My husband died when he was fifty.
To say that turning fifty is a milestone I’ve been looking forward to would simply be absurd. Honestly what woman would be excited for this half century marker? I have, however come to realize in the past few weeks that I actually think I am not so terrified and even slightly excited for it. Not just for the celebrations that will ensue but for the next chapter in my life.
These past few years since losing my husband have been difficult, and fraught with many challenges along the way. As I began to emerge from the dark tunnel that I found myself sloshing through, I realize that I am lucky, and I am grateful. I’d like to think I can teach my children that.
Despite the horrific loss we have suffered we can be happy and grateful and here is how:
- First and foremost I am, and will be eternally grateful for the 20+ years we spent together. I realize how fortunate I was to have a loving, kind, and giving husband; one who put myself and my children first, always.
- I am grateful that we had a little time to say goodbye, that each of my children shared time alone with him while he was in hospice.
- I am grateful that his suffering was somewhat short-lived.
- I am grateful for the type of father he was and the time he spent with our children. We hang on to those memories so tightly.
- I am grateful for my friends as they have surrounded us and carried myself and my children through our grief.
- I am grateful to have kept the bonds I have with my husband’s family as they are my family too.
- I am grateful for my health and that I can get up and exercise and have a clear head (on most days).
- I am grateful for therapy.
- I am grateful that I found love again and that my children want me to be happy.
- I am grateful that I feel my husband with me and that my children feel his presence as well.
- I am grateful that healing takes time and that I and my children will continue to heal and grow and learn.
So, FIFTY, I am not so afraid of you and I welcome the joys (and challenges) that this next chapter will bring me.
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I am a widowed mother of three youngish children, ages 20, 17, and 15 and two delicious canines. I lost my husband a little over 3 years ago to a very rare brain disease. I am a former elementary school teacher who has since found solace in putting pen to paper and journaling my story even if only for myself. I hope by now sharing my journey I can help others who are now or who have walked in the same shoes of widowhood.