Our identity as a person is made up of a number of things -- our roles in life, career, interests and more. In my "old" life, I was a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, PR professional and lover of food, wine, the outdoors and traveling, to name a few of the things that defined who I was. In this "new" life, all of that is true minus one key role - wife.
Steve and I were together for 12 years. For so long, it was Steve and Emily. After he died, it was just me. I wasn't a wife anymore. I was slapped with this reality after I went to the Social Security office to file paperwork. I read through the information to make sure everything was correct. As I scanned the information, I came upon this line, "Marriage ended in death on July 14, 2009."
Wow. That was harsh. I think the Social Security Administration could do a lot to soften their writing, but that's another story!
July 14 will mark four years since Steve died. While I am all too aware that I haven't been married for that length of time, I've recently been dwelling on this change to my identity. Widowhood has caused me to have an identity crisis.
Being married was an important part of my "old" identity. I loved being married. Of course, there were ups and downs, good times and bad, but overall married life was good.
I know that I have needed to take time to heal and get used to being alone. It has taken a lot of time and work, but I am healing and trying to figure out this "new normal." I often wonder what the future will hold. Will there be a special someone? I hope so.
I've spent time thinking about what I want should moving forward in life mean that I'm blessed with someone to share the journey. It's exciting and scary at the same time.
Hopefully, this identity crisis will be temporary.
Time will tell. Until then, the journey continues ...