My friend Kim Knight lost her husband unexpectedly and, after getting back up from being knocked flat, she wrote this book to help others who are dealing with the challenges of being a widow(er). Check out this little post and excerpt. I bet you know someone who can use this!
I’m excited to share my first book with Diane’s readers! Widow’s Might; Embracing Life after the Loss of Your Spouse shares my experience along with the stories of many other widows and widowers who have traveled this road and prevailed. Topics include dealing with finances and other decisions that need to be made at a time when you’d rather get in bed and pull the covers over your head, living with the grief and guilt that come with surviving your spouse, wondering where God was during this time, deciding whether or not to stay in the home you shared with your husband, dating, and moving toward living life with renewed peace, purpose, and enthusiasm. Hope reading Widow’s Might is as much a blessing to you as writing it was for me! Kim Knight
Excerpt reprinted with permission from BroadStreet Publishing Group, LLC
We meet new people almost every day. Each new relationship nearly always starts with two questions: What do you do? And—after a time—are you married? Such simple questions with such complicated answers.
The “What do you do?” question may be easy for you. You’re a lawyer. You’re a stay-at-home mom. You teach school. You work for an insurance company. You’re retired. For all of our adult lives, we knew what we did. We knew who we were. We knew if we were married. We used to never even think about it when people asked. Now we do.
When people ask me what I do, I usually say, “I may be retired.” They laugh and we talk about what I used to do. But that generally leads to the fact I worked for my husband for twenty years which begs the question, “Are you married?” Whenever you say, “I’m a widow,” the response is always, “I’m so sorry.” What a sad place to begin.
My widowed friend Mary Jane recommends “just say you’re single.” I’ve tried that a few times and people always respond, “Divorced?” No . . . Golly.
I did have one great response to my “I’m a widow” remark. I was in a store purchasing a new paper towel holder with a decorative finial that had to be removed in order to put on a new roll. The store owner told me that men didn’t like to remove the finial, so—if I had a husband—I shouldn’t buy it. I said, “It’s okay. I’m a widow.” She replied, “Oh, that’s fantastic!!” She was mortified, but I laughed out loud. It felt normal and wonderful to have a happy memory attached to admitting I am—indeed—a widow.
When I first started thinking about moving to California, one of my primary reservations was that, if I move, no one there will know who Dale was. How ironic! While I needed to move away from Dale’s house, Dale’s street, Dale’s neighbors, I didn’t want him to fade away to nothing. Now I meet people who don’t even know he existed and I struggle with the very basics of who I am.
But you know what? It’s been amazing to analyze how I actually feel about Dale’s death. The wonderful people who have shared their stories have said the same thing. “I’m so glad I talked to you about this.” “I’ve totally reexamined who I am.” “I thought it would be sad, but it wasn’t.”
It’s possible to bury your real emotions beneath a load of activity. It’s possible to sit at home and never move on from the life you knew and loved. It’s possible to put your late husband on a “perfect late husband” pedestal and polish it while wearing your “perfect widow” crown until you, too, pass away. But having to figure this out in order to put my thoughts down on paper has been a tremendous opportunity for learning, for growth, for closure. My hope is that this book offers the beginning of some closure to you.
So, do we want to close this chapter? Maybe. What stops us from saying a resounding “Yes”? I’m not sure. It may have something to do with unresolved guilt about moving on. But this is what I do know: God willing, I may live for another 30 years and I refuse to be confined to the “perfect widow” box. I want to live my life in a manner that says to my children “I was not beaten by this. God showed me He has plans to give me hope and a future.”
Authored By Diane Markins