The colors of widowhood.
I reflect on them sometimes.
The colors we wear.
The colors we strive to wear personally and the colors social structures put on us, or expect from us.
Maybe not so much in words, maybe not conscious.
But still there.
Black widows are the female spiders that kill their mates after…mating.
It is the term used to refer to human women who kill their mates.
Interesting, isn’t it?
I, of course, didn’t kill my mate. My husband. My lover.
But as time passes in this widowhood, I feel the pressure of widowhood and it colors my perception of self and I feel like the Black Widow.
Though I struggle to not let it color who I really am, who I strive to be in the days and months and years since my beloved husband died.
I freely admit that I am dark. Darker than I’ve ever been. I’m the party pooper, the one to rain on your parade because I’m not me anymore. Or, at least, not the me I used to be. And I have no idea who this me is now. The lightheartedness that used to make me the life of the party, the joie de vie that guided my life…that’s gone dark. The smile, the humor, the sparkle in my eyes…gone.
Oh my god. Have I become the Black Widow?
To counter all of this, I wear pink. Chuck said that to me, you know. Before he died. Black isn’t your color. Mourn for me in pink.
And I do. Not a gentle pink, though. The pink I wear is such as the great female warriors of times past might have worn. If they wore pink. Which they didn’t, to my knowledge. Though glowing pink armor would be totally radical, dude.
Pink is my armor. My clothing. My hair, on occasion. My car. My trailer. Whatever bags I carry. Jewelry. My boots are brown, but they need to be. They are my Fucking Warrior Goddess boots.
I’ve been asked why do you need armor? Why do you call yourself a Fucking Warrior Goddess? Isn’t that all kind of a violent perception of yourself? Of widowhood?
Um..yeah, it’s necessary. What do you think this is, this widowhood? What do you think it takes when your world is incinerated around you and it’s now just you, after having been two for so long? I do this not to protect myself from anything, but because this widowhood, the grief and the Love that propel me daily…it’s a battle. A struggle. For my sanity, in some ways. To hold on when I don’t want to go on. A reminder, daily, to myself more than others, that I am a force to be reckoned with, though I don’t feel very strong most days. An outward symbol, perhaps, and maybe hopefully, that this pink…this pink…it’s kind of like the S on Superman’s chest. An outward symbol of strength and determination. Yes, I’m a widow, but I don’t need pity. I’m not needy. I’m not here to be taken advantage of or to take advantage of anyone.
I’m sad, yes. I miss my husband desperately, yes. I need to talk about him, yes. I even need to talk about how he died…because his dying was one of the most powerful things ever to happen to me. It is part of my history now. His death and his life and everything else that has changed, continues changing…this is my life. This is what I need to talk about with whatever warm body happens to be near me, because I don’t have my warm body near me. It’s as simple as that. And as complicated, I guess, to the outside world.
Perhaps the term Black Widow exists because that color best describes what happens to our world when our person dies. It goes black. The black holes in space have nothing on what happened to my world when Chuck died. Perhaps, too, it exists because people don’t know what to do with widows. What to say, how to respond to them, either in words or actions. Perhaps it best describes their discomfort with us, with our intensity, as we navigate a new life.
Are we too intense for normal folk? It really does seem so. I’ve seen friendships end, family relationships blown to bits, I’ve heard about it all from my widowed community. It’s kind of mind-blowing, really.
Widowhood is a world and a language that continually presents itself in new ways to me as I navigate the world, post Chuck’s death. PCD. There’s a huge learning curve in it for me, and, I suspect, for many. It’s confusing and bewildering and honestly makes me feel more vulnerable than I’ve ever felt in my 58 years on this earth.
Which is one of the reasons I do it in pink.
I am the Black Widow, in pink…
(I wonder if being a Black Widow involves endless amounts of glitter?)