It’s #nationalwidowsday. Something I didn’t realize last year when May 3 passed or really any of the years before.
But today, the declaration caught my attention. It still seems so strange to identify myself as a widow. Yet, it is my reality. Now, of course, I know this is not the only defining statement of who I am — many characteristics describe me, I even have a list I keep as a reminder — but it is a powerful one.
So, what does it mean to me to hold the label of widow? (Now 18ish months in this category.)
It means that every day I think about my late spouse and I miss him in some capacity.
It means that each day I intentionally choose to keep moving forward, enjoying the gift of life that is front of me. This could be pausing or escaping to enjoy nature, sharing silly pictures of shoes, adventuring with someone new, or hoping to be there for someone else.
It means I have the opportunity to share my story with others who are navigating life as widows and widowers. To say, yea, it stings!
It means it’s easy to drift into wanting to be self- protective for fear of getting hurt for whatever reason.
I means I have experienced great love! A love and friendship that can still be celebrated and talked about - there’s no secret or shame in it.
And, it means that even as I strive to enjoy each God-given day, a part of my heart lingers in a world of sorrow that is hard to explain and at times escape.
National Widows’ day is not a day you put “happy” in front of, but is one that can be used to say “I see you” to fellow widows.
To say, “You matter so very much!”
My post here was inspired by one the group Young, Widowed and Dating, shared earlier today, talking about the ways we are different. It ended with these powerful words
“It doesn’t matter if you’re grieving the person your spouse was,
Or the person they had yet to become…
Your loss matters.
Your loss is significant.
Your loss should be expressed.
Your loss should be acknowledged.
Your grief is real.
Your grief is valid.
Your grief should be accepted.
Your grief should be supported. “
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.