May 3, 2023 was National Widow’s Day. And unfortunately, I am a member of that club. A club I never wanted to join. But I am surrounded by some of the strongest women I know. We support each other; lift each other up; hold each other when we need to cry; commiserate about being alone. I’m not sure how I would have survived without my widowed tribe.
November 3, 2019, at legally 3:25pm, my soulmate passed. That morning at 7:21am is the time I will forever consider the moment everything changed. Glenn, my forever soulmate, suffered the first of two heart attacks and at 7:21am and my new journey began.
As some in my world learn there is a National Widow’s Day, I would like to thank each and every person who has supported me and my family. There are many in the widowed community who also lose their friends and family when their spouse dies. But I am so blessed to have amazing friends and family who supported me on my grief journey. They continue to support me. They are always willing to help; to listen. Each of them helps keep Glenn’s memory alive. Always understanding that 3.5 years is forever and yesterday all at the same time. Who continues to miss and love Glenn and help to ensure our grandchildren know the wonderful man he was.
This journey is not one I would wish on anyone. If given the option, I would give this widow card back in a heartbeat. However, that is not an option and in the last 2 years, I have had the honor to help my mother, mother-in-law and a dear friend learn to adjust to this club. Many days when I’ve felt my lowest one of these women have reminded me of the strength I do have. Many times, I have wanted to fade into the background of life since becoming a widow but having 2 of the most important women by my side on this journey helps to remind me, I will march on. I will always wear the title of widow proudly and with honor. Becoming a widow has helped me to understand how loved I was until Glenn took his last breath. It was and always will be my privilege to be Glenn’s last love.
As you learn about National Widow’s Day, please take a moment and reach out to a widow you know. Talk with them about their forever love. Speak their name to let them know you are keeping their memory alive. As a widow, one of the most painful things is thinking that others have forgotten your late spouse. Remember, our lives forever changed in that single moment. Life as we knew it ended that day. Future plans vanished. Our present became one of basic survival. We no longer felt whole, complete. A part of us died at that moment. Remember our loss should not be ignored and shaped us into who we are now. We are different now, someone who has lived in darkness and fighting their way back to the light. Today of all days, honor a widow. Help them remember their life before death. Honor a love so deep that even death cannot end it. Also remember you can take those moments to reach out at any time not only on a recognized day.
To all my widowed family and dear friends, I’m sorry we all belong to a club we never asked to join. Know we are walking this journey together and I will always be here to support you. Know that I understand the pain and struggle to “survive” each day, especially in the beginning. I am very grateful that I am not alone. So today, the day after National Widow’s Day, I honor each one of you in my widow tribe. I honor each of our love stories. And I will continue to look for hope and celebrate happiness in my life and always encourage you to do the same