After I heard the words your husband is dead I sobbed for a brief moment. Then my thoughts went to my children. How was I going to tell them that their father was dead? It brought instant pain to my heart. For the first time in life, I knew how someone could die from a broken heart. The emotional pain consumed my body. The anticipation of what I might feel next was overwhelming.
You might think that during those first few weeks you experience the worst emotional struggle in your life. Sad to say you haven’t even started…
I know that is not very uplifting, but honesty might get you through the next few moments of your journey.
You begin to feel numb. Your tears subside a little and you wonder why. Is it normal not to cry now every time you hear his or her name? Yes, it can be.
Then there is a time when you want to hit the fast forward button to spare yourself from feeling any more. I would meet other widows who were much farther in their journey than mine, and I would be jealous. I could not even wrap my mind around how they were capable of functioning.
I wanted to push fast forward and be in their shoes. I wanted to laugh without guilt, to look at my children without tears and to face the world without fear. What I discovered was that they too had walked this journey and that is why they were capable now.
What made me realize this was meeting others who had lost their loved ones many years ago and hit the fast forward button. They were still walking in my shoes. They did not let grief take over. It frightened them so much that they couldn’t. It depleted them, and they did not let go. When I was in the room with them I could feel the heartache that was there. The grief absorbed into me. I got up from my chair, ran out of the room and kept running. I found a peaceful place near a pond and sat on a bench. I sobbed. It felt like I was sobbing for all of them. I was releasing all of the pain and anger that had devoured them.
Sitting alone listening to my own sobs provided me with an understanding. I needed to choose which path I would take. Would I hit fast forward or face what scared me? I chose to face what scared me, and in those moments by the pond I began to hear the whispers of my crazy courage.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon