Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Please, Just Call Me Wendy

Monday, June 9, 2014
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I am so over being known as Mrs. Diez. 

Don’t take that the wrong way though.

I don’t want people to forget that Chris was my husband or that I am Ian and Claire’s mom. But calling me Mrs. Diez just isn’t working for me.

Truthfully, being referred to as Mrs. Diez never felt right. When I entered the workforce after college, the business world had become more casual. People called each other by their first names instead of Mr. Banks or Mrs. Turner. The adults who led classes when Ian and Claire were toddlers were known by names like Ms. Kelly and Ms. Donna. And some of the kid’s friends call me by my first name which I honestly don’t mind. The only Mrs. Diez I know is my mother-in-law.

Now that I’m widowed, having someone call me Mrs. Diez feels even stranger. It almost always catches me by surprise when the teachers at school call me that. When I get phone calls from the pediatrician’s office looking for Mrs. Diez, I pause before responding. When the HVAC guy or the serviceman at the car dealership hands me a bill and says, “Thank you, Mrs. Diez”, I flinch a little. And no one pronounces it right anyway (Dietz—as if there were a “t” in there—in case you are wondering). After five years of widowhood, this association with my married life feels like a pair of jeans that don’t quite fit. It feels a little bit like a lie.

But how do you un-Mrs. yourself without erasing the most important relationship in your life? How do you portray that you aren’t married now but once were (to a pretty amazing man with an equally amazing family who happen to share that same last name)? How do you redefine yourself without further complicating an already complicated situation?

I know there are no easy answers here but would it be the end of the world if I asked people to, “Please, just call me Wendy”?

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