Sunday, January 20, 2019

Please Stop Calling Yourself A Football Widow


Please stop calling yourself a football widow. Or a hockey widow or golf widow or hunting widow or a widow of any form.

Just don’t.

As an actual real-life widow (of the military variety), I can’t even fathom why anyone would refer to themselves, jokingly or otherwise, as a widow when they are not.

When you joke about it or use the expression to complain about your husband’s hobbies, you diminish what thousands and thousands of women (and men) go through every day. Widowhood is no joking matter, although it does have it’s darkly humorous moments. It’s tragic and devastating, and lifelong. 

It doesn’t just last one sports season, it lasts all of them. Forever.

Widowhood is excruciatingly painful, a pain that rocks the very fiber of your being. It’s overwhelmingly sad. It’s profoundly quiet and empty. And the loneliest thing you could ever experience. 

Trust me on this— you do not want to ever call yourself a widow. 

And I hope you never have to.

I do know how annoying it can be when your husband is consumed by football or hockey or any other hobby. Or by their job. My husband was in the army for our entire married lives. Lord knows I get the challenges of being alone for extended periods. Of running a household. And of single parenting. 

I know it’s frustrating when all he wants to talk about is his fantasy team when you need to talk about your real life home team. I know you feel like you are doing all the work while he gets to relax and hang with his buddies. I totally understand your frustrations. I really have been there. 

But that all pales in comparison to widowhood.

My late husband wasn’t much for watching sports, in fact, he never watched football at all, unless we were invited to a Grey Cup or Super Bowl party. But he was an avid mountain biker. There were days he would disappear on his bike for hours and hours on end. And there were days, too many days, it would irritate the hell out of me. Sometimes he would return home bloodied and bruised from an argument with a tree, and I’d shake my head and chastise him for not being more careful (a recurring theme in our house). Often I was annoyed because I was left to do all the running around with the kids. And even worse, there were times he’d load his bike into our only vehicle and go for the entire day, leaving me stranded at home, alone, to yet again entertain three kids.

For the last almost five years, his beloved bike has sat in my garage gathering dust. There is a brand new set of never-used winter tires on the floor beside it. How excited he was when he picked those tires up, he couldn’t wait to try them out. He never did. Because he never got another winter.

When I look back now, I wish I hadn’t been so resentful. I wish I hadn’t complained so much when he went mountain biking. I wish I could have seen how important it really was to him. And appreciated how much he loved it. 

But I can’t go back. 

Instead of complaining about your husband’s football obsession, be grateful you still have a husband. 

Relish the yelling and cheering and the smell of chili and nachos. 

Because those little things that drive you crazy? You will miss them so much when they are gone. More than you can possibly know.

Instead of being resentful of whatever hobby your husband has, be thankful that he loves it so much.

And the next time you start to refer to yourself as a widow of any form, stop.

Think of the bike gathering dust in my garage. 

Remember there is a permanent season far worse than any sporting season. 

And be very thankful you are not actually a widow.

To learn more about grief, resiliency, and life after loss, follow Monica on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/agoatrodeo/
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