When you have experienced true love, you will hold onto it at all costs.
When it’s gone- you may struggle to find meaning to life. That’s the stage I find myself in over the past few years.
As a widow, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to experience that kind of love, that love that makes life so much easier to navigate through. That kind of love- against the scorn of friends, or family and even against all reason, is what makes that love so worthy of making a life. We all know creating that kind of love relationship took more out of you than we care to remember. But the lasting benefits are so rare and wonderful.
My greatest challenge now is finding a life worth living after that love is gone.
For me it has taken years of grief, sorrows, and the pain of missing that love from a man who sacrificed his family, and friends to live that life with me. After it is no longer here, only then did I realize the depths of our relationship and love.
So here I am again ending January and starting the month of February while being subject to tons of hearts, valentines, and couple events, only to feel totally left out. It no longer hurts me anymore, instead I am void of any feeling. Like just a walking, shell-shot woman refusing to be dragged into the commercialization of love.
So how will I find meaning in life without being in a relationship with love? I’ll admit it’s been a struggle over the past seven years just keeping my sanity and recreating who I will be after my husband died. It wasn’t easy and still isn’t. The first four years of widowhood and living without that love was a blur. A blur of shock, anger, hopelessness, and loss of many relationships I thought would be in my life for years.
Friends who were a part of a couple, slowly stopped communicating with me. It was if I was cursed or something or to continue our relationship (sans husband) was awkward. And sometimes it was awkward to be the third solo person at a coupled event. It truly understood. The missing person at a 4-person table was no longer present. It was obvious my husband, my sole mate, my love wasn’t there to round out the table. No balance there. So, I guess to avoid those awkward feelings, we just stopped being. No more couple night for me. No more attending the marriage ministry events at church. I’m just left a widow.
A widow experiencing life without the cherished love, hugs, conversations over warm coffee, or planning for the future. What will my life be without that love? I can only pray I can grasp the hand and heart of another man that will show me even one-half the love I had over 23 years of marriage.
It’s a dream I hold on to. Until then, I remember those fond memories of a life well-lived. I hope you can too.