I was determined I wasn't going to call myself a widow.
I hated that word. Widows are usually portrayed as old women. The scary house down the street. The widow lives there. The crazy cat lady. Her husband died leaving her a widow. I'm not old. I'm definitely not a crazy cat lady, at least not yet. But I never realized one word could make me feel so powerless. I wasn't going to be a widow. I wasn't going to allow that word to control me. It is WHAT I am not WHO I am.
Now, almost a year after Patrick died, I have embraced the term widow and I wear it with pride.
I no longer feel powerless. I no longer fear that word, and I no longer cringe when someone refers to me at a widow.
Being a widow is about strength. About learning who you are when your world is crumbling around you. Learning what you are made of.
Being a widow means learning to stand on your own. Learning to function as a whole again instead of something ripped in half.
Being a widow is like a battle scare. I've been through hell and back and have risen from it. I am no longer the person I was a year ago. There is a large scar on my heart. It will always be there, always be a reminder of who I once was and what I have lost.
I still have my good days and my bad days. And the weirdest things make me cry without any notice. This isn't an easy process and not something I can "get over" or move forward from in the blink of an eye. I am learning day by day, and that's all I can expect from myself.