I am more than just a widow.

If I had a dollar for the number of times I was referred to as a widow, or “you know, the one whose husband died,” I think I could buy myself a beach vacation to get away for a while. While I DO proudly identify with being a widow, I sometimes feel that others forget that a widow isn’t the only thing that I am. It often feels like what happened to me is what defines me to the rest of the world. I understand, but man oh man, I wish I could offer perspective to so many.

I do live a somewhat normal life. Widows don’t shop at special grocery stores, wear unique clothing, or have a separate line at airport security that we have to walk-through and hear people yell, “Excuse me, folks! There is a widow coming through!! Please make some room for the widow!!” *eye roll* On a side-note, do you think a widow grocery store would carry anything other than wine, chocolate, and Puffs w/ Lotion? That actually might be a nice idea…

I digress. We’re people with a traumatic past, really just like everyone else. We all have a griefcase that we carry around. Widows just often have a more noticeable style.

In case you were wondering, I do have a whole list of other titles that encompass who and what I am.

I am a loving daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, partner, friend, and of course, an obsessed dog mom. I am also a great home-cook, musician, worker, and organizer. I take pride in these titles just as much as I do with widowhood. Sure, there really weren’t any scars that came along with obtaining these titles, but I am damn proud of them nonetheless.

Widow” is not an adjective. It doesn’t describe all that I am, or all that I have yet to be.

The title of “widow” doesn’t tell you that I am also incredibly stubborn. I hate not being able to get something done that I know I am capable of.

I am passionate. I can find beauty in the very simplest of things, and when I love something or someone… you’re going to know it.

I am funny. I have conversational wit that often surprises people who don’t know me well.

I am resilient. I have walked through the flames of emotional and physical hell (some days I’m still walking), and I came out the other side… stronger.

I am courageous. I am not afraid to continue this life knowing that anyone that I love dearly could die at any moment, even though I know firsthand how scarily often this can happen.

I am hopeful. I know in my heart that there is more to this life than feeling lost and lonely. There is more to this life than constantly drowning in grief. There is more… it’s out there… and I am finding it, slowly but surely.

Most of all, I am still here. I am still breathing. I am still alive. I have a purpose, and even though some days I’m really not sure what that is, I know I’m still around for a reason. I didn’t die even though my husband did, and that means that I have two lives to live, and twice the amount of love left to give. And I refuse to give up.

I am more than just a widow.


At the young age of 25, Jayme Johnson lost the love of her life suddenly, unexpectedly, and tragically. She and Luke were only married 6 months and actively trying for a baby when she discovered him unconscious in her front yard after doing lawn care all day. On May 9, 2019, Luke passed away from idiopathic cardiomyopathy, caused by a silent condition he had from birth.

Since that fateful day, Jayme has used writing to help her process the whirlwind of daily emotions and endless lists of death “to-do’s” that come along when you lose your spouse. Her blog, appropriately titled “Confessions of a 25-Year-Old Widow,” has been her saving grace and introduction to a huge circle of incredible widows that she continues to turn to when this familiar grief gets too complicated.

Jayme uses daily gratitude, meditation, and copious amounts of self-care to keep a positive outlook on the rest of her life. She aspires to be a source of strength and a valuable resource for other young widows who are faced with the unimaginable pain and loneliness that accompanies being in her shoes. She is endlessly thankful for her patient, loving, and supportive family, friends, and fellow widows for encouraging her to pursue her humanitarian passions and actively find JOY and light in an otherwise dark world.