It’s been almost a year since I have written anything on my blog. In this time away I have tried to focus less on grief, but discovered that the loss of a spouse is something that changes you deeply and affects every area of your life. You are not the same person that you were.
Priorities change. What was seemingly most important before becomes meaningless. Things you never thought about become forefront in your mind. Your thinking takes on a deepness that was not there prior to the death of your husband.
Sensitivities become more pronounced. You simply look at things differently. What may not have bothered you before can now make you sit up at attention. For example, you hear a wife complaining that her husband never picks up his sock and how much that irritates her. You want to shake her and say, “Do you not realize how little an issue that really is and just how very blessed you are to have your husband alive, well, and here with you?!”
If you have a personal relationship with God, that changes. Either you tell Him you are done with Him or you for the first time become really REAL with God. You honestly tell Him how you are feeling. If you are angry, you tell Him. If you are overwhelmed, you say so. If you are full of anxiety and fear, you cry out and let Him know. If you don’t know how you can live life alone, you express that. After all, He knows all of these things already because God knows our thoughts and our heart. You aren’t the first widow God has ever dealt with. I am a firstborn child, a people pleaser and a caretaker. So, I thought by voicing my true feelings after the death of my husband that I would be disappointing God. It wasn’t until my Christian psychologist told me that God is big enough to take whatever I could say to Him and still love me that I was able to finally be really REAL with God.
Friendships change. The death of your husband can bring fear to others. They realize the possibility that they, too, could lose their husbands and you are a constant reminder of that. Others aren’t able to see how as a single widowed woman you can now fit into their couples world. Some just need to move on and make new friends.
Responsibilities are totally different. If you have children still living at home, you become the sole financial provider. There is no husband to help carry the load, take care of the house and car maintenance, make financial decisions, balance the checkbook, tweak the monthly budget, etc. You are now in charge of everything alone. A widow living alone is totally and completely in charge of every part of her life.
Your emotional life is depleted. There’s no husband with whom to share your deepest thoughts, new ideas or dreams. Your love life is gone. There is no one to tell you every day that they love you; no one to pray with you about your deepest needs that you would never dare share with anyone else; no one to encourage you and just boost your spirit; no one to put their arm around you and tell you what a great job you are doing and how much they appreciate all that you do for them and for your family.
There are just way too many secondary losses to even name here. Yet, there are new things that you gain after the loss of a husband…..good things.
- Newfound confidence that you ARE capable of making good and wise decisions
- A renewed and closer relationship with God on a much deeper soul level.
- The reality that God is truly right here right now and will never ever leave you.
- Ability to look at life from a whole new viewpoint.
- A sense that there IS a purpose for you as a widow……a new purpose.
- A tenderized heart that now takes time to sense the needs of others.
- Ears that listen in a new way and hear more easily the heart of others.
- A gentleness toward others that you may not have had before.
- New strengths that rise up out of the ashes of grief and pain.
- Courage to let go of people in your life who don’t want to be a part of it, who aren’t good for you, or are no longer needed.
- Courage to let go of things in your life that no longer serve a purpose.
- Acceptance of new people and possibilities that God brings into your life.
- Wisdom in new areas of your life.
- Faith to take the next breath and the next step.
What about you? Perhaps you are newly widowed. I offer HOPE to you. You CAN get through the loss of a spouse. It’s not something that you can run through quickly. You have to have the courage and intentionality to face your grief and take whatever time you need to process through it. Make the decision to be a consistent widow. If it has been several years since the loss of your spouse, determine to take time to retreat, get quiet and simply look for the positive things that have come into your life. Write them down. Think about how very proud your husband would be of how far you have come and what you have been able to accomplish. If you have chosen to be in a personal relationship with God, thank Him for all that He’s brought you through and comfort yourself with the truth that He will never ever leave you or forsake you. He’s in this with you. He’s got your back, front, and both sides. You are not alone.
Every single word of this is so true!! Well worth the wait!! You are amazing. Thank you for reminding us that we are not alone in this world and we are not alone because Jesus is always right there going through every single second with us.
Thank you, Angela. Remembering that I am not alone really helps me.
These words are a testimony of God’s great grace and your great courage. I thank God for the ways in which He has walked with you and is shaping you.
Thank you for sharing.
Hi Lynn. Thank you for such kind words. I believe I will be processing it all for the rest of my life.
Beautiful Candy! Good to see you are writing again, each year brings a new perspective doesn’t it. I have been neglecting my blogging as well. It’s been a rough year as you know. God has recently given me a gift of reprieve and is sending me for a two week vacation to Nicaragua to stay at friend’s who own a beautiful home and guest house on the ocean. I am so looking forward to this, hoping to do some writing too.
Blessings on your day.
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Yes, Kathy. You have had such a hard year. I am just thrilled that you get to go through n this upcoming trip and just get away to write. I look forward to what writings you will share in the future.
Candy, you have so perfectly expressed the reality of our walk with the Lord after losing our husbands. You and I are both approaching the 9th anniversary of our husband’s death. May your memories be sweet and precious. You have come so far in your walk as a widow.
Joy, we’ve walked these almost 9 years together even if from a distance. Bob and Arthur continue to cheer us on from heaven’s balconies!
Candy, I have missed your writings ! Thanks for sharing this…I can agree with all of this. It seems sometimes I actually forget, and am busy and happy, but then it comes back and I miss my dear husband Chandler. This spring will be 9 years for me too. I hope you keep up your blog, as you are a Blessing to me.
Thank you, Sue. 9 years for you, too. It seems forever and then like just yesterday. It’s a blessing that we had such good husbands.