Post Widowism

7-postmodernismGrowing up with an architect for a dad, I heard a lot about Postmodernism. It was often a term that was applied to his work, though I don’t think he thought too much of it. To be honest, I don’t think I ever really grasped what it meant. So, by virtue of a handy Wiki search, here is a definition:

Postmodernism is largely a reaction to scientific or objective efforts to explain reality. Postmodernism tends to be defined either as the period after modernism or as a ‘condition’ whereby established values are rapidly eroded by new technological advances and a general apprehension of what the future will bring.

In the postmodern understanding, interpretation is everything; reality only comes into being through our interpretations of what the world means to us individually. Postmodernism relies on concrete experience over abstract principles, knowing always that the outcome of one’s own experience will necessarily be fallible and relative, rather than certain and universal.

Postmodernism is “post” because it is denies the existence of any ultimate principles, and it lacks the optimism of there being a scientific, philosophical, or religious truth which will explain everything for everybody – a characterisitic of the so-called “modern” mind.

Last night I had the pleasure of going back to my memoir class (the one I took before I wrote the book, and that launched me well and truly into becoming a writer) and talked about how I came to be a published author. The teacher and my friend, Theo introduced me as a “Post Widow.” I laughed at the term’s perfection. And now, with that definition, it’s almost eerie how apt it is when applied to widowhood – “A general apprehension of what the future will bring… A (new) reality based on one’s individual interpretation of (an old) reality…”

So, the erosion process of widowhood has placed me into yet a new reality – The Post Widow(er).

I’m not sure what that means, exactly, but here are a few potential signs that you are a Post Widow(er):

  1. You only have one box of tissues on the entire first floor of your house.
  2. You wear sun glasses because it’s actually sunny outside.
  3. You smile when you see an expression in one of your children that is the exact same expression your loved one used to make.
  4. You realize that when you become a grouch at Christmas, it’s not because of the grief, its because you were always a grouch at Christmas.
  5. In a relationship you are not compelled to regale your partner with all the amazing stuff your dead loved one used to do.
  6. You’ve put away the wedding photo.
  7. You are amazed (and weirdly guilty) that you actually feel lucky to have been widowed.

And you thought this was going to be a serious post. 🙂

 

4 Comments

  1. BigLittleWolf January 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    This is written with such grace and clarity. It’s a fascinating topic – to me – though I’m not a widow, but one who is divorced.

    Going down your list, I ask myself if there is a state of reaching a “post-divorcehood” destination – one in which you are no longer defined by the legacy of divorce.

    Your comment about looking at your children and seeing the other parent reflected in a smile, a gesture, and so on hit home. Does it bring back a sweet moment or does it still ache? Worse, is there anger associated with the ache?

    Much to think about. And more than anything, glad to know you’ve reached this place.

    1. Abigail January 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      Aww, thanks BLW. I’ll be curious to know if there is a Post-Divorce state. I would assume there is.

      No, it no longer aches when I see expressions of my husband in my kids – It really just amazes me because the similarity is so uncanny. An SMH (Shake My Head) moment, as my daughter would say…

  2. Melissa January 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I love number 7! I think I would identify myself as a post-widow. You continue to be an inspiration to me! Thank you!!

    1. Abigail January 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Yeah, #7 is pretty cool in a weird way. So glad to have inspired!

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