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Pride and Prejudice - widow edition

I absolutely hated meeting new people at the beginning. Because every single time, the conversation somehow steered towards them asking about my family status, or what does my husband do (this was back before I swapped my wedding band to a memorial ring). I hated that I have to explain that he is gone and then listen to the ignorant comments, the intrusive questions and stand the pitiful looks. It bothered me that they were uncomfortable with me being a widow.

Then one day, something changed. I was fairly early in this journey then. I relaised that this new reality of mine is not different form anyone else's family status. Some people are married, some are divorced or single. Why should I hide or feel uncomfortable about my situation? Not like I choose this. I am very open about it since. Some people are taken aback by this, but oh well, that is a them-problem. I have enough of those on my own.

I learned to hold my head up high, shake off any pity, and answer any unwanted comment with something they don't expect to hear. And I am actually proud of myself. Proud of managing it all (although I could not possibly do this without my mum's enormous help), I'm proud of making all the decisions, I'm proud of making plans into the future.

At the beginning I always looked for validation - that what I do is okay. It is acceptable and not something I will be shamed for by anyone. As time passed I learned that I don't need anyone's approval nor should I care about anyone's judgement. People always judge and us, widows are great target.

We went back to work - judged.

Took time off? - judged.

Have a new partner? - judged.

Decided to stay alone? - judged.

Spoil the kids? - judged.

Trying to stay on the ground? - judged.

The list could go on for miles. It doesn't matter what you do, someone, somewhere will have an opinion and will judge you. I realised that there are maybe 3-4 people whose opinion I truly care about, and I'm lucky enough that they are the ones who would not judge me at all. The rest of the world? I couldn't care less. Learned to laugh on the nosy neighbour who thought my new car belongs to a new man; on the faces of people when I answer something cynical to their unsolicited questions and cannot wait to come across someone who believes that as a solo mother, my one and only goal is to get her a new dad, as I already have my sarcastic comments ready (this alone literally worths another post).

Society came a long way since widows were treated as outcasts or second class people. I will not tolerate anyone around me who would make me feel that way and you shouldn't either.

Keep your pride and they can <ehem-ehem> their prejudice.


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