Friday, February 17, 2012

My Best Friend Got Married

Michele is filling in for Michelle D. today...who is currently lounging in St. John....

My best friend, and fellow widow, is now married.

The readers here have a unique view of this new marriage, because the majority of us have outlived a spouse. We KNOW how it feels to be "parted" from our loved one by death.

I'd wager that many of us said the word 'never' if asked when we were planning to date (let alone remarry) after becoming widowed. I can tell you first-hand, Michelle did. In fact, I believe we each said, and meant, 'never' regarding the possibility of another love in our lives as we navigated the waters of grief on our side-by-side surfboards.

For us, I believe the word never was fueled first by pain, and then by fear. During the darkest days of grief we couldn't figure out why the sun had the audacity to shine, let alone imagine a future that wasn't full of painful longing for the life from which we were unwillingly separated. The pain caused by death was blinding, all consuming, disorienting, feverish. I wanted to claw my skin off to stop the agony. There was no room for fear at first, because desperation and disorientation ruled. We were so lucky to find each other. Each time one of us dangled over the pit of despair unable to summon the strength to tie a knot in the proverbial rope with which to hang on for one more moment, the other one stepped in and provided a reprieve.

As the pain dulled slightly, fear came to visit. We began, each in our own way, to mold new lives. We dove into the multitude of tasks and responsibilities that were once shared, but now managed only by two hands. Every day brought a new challenge, and we shared them via phone calls, text messages, e-mails and sometimes late night tear-filled cryfests. Fear hovered in the background, and time and again we pushed it away in tandem, challenging each other to face the darkness and choose the light.

Over the years we have become accustomed to facing fear, choosing hope, encouraging each other as well as our larger widowed community to take the risk of loving life. Because at the end of the day, that was the source of our deepest fears. What if we truly love our life again? Will the carpet be swept out, and the fall into despair begin again?

The answer, of course, is maybe. Life gives no guarantees. Ironically though, hiding from life doesn't keep you any safer than living it large. I guess that is the lesson Michelle and I have taught each other. Live big, love big, and face your fears with a good friend by your side.

 As I shared your wedding day, my heart sang for you my friend. Long live love, and here's to jumping off of curbs!


  1. Accurate, encouraging and beautiful. Well said. I have said never but know that anything is possible. I'll have to wait and see.
    Best Wishes to Michelle and her husband.

  2. AWESOME! Both of you are super special ladies and deserve nothing more then to be happy again and to live life to the fullest.

  3. Huzzah! I so needed to read that right now.

  4. I wonder why I absolutely and completely believe that you, Michelle, Janine and others can, have, deserve to find love again. Why does that seem impossible for me? It has been two years since I lost my husband and still I just don't see the possibility of another love in my life. Do I want it? I think so. I just don't see it finding me. Yet when I read the posts of the writers and the comments of other widows/widowers, I have no problem seeing more love in their future. I just don't see any future love for myself. I don't think I'm a bad "catch", but I guess I don't even have a clue as where to start looking for bait. Why I'm referencing fishing I don't have a clue. I don't fish. Anyway, the picture of Michelle and her son is beautiful, and I have no doubts that she will be very happy. She is a smart, amazing, gifted woman and deserves unending happiness. But do I? Still not sure. I had it pretty great for quite awhile. That just may be all I get.

    1. Michelle W.; you are still obviously grieving and I just want to tell you that hope is just over the horizon. My husband Greg died 5 years ago...I too thought that no one would even consider loving me again; I felt so broken. To make a long story short, I gave myself the time I needed to heal and now am re-married and making plans for a future. Your pain is still too fresh; your heart still needs healing. Give it time. Baby steps is what is needed. Surround yourself with friends and family; allow yourself to be in the fellowship of their care.

  5. Congrats Michelle!

    Gives hope for us all!

  6. I had the pleasure of finally meeting Michele N H last week. I had known you to some degree for several years, via your blogs and it was so special that you were a key person and best friend for Michelle's wedding. When you did your readying, it was just wonderful, and you sure kept it together!! I am so very happy now my Michelle is happy again. So thank you Michele for being that extra special person who so selflessly supported my daughter over the years. It was a God send that you two should find each other, help each other, and look at what you have accomplished so far on your journey. Simply amazing. All my love to you and yours, Michelle's Dad

  7. Michelle...I just want to let you know that neither Michelle or I would have believed that love would enter our lives again at one point in our widowed journey. It seemed impossible. How would we find love, did we already have our fill of love, could we be so damn lucky again? The answers were elusive, and the idea of living the next forty years of our lives along...sad, but we were resigned to the idea that maybe we had all we were going to get. And then things changed. I will leave you with this, there was a day (not that long ago really) when you could never have imagined being a widow. The life you live now was completely unimaginable then. Unimaginable will happen again. There is no way to know where you life will be two years from now. So hang on, hope with us, believe in the idea of a good life for you and your family, and then take one small step at a time. The path will make itself clear. I just know it.