This week, it will have been 14 years since we lost Bob. I am happy now. I have a new love and I am back in college pursuing a second Master’s degree and then will head to Doctoral studies. My children are grown and have families of their own. Grandchildren surround me. Things are very positive.
So, why in the world am I sitting on the couch crying? I am just watching a show on TV. It is not a sad show and there is no reason to be crying. Like I said, my life is good and I am happy now.
If I have learned anything on this journey, I have learned that there will be tears at the oddest times and for the strangest reasons. Something will rise up out of nowhere and bring up a memory, a scent, a color, an event or any number of things and tears will fall. We call it the widow wave.
I used to fight this hard. I tried hard to not allow the tears to fall when others were around. After all, it had been long enough. I should be over it … right? I have moved on. I have changed. I have a new life built. There should be no more tears.
People expect us to get back up and move on…and we should. We have to. But, many also expect us to get over it and no longer express emotion over our loss in life. Well, to me that is simply bull*****.
Our lives were changed in that instant and they were changed forever. Grief does not have a timeline. True, there are different depths to our grief. At the time of the loss, it is tremendous, overwhelming and all encompassing. At that point, just breathing and taking the next step is a major achievement.
There are times where we may need assistance to get through it all. And, there are times when we are fully capable of handling things on our own.
As time goes by, the grief is no longer so overwhelming or all encompassing and we begin building a new life without our love. We can find happiness, joy. We can create and accomplish new goals. We travel a twisted journey without our loved one but we travel on. At some level, along with the joy, we also occasionally shed tears when memories or special dates surface.
Some will expect you to cry no more. Others will expect you to cry the rest of your life. Some will want you to move on and build a new life. Others will just want you to wither.
You need to do you and travel your own widow journey. We hope that the words we write about our experiences will help you as you do just that. Listen to those who comfort you and bring you joy. Learn to discern those who do not and work to create safe boundaries for yourself. I know it is hard. I have been there. We both have.
And, at those times when the tears rise up, let them fall. They speak of a great love that was a special part of your life. You can move on and be happy again…and, you can still have moments where you recognize the specialness of your time with your lost love.
Well, it has been fourteen years for me this week. I am very happy in the direction that I am now headed…but for now, I am going to shed a few tears and allow the widow wave another moment in my life.
As a support, we invite you to download or share with those who’ve lost a loved one our free copy of 10 Ways to Move Forward After Loss
Peace, blessings, and gratitude,
Jeni & Teresa
PS: For additional support Torn in Half: The First Days as a resource for the first days after a loss – available on Amazon in paperback and ebook.