In an effort to save everyone the trouble (not to mention the awkward moments when I bust you peering through my kitchen window at the back of my house), I’ve decided to put it all out there for everyone to see. I do know, however, that the gossips will gossip and that while I am a grown woman who answers only to me, it is sometimes less work to be blunt. Or better yet, they sit in the comfort of their own home, surf the web, and hunt you through your status updates and Facebook photos you get tagged in. Yes, that was us in the Dominican, frolicking on the beach. While I’d like to believe the best in everyone, that they are merely looking out for me, I am not so naive.
Sadly, the name switch up is just part of being widowed.Sometimes my new husband says the odd thing that will remind me of Craig or I’ll hear a song on the radio while we are driving in the car that will make me tear up. Everyone knows the person on the furthest side is safe.Fact is, my new husband is my shoulder to cry on and the one I’ve vented to, talked to, and poured my heart out to through this whole ordeal so the subject of widowhood and my late husband is one we are both comfortable with. I don’t believe it was for a reason or his time to go or any of those things. They are both very different and that’s one of the things I like about each of them. It’s not so much that I prefer the left side or the right side. Oh and, yes, in case you were wondering, my darling husband reads everything I write, corrects my typos, laughs with me, lets me cry on his shoulder, and is the second chapter I never thought I’d be lucky enough to have.I still kept some of Craig’s clothes (now integrated into my own wardrobe) and several boxes of his awards, comic books, and other memorabilia. Somehow they always ended up finding their way back onto my left hand.These live in my office closet where I can take them out and look at them whenever I feel the need. I loved them so much it was beyond painful to lock them away in a jewellery box where I’d never see them, never get to enjoy them for what they were – a beautiful gift from my loving husband.Ultimately, every widow is different and the only person whose opinion matters is her own.Some widows are comfortable dating as early as a month or two out, others wait years, and some never date again at all.Having kids can add a whole other dimension to this one and since Craig and I didn’t have any, I can’t speak to that situation directly. To me, this was a part of my life and part of who I was (and still am). For some reason, my boyfriend wasn’t too bothered and months later as things began to get more serious I began to phase some of my late husband’s things out of obvious display, more out of respect for my new boyfriend than anything else.My new boyfriend is now my new husband and I don’t keep pictures of Craig up in our new home except for one in my office, tucked beside my computer monitor where I do my writing.Did you take your wedding rings off before you started dating? It took me months and months to remove them permanently and in the end I opted to have them remade into a custom ring I could wear on my right hand so I’d always have that little piece of who I was before to carry with me as who I am now.Have you ever called him by your late husband’s name? And not for anything special – just asking him to bring the laundry upstairs. Fortunately he had a good sense of humour about it (and a short memory).