Sometimes on this exhausting journey through grief I find I don’t “widow well.” In those messy moments I can’t help but think about the many things about the word “Widow” that I wish didn’t come with the territory.
Being a widow is…..
Feeling like your life is completely out of control, while at same time feeling like you have to be 100% in control of EVERYTHING.
Carrying the weight of the whole world on your shoulders and at the same time feeling that your whole world has shattered
It is wanting to hide in a hole or under a rock yet also desperately wishing more people would really truly step into your life, reach out and SINCERELY care about you.
Being a widow is……
Feeling super weak, vulnerable, and hopeless in the deepest parts of your heart, but yet everyone in your life keeps trying to encourage you by emphasizing just how strong you are.
It is letting go and holding on simultaneously.
It is loving someone intensely who cannot ever love you back.
It is the story you were planning to write together for all of the span of your life being reduced to a mere chapter. A really short chapter with a really sudden, unexpected ending that you hate.
Being a widow is…….
Every sweet moment and milestone in your children’s life being tainted with sorrow and grief. And being forced to accept that it will be bitter sweet to some degree in all the good moments for the rest of your life.
Feeling like a square peg in a round hole.
Suspecting others see you as a charitable cause or “the less fortunate” or someone who needs to be ministered to when you’d really much rather be the one helping or ministering to someone else.
Being a widow is ……..
Being thankful when summer is here because sunglasses are so good at hiding your tears.
It is letting go of the identity you loved that can’t be yours anymore and feeling terrified that you no longer know who you are.
Feeling like happiness has taken a holiday. A long holiday. A multiple year long holiday.
It is choosing to keep trusting God, when it feels like he has betrayed your former trust in Him.
It’s erasing your list of future dreams and adventures but having no new dreams put in their places. After all, you can’t possibly fathom doing anything wonderful in the future without your spouse being a part of it.
Being a widow is …..
Reminiscing about happy memories during marriage, only to realize there is no one to remember with. You carry the gift of those precious moments alone.
It is all of a sudden being overwhelmed by the sad reality that no matter where you go, how diligently you search, or in what group of people you are surrounded by, you’ll never be able to find your husband in a crowd again. He won’t walk toward you. His face won’t light up when he sees you in a crowd. Your arms can’t reach for him for a quick hug or holding hands. And then you cry, and cry, and cry at this thought.
It Is feeling like nobody loves you. Sure, your parents, siblings, friends, family, church, co-workers, etc. say they love you, but they don’t love love you the way your husband did.
It is watching a young Dad playing with your child who isn’t your husband and feeling thankful and heartbroken all at the same time.
Being a widow……
Is knowing that showing your kids video clips of their Daddy would be a great idea, but avoiding doing it because once you watch it, your day will train wreck and be filled with managing a waterfall of tears.
It is having a hard time dressing up for church and an even harder time sitting there alone. He was supposed to be beside you. You were so used to thinking of what he would think about your ensemble and how you could honor him, spark his attention that it seems funny just to wear something nice purely for yourself.
It is being a grow up who is nearly 40 who all of a sudden feels like an insecure, unsure high school kid again.
It is other people telling you “I’ll pray for you.” and you figure they must be thinking inside “I’m glad that’s not me who was widowed.”
Being a widow is …..
Being a wounded warrior who is too busy trying to mend the wounds of others, (like her children) rather than being patient with herself and giving herself permission to take the time to do things that will help in her own healing process.
It is being forced into the role of the only decision maker for your family at a time when you feel more indecisive than you’ve ever felt before in your life.
It is being a brave protector of your family when you hear bumps in the night because you have to be, when inside you feel like a damsel in distress who desperately longs for her prince charming to come to her rescue.
It is feeling like if you get sick with the flu or bonk your head, or have a bad day, no one really knows or cares even close to the way your husband would have.
Being a widow is harder than you ever would have imagined.
Being a widow is a word I will NEVER get used to being a part of my life.
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you who bear that title of widow and the sorrows and heartaches that go along with that dreaded “W” word. I hope you are able to relate to a few of these things and find some encouragement in knowing that you aren’t alone in what you are experiencing. There is hope, though we currently find ourselves in the valley of sorrow and despair. Never forget that a valley is found between two mountains. Let’s try not to lose sight of the hope that one day from the height of the future mountain we will look back on the valley. Past tense. And it won’t hurt so badly anymore. There is a light at the end of this long dark tunnel of grief.
This Widow Mama :0)
** Mark your calendars! Hope For Widows Foundation’s annual virtual Widows of Hope 5K event has returned on Friday, May 12 through Sunday, May 14, 2023. 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 frequently asked questions- please go here: http://getmeregistered.com/WidowsofHope5K