Bereavement is one of the most intense and horrible experiences a person will ever go through. It’s sharp prickles and thorns grab hold of you. It scars you. So how can you ever forget it’s happened.

I had stopped off at the local store for food for tonight. Son is easy – just look for any food that starts with an S and ends with ausages…. Then fill the plate with tomatoes, carrots and bell peppers. I will look longingly at the cakes then eventually go for soup. Oh look they have some giant jacket potatoes I can get them for my partner. Where’s the cheese to go with them. No prizes for spotting the deliberate mistake.

It wasn’t until I was focusing on finding a mild cheddar that the brain finally kicked into gear. Oh bugger. For a few glorious seconds I was not bereaved. Not a widow. Then that sinking feeling. That awful feeling in my tummy. Completely disoriented trying to process two completely different places which are three years apart within a few seconds. Maybe this is what Time Travel will feel like.

Not a widow.

According to the UK Government I’m actually not a widow. Officially you can only be a widow if you are married in a manner recognised by our beloved rulers. We were a couple for 20 years. Now approaching 23 years…. The plan was always to get married but we had plenty of time to sort that out. Then we became a family. Then Aspergers entered our life’s. Again marriage was put on the back burner as we had something far more important to focus on. Then time ran out.

So since we were not married I’m not supposed to call myself a widow. The Government is not stupid. It’s a money thing. Death benefits are aimed at easing some of the initial financial pressures which will hit when a partner dies. These benefits need to be restricted so we have a very selective definition. If you are not defined as being officially married then it’s zero help for you. Your not a widow. It’s not the denial of benefits which annoys me it’s that somehow that unmarried bereavement is officially seen as less important. Not an issue. I remember talking to a man whose male partner had died. For years they were unable to get married because of the law. That has now changed. The irony was that it was done by a Conservative PM who needed help from the opposition as many of his own party voted against the change. Five of the current Government voted against same sex marriage. This wonderful couple never got married after the law changed in 2013. The man said

All I wanted to do was call myself a widow and get on with grieving. But according to the Government I am not a widow.

We agreed an appropriate response. Bugger off. We don’t care what others may think because in our eyes we are widows.

So I may briefly forget that all this bad stuff has happened. But sadly it has. So yesterday, today, tomorrow and going forward I AM A WIDOW. Interestingly my spell checker is desperate to change widow to window. So to keep it happy I AM A WINDOW. Now that opens up a whole new philosophical blog and probably makes a great Prog Rock Album Title. On that thought it’s time to draw the blinds down and go to bed.

I know that I will miss her tonight.

138 thoughts on “I am not a widow

  1. screw the government..anyone living with their partner for over 2 years gets my vote as being married. Figure if you can manage to get thru 2 you can accomplish anything. Someone needs to slap those ministers silly for saying you are not a widow..

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The laws are so stupid. My ex and I were together 18 years before we did the “legal” bit. The only reason we did was because younger daughter kept saying “you guys aren’t REALLY married”…obviously it bothered her. So we got married and split up about 3 years later. We’re STILL married. I dont want to pay for a divorce.

    I hope your dreams a beautiful and tomorrow doesnt feel so empty.💌

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have always found it odd that you can only be a widow until you get married again. I know that changes that side of it but it doesn’t bring the other person back. Maybe my twisted way of looking at things. Sending you a hug, some days are harder than others but when I have moments like that and I forget the person isn’t here anymore I think it’s them popping in to check I’m okay. xox

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Funny you should mention this. One of my great-grandmothers was listed as widowed in a Census record. People assume it’s because my great-grandfather had died. They divorced, but in this case, it was because her second husband died 9 months after he married her. It was a shock to find out she re-married as there was no mention of a second husband. Found a marriage license on a genealogy site.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. For the governments benefit? Fine. You are not a widow.
    For everyone else? People who actually matter? YOU ARE A WIDOW! (or widower)
    I have a beautiful 30 year old friend who has been with her partner since they were 13 – I kid you not. They finally got engaged last year. And in January, I attended his funeral. He was killed on his motorcycle by a truck doing an illegal u-turn. She is also not a widow. But in every sense of the word, she is. She still often makes him his morning coffee, and when you ask her to get together, she still sometimes will start replying that she’ll check what he’s doing. No piece of paper could ever define the incredible love they shared, or the heartbreaking loss she now faces every day.
    And no piece of paper will ever be worthy of those expressions either.
    I hear your pain, and wish I could do more to help you through it. All I can offer is my ear, listening. And to let you know that you and your son are cared about and thought of.
    And remind you that you are a fantastic father! 😉

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s not a daft question – you’ve asked because you’re in the same place. She’s ‘okay’. Still locked in a place of heartache where there are more bad days than good. And she’s still angry. Both of which are her right and a part of the process. A process I don’t wish on anyone. She reaches out though, and that’s important. And none of us chastise her when she has bad days and verbalises her anger and pain in a very negative way. It needs to come out, she needs to be allowed to feel.
        And on the good days we sit and talk about him, and laugh at his antics. He was our friend, and it was a huge shock to all of us. He was the kindest, most soft hearted man in our ‘group’. And so very funny – our Joker of sorts, always doing things to make us laugh. (Like the time he pulled an old lady onto the table with him to dance at a 40th birthday party – and he hadn’t been drinking.) He always had a smile for everyone. He is sorely missed when we get together as a group. And we all feel the pain of her question, “WHY???”
        But she’s okay. And if it’s the best she can be right now then that’s fine with us.
        Same applies to you. Thinking of you both xx

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve expressed the situation, – and how you feel for the one who loved you back so much you created a new ‘life’ together, one that WILL make a fabulous mark on this world, which will be better for having him in it – very well indeed.

    Al i have are words and wishes, and they are no substitute for what you miss most, but they’re all i can ‘give’. 🙏 🙏 🙏

    This too shall pass.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Time will only lesson the pain but will never fill the void left behind, do not greave the time warp inbrace the love and joy you had that made that moment in time eternal. 🌹


    Liked by 4 people

  7. Of course you are a widow. None of us need governments to stick labels on us to tell us who or what we are. We only got married after about twenty years of being together – it was important to us, but it did not define us any differently. We were already married in our eyes, and those of our friends.

    And don’t forget you’re also strong and brilliant.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. No one can tell you what or who you are. The government can certainly stop you getting benefits and inheritance as a non married couple but I can not tell you how to see yourself. It. Seems to me you have earned that right after 20 years sharing everything. The law on this does need to change not only to move with the times but also exactly because of the emotions attached to losing a long term partner should mean something in words and in law.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Well that blond wig will be out tonight in force at the MR’s play at the Hamish Matters Festival. It was bought for the William Wallace fight scene and it makes a re-appearance in a football scene but you can bet running gags were added galore. and who they are about too. Thing is they were funny two years ago but see now…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They will be timeless. Probably more impacting now with all this madness. Bet it will be fun. Funnily enough just watching Braveheart now. Just had the last freedom shout. We watched the new Robert the Bruce movie last night. It’s the same actor from Braveheart. It got panned but we both thought it was great. Being a smaller budget movie helps it so much.


      3. Well this thing is when we first did this play two years ago, I was the one who added the two lines about Trump and Johnston. But see now? Now that buffoon is running the country? Well, it is no longer funny actually and I added another aside cos of it. At that point he was nowhere like he is now, just a buffoon. Will catch the new Bruce movie.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Might even do it tomoz and then make fajitas in ranchero sauce on Sat. We were going to go to the Christmas Light Night in Dundee but the program is so poor this year. Yes they do this fabulous outdoor ceilidh in the City Square but that’s about it in terms of things I’d want to do and I dunno it is worth hoofing out in this bitter cold for that.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Our last house had one. And when we moved I thought I will miss this but hey presto… this house has one too. It was defo a buying point!! AND we get all our wood free, off the beach or the forests, or people cutting down trees!! Including ourselves. So that is even better. In 5 years we have not paid a penny even for kindling which is even better.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. You are a widow. And if it makes your computer happy, you are a window too. It is a shame that common law marriage isn’t recognized as it should be because you lost a big part of your heart when you lost your partner – marriage certificate or not. You are a widow.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Nick and I were engaged for almost 20 years. We married knowing that he was dying, that he did not have a lot of time left. We did it to protect our assets more than anything else because we were in a committed relationship for so long.

    Go ahead and call yourself a widower (widows are women) and continue to grieve as needed. Last night my neck itched and hurt. When I put the mirror up, the “I” in the “I love you, Nick” tat on my neck was the culprit.

    Here in the states, there was a bill in front of whereever to allow marriage and benefits to same sex couples. They tacked on the end about giving benefits to long term couples like Nick and I (Common law marriages if you will) But people were SO paranoid and freaked out about same sex couples that they didn’t read the WHOLE thing and it was shot down.

    Thanks……I don’t get Nick’s Social Security because we were married less than 9 months. I don’t get my ex’s Social Security because I was remarried.

    People need to think before giving knee jerk reactions. So I get your situation. Hugs.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Here you would be considered common law married, so I think you would still technically be a widow, but not positive. It is the emotions that matter though, and you may be grieving more than married people whose love had grown stale long ago. My sister and the husband of her son never married, but were together mostly for 12 years before my sister died. After she died, he mourned so strongly I truly believe it led to his death less than a year later. Those labels don’t really matter when it comes to the heart and grief.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah. My sister died of apparent suicide (opioid overdose) and he died right around a year later of a pulmonary embolism. His family said he carried an enormous amount of grief and guilt about her death though. The worst part is that their son (my nephew) who was 13 when his father died, was the one who came home to find his father dead in his easy chair. Imagine that kind of trauma, especially a year after losing your mom, and my nephew is also high-functioning autistic like me.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. My husband and I have been together for over 23 years and I can only imagine the loss….you are a widow. The government is wrong as they often are, they can’t define your relationship though they do find a way to penalize you, the bastards.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Geez, you are having quite the week aren’t you? Made me curious. I looked up Common Law Marriage in my state. I always thought there was such a thing, turns out there is not. Hmmm.

    I do marvel at the oddities of the brain. Why is it sometimes we just forget and go onto function as if we can cook for (call, text, talk to, etc.) our loved one that has been gone for years/months/whatever? Do you think our brains just need a break? Even if it is just for a few seconds or a minute? Do we just need that small moment in time for it to not be true that they are gone? So odd. I always feel a bit crazy after the moment has passed.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s sad to be labeled by a government as to what you are and what you are not. Shame on them. As individuals, we have the right to feel what we feel and express it accordingly. You are sad and lost because you lost your partner. The love of your life, yes, you are a widow.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I was really sorry to read this as stupidly I thought we were living in an enlightened society but seems that there is still a long way to go. When I wonder will those in authority catch up with the fact that society has changed & begin to recognise that marriage is not for everyone. I think you should be able to regard yourself however you wish. It just makes me cross to think that you were not given support when you needed it.

    Liked by 1 person

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