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”.

20131207_093556I 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.

8 responses to Guest Blog: “I’m Not Available”

  1. paulcameron2076 on May 13, 2016 at 9:58 PM Reply

    37 years together! wonderful.I come from an extremely broken family. not knowing when your spouse is going home is true for us all. but i have discussed it with my family several times. my previous wife passed one month from her 27th birthday. i knew 5 years before that her life would be short.but did not know how long..she left me with my first natural child(Natasha was 4 1/2). she went home in October 2000. Natasha is now 20. i know being a man it is different.. i did not cry until some(short) time later when Natasha said ” I miss Mommy”.So, I pray our Lord to put His work for you plainly in your path. There is much to do. and a short time to accomplish it. May Jesus comfort you and bless your work for Him in the days to come. Dennis knows who I am.Paul

    • Julia Wasson on June 6, 2016 at 5:56 PM Reply

      Thank you Paul for sharing your story in return. God bless you. Julia

  2. Charmé on May 12, 2016 at 10:41 AM Reply

    My heart aches for Julia. I am thankful she has been so transparent in her grief journey, which is an encouragement to others, and a wake-up call for me. I’ve been married for over 40 years now, and thankfully my husband is still with me, however, the past few years have been challenging with the demands of pastoral ministry, etc., causing the stress of life to hinder the joy in our marriage. God is showing me that I need to love my husband unconditionally, with much grace, respect, etc., and to enjoy every moment God is blessing us with for the remaining time we have on earth. I’m sorry to say, I have taken my husband for granted way to often. May God comfort and bring total peace into Julia’s life. I hope she finds some joy in knowing that her words of sincerity and love are a help to others.

    • Julia Gingerich Wasson on May 12, 2016 at 7:13 PM Reply

      Charme, I also took my husband for granted too. While raising 4 children and life’s busyness with good things I didn’t put him first. I’m embarrassed to admit I put church events before my husband. Around 14 years ago God started to convict me about this. Both of my brothers are pastors and I have never been jealous of their calling because I know it can be a lonely life as a pastor and pastor’s wife along with the struggle of having close confidants. My area of ministry was worship leading and music ministry. I’m SO GRATEFUL I started to reverse things. My husband never demanded it of me but we both really reaped the benefits of “turning our hearts towards each other”. Thank you for your prayer of comfort, Charme. SIncerely, Julia

  3. karmalg on May 12, 2016 at 9:42 AM Reply

    Julia, I have followed every post you’ve made in the past 13 months on facebook and now here…love them all! Your story is a true testimony of your faith that I know you would’ve rather professed in another way. I really admire the road you have chosen…’head them off at the pass’…love it! Karma (Fretz)Gingrich

    • Julia Gingerich Wasson on May 12, 2016 at 7:21 PM Reply

      Karma, thanks for letting me know you’ve been paying attention! And you are SO right I would have really preferred to not walk this road. I want my husband here. (I still remember your sister Giselle and your heart wrenching loss when she passed away…she was SO beautiful!). and yeah, “head them off at the pass” was very necessary in those two situations! ha. Julia

  4. Debbie Long on May 12, 2016 at 9:34 AM Reply

    I am a widow as well. Stay true to what your heart says. But let me say that the Lord is going to give you moments of joy. Unexpected. Unannounced. Accept them. Your experience was a “suddenly”, without warning, without preparation and in a blink of an eye your life was forever changed. I know. Grief is a strange thing. I had never had an experience quite like this and was unprepared for the depth of emotions I experienced. Because of the Lords unfailing grace I was able to
    Navigate it with Him. Let me just say there is no right way to do this. You just do it. I pray you have folks who will love you through it. Many of them really don’t understand it, and you will need to
    Forgive them regularly. You will come out on the other side one day a very changed woman. You will possess more joy, more beauty and wisdom and you will know that in spite of this tragedy that came unexpected and too soon , the Lord has kept you and you will be a Light to
    Many who
    Come after you. Only those who have lost someone too soon know this. It is 24 years now and I am in awe of the Lord and how he changed me because of this. Hugs and blessings, Debbie Long.
    P.s. I ended up marrying another widower probably because we found comfort (and love) unexpectedly with each other .

    • Julia Gingerich Wasson on May 12, 2016 at 7:29 PM Reply

      Debbie, thank you for your advice and input. Months back I had started feeling the joys and happiness. I’m not always in a state of sorrow. BUT, what shocks me is how DEEP, LOW, and WIDE the sorrow can be when it hits. Our oldest daughter was married this past weekend. I felt like I was psycho because I was elated for her happiness but O, so gut wrenching sorrowful all at the same time. It’s been a roller coaster emotionally. And then I had a funeral I attended 10 days ago. O my. I sobbed more at this funeral than I did at my husbands funeral. But 13 months out is still new and fresh. I’m happy for you that you found a widower to marry. I can’t even BEGIN to think about that. I have lots of healing to do and I’m in love with my husband. For me, I’m enjoying the challenge of proving I can make the adjustments and “do this”. Loren used to tell me “You’re smarter than you think, and you know far more than you think you do!” I think he’s right. God bless, Debbie. Julia

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