Ms. or Mrs.

Last week I was working (I went back 2 weeks after my husband passed away), and in the middle of doing something I had a sudden panicky thought.

Ms. or Mrs.

I quickly did a Google search, and basically all I found out was that I can go by whatever I want.

As a feminist, I never liked Mrs. (His Name) (Last name).

I’ve always gone by Mrs.

But now, somehow, that doesn’t quite fit right. Maybe it would if I was an older widow, but I’m young. Mrs. means I’m married. I’m not married. I’m widowed. Technically the bonds of marriage have been broken–til death do us part, right? At least legally speaking.

And yet I don’t feel like a Ms. Ms. was me before I got married. Ms. goes with my maiden name, in my mind. And I don’t want to return to my maiden name, because my kids have my husband’s last name and my reputation and identity post-single years revolves around my married name.

I started feeling angry. Why was I even put in the position to contemplate this bullshit? Last month I was going about my life, and bam. This month I’m dealing with the complexities of widowhood.

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It sucks. I miss my husband. I realize how interconnected my life was with his.

I miss his voice. I even miss his mess. Funny how those things work. We think we hate certain things about people, but those traits about people are what make them individual. It ends up being what you love about a person. You have to take the good and the bad and everything in between.

I miss having a father for the kids. I was pretty together at the funeral last weekend, but when I saw this picture during the slideshow I finally cried:

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How could I not? My children’s father is gone. They will never have that part of him, and he was an exceptional daddy. He loved them so much. I’m just so glad he didn’t know what was happening. It was instant. I think it would have hurt him more to know he was leaving the kids. In this picture I see our hopes and dreams for our family. And now I know it’s all up to me to continue it.

I think the loss of a child is the worst kind of pain. However, the loss of a spouse when you have young children is the most stressful, I’m going to venture to say. The amount of responsibility solely on my shoulders is crazy. I have three kids. Three kids under the age of 6. I know there are single parents out there, but my kids have no father now. They don’t even have the hope of a father. He’s gone. I built my life with my partner. This was a two-person operation we built. Everyone has a unique situation and I wouldn’t yours down by any means, but when you lose a child, you don’t have that kind of crazy responsibility.

So I have grief and a pile of responsibility so high I can’t see the top of that mountain.

One day at a time.

The grief comes in waves, but we’re still swimming. The only other option isn’t an option.

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