Here’s what I am: My true love died on November 11, 2007. I am a widow.
Here’s what I am not: a psychiatrist, a therapist, counselor, social worker or even all that good at listening to others.
Here’s why: I talk too much. I can be overbearing. I don’t always consider other people’s feelings before I blurt out what’s on my mind. I tend to be categorical, I often interrupt conversations and I love to argue.
But, here’s the thing: I know what it is to be widowed. I’ve made the mistakes and have stumbled around looking for what I needed when the one thing I needed most wasn’t possible. And I also have a pretty good idea of how to find love and comfort in the most unlikely places and in the most awkward of comments. My greatest hope is that this site provides a little bit of comfort to those deep in grief and gives some guideposts to those who want to help.
I was 45 when John died, he was 53. We had just passed our seventeenth wedding anniversary and had been sweethearts for twenty-two years. We fell in love on a date in 1986 watching Halley’s Comet pass overhead while on the hood of a 1962 Cadillac Coupe deVille deep in the heart of Texas. John’s early death was not unexpected in the grand scheme of things. We both knew I would outlive him; his health had been precarious since he was 16. It slowly and inexorably declined year after year. But neither one of us saw death coming when it did. If you knew John, you didn’t see it coming either. Perhaps because he had been given many death sentences since he was a teenager, which he deftly sidestepped time after time. This gave him an intense drive for living which the rest of us simply take for granted. Despite his weakening physical body, his forceful presence overwhelmed any frailties. You just didn’t think anything would conquer him. But it did.
Love fades, love grows, love changes and as it turns out, love does not die. But the ones you shared it with do.
This is what I did with our shattered love when I was left behind with the broken pieces.