Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Don't use the W word

New blog for young spouses who are widowed

Losing a spouse must be devastating. When he leaves behind a young wife and/or a family? It seems even more unthinkable.

That's why I'm inspired by people like Dana, who lost her husband less than a year ago and forges ahead with their three young children.

Yep, inspirational.

Even though she would probably hate to be called inspirational. She probably thinks her life is just about taking one step at a time right now, rather than being a role model for anyone. So I'll use "gutsy," "smart," "determined," "down-to-earth" and "great mom" to describe her instead.

Dana started a new blog because she discovered there were relatively few sources and/or outlets for young spouses who lost their significant other; as if society doesn't expect anyone under the age of 40 to be widowed. Or - at the very least - we aren't supposed to talk about it.

Much like Dana's husband, my dad's death was quick. One moment? There. Next moment? Gone. The shock is indescribable. It's one of those moments that unless you've been there, unless you've lived it, you'll never truly understand it. The world stops, tilts on its axis and rocks the life out from under you.

Then something amazing happens. After the condolences, the rest of the world rights itself and continues on its way as if nothing ever happened. But your life? Changed forever. After my dad died, I remember being in a store or at work and everyone walked, talked, laughed around me like normal. Because - to them - it was. Life hadn't changed in their world. Just in mine.

I know how difficult it has been to watch my mom adjust to her life without my dad - and it's been over three years since he died. Plus, her children were grown with families of their own. So there's no owner's manual to dealing with this.

So I hope by following Dana's blog I can understand how to be a better friend to those who are living it.

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