What are you doing?

This is not how we are supposed to be doing life.

Pull it together.

Stop with the tears.

Get yourself up off the closet floor.

People are sick of you being sad.

Stop! Just stop!

The voice I allowed to run my mind had me walking through life, putting on a facade to gain acceptance of those around me and used as a protective mechanism. All the while, I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t want to figure it out; I wanted to shed as many tears as possible. I could have been on the floor of my closet for days, hoping no one would find me.

During your sorrow and the whirlwind of emotions, you may be bombarded with advice, opinions, and expectations from well-meaning friends and family. All the while, you don’t want to hear their heartfelt words, which honestly only cause more pain. Let’s embark on this journey together, where we reclaim the narrative of our grief and refuse to let others dictate how we should mourn.

Your grief is as unique as your fingerprint. It is personal, profound, and entirely yours. Let me say that again… IT IS ENTIRELY YOURS! Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to mourning the loss of a spouse. Your grief is valid whether you are shedding tears uncontrollably or finding solace in quiet reflection. Embrace it without apology or explanation.

It may seem everyone has an opinion on how you should cope with your loss. From your best friend to acquaintances you barely know, people may offer unsolicited advice, often with good intentions. The beauty is that you filter what advice serves you best and discard the rest. You know your needs better than anyone else. You will figure out how YOU will grieve. Do not allow others to hold your pen. You are the author of this story.

In the wake of loss, you will be encouraged to go places, do things, and get out of the house. It is okay to decline invitations, limit interactions, or politely assert your need for alone time and space. Protecting your emotional well-being is essential by surrounding yourself with individuals who respect your wishes and offer support without judgment. These are the ones that won’t ever take the pen out of your hand. Others will try hard to keep you involved in activities you and your spouse attended, thinking this is what you need. Again, you are the only one who knows your needs. Listen to yourself!

While you may be told, “It is time to move on,” or “They wouldn’t want you to be crying all the time,” this is not the chapter those who love us get to write. Grip that pen extra tight. Cherish the memories that comfort you and allow you to feel connected to your loved one, even in their absence. Be gentle with yourself. Grief is not a linear process, and there will be days when the pain feels overwhelming. Allow yourself to experience the full spectrum of emotions without judgment or guilt. Remember, you are doing your best, and healing takes time. Whatever your time frame is.

Amidst the grief, you will have moments of unexpected joy. Which may catch you off guard, but also is good for our well-being. Your capacity to experience joy doesn’t diminish the love you hold for your spouse— it’s a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

So, dear widow, as you navigate the entanglement of grief, know that you are not alone. Together, let’s rewrite the narrative— one where your voice is heard, your feelings are honored, and your journey toward healing is guided by self-compassion and authenticity.

You are resilient.

You are worthy of love and support.

And most importantly, your grief is valid.

Keep writing your grief story as the most fantastic author a widow could be.
Always remember, don’t let others hold your pen.


Be Blessed




Save the dates! Join us for the 2024 Widows of Hope 5K, taking place May 10-12! This annual initiative encourages activity while raising awareness for the 245 million widowed women worldwide and honoring loved ones. Additionally, May 3rd, National Widows Day, when we’ll reopen applications for our Restoring Hope and Peace Grant.
Learn more here: https://hopeforwidows.org/grant/ and continue to lookout on all our social media platforms for updates.


Jacki Corta is a motivational speaker, intuitive life, and grief coach along with the founder and CEO of Strength > Struggle™. The brand she discovered after traveling the journey of cancer with her husband. She started the Strength>Struggle™ crusade, helping others find their inner strength during some of the scariest times. In 2014, her husband, Douglas was diagnosed with Glioblastoma brain cancer and 20 months later passed away, giving Jacki a new title… Widow. It is Jacki’s mission to share her story with the world and how it can positively impact others in whatever they may face. It is a story of unexplainable strength in life’s most challenging storms, overcoming adversity and finding hope while traveling the difficult path her life took.

It is her ability to communicate and willingness to be vulnerable that connects with her clients and audiences. Jacki believes her purpose here is to impact as many souls as possible showing them that through even the darkest days there is a glimpse of light to grab onto for them to find their strength. Jacki will empower, challenge, and give you a new outlook on your own story.

She is a mother of three adult girls and a Mimi to two beautiful granddaughters. You can follow more of her story and inspiration on Instagram @jackicorta or listen to her podcast Jacki Has a Voice on Spotify.