What’s in a name? “My husband” has a meaning; a connotation as well. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Jerry Gass was my husband. The best husband. He loved me so much there are hardly words to describe it. He treated me like a princess. He was far from perfect, but so was I. We were happy.

I still almost always talk about him as “my husband.” I am comfortable saying “He WAS my husband.” However, I am not very comfortable saying, “my late husband” or “former husband” or anything to that effect. Someone said recently that gives the impression that I am not over him or ready to move on.

It is true that I am not ready to let him go, but in a way I do not think I will ever be able to let him go and I am okay with that. I now realize I will probably not be ready to call him “my late husband” until I have a reason. For me, a reason would be a second husband. The point would be to clarify my husband from my late husband. Until there is a new man that is close to that level, what is the point of worrying about it, except to say the impression it gives which is turning away potential future husbands because it gives this impression.

The deep truth is that I love calling him my husband. I am proud of him and our love. It also makes me feel less alone in a situation wrought with unbearable loneliness. Calling him my husband makes me feel a little bit like I still have his support even though I am now doing it on my own and have been for almost five years. I may never be ready to let him go completely, but I truly think I will be ready to let the “my husband” reference go when I feel I have someone else in my life that makes me feel secure and not alone.

Until then,

Nikola Rosa