Unbecoming Me~

Much of our adult lives are about unbecoming.

Widowhood is very much about unbecoming.

And, like any struggle to unbecome, it can be torturous. 

It is torturous.  For me, at least.  For many of us, I’m sure.


I recognize that I must unbecome who I was.  I was Chuck D’s wife. 

And oh, how I loved being his wife!

Unbecoming his wife is similar, I imagine though I have no experience to base this on…to being racked, like they did to prisoners in Medieval times.  I’m a history buff so please forgive my temporary geekiness.

We are wide open arms and legs akimbo which is how people were racked.

Hands and feet tied to wheels.  Very securely because oops what if the rope slipped off?

And the tormenters torturers I don’t recall their official title but they did have one would turn the wheels to which each limb was attached, and each arm and each leg would be pulled pulled pulled until said limbs slipped out of the socket.

Very often aforesaid torturer would also cut the tied down person’s heart out while still alive.  Hmm, that sounds familiar to my ongoing widow experience…

It was sheer agony from all that I’ve read about it as I read about people through history I’ve read an awful lot because, you know, I’m a history geek. British history geek, which may or may not make me even geekier.

Unbearable agony, sounds like.

Also a good definition of widow/erhood to me.

Widowhood is about unbecoming.

As a widow, I am unbecoming a wife.  An unbecoming wife.  Those who love words would say that the word unbecoming carries an entirely different meaning, as in unattractive, rough, uncomely, offensive…there are many definitions to unbecoming.  It’s funny, as I recall the posts I read from other widows and the unfortunate interactions they’ve had with family and/or friends, it strikes me that people sometimes apply such words as offensive and inappropriate in their judgements of how widow/ers do this…widowing.  Sad but true.

My unbecoming, however, is about unraveling, undoing, changing, shifting, taking all that I was and knew how to be, and unbecoming it so that I can be, will be, whatever it is that is left of me after all the joy and passion and love and happiness and joie de vie is stripped away.

Kidding but not kidding.  I don’t know.  Will I ever feel joy again or catch a glimpse into even fleeting or momentary happiness?  And if I do experience that again, what will it look like?  What will I look like feeling those things again?

Or is it possible that having gone through this unbecoming, being stripped down to my soul, such experiences as happiness and joy are too shallow and fleeting to ever be felt again? 

What if the process of unbecoming goes so deep that what is left afterward is so far beyond what I used to consider happiness and joy that they aren’t recognizable?

This unbecoming, all the torturous shredding of self who was that must happen to become who will be, feels almost sacred, really.

Not in an I’m sacred and I know it way but in a way that it forces me into everything I’ve never known into places I’ve never known into pain I’ve never felt, as if I am on the rack or, at least, what I imagine it felt like being on the rack.

This unbecoming feels like a sacred experience.  Not for any religious reason or any cliché that has been thrown my way, and not to make me a better person or any of that shit.  That’s not what makes it sacred.

It feels sacred, maybe or because, there is so much Love involved in this unbecoming.  I came from Love in my marriage, and I am living hanging on desperately to the Love that Chuck left behind for me.  And I’m unraveling have been unraveling since the night he died and I have been I am unbecoming a wife and I am yes, a widow and I will always be a widow because I was his wife and it is agony that I’m not his wife any longer, well, I suppose I could call myself a wife with a dead husband but wow, what kind of reaction would that get? So……

The mystery is where this unbecoming will take me.  Short term includes a huge fucking amount of pain, I testify to that.  Long term will include the hole that is his absence and maybe something else.  I don’t know.

But this unbecoming damn well better become something fucking spectacular. 

As Forrest Gump said…that’s all I have to say about that.


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  • Marilyn Black
    commented 2017-01-18 22:38:53 -0800
    Thank you for saying this. It’s so accomplished and so validating of the exact same pain, wonder and bewilderment I feel.
    The sacred dimension you point to with due humility I would characterize as the incredible faith behind each new breath the widow permits herself, though she is stripped of all the normal drivers of life – sense, purpose, pleasure hope…