To the widow who just lost their spouse...

To the widow who just lost their spouse,

You have been forced to join the club no one wants to join. Regardless of your age, it happened way too soon. It may have happened without warning, or like me, your spouse may have battled a sickness for a long time. It doesn't matter though. The pain is still intense. Your "till death due us part" came long before you were ready. Conversations with your spouse have been replaced with questions. Their side of the bed seems so empty. The silence from their absence is so loud. And you have probably asked the question "how am I going to make it?" 

I joined this club 5 months ago on February 14, 2017 when my husband took his last breath and I have asked that question many times. While I know my husband is in heaven and is free from the pain of cancer, the pain my children and I endure five months after my husband passed away lingers. Losing a spouse is one of the most painful things a person will experience.  Long after the funeral ends, the tears of the surviving spouse continue to flow. It is a pain that is not easily described in words. Grief doesn’t end when the body is buried, in fact, it is often weeks after the funeral has ended and the numbness has worn off that the intense pain begins. There is not a time line on grief. One person’s way of grieving may be very different from another person’s way of grieving. The person I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with passed away at 31. There are nights where the tears won’t stop. There are times when pain crushes. I have hope. I have peace. I have joy. I have all of that. But I also have a heart that is broken. And there have been times I have wondered how am I going to make it?

Years ago I went to Oregon and hiked some mountain. The hike was incredibly difficult. As I walked up the mountain there were many times I wondered if I would make it. As I climbed, there were others walking down. Others who had been to the mountaintop and who had experienced the difficulty of the climb. And as they walked down, passing me walking up, they would offer words of encouragement. They would let me know I could make it. The more I walked, the more difficult the climb actually got. The closer I got to the top, the more tired I became. I had been walking for a long time, climbing up a steep mountain and even though I knew I was closer to the top than I was to the bottom, I was exhausted. Yet more and more people who were walking down offered the simple words "you'll make it." Eventually I did make it to the top. I saw the view from the top of the mountain. And as I climbed down the mountain, I offered the same encouragement to those who started the journey after me that those who had started the journey before me offered to me. I let them know they would make it.

Just like when I took that hike in Oregon, and those who were coming down from the mountain offered me encouragement letting me know I could make it, widows who have lost a spouse weeks, months and years before I did have offered the simple words “it gets better” and "you'll make it." Those words contain so much power when you are crying yourself to sleep at night because the person who used to lay next to you is no longer alive. Those contain so much encouragement when you are holding your five year old daughter who is crying uncontrollably because she misses her dad. Those words contain so much hope when you are left with pictures and videos and you wonder how you are going to make it. Those words contain so much love when the front door doesn’t open in the evening anymore with your spouse coming home from work. Those words uplift when your phone doesn’t ring anymore with your spouse asking how your day is going. They offer so much when you are left with dreams that aren’t coming to pass anymore.

It gets better
You'll make it

Right now, it may hurt, but it gets better. Right now you may be crying yourself to sleep, but it gets better. Right now the absence of your spouse may be so intense, but you'll make it. Right now you may have a multitude of questions, but it gets better. Right now your house may seem so empty, but you'll make it. Right now the sorrow may hurt so much, but it gets better. The intensity of the pain may linger a bit longer, but you'll make it. Right now it hurts. Right now the tears may not stop. Right now the heart may seem broken in a million pieces. Right now you may wonder how in the world it will get better because it hurts so much.

But it will get better.
And you will make it.

You may wonder how you will make it. But you will. You may wonder how it will get better. But it does. The grief lingers. It comes in like waves. You will always miss your spouse. But each day as you wake up God will give you the strength you need. Every night as you cry, God will give you the comfort you need. It is hard to dream again, but you can. It is hard to hope when something so bad happened, but your story won't end with pain. It doesn't end with tears. It doesn't end with heartache.

It will get better.
You'll make it.


A little about me:

On February 14, 2017 my husband passed away at the age of 31. He fought cancer for two years. In a moment I went from wife to widow and entered into the club no one wants to belong to. I have two young children. I am a homeschooling mom and work in the educational field. I attend First United Pentecostal Church in San Antonio, Texas.
IG: @kimjoylira