…for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, until death do you part…
We remember the words in the vows, but honestly, that day is filled with so much emotion and happiness, that we barely remember the vows, let alone the “death” part. No matter what your age, it is a topic that you and your spouse need to discuss and prepare for. This may not be a happy blog post, but it is a topic that needs to be discussed.
I had the pleasure of meeting a very wonderful woman, Kim Richardson who has founded an organization called “Widows of Opportunity” and she has a blog by the same name that gives support and advice to those that have lost a spouse so I asked her a few questions.
(her answers are in bold and underlined):
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for me. I hope I don’t get too intrusive or invoke too many emotions and I’d like you to be as honest as possible as I have no idea how you feel or cannot imagine what you have been through….
When I think of a widow, my grandmother comes to mind – you know, the older, settled, “at the end of the journey” type but you are rather young so was your husband sick or did he die in an accident?
My husband died in a car accident.
First thing to keep in mind – life is too short to sweat the small stuff. Whatever it is that your mate is doing that “bugs” you won’t seem as bad when the person is not around.
How prepared were you for his death? Had you two discussed anything like this?
I was not prepared at all for his death. We never discussed death.
I know death is not a popular topic, but it needs to be discussed. Talk about what will happen and discuss your expectations and fears.
What about things like insurance or wills? Did you have those prepared?
The insurance was prepared but there was no will.
Make sure there is a will for both of you! There are too many stories about families “fighting” over what they thought the person wanted done. I would also suggest a living will with instructions on what to do if you are in ICU on life support. Know where the insurance policies are and make sure the coverage is enough for the other person to live on after you are gone.
Did you have children? How do they feel about not having their father and how do you explain it to them?
We have a 14 year old son. My son is suffering and has been since his father passed away. He is in counseling but it is not working for him the way I thought it would. He is upset with his father for passing away. I told my son he is lucky to have experienced being loved by his father. There are so many young boys/men that will never and have never experienced that feeling. My husband was a wonderful father!
Remember that you may not be the only one hurting and missing your mate.
How did your friends and family respond to you?
They responded with loving arms. I backed away and stayed to myself. I regret doing that now.
How do they respond to you now?
I’ve changed a lot and now they respond to me the same. They always loved me and had my back.
How do you wish they would respond to you?
They responded the way good friends and family are suppose to respond. I couldn’t wish for a better family or friends.
If you are on the other side and need to be there to support someone, no matter how hard they push you away, don’t leave, because they need you.
Although you may never “get over” your spouse, how long did it take you to get to the point that you could “move on”? Or have you?
It took me close to 7 years to move on. It was a rough 7 years because I refuse to accept the death of my husband. Today, I can say I am much better and I have moved on. He wouldn’t want me to waste another 7 years mourning and being sad.
If you had a “choice” would you have preferred to lose him to divorce? Why or why not?
NO! I think divorce is worse than death. When you divorce someone there is a chance you might see them again. You might see them at the store, church, when you drop the kids off, etc. I would hate to see my ex husband with another woman. I did not believe in divorce and neither did my husband at that time. I could not see my ex husband with another woman.
How do you deal with the loneliness?
In the beginning, I would date. Now, I don’t have time to feel lonely. I use my idle time wisely. I’ve started an organization and all of my time goes towards making this organization successful.
The best way to help yourself is by sometimes helping others. Reach out to someone that may be going through what you are.
Do you have friends/family that try and make you “move on”? How do you respond to them?
My family and friends were and still are patient. I’ve met people in the past that tried to make me “move on,” Let’s just say they are no longer in my life.
Do you think you’ll date or marry again?
I’ve dated and because I wasn’t mentally ready, the relationship did not work. I want to get married again. I can say I am now ready for marriage.
What other advice would you pass on to someone that may end up in your situation?
Keep God in your life, get counseling, and do not push your family and friends out of your life.
This may be a similar question, but if you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently?
I would have had more patience and understanding. I wanted things my way and I didn’t care about his feelings at times. I was young and selfish at that time. I would have communicated more, compromised and would have been considerate of his feelings.
I would like to add that I loved my husband! He was an amazing man and he loved me. I always felt safe and secure around him. Our marriage had its ups and downs but for the most part we loved each other. He was very young when he passed away. He worked hard and he took good care of his family. He made sure we had what we needed and wanted. I am blessed that I was able to experience love.
You’ve heard the saying, “tomorrow is not promised”. Now that you have read this, think for a minute about something you appreciate about your mate and go and let them know.
I would love to know what you think, so leave a comment and share your thoughts. You can contact me or send me a email to inquire about available rates and dates. I’d love to hear from you!!