In my 2077 days since I started this widow journey, I have learned so much. Death, grief, and survival have taught me more than I can write about.
I have learned I am blessed to have those who are here to help even though they have not experienced such a loss.
I have learned there are those who are thankful they are far away and don’t have to deal with my grief.
I have learned there are those who want to help but don’t know how and are afraid to say the wrong thing.
I have learned there are those that are uncomfortable with my grief and thus keep their distance.
I have learned there are those who think I should be over it by now and can’t understand why I still talk about Jared.
I have learned that some of those I thought would hold my hand during this journey have not and those who I thought might walk away are still here.
I have learned that those who have not experienced such loss can never truly understand (and I hope they never can).
I have learned that I am not alone in this journey and that there is an entire community willing to help me as I walk, run, and stumble on this path.
I have learned that being a solo parent sucks. I never get to say ask your dad or tell Jared that I have had enough and it’s his turn now.
I have learned that holding the love of your life as he takes his last breath changes you forever.
I have learned that watching my child say goodbye to his father is the moment that forever changed my son’s life. The moment that stripped him of an innocence.
I have learned that grief triggers can come out of nowhere and knock the wind out of me.
I have learned I can smile at our memories instead of just cry.
I have learned that each day I can choose to be happy because of the love we shared and our many joyous yesterdays.
I have learned that feeling happy can also make me feel guilty.
I have learned that choosing to cherish Jared’s memory is choosing to keep him alive in the present.
I have learned that I will have brighter days.
I have learned that I have hope. Hope for a future that will always include Jared. A future where I will make memories not with him but because of him.
I have learned that the future without Jared can be a scary place, but a place he would want me to explore.
I have learned that the best way to honor my love for Jared is to teach my son to live, live each day to the fullest.
I have learned that I will have bad days. Days where I need to step back and live with my memories so that I can enjoy my future.
I have learned that life, milestones, anniversaries will always be bitter sweet. And that I can enjoy the sweet without feeling guilty.
I have learned that I will never be the person I was before Jared died and that is OK.
I have learned that because of my great love story with Jared, I can love again.
I have learned I will love differently because of Jared’s death.
I have learned that my heart can love two men equally but differently.
I have learned that death does not end love. Love goes on, we bring it with us.
I have learned that my widow journey will continue to shape me, my family, and my future.
I have learned so many things. And I still have so much to learn.