To the new widow....It does get better

To the new widow,

You may be reading this wondering if the laughter will ever return, if joy will ever be your friend again and whether there are ever bright days ahead.

It does get better.

A year ago today I had been a widow for 15 days and I wrote this blog. Those early days of grief are both a blur and so fresh on my mind. On the outside I looked like everyone else. I took my children to the zoo. I went grocery shopping. I returned to work. I made my regular Target runs. I am far from retirement age and so no one would have suspected that I was even a widow. But I was. And I was hurting beyond words will ever convey.

At the end of the night after my two children had fallen asleep when the world was quiet around me the tears would fall. And they would fall relentlessly. The tears didn't fall silently, they were accompanied by the almost inability to breathe as the sobs were so loud and so deep. My amazing 31 year old husband and father of two was no longer living and although I had so much peace and comfort that he was in heaven, the pain of him not sitting next to me was crushing.

And those who journeyed this road before me would offer me so much encouragement. One thing so many would tell me was "It will get better."  That is hard to believe when you are in the early days of grief. It is hard to believe that one day you'll genuinely smile again. It is hard to believe that one day you'll be able to dream again when the person who was in every single one of your dreams is gone. It is hard to believe that it will get better when the person who was the first person who saw you in the morning and the last person who saw you at night is dead. It is hard to believe that it will get better when your heart feels crushed in a million pieces.

A year ago today I had been a widow for 15 days. Today I have been a widow for a little over a year. And it does get better. And I want to provide those same words that were given to me, to you.

But I want to add to them. Before it gets better, it hurts. Allow it to hurt. Don't feel as though you have to convey to the world that you are fine. Your world has been changed. Your dreams for the future have been changed. Your heart is breaking and allow it to break. Don't try and mask the pain. When the tears fall late at night, let them fall. When the sobs seem uncontrollable, don't try and control them.

But as you grieve, and as you cry, and as you hurt, don't ever forget that God is with you. We may never understand why God called our spouse home. We may never have the answer to the "Why" question. And that is okay.

It gets better, because God is the one who mends that broken heart. God is the one who sweeps into the room with you and surrounds you with comfort when in the middle of the night the tears fall. God is the one who will fill you with so much peace when you have so many questions and don't feel as though you can ever dream again,  God is the one who holds you when the tears just won't stop. God is the one whose light fills the darkest of tunnels. God is the one who gives you the strength when you feel so weak. God is the one who gives you assurance when you don't know how you'll make it.  God is there with you. He is not going to leave you in the midst of your pain. There may be times this road seems so lonely but right besides you is God.

You'll never stop missing your spouse. You'll never stop loving them. Grief is not our enemy. You'll learn that sorrow and happiness can abide together. You'll see that sadness and joy can be friends. You'll understand that moving forward doesn't mean forgetting.

To the new gets better.


A widow who is experiencing better herself.