2000_01_2_web (2)I was married at a young age – I became a Mother immediately thereafter. I loved being a wife & a mom and never paid much attention to labels or statuses so I was nothing but amused being only identified at times as – David’s wife or their Mom.

… I became a widow at a young age – I became a “plus one” immediately thereafter and whether I liked it or not I had entered my own unique yet very universal territory of grief.

Living alone has not been the worst part of my journey – the worst part has been losing David and learning to live a life without him. When you have lived through the kind of loss I have lived through, people generally toss around words such as; inspirational, strong, courageous  – but grief is far more complex then one word descriptions and you are continuously faced with “crossroads” throughout your journey, most of my decisions to this point have been made in an effort to simply survive. I think of the quote by Tao Lzu; (“being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage”) as the month of January approaches the [third year] anniversary of David’s death and I dare to dream a new life for myself.

Unfortunately the stigma of grieving will follow me well into whatever success I may find in the new future I attempt to create. But the truth is – there is no end to the grieving process and there can never be the “normal” that existed before my loss simply because my life as I knew it and the person I was no longer exists. I was not given the choice to let my life remain the same and so my only choice of survival has been to evolve.

It’s easy to get anchored in your grief and your sorrow but I would find an outlet that would ultimately serve as a catalyst to a new way of life – a healthier lifestyle. We participated in the annual fundraising “Heart Walk” event for the American Heart Association. The opportunity to gather family and friends in his honor and complete the 5k walk to raise needed funds to prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke was healing and empowering. David loved gatherings, he had also become an avid “walker” – it was a beautiful tribute in his memory.a still-standing-quote

This is not the life I had planned, not the future that I saw before me two years ago. January is another “crossroad” a fork in the road – I can’t help but be humbled by David’s abundant gratitude for life and creating a new future for myself is how I can honor my husband, this wonderful man who gave so much to me in his lifetime.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11