When Jared died, my entire world changed. It doesn’t mean that my world couldn’t be good, or that I couldn’t be happy, or have a life filled with joy. It just means my world has changed. But until you have gone through this kind of loss, you can never understand how that loss truly changes your life.
In many ways I am the same person I was before Jared died but in some ways I have changed. And not everyone likes those changes. And that is ok. But what many do not understand, and cannot understand until they are walking this unimaginable journey, is how much the death of your spouse truly changes your entire world. The day Jared died, the world as I knew it stopped. But for my friends and family their world kept on spinning. Because they have never walked in my shoes, my friends and family could not understand just how truly devastating his death was to me. The night of Jared’s death I went to bed alone. The morning after Jared’s death I woke up all alone. I suddenly had a late husband and was a solo mother. For my friends and family, they went to bed snuggled next to their spouses thanking God they didn’t know how I felt. They woke up the next morning and their life was as it was the night before.
I used to wonder how does everyone keep on living, acting like nothing is different when my whole world has been shattered. When Jared died, our friends and family were heartbroken too. But Jared’s death did not impact them in the same way it did me. It couldn’t. For them his death did not alter their whole world. They were sad and they missed him but their family was still intact. Mine was forever changed. While they miss him, their daily life is not affected in the same way. Yes, Jared is no longer there to attend their parties. He is no longer there to hang out with and laugh. He is no longer there to harass their children. But for them seeing Jared was a weekly or monthly occurrence. For me it was every day, all day. So there is no way his death could have the same impact on their lives. And it took me awhile to realize that. And now I understand that as much as they love and miss Jared, his death did not shatter their world. Yet, it shattered mine.
I lost my future. I lost my love, my husband. I lost the father of my child. While I continue to live and do my best to create a new normal, there will always be a hole in my world. An empty space that is deeply felt on a daily basis. And while my family and friends miss Jared, they do not feel the same constant loss. And I’m thankful for that for this is not a journey I would wish upon my worst enemy.
I used to wonder how does everyone keep on living, acting like nothing is different when my whole world has been shattered. And now I understand that until you’ve experienced a loss of this magnitude, you truly have no idea what it feels like or the impact it has on your life. So when I get upset that my friends or family don’t understand, I try to remember it’s because they can’t. They can’t even imagine having their world shattered the way mine was. They can’t even imagine life without their significant other. They can’t imagine the grief of losing their spouse. So when I am upset, aggravated, or have hurt feelings that my friendships and relationships have changed since Jared died, I need to remember that grief is a process. It’s a process for me and it’s a process for them. And we don’t all process grief the same way or at the same time.
And as my new world evolves and I continue to move forward with making my new life, my friendships and relationships will continue to change because I will continue to change. My loss will shape my future. The darkness of my grief will help me to choose the colors of light for my future. My new life will continue to blossom as I envision my future. But that vision can change. That’s the beauty of life, itt is ever changing.