Blake "Was in a relationship with Briana Wagner."
Blake's Facebook profile has been in what they call a "memorialized state" since right after he passed away. It wasn't until recently, however, that I noticed that with this new state came a change in his relationship status. Since I spotted it, I've read that sentence probably 100 times. The insertion of that infuriating three letter word filled me with more anger than was justifiable, but felt like a stab in the heart nonetheless.
I checked my profile to see if it made the same switch. Nope. Mine still proudly displays "In a relationship with Blake," not was. I honestly don't mind my Facebook still saying "In a relationship" because I don't want anyone to think I'm single anyway. I'm not single. I'm not ready for anyone to consider me single either. The present tense for me feels very fitting and accurate.
I know it may seem ridiculous to analyze my relationship with Blake in terms of something as trivial as Facebook, but I think it creates an interesting parallel for how things actually are. By the very nature of death, Blake's relationship with me is in the past. He is no longer alive so he cannot currently be in a relationship with anyone. Even though it hurts to see "was" connected to his relationship with me, I do understand that it makes sense. As for me, a living, breathing person, I am able to still presently be in a relationship. Although the "with whom" part of the relationship is questionable to some people, I am still currently in a relationship regardless.
The crazy part is that the dynamic of the nebulous "with whom" is actually accounted for too. If I ask a friend who isn't Facebook friends with Blake to look at my relationship status, it only says "In a relationship." Period. Blake Norvell no longer exists to them. So although my relationship is still present tense, his name is not there anymore to anyone other than me and the people who were friends with him before he died.
I don't know if the people at Facebook purposefully thought all of this through, but the accuracy of how the memorialized state of Blake's Facebook changed our relationship statuses is chilling. Not only does it reflect the duality of being both past and present tense for him and me, but it also demonstrates how different people outside of our relationship view it. While some people know him and know our connection remains, others see me as simply in a relationship, trying to hold on to something that isn't there anymore.
At least when I look at my status it says exactly how I feel. Briana Wagner is "In a relationship with Blake." That is what really matters.