Just a few months after loss I decided to move out of state back to our Home town. I remember packing my kitchen with my friend and Pastor, Cami. She was carefully wrapping all of my serving dishes. With pain in my eyes I said, “I don’t even think I will ever use those, I can’t imagine ever hosting another event or dinner.”
She grabbed my hand and said, “Sandy you will use these again, you are hospitable it’s in you, it’s who you are.”
LOSS TAKES MORE THAN A LOVED ONE
The thing is loss robs you of so much more than your spouse – your very favorite person, but your security, your peace, sometimes your finances, it takes from you the very essence of who you are, at the same time giving you titles you never asked for. I never signed up to be a widow at 40, certainly never signed up to be a single Mom and if memory served me right never had a hard plan to reenter full time work.
After moving back to California, we lived with family friends until I knew what our next steps would be. In those months after loss I basically kept my kids alive with McDonald’s, Pizza Rolls and the occasional basic home cooked meal with something green in hopes my kids would have a balanced meal. Gone was the girl who would meal plan and love time in the kitchen, with all its artistry and creativity. I loved that the food I prepared for my family was life giving and nurturing.
LOOKING BACK AT THE EARLY DAYS
I have always loved to cook. Before I had children I’d love to have our home filled with friends and family laughing and enjoying great company and good food. I took cooking classes and walked through Crate and Barrel for hours curating my wares. Oh those were the days! Looking back to the early days of loss is always hard. Every time I meet or hear of a new widow my heart aches and tears come, because I remember. Those were and are the longest hardest days. And no matter the comfort or support no one can take those days away except sweet time. I don’t know when you become seasoned as a Widow. Walking this road nearly 5 years I can’t say I’ve arrived because you never do its always hard but I can see more clearly. In the last few years I have reemerged. Different but similar. Forever changed by love and loss.
IT’S WHO YOU ARE
It takes some work to find who you are. You are more than your loss, more than the moment that shattered your dreams. You have the gift of being uniquely you. I remember when I cooked my first meal for a large party after loss. I hadn’t cooked, really cooked, in what seemed to be years. I pulled it off and I began to remember who I was. It was baby steps, but the road of rediscovery has been so amazing. I love cooking I always have and I still love to cook for friends. I’ve also discovered I love a few things I didn’t know I did when I was married. I hope you are remembering who you are and discovering all you can be. I dare to believe and I hope you’ll join me – that some of my greatest days are still ahead of me – and you.
Discover joy, hope and mostly YOU!