I’m on a flight back from Fort Worth, TX. I went to visit the E’s. It was a spontaneous and out-of-blue type of trip that I decided to take before the year ended. I completely forgot that you wanted to visit them until I landed at the airport. When I was waiting for my bag at baggage claim, I remember you telling me that you wanted to visit the E’s when CE bought his house. You wanted to see his house and eat Texas BBQ. Somehow, when I was reminded of this memory, the emotions came flooding in and hit like a ton of bricks. It was another plan that went unfilled. The first day was a bit rough, but I pulled myself together and put on my BIG girl pants and made the most of it. I figured you would want me to have a blast and eat lots of BBQ and fried chicken, so that’s what I did. I think I ate so much this weekend that I put on 5 pounds.
There’s this new song that started playing on the radio that catches my attention every time I hear it. It’s called “Say You” by Lauren Daigle. It’s a Christian song, but if you take out the Christian and God part and only listen to the words, it’s beautiful. It resonates with me because her words are how I feel since I’ve been on this journey. I no longer know who I am without you. People say I’m loved, but I don’t feel a thing. People say I’m strong, but I feel weak. We were each other’s worlds. I was your everything just as much as you were my everything. I gave you strength and courage to become the person you are just as much as you gave me strength and courage to become the person I am. I was your person just as much as you were my person. Looking back, when we met, we were two lost souls wandering aimlessly through life. Even if we didn't know it at the time, we were searching for something.
After listening to this song, I realize why I hate it when people tell me I’m strong. I don’t think people understand the turmoil and struggle that rages on inside of me on a daily basis. The constant struggle to do the simplest things that most people don’t even think twice about like changing a light bulb or folding laundry. Even walking into the closet every morning feels like a battle. So, most of the time, I feel weak since I can’t even do the simplest things without it being a constant struggle. So, how can I feel strong when I’m struggling with the simplest things in life that most people don’t even think twice about?! Forcing myself to wake up each morning and living life is not extraordinary. It’s life! There’s nothing strong or unique about that. That’s just being normal. It’s not strong. It’s called choosing life and not letting the circumstances in your life control or define you. And, at the end of the day, I know it would break your heart if I didn’t choose to continue living life to the fullest, even if you never told me this when you were alive, in my heart, this is the only thing that I know to be true without question.
When you love someone deeply with all your heart and soul, you always put the other person’s happiness before yours. And this is how we both loved each other. Even if you never told me to choose life and continue living to the fullest if something ever happened to you, I know that is what you would want for me. When you love someone with all your heart and know the depth of their soul, you just know. They don’t need to say or tell you anything. You just know without question.
We’ve both worked too hard to be who we are and build this beautiful life together to throw it all away. Honestly, this is the only thing that keeps me waking up every morning to battle grief another day. This is the only thing that gives me hope that I will be okay because our love is so strong and deep, that it can transcend time, space, and death.
I want to let you know that taking grief on head on with eyes wide open has made me less afraid (even though I’m an emotional roller coaster as of late). I feel like I’m coming to my own and figuring out who I am and what type of widow I want to be. I’m finding the strength and courage to walk on my own and say, “I'm not afraid to be alone.”
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.