Well, since Janine is on vacation...you are all stuck with me again! And since I am writing for the second time this week, I started thinking about the purpose of this blog and about how far we've come since my first post.
If you are interested in a little Widow's Voice history, you will find it HERE.
From the very beginning of this blog the intention has been for our writers to share their widowed journey not by looking backwards (and with the benefit of hindsight), but by sharing their in the moment ups and downs. I wanted our readers to know what widowhood looks like from a variety of perspectives. I also wanted to provide a glimpse of widowhood for the long haul. Because contrary to popular belief widowhood doesn't last only one year. Believe it or not, our widow experience will color every part of our lives, and that is not always a bad thing. The thing is once you have lived the fact that people die up close and personal, it is a fact you will never forget.
So, in the spirit of what this blog is really about, I will share with you my own widowed journey right now.
I miss Phil. Every once in awhile there is a moment where I still forget he is dead. Thinking that he might be missing me too, and that he cares enough to send a "sign" my way once in a while brings tears to my eyes. I have long since stopped caring about whether signs are real or imagined. I figure this road is hard enough, take what comfort you can in messages, signs, or coincidence.
Yes, I am re-married. The photo above is of me and my husband Michael. He is a truly incredible man. He attends my presentations regularly. Yep, that would be the presentation when I talk about how much I love my dead husband. Michael is our Camp Widow camp photographer for the West Coast. He spends the entire weekend in San Diego photographing the event and trying to be sure I ate something! But maybe the most amazing thing about him is that he not only knows that I love Phil, he expects nothing less. In his mind it is ridiculous to assume that I would ever stop loving someone who meant so much to me. That statement is how he won my heart. I didn't have to give up my love for Phil to have new love in my life. Besides all of the understanding he shows with regards to my widowhood, he enhances my life. We live, we laugh, we love, we plan, and we know that our time together is finite. Somehow that makes life sweeter.
Being married doesn't remove my widowed experience. In fact, there are a few ways that Phil's death impacts my life with Michael....I always remind Michael not to get hit by a car. If he hasn't exercised in awhile I will remind him that death is not an option so he better get to taking care of himself. On a road trip he took with a friend not long ago, we discovered that I didn't like talking to him on the phone while he was away. Some weird part of my brain decided that if I didn't talk to him on the phone I could distance myself enough emotionally that if he died it wold hurt less. Yes, I know this is ridiculous. But that was the widow part of my brain talking...you all know better than to try to make sense of that!
My message for you today is that this gets better. There are no short cuts through the pain. Healing takes as long as it takes. Moving forward will not be seamless. Community matters. Hope matters. And there is no risk of you forgetting, or not loving, or leaving behind your loved one. They reside in the safest place possible now....inside of you.