Hiding Your Grief

You’re not being “dramatic” for crying despite losing your husband a year ago. No one has the right to tell you when to “get over it”. The people calling out your pain are probably the same ones who still complain about the “mean girl” at their high school who made fun of them. And, that was 20+ years ago! Unfortunately, many people assume that the funeral is the culmination of our loss, but often, it’s just the beginning. There are a myriad of things that serve as constant reminders of our loss – from raising children to day-to-day household responsibilities. Own your grief. Don’t feel obligated to hide your sadness, fears, loneliness, etc. It’s your husband/partner. You have the right to mourn the loss on your own terms.

Comparing Your Whole Life to a Snapshot

You know your story – the highs and the lows. You were there through the diagnosis and subsequent death. You were there when the friends who you thought would be there turned their backs on you. You were front and center for the fights with the in-laws and even your own parents. You see the tears that roll down your face and the sadness in your eyes. You cannot compare the entirety of your life to a snapshot posted by an acquaintance on Facebook or Instagram. You don’t know what’s lurking behind that picture-perfect smile or that post wishing their spouse a happy anniversary. We only see and know what others choose to share. Don’t fall into the trap of believing “Patty Perfect” has it all.

Believing Your Lies

My life is over!” “The wrong spouse died.” “No one will ever love me again.” Each of the negative things you tell yourself day after day can become a self-fulfilling prophesy. At some point, we start believing the lies we tell ourselves. How can you move forward if you continue to sabotage your healing? How can you find your joy when your words are poisoning your progress? In 2018, ditch the negativity. Find one thing positive to focus on each week. Remind yourself of how awesome you are, how far you’ve come.

Settling for Less Than You Deserve

The sad reality is that you’ll never be loved the way your husband loved you. But guess what? That doesn’t mean that a new love won’t be equally fulfilling. Don’t think you have to settle for less than you want simply because your soulmate died. You’ve survived one of the worst things that can happen. Don’t you deserve to have unadulterated happiness and joy going forward? Why put up with an inconsiderate, neglectful, abusive partner just to say you have a man? We’ve been through too much sadness, pain and hurt to settle for crap. End that going-nowhere-just-in-it-to-not-be-alone relationship. You deserve more!

Allowing Death to Win

Death wreaked havoc in your life. It came into your house like a thief in the night and took your husband. Why sit back and allow it to take what’s left of your life? If your grief has morphed into depression or suicidal thoughts, go get help. Fight to be here. Fight to live the life your husband wished he could be here to live. Want to go back to school? Begin putting plans into place. Want to open a business. Go for it! If traveling more is on your bucket list, do it! Though losing a spouse certainly has its challenges, not doing something you desperately wish to do simply because you’re widowed shouldn’t be a valid reason in 2018. Take a leap of faith and step into the unknown. Build on tiny accomplishments and use them to catapult yourself into doing at least one big thing this year. Say “yes” to something that scares you. Say “yes” to something that gets you out your comfort zone. It’s true what they say, “The new year means nothing if you’re still in love with your comfort zone”. Reclaim your life in 2018!


Kerry Phillips’ world was forever changed in March 2012 when just one week after her first wedding anniversary she got the call that no one wants to hear: your husband has died. Determined to not allow grief to drag her under, Kerry chose to become an advocate for the widowed community, sharing her own journey and those of other young widows. She also realized there weren't support groups for widows and widowers wanting to venture back into the world of dating and started Young, Widowed & Dating. It provides a forum for those seeking a new love story to share their dating adventures and insights into life after loss. Her weekly blog covers topics ranging from relationships with in-laws to dating while raising children and everything in between.

She is the author of “The One Thing: 100 Widows Share Lessons on Love, Loss, and Life, a resource for new widows told from the vantage point of those who have lived it, and ”Writing & Widowing: Journaling the Journey", a series of journal prompts for the widowed community. Kerry is also a contributor to the book, "Widowed But Not Wounded: The Hustle & Flow of 13 Resilient Black Widowed Women".

When she’s not blogging, Kerry is busy raising a feisty kindergartener and power-walking her way through local 5K races.