It’s 100% true that becoming a widow-especially at a young age- affects every single aspect of your life. All of it. Nothing is left untouched. We tend to focus on the big stuff. Raising the kids. Dealing with finances on our own. The water heater broke. We planned for “forever”….now what? Waking up each day is not the same. Falling asleep, if you actually can, is definitely not the same. Grocery shopping. Making dinner. Kids’ birthdays. Your birthdays. All vastly different. 

It’s been over 11 years for me and my kids. For those of you in the terrible, awful early stages, despite what I swore 11 years ago, I now admit, you do eventually sort of, kind of get used to it. I have triggers that I’m not sure will ever go away, but, as a human, we adapt and keep moving forward. But for quite some time now, what has been hitting me are the very little things. I believe Grey’s Anatomy was the first tv show to use the phrase “you’re my person,” speaking of Meredith and Christina’s best friendship. But for me, the Glee episode in memoriam to  Cory Monteith, is where it hits home. “He was my person.” 

Oh, how he was my person. Even now…over a decade without him…in the smallest of moments, it is him my thoughts first turn to. “Guess what song I heard today?” “Work was a mess today.” “Why is the dog peeing on the carpet?” “Lowe’s is having a sale on garbage cans!” On a very regular basis, I still find myself thinking “I can’t wait to tell Gary.”  I then tell myself he already knows. I tell myself that he knows every thought I have at the moment I have it. 

It’s still a struggle not having a person to tell every mundane thing to. I’m blessed beyond reason with family and friends who are, and have been by my side every step of the way. They will absolutely listen to anything and everything I tell them. But we all know, it’s not the same. That emotional intimacy we share with our person just makes it all different. It’s something that either happens, or it doesn’t. Many widows will find another person. Perhaps someday, I will as well. For now, I’m happy to leave that detail in God’s hands. I continue to talk to my person in my thoughts, although the conversation is admittedly pretty one sided. I thank him when our song plays on the radio, and kiss the pennies from heaven I find at the moments I need them most. I try to see both the big things and the little things through his eyes. “Hey, Hon, our kids are out of this world amazing, aren’t they?” “I forgot to get lightbulbs for the hallway again! Why can’t I remember that?”    It’s all of it. 


Lisa Boone Bogacki is a solo mom of three, a physical therapist, canine and equine massage therapist, widow, daughter, sister, and friend. She was blessed with 17 years spent with her very own Prince Charming, only to have her healthy, active husband die in his sleep 3 days after their 16th wedding anniversary. That was eleven years ago, and she shares it still seems very surreal. There is no “What to Expect When Your 42-Year-Old Husband Dies in His Sleep” manual, but hopefully through the magic of the internet, she hopes we can all support and help each other.