My New Marital Status

I spent 21 years with “Miss” in front of my name and 58 years with “Mrs”. Although I am still “Mrs” in addresses, within days of John’s death, I realized I had to change how I filled out forms. Overnight I was no longer married. I would have called myself a widow, but widow was not given as a choice. What was I? Single!! Although I did still sing, I didn’t feel single and probably never will.

Now, seven months later, I found my official marital status on a legally binding document. According to the papers I signed, I am an Unremarried Widow. No wonder they don’t put that on ordinary forms! That’s enough to scare anyone away!

48 thoughts on “My New Marital Status

  1. First time I was introduced to someone as “JF’s widow”, it was a shock. I am certainly not single. My father, who was a layer, told me when I married my first husband “you will NEVER be single again”. He was right, I was married, divorced, married again, now I’m a widow. Singleness is like virginity. You only lose it once and never regain it.

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  2. Anne, I totally understand what you are going through. I had to deal with that too. I sign my name Ms. It’s nobody’s business what I am. So I refer to myself as Ms. And that means I am everything! I am just like men. My title doesn’t need to let the world know if I am married or single or widowed unless I choose to tell people. Every year at the beginning of each school year the. First day of school I had to give a lesson on Miss, Mrs. Ms. When I wrote my name on the board to introduce myself. I am Ms because I don’t fit into any category. And I had to explain how men don’t have to tell the world if they are married or single, divorced or widowed. And by referring to myself as Ms. (which is the title I called myself after I divorced my first husband, was single for over a decade after that , then even after I remarried. I still referred to myself as Ms.. So when my second husband died after we were married for 23 years I was still Ms. I received my widow’s social security benefits because you can collect your late husband’s benefits if you were married ten or more years. So I called myself Ms. Even though The government of the United States had me down as a widow, entitled to widow’s benefits. So you can still refer to yourself as Mrs or Ms. I did not write miss because I wasn’t that kind of single. You are now legally a widow. And you deserve the respect a widow is entitled to. Call yourself Ms or Mrs. Whichever you feel suits you best. Whichever title represents you best. As Shakespeare wrote…
    “What’s in a name? That which we call a rise by any other name would smell as sweet. “
    You are whoever you choose to be. I never felt single again. I’m a widow. So I’m comfortable being Ms. My friend whose husband passed last year still goes by Mrs. It’s whatever works for you.


  3. Anne, this must be one of the most unwieldy suggestions on a form and one that is totally unnecessary. I have seen widow/widower on quite a few forms. Thinking of you, take care x


    1. I have not filled out any form yet with widow as a choice. Of course, widowhood was not my first desire, because John probably planned on living longer. I still think God took him at the perfect time, because he had a serious illness that might not have gotten better. He died while being actively and constructively involved in things he loved. Thanks for thinking of me. x

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      1. Thank you for your courage in this new journey of life. My heart breaks for your loss, and I am equally thankful for your positive outlook. It reminds me that our faith brings that perspective, and it also reminds me that so many others might be encouraged and strengthened by your story and response. You are a blessing. 💞


  4. I stopped my blog for a long bit but have changed it up and am now back and catching up. I am very sorry to read about your loss. I also see you have a new addition to the family and Congrats on that. Who cares if he has four legs, he’s still cute. God bless.


  5. Wow! Unremarried widow, almost sounds like something out of Timothy or Titus!! A related conundrum from this side of forms is how do you like your mail to be addressed? A widow i still Mrs. John Smith, but I wonder if the address is painful one way or another, generally speaking. Is it a sad reminder, or if addressed Mrs. Jane Smith, would she think people had forgotten him? This is not meant to be weird, but is something I think about when addressing mail. Blessings for the day, Michele


  6. Hello Anne. Even after 25 years when I am asked how I want to be addressed I always say Mrs. After all, I was married for 41 years and have been a widow for 25. Mrs suits me. I don’t need that new fangled word that has been provided to you


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