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Certain Words Scare You?

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For example, now I hate hearing the words:






Especially in relation to my father. Even when some school administrator or something, back during the semester, would say something like, "I'm so sorry for the death of your father," I would cringe inwardly at the word 'death.' And I just can't stand to say/think/write the word 'dead' in relation to him.

I prefer words like "loss," "passed on," "gone," "his passing," "left his body," or just "left."

But I can't tell people that I don't like hearing certain words. They would look at me weird. Even my mother, she would simply worry and say, "It's just a word," or something. She doesn't want to see me so sad, naturally, but I would rather hear something comforting, like, "That's okay to not like those words."

And I mean, I know it's okay...I can't help it, and I don't think it's some form of denial. But the words do come up, and when they do I sortof...brain-freeze. Like when people would talk about topics at school that, unbeknownst to them, reminded me of my dad, I'd just sortof...brain-freeze, and get sad, and walk away "just to get a drink" or something.

So, it's like that with these certain words. They just...bam. They're harsh. Final. I don't like them. :(

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I think that's perfectly natural. I tend to say, "before" or "when Cliff was here" or something similar.

I actually said to a cold caller (trying to sell me life insurance) around 3 weeks ago, "I don't need life insurance because my husband is dead." My colleague took one look at me and we started laughing (I have a very inappropriate sense of humour) ... but to be honest, I was so angry that the salesman hadn't done his research because if I had been home alone, it would affected me entirely differently. If I'm honest I wanted him to feel uncomfortable and I certainly succeeded in that.

I think that you have the right to ask that people say "passed away" or whatever you choose. Most people will simply go along with that request. I know I would have done, even before losing my parents and husband. I know it's just a word, but I equally know that the playground rhyme, "sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words will never hurt me" is totally untrue.

Why don't you try asking your teachers and close friends to use the different words ... I'm sure they will have the empathy to oblige.


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I know what you mean about certain words. We all carry such different interpretations of words and they do indeed have power.

I do not like the word "widow", as to me I am still married to my husband. We were happy and in love and we did not intentionally end our relationship. I am his wife. I wear my wedding ring. I often still say "we" when talking about this and that and then I realize that I should say "I". But I love "we".

I also believe like Boo that you can ask people to use language that you accept and are comfortable with.

Take care,


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Oh Valley, likewise. I just went onto Facebook and changed some of my info on there, but I could NOT change my marital status to widowed. I am still very much married too. I always refer to stuff as "ours" never "mine" and wear my wedding ring with pride. And today, I have not really got dressed, preferring to slob around in one of his big (on me) shirts, reading other widow's blogs and just remembering him really. Not a dark deep day, just a "him" day. xxx

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Chai you will very rarely hear me say anything other than my husband passed. I don't know if the other ways sound too permanant to me or what it is, but I do not like to say them or even write them here....I am right with you !

Love Always,


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:) Good to hear y'all are on the same page. (I put that y'all, in all honesty, simply because my dad was from Alabama and retained his "y'all" throughout the years).

I...I could ask for people to accomodate me and not use "the certain words," that is true. :unsure: That would require me to muster up a bit of stand-up-for-yourself bravery that I feel has been sucked out of me a bit, but goshdarnit, it would sure help me out. I think I'll try it.

To Boo, Valley, and Wendy...people still consider me my father's daughter, so why can't you be your husbands' wives still? It doesn't make sense. I know the vows say, "Till death do us part," but really, why must death be the parting? Their memory lives on in you, the love is still there.

(Boo, a "him" day...I know what you mean).

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Boo & Valley

I too cannot say that I am widowed. I am still married and always will be. I not only wear my wedding ring but had his cut down and wear it also. It is not the original one because I buried him with it, but the original got too tight at one point so we got a narrower band in the next size and that is the one I wear. I often sit and rub it, like I was rubbing his hand.

I am really dreading income tax time next year because I will have to file as single and I don't know if I can make my hand do it.

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Mary Linda,

Me too. I wear my wedding ring and feel married to Tom. I also got a heart locket and put a little photo of Tom and I when we first met inside. I find that when I wear it I am always touching it, rubbing it, feeling it dangle on its long chain right near my heart. I get strength from touching it.


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