Woman Who Wants to Marry a Dead Man Makes Perfect Sense

The period of time between an engagement and a marriage is an odd time. For all intents and purposes, the couple is family. They think of their future and they HAVE made a commitment to that future. But they are not yet legally recognized. For some, this can have tragic consequences.

In France, one such story happened recently when the pregnant fiance of a French soldier who was killed by a terrorist applied to marry him posthumously. This is apparently something that has happened before in France and when it does, the ceremony is something to make you cry for a week. An empty chair represents the deceased fiance.

It is beautiful. It is somber. It is 100 percent understandable.

As a pregnant woman, presumably with his child, why wouldn't she want legal recognition for her loss? As his fiance, she is no better legally than a girlfriend.

We saw this so much after 9/11. There were women who were engaged to marry men who were left bereft by their losses but who had no legal claim to their role. A woman who is married has a name -- widow. A woman who is not has nothing but her memories.

It is a tribute to that love and to what it meant to this woman that she still wants to go through with the wedding. It is not surprising in any way. But it is heartbreaking and meaningful.

Something like this should make us all look at our spouses differently. Every day in the past, present, and future is a gift. We are lucky to have them.

My heart breaks for this woman and she deserves her wedding and she deserves to be called a "widow." After all, that is what she is.

Do you think this makes sense?


Image via meemal/Flickr



To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Miche... Michelephant

A woman who is married also has another thing that engaged women don't have when their husband passes, legal rights to money.

femal... femaleMIKE

No, this does not make logical sense.  So would she be considered a widow?    People need to stop living in a lalala land.

femal... femaleMIKE

michelelephant,  thats why people need to have wills and speak to an attorney about who is in charge to make decisions if he/she is not able to.

I do know someone right now who is terminally ill. She assigned decsions to her boyfriend.  However, her brother has made it clear that he will be making decsions too.  uh oh

Freela Freela

It's a very sad situation, and I feel for her.  However, marriage is a legal contract... and the deceased cannot enter a legal contract.  Not to say that she is not sincere, but what is to stop other from posthumously marrying a dead lover to, for instance, get included in the will, in benefits, etc?

jessi... jessicasmom1

I don't know about being a widow to a prior deceased man, I was married when my husband passed .. but whom I to say

Loref... Lorefield

I feel bad for her, but it is not right to allow marriage between non-living people! How on earth can you say this makes sense?

bella... bella_grace

I understand wanting legal recognition but there is no way of knowing he 100% would have married her. Lots of engagements don't work unfortunately, there are no guarantees in life. It is sad but what if he was on the fence for some reason? Felt pressure because of the baby? What if he was just nervous and unsure at the time of his death? It opens a very dangerous door.

kebates kebates

I feel bad for her, however, I don't think anyone (man or woman) should be able to marry someone who is now deceased.  I don't see how that is legal.  While I feel for this woman who now is alone to raise a child, I wonder, if he was a soldier, and obviously knew what he was getting in to, he did not set up something legally (a will, trust fund for the child, etc) so that since they were not getting married before he left for duty, she or at least their child would be protected.  Maybe you don't want to rush a wedding because you want it to be a certain way, but at least make the provisions.  

the4m... the4mutts

No, no, no. This is wrong, and should be illegal. Contract requires a living, sentient, competent PERSON, who is willing to enter into that contract.

She can give her child his last name, change her last name even! But not marry a dead man

nonmember avatar Sarah

Legally this has to be a no no. He is not there, he can't say I do. It may seem cold but why didn't they elope before he was deployed? Why the wait? I do however think she deserves more than some women. Assuming she had been with him for a long time and I can see having the ceremony as part of his memorial service/events. So sad :(

1-10 of 18 comments 12 Last