I know you mean well, but try not to say this out loud. I’m not being brave. And I am most certainly not “the Merry Widow”. Brave was making my marriage work despite his many affairs and through the worsening disabilities we both faced. What I’m facing now is merely getting through this terrible event. Do not mix bravery with having to go through what got thrown at me. Do not mistake me enjoying myself in a social situation with my broken heart. Two different things. Believe me, I’d turn tail and run if I could.

My grandmother, who had lost a son (my uncle) when he was only 42, would say, “Some things you just have to live through.” That’s very true. Some things you just have to put your head down, lean into and get through. If you love someone and I presume as a sentient person there’s someone you do love, you’re going to face this loss at some point with someone you love. You’ll get through it too. We all do. Just in different ways.

This comment made me feel pretty bad and I can’t really clarify why. I’m sure the speaker was just trying to tell me they admired me and wanted me to know. But it kind of made me feel invisible, since I felt so crushed and lost. I didn’t feel brave in the least. It takes a huge amount of energy just to get through every day after the death. I’m sure she wanted to be supportive and was admiring me getting out in public at all. It just made me feel like I had no one to lean on.

Some things you just have to live through.