Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Six Months On The Path --A Widow's Encouragement for Those Who've Just Started

Sometimes widows need trail markers. Am I heading in the right direction? Will I make it? Is the end in sight?
Here's a guide from my friend Tonia, who's been on the widow's path for six months now. Thank you for sharing from your journey, Tonia. Your words resonated with my own remembrances. ferree

I'm now just 6 months into this journey as a widow. I wanted to leave some words of encouragement for any new ladies or anyone who would like to take it as such. I don't claim to have it figured out...far from it.

But I clearly remember searching for hope, for a little glimpse of how I was going to be OK. I remember how desperately I needed to hear or see another widow say I'm OK and you can be too.

I'm not downplaying anything! Please don't take it that way at all. One thing I know for sure is this is a very individual journey, I have lived that in my own journey and heard it over and over here, at GriefShare, and other great resources.  But I would like to share something I posted recently on my own private Facebook page. I felt led to share my journey and some of my journaling there, and I also felt led to share it with you all ..... The following is what I wrote:
* ....just shy of 6 months as a widow I have learned a lot about myself and other people that I never would have known before. Physical everyday life--- like replacing bathtub fixtures, fixing a clogged sink drain...(Aaron used to gag when doing that job), cleaning my gutters, and a few other jobs I never did as a housewife--- I have learned quite a bit. Yes, I am blowing my own horn. But in a way I just don't care how that makes anyone feel but me. I think Aaron would be proud of me today. Although I am now very much nothing like the women he loved as a housewife
* I know he would be proud of our kids. I have shared with them several times one fact that keeps playing over and over in my head during the hard times: Aaron left us strong. He didn't leave us broken. We are a strong family because he chose to be a good leader even in his passing. We are not desperate or lost. We know our loss is great but we are not lost. We are still growing and changing into a different but yet the same family.
* I take him everywhere I go. That is impossible for someone to understand unless you have a large piece or your heart in Heaven. How do you take a passed spouse with you, everywhere and yet, also choose to find happiness in your new life? That's a question that scared the hell out of me for a while there. Well, you choose to, or, you choose not to.
* I am learning more and more each day to look at today and not yesterday. Two years ago I had the life I had always wanted. Today I see that sometimes people have several life's to live in a lifetime. Even if it's not what they would have chosen or may deserve. It is not for me to decide. I will never understand why. I will always wish against...and wonder why not this way or that way.
* I can choose to do that a little less each day or live my life everyday in those thoughts. I wonder what it will be like to someday not think on these things as much as I do today. I wonder a little less than just a few months ago though, because now I see how it will be OK. Never the same. It will look and feel very different, but that's because people are non-replaceable.
That's the way it should be and that's one lesson that is truly impossible to learn without experiencing it.


  1. Tonia nailed it! This was my experience as well, and all along the way, I could feel the healing come straight from Heaven. And even now, anytime my sons do something that reminds me of their Dad, or is especially brave or considerate, I tell them, "Your Dad would be proud of you for that."
    I moved from our marital home in Jan 2013 to a new job and an apartment, and a few months ago I was praying during my morning commute. I wanted to be sure I was where God wanted me to be, because the job was becoming a bit stressful and challenging. No sooner had the words left my lips... Steven Curtis Chapman's "The Glorious Unfolding" came on the radio, and I had my answer. I have never felt so blessed and at peace than I did at that moment. And it felt like the car was filled with rejoicing angels. If you've never heard the song, find it. In fact, the whole album is uplifting and encouraging!

  2. Thanks for sharing Tonia. I am at 18 months on this widow's journey and I have said many times...If it's okay with's okay with me! I miss makes me sad...but it's going to be OK. Blessings.

  3. Well this is exactly where i'm at. Sept 1st will be 6 months for me. Sometimes i feel like i'm making it and other times i feel lost. I just have to believe if i keep my eyes on God, the one who knows best, i will be OK. I never imagined being 33 with 2 kids and being a widow. I just know I'm closer to God than ever before just wanting his perfect will to be done in my life. I believe if i choose to make it, then i will. If I want to give, I can do that too but what would my husband think? What would happen to my kids if they lost both parents instead of one? I just ask God to give me strength and help to be like the apostle Paul, Content whether i have much or nothing. True joy comes from God and that's what we all need to get through this Journey. I'm thankful for this site and find it also help me when i encourage others. When I encourage, I feel encouraged.

    1. Hello Robin~ I too am on the younger side as a widow. I was 36 when my husband was diagnosed with a very serious late stage cancer. He was 37. I was 37 when he went to the City of the King and he was 38. My children are 18, 13, 12 and 9. Thank you for your kind words. Keep up the good fight! In Him, Tonia

  4. It has been 7 1/2 months since my dear husband passed. Your post totally sums up how I feel. After almost 35 yrs shared with my best friend in a wonderful marriage how could I not feel Mark is with me everyday and everywhere. He is part of who I am. Mark knew I would be OK. He taught me so many things over the years many wives do not learn. Like what tools are what, how to fix little things, his amazing ability buying and selling things and just his amazing knowledge about so many things. Yes, there are several things I still need help with and I am still learning to do things without his help but I do feel "strong" in a way. I love to think of him throughout my day...a memory will come to mind and make me smile. From the beginning of our relationship we always have felt God has guided us and I know he still does. I am grateful God gave us the wonderful time we shared even though I wished it could have been longer. But my faith gives me tremendous hope and knowledge that I will someday be with Mark surrounded by God.
    Thank you for your post. It is so encouraging!

  5. I am "stealing" a bit of this with your credit, Tonia, expecting that you will find no issue with that..."How do you take a passed spouse with you, everywhere and yet, also choose to find happiness in your new life? That's a question that scared the hell out of me for a while there. Well, you choose to, or, you choose not to." and posting it on my regular FB site. Thank you for sharing! 18 months today...Rhonda

  6. It has been almost three years for me, the pain has lessened but as you said Robin keeping our eyes upon God he knows best. And Tonia I am o-kay the shock has lessened and the pain subsided - but the missing him will always remain.
    With our eyes upon God, our hearts in heaven and our feet upon earth is the difficult part... our body is in three different places but God promises us........ "my grace is sufficient for thee" and on this promise I live and breathe. God Bless each of you with the gift of His presence and peace. lol - R.B.

  7. This was wonderful and my heart goes out to each of you. We are all sisters in this widowhood journey. We are growing at our own pace.

    It's a little over 20 months for me, and our 45th anniversary is the 8th of next month and I plan to celebrate that day. I miss my husband terribly, but knowing he is with God gives me peace and I am looking forward to the day we are reunited.

    Love, hugs and prayers to all of you ~ FlowerLady

  8. I noticed I didn't share how long it's been for me. Five years this past March.


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