Dear Younger Widow,

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Take a deep breath.

You found your way here because of an overwhelming loss.

Your husband, the man you were supposed to grow old with, has died. You did not want to be part of this club and you may wonder if you’ll ever be happy again.

You have found the right place – one that may help you discover a personal and meaningful way to honor your husband’s legacy so you can move forward to create your own. I wrote a letter to you. Please allow me to share it…

Take a deep breath.

You found your way here because of an overwhelming loss.

Your husband, the man you were supposed to grow old with, has died. You did not want to be part of this club and you may wonder if you’ll ever be happy again.

You have found the right place – one that may help you discover a personal and meaningful way to honor your husband’s legacy so you can move forward to create your own. I wrote a letter to you. Please allow me to share it…

Hello Precious One.

You have come to a place created for young widows. You have found your way to this space not because you wanted to be here but because of circumstances you never would have chosen. I am deeply sorry for the loss of your husband and for all the other losses you have suffered as a result.

As you sift through the pieces of your present life and your former life, your heart may be raw and tender one day, numb and frozen the next, or even hard and angry. How perfectly normal and human to feel a full range of emotions, many of them negative or even scary, in light of the traumatic experience of your husband’s tragic death. He was supposed to grow old with you, raise a family with you, be here to share life with you.

Perhaps your longings are similar to what mine were more than a decade ago when I was 49 and left as a widow with three children to raise. In the midst of the grief and trials that go along with being widowed, I longed for another widow to come alongside me who had hope to offer. I wanted to meet someone who could affirm that down the road I could find a different kind of happiness and fully re-engage with life. I also longed to find a meaningful way to remember my husband, though my initial shock, grief and sadness at his death made this particular desire seem beyond my capacity to fulfill.

Sharing the Journey.

As someone further along, I could be that other widow for you. I am not an expert, or a grief counselor but merely another woman who crawled a similar path. I would be honored to share with you what I learned in one specific dimension of being a widow – how finding meaningful ways to remember your husband and honor his legacy might also help you move forward in your own life and find new purpose as you do so.

When I was newly widowed, I did an online search of ways to remember someone who had died. Most of what I found were products to purchase. Buying something, a once and done proposition, was not going to satisfy my soul longing for a bigger, meaningful, living legacy in my husband’s memory that had a real impact on my life or others’ lives. I wanted to see, experience or create positive change as a result of his death. How could I prove to myself and my children that because I was married to this man, the one I chose and the one who chose me, that I became different and better? Though part of me seriously doubted that I would ever go a day without crying or ever feel anything except crushing grief, I took one small step, in the strength I had at the time, because I knew that he was counting on me not to give up or get mired in lifelong grief. I wanted to make him proud.

Do you long to do this too?

Discovering New Purpose.

In any good story there is a point where the protagonist is knocked down so badly that the audience wonders if she can recover. Perhaps she isn’t sure herself. The heroic part is that somehow she does and the inspirational part is that her choices, her actions, and her motivation aren’t about egoism but about honoring another. What if you could find ways to be the heroic, inspirational protagonist in the story? I believe you can. The work you do to discover what this might look like in your own life is not a quick fix to heal your heart. But I can testify from personal experience that it does offer a step towards hope and new purpose.

As an example, my husband was eulogized as someone whose life exemplified seven statements: live fully, laugh often, serve others, love God, be faithful, suffer courageously, love nature. I used the first three statements as the basis for deciding that I would do one memorable, out-of-my-comfort-zone activity every single year in honor of my husband. I have now done 14 different things. These experiences have been life affirming, have forged new friendships, have given me strength and have offered me purpose.

Let’s Do This Together.

Do you desire to find a meaningful way to remember your husband?

If what you have read so far resonates with you, your first step is to begin journaling – just a little bit.  I’ve curated a set of reflective questions to help you think about your husband’s best qualities and how you might translate them into meaningful action.  Don’t worry.  I’ve made it easy.  You can just make lists.  Enter your email and I will send the reflective questions to you.

Wishing you peace,

Yes. Please send me the reflective questions.

I want to think about honoring my husband’s legacy and creating my own.