Talking about being a widow is not something I always do....or want to do.
Sometimes I need to talk about it. Express why I am attending a social engagement alone. Assure others that I'm not a 'cast off' - that my husband left me because he was physically unable to stay....not because he found me in bed with my tennis instructor. Now and then, I have to purge the sadness by letting even grocery store clerks know that my husband died. At these times, I am quite skilled at wedging it into any conversation under any scenario.
Other times, the whole story of his loss seems a nuisance. I dance around the topic of the whole event until it is entirely necessary to mention the fact that he dropped dead for fear of having strange, unexplained holes in my stories and sounding like a lunatic.
I found myself in the latter situation tonight. I held off talking about it for as long as I could....and finally just stated, "My husband died in 2008".
I did not want to hear the "Oh! I'm SO sorry! I had no idea!" As I answered, "Yeah, well, it is what it is." And I realized just how over-used but very astute this saying is.
I felt slightly....resentful. Not for being a widow. I just didn't want to be different. I wanted to be one of the moms talking at the table about runny noses, bullies and fuel economy. I didn't want to feel marked by loss. I didn't want to be pitied. I didn't want to explain again what life is like alone. Because often, now, it just is.
I don't really know different anymore....because this is now my reality. And it is what it is.