I really appreciate when people tell me how they see bad situations transform their lives. A pair of friends were down visiting this past week. At dinner one night, one of them shared how the impact of Kevin’s death was bad for them, bad, differently, than what I had experienced, but still bad. This was Kevin’s best friend, whom I have had the honor to continue friendship with.
He shared with me that life was awesome before for Kevin and I, and while I went through something bad, and that yes, I was (was) a widow, life is again, awesome. If not for that bad thing, things that are happening now could not occur. I know this of course (I think conceitedly), but do I know it?
Do I know that my writing CAREER (oh yes, I’m using THAT word, why not? I filed taxes for my writing last year dammit!) probably would never have expanded if not for losing Kevin? Would I have ever started a blog? Would all my freelance articles be focused solely on camping and fishing at Assateague? What else would I have to write about? Not the slew of travel writing, grief, cancer, healthcare, and other “fun” topics that I have been able to explore solely because of Kevin’s death.
Do I know that I may have not ever gotten involved so deeply in my community and for the causes of others? Certainly I’d have donated here and there, but never with the sounding board for Sarcoma patients that I have been able to be, having lost someone to that rare cancer.
Do I know that I may never have been able to see my true friends shine through with gifts of their time, tears, shoulders, hands, heart and soul? I’d get to share pieces of that as we went through life, but never to the depth that I have been able to see with this loss.
Do I know that I would never have met an entire community of believers…in me? People who believe in what I’m trying to do, who support me when the fight in me is gone, who rally behind my causes and my beliefs, who kick my ass when it needs kicked, who financially, emotionally, spiritually and physically get me going day after day?
Do I know that I am not a widow? I am a woman experiencing the symptoms of widowhood. I am me. I am Brenda. I am crazy. I am experiencing the journey of crazy widowhood, but that? That’s not ME. This situation is not me. It will not beat me. It will not beat the woman I have become through this loss. It will not take the woman I once was. It will not be my definition.
Do I know that without this great loss, I could not have this amazing present?
Do you know these things too?
Thank you for this post. I also lost my spouse and understand the struggle in grieving and living life again. Thank you for your post, I appreciated hearing what you had to say as like you I will not let being a widower “beat” me. I can choose to live life again and be not just a widower but truly be Patrick. Grief and being a widower is not me, its just a journey I without choosing it have to walk. I will learn and grow from it. it will cause me to shed many tears, and yes it is painful still at times. But like you I am choosing not to let my spouses death be my death too or let it simply define who I will always be. Thank you for this great reminder… May the good Lord continue to bless you as you too walk this journey and live life again..
Thanks for sharing Patrick. I don’t want to be swallowed by this either!