I am a widow. I never wanted to be a young widow. I never wanted to bury my 37-year-old husband. When Jared first died, I loathed the word widow. It made my skin crawl. I did not want to be a widow. Widows were old ladies with gray hair who had spent their entire life with their love. And I certainly didn’t want to be one. But then I went to Camp Widow. And I realized widow could be a badge of honor. Widow means I was someone’s last love. That my late husband loved me until he took his last breath. That I was someone’s forever. And what an honor that is. And from that moment forward, I was proud to be a widow. Changing my thought process, changed my whole attitude.
Widow to me now means warrior.
Widow means strength.
Widow means tribe.
Widow means love.
Widow means honor.
I still don’t want to be a widow. I would much rather have my late husband here. Alive. Part of our lives. Sharing in all the joys. Helping me overcome the sorrows. Making new memories. But, that is not an option. Instead, I am indeed a widow. But I refuse to let that word define me.
I may be a widow, but I am so much more.
I am a fighter.
I am a survivor.
I am a mother.
I’m a nurse practitioner.
I’m a friend.
I am a daughter.
And I’m a wife.
Widowhood is a part of my life. Being Jared’s widow, has changed my life. Shaped who I am now. Made me into the woman who shares her story to help other widows. The woman who travels the world to find my truth.
Being a widow, forever changed me.
I am a champion of other widows.
I am a believer that sharing our stories is vital to healing.
I am a voice to remind others that there are no rules to grieving.
I will always be Jared’s widow. And I am so grateful for the life I shared with him. His life Inspired me. Showed me love is unconditional. Taught me to not let anyone else’s opinions define me. Gave me the courage to live and love again after his death.
I am a widow.
But I am so much more.
I am a woman who is living life.
I am a woman who has surpassed my own expectations.
I am a woman who is thriving despite or because of great loss.
I am a woman who was willing to open my heart to love again.
I am a woman who never says no to an adventure.
Yes, I am a widow. But I am so much more.