Thursday, November 20, 2014

Facing A Lonely Road In Widowhood

(....continued from Tuesday's post...)
On Tuesday I closed by saying that the biggest surprise was ahead of me, and this was it. This is what my future looked like after I'd come through all the "firsts" of my first year of widowhood. See what the sign says? Nothing. Barren. Empty. Lonely.

It blew me away. I thought I'd finally be done adjusting to widowhood, but I was only just beginning and I didn't like it one bit. Have you felt like that?

Now if you haven’t passed that first year point yet, don’t despair. It might be entirely different for you, that's entirely possible! But if you do get to the second year and find it looks like this, take comfort in the fact that many others have felt the same way, and they’ve survived and thrived! In fact, now that’s why I do this blog and my book and the Lifeboats---because there’s life after death for our husbands, and there’s life after death for the widow too.

But many will tell a new widow "the 2nd year is the hardest." I hate that! What could be worse for a new widow to hear? And I totally disagree---what could be harder than the day your husband died? Don’t devalue that. What we can agree on is this: the second year is very different. For me it started out empty and very very lonely.

I went to a grief support group for the very first time 13 months after Bruce died. Ugh, I dreaded it. I couldn’t imagine ever leading one, and look at me now, talking to widows all the time! God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” Eph 3: 20.

I wouldn’t have believed the life that was ahead of me at that point. I was still struggling with “God is my portion.” If He was, why did I feel so empty? What could I do with the constant loneliness and yearning?

I was busy that spring of my second year. It looked like I was rebuilding my life. I would start graduate school that September, and I was planning to be a school librarian. Lisa, my middle child was was graduating high school and looking at colleges, my son was getting his drivers license…

My oldest daughter was getting married in July.

But I felt numb inside. I was just going through the motions. As I look back, I now think my mind was in shock the first year, but the second year my heart was still in shock. My faith was determined and hard-headed. And I was working very hard to keep my head above water ---I had 2 prayer partners I met with regularly, my walking partner and I walked an hour every day and we tried to memorize Bible verses together---(she did fine but I still had widow brain and nothing would stick), I had the grief group, the “God is my portion” verses...

But all my efforts could not make up for the picture I had in my head. It’s like all I could see was that God and Bruce were having a good old time up in Heaven...

Tune in tomorrow for the continuing story...


  1. Looking back at the first year, I was definitely in a fog, but I felt stronger, God was my strength. I'm almost through my second year, and it has been hard, the reality has settled in. It will be two years on the 9th of December. (His 67th bday would have been on the 20th of December this year.)

    Today started out rough, so I decided to treat myself and go to the local botanical gardens. I needed to get out of the house, away from my normal routines and be in a peaceful place. As soon as I walked into the gardens I was blasted with sweet scents, and I just kept thanking Jesus and telling Him that this was just what I needed.

    There were gentle cool breezes, this is s.e. Florida, the sun was peaking in and out between clouds, there were butterflies and bees, lots of colorful flowers and foliage. It was wonderful. Tears spilled over in the 'butterfly garden'.

    Then I found the nursery at the back of the place where they sell plants really reasonably and bought some to add to my gardens.

    I cam home in better spirits, thankful to Jesus for His tender loving care. Thankful for my own 'Plum Cottage' gardens.

    Each day is different, we just have to go with the flow and keep on trusting in Him. He is our strength, He loves us dearly. And, it does get easier learning to live without our spouses, even though we still miss them terribly. We will be reunited again one day, until then, I wish to age gracefully, and to be a light to other widows of God's love for us.


  2. I'm still not adjusted and it will be two years on December 07, 2014.

  3. I was in shock the first year. I like how you put it that your heart was in shock the second year. I like that. That is a very good way to describe it. Thanks Ferree.


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