March 29, 2019

Love Belongs To All of Us: Why This Widow Chooses Love After Loss


Are we only given one chance?

We marry.
They die.
That's it.

This is the story many want us widows to accept.
You are not human anymore.
You are a widow.
You were handed a card that says "sorry honey...that was all you get."
You loved him.
You lost him.
Love doesn't belong to you anymore.

Oh no my loves.
Love belongs to all of us.
Love is a gift for all of us to give.
For all of us to receive.

Funny thing is us widows are amazing at love.
We know the pain of loss.
We know the pain of heartache and how to heal our broken hearts.
We know how to heal our children's broken hearts.
We treat love as the most precious gift we are given because we know how it feels for it to be taken away.
We cherish it.
We honor it.
We respect it.
We love hard.
We love big.

It took years to love myself again after loss.
To rebuild and accept this new life of mine.
To be open to offering my heart to another.
To not feel guilty that another could be welcome in our home and hearts.

I loved myself to let love in again.
To let this man listen to and honor my story.
Sit with me in my pain.
Accept my bruises and scars.

He didn't run.
He didn't judge.

No. No. No.

He only saw a woman filled with love.
I only saw a man filled with love.
A man wanting to share with me what I want to share with him.

My boys know I love this man.
I am happy and complete.
They want me to be happy.
I hope they will know love like I know it.
I hope they never feel, or are told, they don't deserve it.

If you choose to love again after loss. Choose it.
If you choose to not. I honor your choice.

All I ask is you love yourself.
Love is love.
Love heals.
Love fills.
Give it.
Receive it.
Please share it.
Go love.

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March 22, 2019

I Forgive Me. I Forgive Him.

A car.

The power it had over me.

He loved cars. He would choose mine. I didn’t care. Was it safe? Check. How many car seats could I fit? Check. Color? I don’t care. Just give me safe.

He hated dirt.
He needed order.
His anxiety came out in our cars.
Black interior to hide the dirt.
Dirty boys soccer shoes taken off and put in the trunk.

We would fight about my car.
Kids eating in it.
Me drinking coffee and spilling in it.
Stupid fights.
He’d tell me to clean it out.
I’d tell him to stop the nagging.
Stop the demanding.
Stop the madness.
I started to leave it dirty to piss him off.
Resentful. Annoyed. Passive aggressive.

I see it clearly now.

The control.
His needs.
The fights.

It wasn’t about the car. It wasn’t about me. It was about him. It was his lack of control. It was about his inability to control his anxiety. Instead of me seeing it for what it was and responding with support. Instead of asking him if he needed help I would respond with anger. Disdain. Hurt.

With counseling this story has changed.

It’s not about a man trying to control his wife. It’s about a man trying to control his fears. Trying to control his environment to settle his unsettled brain. Unable to say it. Maybe he never even understood why he behaved that way.

I understand now.
Instead of black I need white.
White and light.
It calms me.
Cleanses me.
Gives me peace.

I wish I would have known what I know now.
I wish I could give him a hug and ask him if I could help him calm his head and heart.
I can’t go back and fix it but I can move forward and forgive myself for what I didn’t know back then.

I forgive that Sandra who didn’t know.
I forgive that Pat who couldn’t share his pain.
I forgive.

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February 22, 2019

Dear New Widow: A Love Letter to My 40 Year Old Self

Dear Sandra,

He died. 

Your world has been turned upside down. Chaos will dominate your heart and mind for months, actually years and I am so sorry.

Grieve him. 
Grieve you. 
Grieve your boys father. 
Grieve the life you thought was yours. 
Grieve the life you hoped would be theirs. 

It’s going to be brutal. Yes. Brutal.

Listen to me. Even though you may think it will never get better. Even though you believe the excruciating pain will never leave your body or mind. I promise it will. I promise. It takes time. Time to get your balance again. Time to learn how to raise them by yourself. 

Trust your gut. 
Believe in your choices. 

You are their mom. Don’t let anyone tell you how to parent. Don’t let anyone tell you how to live. 

They are not walking in your shoes. 
Sleeping in your empty bed. 
Living in your head. 
Learning how to let an old life go and creating a new one for you and those two. 

They are standing on the outside looking in. 
Their vote doesn’t count. 
Your life. 
Your boys. 
Your way. 
Your vote. 
Only yours.

Simplify your life. Accept you can’t do it all. Ask for help. It’s different now. 

From now on it is only about you and the boys. 
Nobody else matters. 
This is not selfish. 
This is survival. 

Dig deep. 
Find your strength. 
I know you have it.

Wants and needs of others are no longer your problem. Set boundaries. With family and friends. Boundaries will save you. You need your energy to heal you. To heal them. 

I know you are scared. 
Don’t be afraid Sandra. 
Fear will hold you back from healing. 
Be bold. 
Be brave. 

One day you will wake up and feel the sun on your face again. 
You will laugh without feeling guilty. 
You will let go of the rage and anger. 
I will be so damn proud of how far you 3 have come.

Those boys will be ok. They will smile again. I promise. 

Love them. 
Guide them. 
Be honest with them. 
Listen to them. 
Let them feel. 

I know you can do this. I believe in you Sandra. It will be so hard. For a very long time. You will struggle. They will struggle. Do the work. 

You will all heal. 
Life will be beautiful and so full again. 
But so very beautiful. 
I promise. 
You’ve got this. 

Love, Sandra

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January 6, 2019

Want to Read More...I'm on Instagram

I have been writing blog posts over on Instagram. Why? I am sharing my story with pictures and connecting with widows around the world. Head on over to Instagram @thewidowproject and follow me by clicking here. As always, thank you for reading and supporting the boys and I with your comments and shares. xo Sandra

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