Recently, I became “The Widow Nichol” – according to my daughters. I had never thought too much about this term: a phrase that might apply to someone else, somewhere else, at some time in the future. A widow must be someone much older than I, a sad someone. In a conversation with a friend who had recently reached this dubious status as well, she commented on the fact that since she was 18, she had always known who she was related to and when someone asked for a next of kin, she knew exactly who to list. The first time she was asked after her husband's death, she didn’t have an answer for several moments.
Am I a different person now that I am a widow? It seems widowhood was much easier in the 19th century. When a woman became a widow then, she put on black and stayed home for a year. My challenge is that I have always worn black; usually topped by something so bright I could be seen for blocks. So, am I a different person now that I am a widow? Should I think or act differently? Some advice here please!
And so, I begin a new chapter in my life. The pages are blank; they are mine to write upon, to design as I please. While right now there are many tasks to take care of - some miniscule, some major - soon, there will be quiet and maybe a little loneliness. I have been married for two-thirds of my life and, as I move into the next act, I will be single again, but with a different title.
I can decide to live in the past with my memories or move forward. I will pick and choose the memories that will lighten my life and enable me to make that move forward with joy, excitement and perhaps a little trepidation.
Dear readers, if you have some suggestions for we widow women and you'd like to share, I would be delighted to hear from you and pass them on.
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.”
JUNE 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER ISLAND
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