Last month, I posted my first guest blog. The very first since I launched the blog in 2012. I invited my sister Julia to write regarding the sudden passing of her 60 year old husband, Loren, a bit over a year ago. There were so many powerful responses and shares on social media to “God, Why Can’t I ‘FEEL’ The Way I Used To.” I had her write a second, “Shaken Faith.” Same kind of response. My stat page showed her last two blog posts to be some of the highest reader count in months. And, now, here’s a third–authentic, raw, real and from the her life experiences as a recent widow. Here are her words…
You read it right. “I’M NOT AVAILABLE”.
Within days of my husband’s passing I started receiving messages on my home phone, facebook, even email. A few messages from strangers. Messages from male acquaintances of my husbands. Most certainly some of those messages were not “just condolences”.
I was offended at the “less than condolences” messages from acquaintances. I was angry. I felt fragile. He’s gone less than a week and I become marketable? Yes, even in my mourning I felt those feelings!! How dare they encroach on my grieving? How dare they assume Loren and my relationship was so shallow that I wouldn’t “mind having them come to my house for a private visit in honor of Loren”?
I felt I must respond to two of the emails, so I did…….see, I knew these men well enough that to not have responded might have encouraged them. I did my best to kindly make it clear that I was not interested in their suggested visitations. I purposefully stated I intended to healthily learn how to be a GODLY, SINGLE, WIDOW. Yes, I used all three of those words. Here’s why:
- Godly because my adult kids need me to remain consistent. I was consistent as a faithful spouse for 37 years. Consistent in serving My Lord. Not only is it important to my family that I show consistency it’s important TO ME that I maintain my values.
- Until now I had never truly lived on my own. After High School I went to college for 2 years while coming home in the summertime to live on the farm with my parents and sibs. When in college I had dorm mates. I had always shared. As a child I shared a bedroom and a bed with my sister Jean. Never alone, unless I was out in the barn with my horses enjoying the solitude or mowing. It’s about time I learn to become comfortable with the new me.
- Because I was so distraught the day after my husband’s memorial service, that day daughter Brenna took me to my family physician Dr. Edwardson. While signing in, the form stated I was no longer “married.” I could barely breathe knowing 6 days after his passing, my status, was already changed to “widow”. One more example of every ounce of strength being needed to move, to concentrate, to exist. But even in my sorrow I knew “widow” was just a label to identify someone’s status.
“So, God, help me navigate this path of widowhood 13 months later. I still feel married to my husband. The tie that bound us together is not easily broken and my heart is with him. Lord I’m available to You and my family and friends. I do not want to bring reproach to Your name in my actions or choices. I’m really going to need You more than ever in my life! Amen.”
P.S. btw….those acquaintances of Loren’s that sent me “I’m available for you condolences”..? Haven’t heard another word from them. Moral of the story: Head ‘em off at the pass immediately.
QUESTION: Your kind words of support and affirmation to my sister in the last two guest blog posts have been inspiring. What would you say to her in the comment section below this time? By the way, she loves to respond to each and every comment.