Books Read 2020

Thursday, 24 June 2021

What Is A Widow?

 

Yesterday I was speaking to an elderly aunt, who not long ago lost her husband of fifty-nine years, and she had been told she must write “single” down as her marital status.  She does not regard herself as “single” and fully intends to continue using her husband’s surname and not revert to her maiden name.

I had a similar experience after my husband died – I wrote “widow” on an official form and was told I had to write “wife” or “single.”  I don’t consider myself to be in either of those categories, so I insisted on writing widow – the official who took my form carefully wrote “wife” after my widow so that I became a “widow wife”!!


The church where I was married in 1973

When did the term widow become an unmentionable word?  I know “spinster” is not fashionable (they seem to be called bachelorettes nowadays), and anyway, they can call themselves unmarried.  But what word is used to replace widow?

When asked our marital status we are allowed to put separated, divorced, married, unmarried, de facto – why not widowed? 

It all seems a bit of ridiculous “politically correct” officialdom to me, and so I will continue to call myself a WIDOW!

What do you think?

Margaret 😊








21 comments:

  1. Hi there, I am a widow of many years, my husband died young, I always put Widow on official forms, no problem as far as I am aware. I’m in the UK. Don’t consider myself single, I have family and family responsibilities. Not being allowed to call yourself a Widow is denying that your husband ever existed. Sarah.

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  2. Agree whole-heartedly that 'widowed' could be added to that list of statuses (is that a word?) you have at the end. When I started practising law, some Land Registry documents still recorded 'single' women as 'femme sole'. I suppose it sounds more elegant than spinster.

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    1. I worked for a while for a solicitor - married women were referred to in documents as "et ux" (meaning a named man and his unidentified wife). At least that seems to have gone by the way now.

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  3. Single?! How cruel is that. Widow is as ... sad, so very sad and cruel.
    Life should be nicer.
    Big hugs from here, I know this does not help, but believe me... I sadly know what you´re in. A bit.
    Chronically sick Hubby I have, so... the fear is around all the time.
    Nice you ended with a 😊

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    1. I know that feeling Iris. Every time I came home I used to wonder what I was going to find. It is an awful fear to have. Hugz xx

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  4. Margaret, I'm horrified! That's ridiculous. For Goodness sake, you can put any combination of male/female/trans/etc/etc ...so WHY would anyone think you can't put widow? I would be objecting too! For a country that's usually so PC, I find that objectionable. I'm praying we'e not in for a wider Covid outbreak - it's all a bit scary, isn't it.

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    1. I'd feel happier if we had had our vaccines by now :)

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    2. It would certainly reduce the current stress, but I"m grateful our health boffins got hold of the Pfizer vaccine, and, as long as we dodge the bullet again, we should be OK until enough doses arrive. One of our problems is that we're so small we just have no clout when it comes to commercial deals, as any business is going to prioritise an American or European order ahead of us. That's the cold reality.

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  5. I really dislike how they are changing titles and making them modern, when there is no need. In UK we have loads of American terms now, my biggest hate is Mothers day, when it always was Mothering Sunday, the change of name is removing this history of the day.

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  6. I haven’t heard of that debate in Canada but I am out of the loop. What is wrong with the term widow? Who is it offending? I’m happy not to be “woke.”

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  7. Widow seems perfectly fine to me and it's hard to imagine it wouldn't be acceptable. I have been a widower, and I can't remember ever being flummoxed about what to write on a form, but I doubt that I ever would have used the teem "widower". I have to say, however, it would not have mattered one iota to me in any case! I was not then, nor am now, caught up in semantics of this nature.

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  8. I was bemused recently when helping my elderly father-in-law fill in some official forms which didn't list widower as a option, so we had to choose widow. As an 87 year old male I don't think he is going to be changing sex any time soon!

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  9. I think the whole world of official Terms, has "gone to Hell in a handbasket!"

    What with all the *Woke* people, going around and waving and screaming, about this and that.

    The perfectly logical term of Widow, might be one of the results of all this *Weird Silliness.*

    Keep right on calling yourself, what you choose!

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  10. How strange - widow still appears on forms to tick the box over here - thankfully - as I'm certainly NOT married or single. I guess I'll be ticking the Widow box for many years as the thought of living with anyone again after 38 happy years just doesn't appeal at all.

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  11. I think you should keep writing 'widow' in spite of any pressure to do otherwise.

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  12. I had not heard of that - widow is the logical term.

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  13. I agree with you. The person has been married and continues to have a marital status, widow is the right word for it. Here we can use widow and keep our marital name.

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  14. I too sometimes find (on online surveys, mainly) that 'single' is my only option - don't like it one bit as it ignores 43 years of my life, in effect, as you have encountered.
    We were married in '74, and I know what you are 'saying' about wondering what you would find when you got home after being out! - it was a ghastly time.
    Thankfully I have had my vaccination(s), but for all that I still 'scan' into shops etc
    Stay safe
    Blessings
    Maxine

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  15. De acuerdo contigo, si eres viuda es lo normal que se tiene que poner.... viuda. Besos.

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  16. I think widow is a sad term but necessary:(

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Thank-you for visiting my blog. I truly appreciate it when you leave a comment. Have a great day! Margaret xx