I still can’t seem to figure out what to call Boris. I still call him my boyfriend over 4 years after his death. Is that normal? Last week I was on a work trip and was talking to a colleague who I do not know well. We were discussing traveling, and I mentioned that I went to China for a Study Abroad trip and also met “my boyfriend’s extended family”. Then she asked follow-up questions which led me to say, “well, he passed away a few years ago…” Of course, then there was that sort of awkward sympathy and surprised reaction, which I am used to, but then I started thinking…what term should I use instead? My late boyfriend? My dead boyfriend? I mean, he isn’t my ex-boyfriend. My late partner maybe sounds better? I think if I could call him my late husband that might sound better but I am sure that still isn’t easy to say and still feels weird.
Truth is, I still think of him as my boyfriend a lot of the time. Maybe it is because he’s the only real one I have ever had and he was my boyfriend for so long. And maybe if I ever start a new relationship (I have a kind of complicated one now, but not really a boyfriend yet) it will be different. But, then what will Boris be? Maybe I will have a dead boyfriend and an alive boyfriend? I know all widows go through this…you have a late husband and a husband? Our lives are weird and hard. But, I am glad we can write and talk about these things.