Friday, January 23, 2009

Dear Facebook,

I am a recently widowed woman who struggles with the options you give me for my "relationship status."

Now, I understand that you can't put every possibility out there, I mean, there's deeply in love, separated pending divorce, friends with privileges, just fooling around. I see this as the reason for your "It's complicated" option. I think that's a great option for a lot of people in unclear relationships.

I'm not one of those people.

My status is exceptionally, painfully clear. My husband died suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving me a widow. I am, technically, single, but that's really not a word I'd currently use if somebody asked me. I feel that if you can acknowledge "In an Open Relationship" as a category, surely you can add a few more lines of code to include one more option.

Sure, yeah, it might be a slippery slope. If you recognize widowed as valid, soon you'll have to add "There was that thing in Vegas, but I don't think it stuck" and "Stalking a very attractive coworker" and then what? 6 pages of options, because really, relationships come in quite a variety...

While I am able to make light of this, because it's just a line on a profile that only people I know see, I do feel real frustration, resentment, and offense at this exclusion. Widowhood sucks enough without being forced to hide it.

Do the right thing. Validate our loss with a simple, understanding gesture - let us choose to expose our hurt, in hopes that it helps us heal.

Jes Kopitske


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