Thursday, January 3, 2013

A year with no regret

I always admire people who can say they live life with no regrets. Maybe I'm a little cynical, but I don't believe most people have no regrets from their past. I sure do. There are a lot of things I wish I could go back and do differently. But I know those are the things that make us who we are, help shape us into the people we become.

After coming out of intense grief, one of the few things it teaches me is to move forward with no regrets. I'm not so naive to think I won't make mistakes or forget to embrace life - I'm human. But I have loved and lost and I don't like wasting time in this life not using it to let the people around me know how much I love them. Perhaps if I lose someone I love again, I'll never feel like I said enough, did enough, embraced enough....but I will keep trying.

I love that starting a new year brings about hope for so many people. A hope for change, a hope for something new. So many possibilities on the horizon for the year that lies ahead. For those who are in suffering, though, grief can be a reminder that the world moves forward while theirs is ending, and they have to drag over into a new year kicking and screaming. Two years ago, I couldn't escape the horror I felt watching time tick into a year that Jeremy would never see. I cried myself to sleep long before midnight because I couldn't bare the thought of celebrating....and I prayed I wouldn't have to see the year either. What a year can change. Last year, I went on a first date palms sweaty and heart racing, so unsure of where my life was headed....but I had hope. This year, I will do my best to pay that hope forward by living with no regret. Of loving when I know I should, of speaking up when I feel the need, or keeping my mouth shut when it's necessary, of soaking up every day moments with my children, of putting myself and my health as a priority, of loving every bit of the second chance I've been regrets.

This is not an easy task. I'm constantly in shock by the hurt that few people can cause. On my personal blog, I have gotten some pretty awful comments - hurtful, accusing, demeaning. I don't post them anymore, as they have gotten progressively worse, and I refuse to give them the satisfaction. In fact, they don't upset me anymore because there is no weight in them for me. The only upsetting piece is that it's someone I know. I just feel pity for people who live in such pain that they feel the need to impose the pain and hurt and misunderstanding onto others....especially others who have already been through so much (and I'm not just talking about me here.) I've heard the ridiculous things that people have said to widows, you can add to that the things people try to tell that same widow when she tries to date or's enough to make anyone go mad!

I will no longer tolerate such negativity to weigh me down. I'm human, and words can be especially hurtful, but I lived through my worst hell, what can one person's opinion really do to me? Not any more pain than I've already suffered. This year, I move forward. No regrets. Leaving behind my mistakes, but bringing the lessons I've learned from them and the good pieces along with me.

The life lessons I've learned from grief will not be in vain.


  1. Vee, you have become stronger physically, spiritually, and many other ways because of what you have endured. Vee, this post is very encouraging. I've been a widow for almost 8 months. I lost my husband from one minute to the next. It was all of a sudden, a shock. I'm somewhat a young widow(37) and I have 6 kids(ages 5-17). I've always worried to much about what other people thought. I'm learning I can't please everyone. I have to do that which is good and right for me and my children. As long as we seek God and His plans, I tell myself I'm doing what's right. A bible verse my husband would quote a lot, he was a preacher/ missionary, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you." God has carried me in His palm this past 8 months, this verse reminds me of what my husband was doing and I'm suppose to continue doing while I have been left behind.

  2. I had a horrible NYs Eve - and I think for exactly what you are saying; here comes another year without my Marty and another year of grief and pain to bear.
    I want to say "kudos" to you for getting out of the boat, considering a "first date" and then taking the perceived, or real, risk to love again. You are walking on the water friend, and keep your eyes on Him and keep walking!
    A widow friend a few years ahead of me, told me in my early grief, "Give yourself permission to make mistakes, because you will." That has been so freeing as I have floundered all the many things I have had to figure out. I continue to make decisions the way Mart and I always did, get the information, educate yourself, think and pray about it and then start moving in a direction. This has served me well in so many ways - whether something with my adult kids, or buying a new car. I do have what it takes. And I have found, when I have decided wrong, based on the facts I have, typically, it only costs more the big picture, thats not so bad.
    A wise Pastor once said, "Doesn't take much size to criticize." People so freely think that they are God and judge away, when He is the only judge there is. I have not been the recipient of judging comments, though I think I may have been judged about some of the things I have done, or who I am , or how I may have responded, or NOT circle of friends has changed enough that something is going on...whether it's judging, or discomfort, or whatever. I can only manage every day and even that is a challenge....trying to remain "present" while building a new future without the love of my life, that most days I don't even want, is hard at best. Non widows have no clue what it's like to live without your husband - him being on a business trip is not a suitable analogy.....bc my guy is NEVER coming back, I can't text, skype or email him. It's over. Knowing that I will see him in heaven again, while of some comfort, not very satisfying in the day to day.
    Blessings to you in this new future that is being laid out before you. Turn a deaf ear and I give you this:
    "For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible."

  3. Unfortunately, there are those people out there who can not wish for someone else happiness or hope as long as they are not happy or hopeful. I think as widows our journeys are all different. For some they could never see themselves with someone else and that is fine, for them. I am like you and my husband actually made me promise to find someone new. He wanted that for me. It will not be the same, but I think that what I can bring into a new relationship is an appreciation of all of the little things that I miss now and wish I had appreciated when my husband was alive. That will be my gift to my late husband and to my new love when it happens.Thinking a widowed father with two sons would complete my family of two daughters!