Identity ‘crisis’ arrives

A single sudden, savage and sad event has thrown me into a form of identity crisis I never gave a moment’s thought until that event arrived more than five months ago.

Feb. 3, the worst day of my life, culminated that evening with the passing of my bride, Kathy Anne, from brain cancer.

We got married when I was not quite 22 and she was not quite 20. I am now 73 years of age, which means for almost our entire adult lives we were identified with each other.

We were husband and wife. We were “together” for 52 years, or to put it another way, we became a couple the moment I planted a kiss for the ages on her two days after she first appeared before me, like a vision.

Now she’s gone. I have difficulty thinking of myself as a “single” man. I cannot quite make that leap. It’s weird. Perhaps others who have experienced similar loss know of what I am speaking. I don’t like using the “w” word to define me; you know what it stands for, yes?

Some young man came to my door a few weeks ago to pitch a solar panel program he wanted to sell me. We chatted for a minute, then he asked, “Are you married?” Believe it or not, I took me about 15 seconds to muster up the ability to say, “No. I am not.”

Identity crises occasionally afflict middle-aged men. We hear occasionally of “mid-life crises.” I didn’t go through one of those back when I was in my 50s. Kathy Anne kept me young … if you get my drift.

Now I am embarking on this unknown trek toward some unidentified destination. I am suffering a new sort of crisis as I soldier on.

I am writing about it only to put it out there. It makes me feel somewhat relieved to be able to share it with others who perhaps understand the feelings being expressed.

It’ll pass … eventually.