad is my dad. I don't want to change that. I still wear my wedding ring. I know it's probably not healthy but I can't help it. It's such a struggle to tell people that she passed. But for now I still feel married to my Patti. I'm so sorry for your loss.

I dont think of myself as a widow, seems such an odd, wrong word ,when clearly many things about your loved one feels very much still alive.

It also seems like a label that was maybe useful in practical ways in say Biblical times, but not now.

Labels, Stereotypes , Meh.

Its probably a cultural thing too, because although I live in a dominately white culture, I still identify as Indigenous ( to New Zealand) and the Maori side of me is taught from an early age that our loved ones are not gone, only resting.

So thats what I tell (some) people...I have a sleeping partenar ,haha , I figure if they really knew us they wouldnt have to ask, and if they have to ask, they probably dont care ( that much) or its a Government Dept or Office of some sort, and Im never in the mood to be buddies with them anyways.

Hi Greg sorry your lost your precious bride. That is neat that your /her family are supportive and caring. I still wear my wedding ring, mainly because I still feel married, and thats ok. It actually is good for my mental health, and if it stops helping me then maybe I will change.

If it bothers or confuses other people then I guess thats their problem.

Thank you fivethirteen. Its good to know that i am not alone in what i feel. I am very sorry for your loss of your Bobby. 

Aww you are welcome ( though no thanks needed). Thank you for your condolences..(which I think I spelled incorrectly).

Thanks, Greg - and as for the wedding rings, I don't think there is anything wrong with still wearing your wedding ring.  If someone has told you otherwise, I'm guessing it was likely someone who has not experienced the loss of a spouse.  Friends and family mean well, and even when they truly do try to be supportive and imagine what you are feeling, I don't think they can really understand without experiencing it.  And if it was someone who did lose a spouse, then it's just a reminder that we all survive this differently.  I'm sure you've heard it before, but what I keep having to say to myself over and over again is that whatever I'm feeling is normal for me.  So that's a really long way of saying wear the rings until you feel like you are ready to take them off.  If that day never comes, then you just know you weren't ever ready and that's OK too.

Hey bacasino. I appreciate your line "whatever I'm feeling is normal for me". That helps me. Thank you so much. 

Hi bacasino, nice to meet you here , I am a new kid on the block too.

My Bobby fought an aggressive form of Head and Neck Cancer. The ride ,ups and downs over 2 yrs ending in a hellish pit is/was surreal.

I am sorry for your loss.

Hi bacasino,

I'm so terribly sorry for the loss of your sweet husband.  That must have been agonizing for you.

Just my 2-cents:  if your husband's family feels like your family, then they ARE your family.  No explanations necessary. 

For me, my husband's parents had both passed before we got married, and he was not close with his sister.  The evening before he passed, I did call her to tell her that he was critically ill.  She flew in with about 4 hours to spare and got to say goodbye.  It's hard to believe all of that happened only 25 days ago.

Please don't be a stranger here.  This is a great online community of support.  Wishing you peace!

Kim

Hi Denverkim.

My wife's family feels and IS my family. They always will be. I take great comfort in knowing that and it also helps me be closer to my Patti.

God bless you Kim.

It is funny how the time "after" stretches and shrinks.  I can't believe my husband passed just 3 months ago.  Some times it seems like it was just yesterday, and other times I feel like I've lived a lifetime in between. 

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