Someone recently made a comment to me about “still doing the widow thing.” This person said your remarried, so you’re not a widow anymore. I tried to nicely say that even though I am Jon’s wife, I will always be Jared’s widow. I am a remarried widow.
Being a widow effects everything I do going forward. The pain, the tragedy, the PTSD that comes from such an experience affects every relationship that comes after. And while being a widow does not define me, it is part of who I am. Being a widow has shaped the person I’ve become. And being a widow has helped me to love my new husband in a deeper, more profound way.
As Jared’s widow, it’s my responsibility to keep his memory alive. To ensure that our child never forgets his dad. To ensure that my son knows he can always speak of his father. Being remarried doesn’t erase the fact that my first husband died. Doesn’t change the fact that my child buried his father. My living husband doesn’t replace my dead one.
People are not replaceable. I love my new husband and I’m grateful that he is in my life. He is an amazing dad to my son. But I will always miss Jared. My son and I will always wish Jared could be with us. And my husband not only understands that, he appreciates it. He helps us honor and remember Jared.
People who have never been widowed cannot possibly understand. Understand loving two men. Understand living in two worlds. Understand that while life is good again, it will always have bittersweet moments. Understand that you don’t turn off the love because someone died. Death does not end love.
As a remarried widow, I know first hand that it is possible to love two men at the same time. Equally but differently. To honor a past love while completely enjoying my present love. To be excited for my future while missing what was.
As a widowed mom, I have been both mom and dad. Made all the decisions and prayed they were the right ones. I have tried to teach my son important life lessons that his dad would want him to know. It has been my responsibility to show him that even though we have endured great loss, we can live a life full of love, laughter, and adventure.
Recently, I asked my son if he could have three wishes what would he wish for? He said his dad, happiness, and enough money to live comfortably. Five years later, his first wish is still his dad. And always will be. And that is why I still do the widow thing.