Facebook: Keep both widowed and new relationship on profile

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The widowed community wants the option to be able to keep the fact we are widowed to our late spouses and add our recent (living) relationship on our Facebook profile, instead of undue emotional pain of being forced between the two valid relationships. 

I'll never forget the moment after my spouse died when I was sitting with my in-laws  in their backyard on that spring day. My MIL looked to her husband and said, 'you can never love or remarry if I die' right in front of me. I figured this was something she said off the cuff in her grief of losing her young adult son not realizing her audience was a recent widow. I internalize that painful comment and forgave her misunderstanding.

Two years later, since that comment, I did the honourable thing to tell my in-laws I'm dating someone to their face. People talk about the LGBTQ community coming out to their parents, but no one ever talks about telling your in-laws you're dating someone new after your spouse died. It obviously didn't go well as tears were shed, the air went stale, and their body language wanted me to leave after fake comments of 'we're so happy for you,' were said. I was immediately blocked from their lives, because of the belief that I'm dating someone new - I've somehow 'moved on.' I was magically healed, no longer dealing with grief, and found happiness (*puke*). 

Yet this is SO far from the truth and almost every widowed person has a similar story. 

  • Being forced to choose between the two is not indicative of real life and actually causes further ignorance and disrespect to the widowed community. It perpetuates that the widowed have forgotten about their deceased loved ones by removing them from their relationship status, instead of recognizing that death binds two people together stronger than before. 
  • Just because our spouses have passed away doesn't mean our relationship with them ends when a new living person enters. Our deceased loved ones are integrated into our lives in a different way with our new relationships. New spouses often celebrate our late spouse's birthdays and death anniversaries with us, because it makes us who we are today.
  • It causes extreme anxiety, depression, and emotional conflict forcing people to remove their late spouses from their profiles as a new relationship enters making grief seem even more difficult in the age of social media when we need to transition our online persona post acute grief. 
  • Would you ever ask an orphan to remove their dead mother or father from their profile, because they were lovingly adopted? I bet not. So why do you do this to the widowed community? 
  • When a mother has a second child, does she love her first any less? No, her heart grows bigger. So why do people illogically assume that a widow can’t love two people; a dead and living one and show this on their social media?

Let us normalize the fact that a new relationship doesn't depreciate the love for a deceased relationship and vice versa by allowing us to pay tribute to the deceased and living spouse simultaneously on our social media platforms. Our hearts grow even bigger for this new person in our lives. We "move forward" loving two people. It’s not crazy or weird. It’s perfectly normal, because that’s how your heart actually works. Love is infinite. 

Ergo, we should be able to display multiple spouses as part of our social media platforms to shift our culture paradigm into accepting that loving both a dead spouse and living spouse at the same time is a normal part of life.