I recently received a comment from a reader. And she commented that since I talked about my new husband I’m obviously no longer a widow. That I should no longer be writing on this blog. And that my blogs should not be posted to Google.
When I first read her comment, I thought maybe I need to stop writing. Maybe my time of helping other widows has come to an end. Maybe my story, my journey no longer gives new widows hope. And then I was speaking with a new widow and she told me that it gives her hope to see that I can be happy again. And I realized I cannot let one person’s comment change who I am. Change how I try to help those widows who come after me. I realized I could listen to her opinion and stop writing or I could keep sharing my story. I had a choice to make.
I am a widow. I will always be a widow. I am a remarried widow. I have a dead husband and a new husband. Having a new husband does not change the fact that I have a dead husband. Does not change the fact that I am a widow. Or that I suffered through an unimaginable loss. That I had to pick myself up every day and force myself to keep going. It doesn’t change the fact that my son lost his father. And overnight I became a solo mom. Getting remarried doesn’t undo the grief of losing my late husband.
I have never and will never advocate that widows need to remarry or repartner. That’s up to each individual person. I myself swore I would never date. I had absolutely no desire. And then I met my new husband. And my thoughts and feelings changed. And I truly believe my late husband had a lot to do with that. But do you need to be repartnered to find happiness? No. Absolutely not. But you do have to do the grief work. You have to feel your emotions. Work through them. Not run or hide from them. You have to face them head on. And it hurts. Hurts like hell but it has to be done.
I choose to find joy in this life after death. But I wasn’t always able to do that. First I had to do the grief work. It took me a very long time to laugh again. Be happy again. Want to live this new life. But who am I to say what joy is for each widow. Joy for some could be traveling with family. Joy for others could be time alone. And still joy for some could be sharing their life with someone new. I don’t share my story as a remarried widow to encourage widows to date or to remarry. I share my story to show that love after death is possible. I share my story to show that life can be good again. I share my story so other widows can see that they can be happy even after.
Do I still grieve the loss of Jared? Absolutely. I will until the day I die. He was my first love. The love of my life. We grew together in our love. We were just babies when we met, got married, and started a life together. And he was taken from this earth much too soon. We still had so much left we wanted to do. I miss him every day. Not a day goes by that I don’t wish he could be here. To see the life I’ve created now. See our son. To just be present in the moments.
My new husband, he is the love of my life now. He loves me for who I am because of Jared’s life and death. Jared’s death changed me. And Jon loves me for the person I became because of my loss. And he honors Jared. Sends me flowers on my wedding anniversary to Jared. Knows that on tough days I need some space to be with Jared. And he encourages me to go, be with Jared, and come back to him when I’m ready. Tells my son how proud his dad would be of him. We are growing older together.
Finding new love did not replace the one I lost. People aren’t replaceable. Finding new love did show me just how much the human heart can grow. The amazing capacity we have to love. It is possible to love two men. One who is watching me from heaven and one who is standing beside me.
I am a widow and always will be. As long as my story continues to help other widows, I will continue to share it. And I hope those who don’t like what I have to say will just keep on scrolling.
Looking for a way you can make a difference and give back this holiday season? Embrace the spirit of giving by participating in Hope for Widows Foundation’s third annual ‘Bring Hope’ virtual program that directly assists a widow’s family who cannot provide gifts for their children or other necessities during this holiday season. Some widows who are struggling to make ends meet during this time simply do not have the luxury of purchasing gifts when their finances require them to choose between keeping the lights on and food on the table or purchasing presents. Add in the factors of solo parenting, grief, and the emotional and physical toll it takes. If you would like more details on how you can support a widow and her family, please EMAIL US directly for questions at email@example.com or to sponsor, go here for details and to fill out the application: https://linktr.ee/hopeforwidows