Five years ago I was woken up by a hospice nurse telling me my husband had passed away. She said she was sorry, as he had left faster than anyone had expected, and they weren’t able to walk me through the stages of death because he didn’t go through them.
Cory was 39. I was 37. Margaret had just turned 3.
It was one of those moments you can’t prepare for, or ever know how you’ll react in. The shock of how fast he left our world started to sink in. I made calls and attempted to convey the worst news I’ve ever had to tell the people I love the most.
There were a lot of things that happened after that frozen moment in time, but one that is the most poignant is when a lady came in and said, “we are taking your husband out, you’ll need to get up and walk with him. This is the last time you’ll be able to do this, and you’ll want te covered him in a beautiful quilt that some volunteers had made and we started walking down the long hallway. It was absolutely gut wrenching, I sobbed the entire way. I almost felt like I couldn’t walk. I actually held onto the side of the hospital bed. Reflecting back, I can see how beautiful that simple act was. It honored us in so many ways. That woman knew. She knew I needed to walk with him, and see him out of the world we knew together. It was her way of showing me that I needed to honor our loss, and Cory by not leaving him alone.
After they shut the door and the ambulance drove away, I instantly realized I was a widow…a word I never even thought of before that moment. My entire world stopped, and was forever changed.
My dad, who witnessed all of that, took me home from hospice. To the home Cory and I built together. A home Cory will never be in again. To a 3 year old daughter that’ll never see her dad again.
I got to be the one that explained that to her. I’m the one that still explains her loss to her, each developmental stage comes with a deeper and more painful understanding of her loss. I can’t even remember the words I used. I just know Margaret and I will forever have a piece of us not completely healed.
Healing within the space of grief is so different than traditional healing. We’ve learned nothing replaces the void of his absence.
We move with our grief.
It is a part of us, every moment of every day. I’m grateful for it. Grief continues to evolve within both of us, and witnessing Margaret carry it so gracefully is one of the things I’m most proud of. He would be too.
She’s funny, kind, intentional, witty, empathetic, and everything Cory would love!
Today we honor him, because we miss him. Because we want to create memories in honor of him. Because he can’t. Thanks for evolving with us and continuing his legacy of kindness.
*****Mark your calendars! Hope For Widows Foundation’s annual virtual event has returned on Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3, 2022! Anyone can join! Whether you are a widow, widower, or a friend/family member showing support or walking in the loss of another family member, everyone is welcome to participate. The proceeds will directly support widows through the annual financial Restoring Hope and Peace Grants, Sunshine Boxes program, and Bring Hope Holiday Assistance Program.
Do you have or know a business that would like to sponsor? That’s an option too! To register and see frequently asked questions – please go here: widowsofhope5k.racewire.com