The loss of a beloved partner is devasting and when my husband, Monty, was killed I wanted answers. Almost two years later, the answer to my initial question of “WHY?” is still elusive. After the widow’s fog lifted, even more questions developed.  I wanted a formula and a timeline so I could see the light at the end of this dark, never-ending tunnel.

Of course, there is no formula or timeline and phases of grief is not something that is one and done. Phases of grief is not linear; it is more like this . . .

Kubler-Ross 5 Stages of Grief

Since Monty’s death, I have changed and, in many ways, evolved. It’s not that I’m better; I’m just different and I’m learning that it’s okay to be different. My love for Monty will never dissipate and I will never forget him. I have a tattoo of his signature on my arm as a constant reminder but, more importantly, his memories are ingrained in my heart.

The decision to continue to live after love must be made consciously and it takes a lot of effort. Just getting out of bed is an accomplishment. Getting showered and dressed can be a major milestone! Doing something, like making breakfast for yourself, putting in a load of laundry, or reading a book, can help you want to do more. But the important thing is to continue taking as many baby steps as you can. In time, you can look back and see your path and be encouraged by where all of your baby steps have taken you.

My journey looks a lot like the squiggly line of the “Stages of Grief, The experience you got” shown above. I can move from one stage of grief to another in a matter of hours. There are days when getting out of bed is a challenge. I lay there trying to motivate myself to start the day. My job helps give me a solid reason to get moving. Weekends and days off are a different story. There have been days where all I can manage to do after getting out of bed is lay around and binge watch television while eating junk food—and that’s okay. If I do that every day, that’s not okay so I reach out to someone to help talk me out of the Haagen Dazs pint and off the couch.

Crying is definitely okay. Usually, my tears are seen only by God as they are shed in the privacy of my home or in my car. It is moments alone where I am most vulnerable to feelings of loneliness, longing, and, yes, anger. It can be hours of crying but once the wave passes through me I feel relief of making it through again. Crying activates your parasympathetic nervous system to help you self-soothe. This is what I feel after crying, an odd sense that I’m actually getting better.

On those days when I wallow in grief’s despair, I plunge into that squiggly line in the Stages of Grief experiencing denial, depression, and anger all over again. It is very important to have someone you can reach out to, a close friend or family member. Monty and I were very private so most of my friends are new and some family ties strengthened while others weakened. That, too, is a part of grief. Relationships definitely change but relationships take effort and you get out of it what you put into it.

Here are some tips on how to live life after love:

  • Reach out to people and you will figure out which ones are really there for you.
  • Don’t say “never” to what the future might have for you such as love, friendship, and adventures.
  • Take the focus off yourself and help others. Volunteer in your community or help a neighbor.
  • Nurture new skills or hobbies like gardening, writing, drawing, or dancing.
  • Take care of yourself—eat right, exercise, take in nature, take some time to cry it out, get a massage, buy yourself something nice, rest—You know what it takes to care for yourself.

Keep in mind that . . .

when moving forward feels wrong without him

he whispers to [you] from heaven,

“your half of our story isn’t finished yet . . . keep going”

from @grieftogloriousunfolding

I encourage you to keep going . . . keep living life after love.


Mark your calendars! Hope For Widow’s annual virtual Widows of Hope 5K event has returned on Friday, May 10 through Sunday, May 12, 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:



Diana’s heart was shattered on May 6, 2022, when a reckless driver took the life of her husband, Monty, while walking across the street to go to work. Even though they were married for a mere seven years, Monty was her soulmate, best friend, true love, and entire life. They had been friends since 2008 and became one in 2014. The pain was crushing and intense. The future they planned of retirement and “happily ever after” was abruptly brought to an end. And so began the horrible roller coaster ride called Grief along with the new label of Widow.

By God’s grace and with the support of her family and close friends, she has continued to live moment by moment and day by day. She strives to put together the pieces of her shattered heart, knowing that it will never be the same but that it is still capable of love. Through praying, journaling, counseling, and meditating she works through the many phases of grief over and over again. Her hope is that the pain will permanently soften. She will continue to move forward by honoring Monty’s love and memories and becoming the new Diana that Monty will help to create.