I remember first learning of National Widows Day during my second year of widowhood. I was on vacation to Maui and I remember thinking it was an excellent spot for such an observance.
Our little family had gone to Maui some two years prior and had plans to visit again. Well, my daughter and I made good on that, but he had opted out of life before he got that chance.
That of course, made me feel all kinds of emotions, and back then, I was still grieving pretty hard. I had yet to reach the full-on anger that I have recently been experiencing, and it was entirely too easy to be melancholy.
In 2019, I was a vegetarian and had been for nearly ten years. Prior to becoming a vegetarian, I had been a pescatarian – which I am now, again. Bret, my late husband, had been trying to get a nice seafood dinner for quite some time, and finally got his wish when we were on Maui.
He went on and on about the delicious fish dishes he was enjoying, inviting me to break my veggie streak and have a bite.
Of course, I didn’t, because once I have gone so far on something, it is difficult for me to end the progress.
On my trip in 2019, my friend and I went to some of the same restaurants I had eaten at with Bret and I could feel the urge to eat something seafood related. I kept resisting until it became nearly unbearable.
I decided that it was probably him, pushing hard, from where ever he was now, to get me to do something that he probably missed about life. (I know not everyone shares my same beliefs about the Afterlife, but that’s what I was honestly feeling.)
I threw my hands in the air and acquiesced. I reached for one of the crab based appetizers and devoured it.
And of course, it was delectable.
The incessant nagging stopped.
I was afraid of feeling some kind of regret about eating something that had once had a face, but strangely I never did.
Only a very small handful of people ever knew that I did that up until this blog, but as I have been back to eating fish and seafood for nearly a year now, I figure it’s okay to come clean.
I don’t really have too many other memories about previous National Widows Day, because to be honest, every day is Widows Day, when you’re a widow. That, and I have been actively trying to focus on other parts of my life, other than being a widow.
But it’s not a bad thing to set aside some time and think about the good things your late spouse brought into your life, especially if you are like me and have been struggling with anger at them, for a while.
Maybe by the time next year’s National Widows Day rolls around, I will have been able to fully put my anger behind me.
Until then, though, I will smirk at how even in death, he pushed me to have some crab and to enjoy doing so.
After all, life is short and seafood is yummy.
**Have you heard about Hope for Widows Foundation’s annual Restoring Hope & Peace Grant program? It was established by the organization in 2019 to help widowed women offset financial challenges as they navigate their healing journey. You can find out details, timeline and the history of this grant here: https://hopeforwidows.org/grant/ All widows based in U.S. and Canada are encouraged to apply. Applications open on National Widows Day, May 3, 2022. For additional questions feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org **