Widow dating again

One date was texting me regularly to make plans and tell me jokes, only to downgrade his correspondence to Facebook the more he learned about my past, then fade out completely.

He never conveyed the reason he bailed, but it was clear he wanted someone breezy and uncomplicated. In hindsight, I admit that wearing my wedding ring and discussing Frank may have signaled that I wasn't ready to move on.

However, there always seems to be a barrier between us, and it's often Frank. Not only can I seem frustratingly ambivalent about what exactly I want from a relationship--I'm still trying to figure that out--but before I became a widow, I held my own judgments about these women.

Recalling my days as an English major, I recall depictions of tragic, desexualized widows--from Naomi in the Bible; Widow Douglas, the stern and pious caregiver to Huck Finn; Widow Quin in Synge's play .

Well, yes, of course I loved him, but our marriage was like most: It had highs and lows.

In the year before Frank got sick, we'd gone through marriage counseling and even a trial separation, but there was never any question that I'd be there during his illness.

I rode beside him in ambulances to emergency rooms late at night.Maybe it's because so many guys have called me "courageous," but as soon as I utter the word "widow," I sense I'm being seen as a living saint and that my marriage was flawless, which of course isn't true."You must have really loved him," a few men have said in awe.ONE MARCH AFTERNOON IN 2010, I logged on to Facebook and glanced at my relationship status.My 42-year-old husband, Frank, had been dead for a month, but it still said "Married." Then, in a surreal, only-in-the-21st-century moment, I changed it to "Widowed." I hesitated, but I had to do it: No word but So, at age 39, after seven years of marriage, I was no longer married; I was a widow.

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