“And if you want me, you better speak up
I won’t wait
So you better move fast
Don’t fool yourself in thinking you’re more than a man
‘Cause you’ll probably end up dead
Now, it’s sixteen miles to the promised land
And I promise you, I’m doing the best I can”
 -Rilo Kelly (With Arms Outstretched)

Feeling abandoned when you need it most is so very harmful. The life a widow is riddled with feelings of judgement, abandonment, and self loathing. Somehow though I tell myself it’s all In my head. Yet when events transpire to bring validity to these notions it’s like getting stabbed in the gut. With each word they twist the knife.

I feel myself laying blame on him, her, you. Like I have been forsaken by god once again. Ridiculous I know. I’m am so tired of this merry go round that always comes full circle. Don’t trust. Don’t let them in. Well maybe. Not too much though. Then the inevitable disappointment as yet another leaves you. In one capacity or another.

I have grown weary of battling my waging wars alone. Year after year and night after night. In the end I am always left alone. Am I so bad? That terrible of a person that my existence should equal that of a true purgatory? Unworthy of a companion through the ebbs and flows?
In the beginning I know that I am setting myself up to be damaged and yet each time I am surprised. People will fail you! Even the best versions you’ve met. They do everyday. When you need them most they will crawl inside their own selfishness leaving you naked and without supplies in the blizzard you have created.

I hate you.
For every hope incepted.
For every false word that fell from your lips.
For every intimate moment when you saw the real me.
The rest.
The rest could throw away what they knew.
But you.
You knew me.
As reality tv taught me from a young age:
“I want to forgive you and I want to FORGET you.” – Lauren Conrad
I’ll add your name to the list. Don’t worry.  Another lesson learned I guess.


On October 11th 2016 at 2 am I became a widow. I was 28. Married for one year but together for almost four, we had two amazing children (5 months & 2 at the time). We had built a life together in the time we had, overcoming numerous obstacles and walking away victorious as long as we stuck together. When he died so did the Jess that was his. In November of 2016 I began writing. This is something I had NEVER done or thought of before. For me the exploration of language is incredibly therapeutic. Writing strictly stream of thought, I have found a citadel in the storm expressing my truth and sharing with fellow widows/widowers who understand the waves completely. I have become stronger, braver, and realer than I ever knew I wasn’t.

Continuing on this path I am forever optimistic even as I sob in bed at night. I just know there is a reason. I have to believe there is or this pain would be far too much. I am an open book at this point and grateful for the courage to continue. I want to bring light to the stigma of widowhood and the ignorance of the true daily struggle. I feel blessed to be able to share my story with you and hope that together we can find a deepening rejuvenation in the dark.

You can follow more of Jessica’s journey at www.theoptimisticwidow.com