I guess it's national widow' s day. I thought I would join this club when I was 90, not in my thirties. I thought my husband would grow old and grey with me and not die at 31. I thought my children would have decades with their dad not lose him when they were 5 and 6. When we think of the widow, we think of someone who is in their 90s', was married for 60 years and has children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Yet there are many faces of a widow. No one wants to join this club called widowhood. The initiation is brutal. The journey painful.
I am the face of a widow. When I go to the grocery store, the zoo or the park no one probably would suspect that my husband passed away. I used to define myself as a wife, a mother, a teacher, a Christian, a writer. I now add widow to that list. I think grief is something we don't understand. I smile, but at times don't feel okay. I laugh, but at times my heart is still breaking. I live, but at times the sorrow is consuming. I'm surviving, but at times the pain is unbearable. I'm creating memories with my children, but at times the shattered dreams hurt so much.
Becoming a widow changed me. I'm not the same person I was. I experienced the pain of watching the one I was supposed to grow old with pass away. I sat in the room as doctors told me there was no hope. I told my children the news that their dad was going to die. I took care of my husband for the last five months of his life when he became paralyzed, turning him every two hours, feeding him, brushing his teeth, washing his face and yet that wasn't enough to save him.