Those of you who have followed my story from the beginning know that I unfortunately deleted the original blog site I had created (soaringthroughsorrow.wordpress.com). I made that decision on impulse when I was dealing with some difficult emotions, and I have greatly regretted it. At the beginning of 2017, I decided that I wanted to start writing again and was so disappointed to find out that there was apparently no way to reactivate my site, so I created this new one (alongthebrokenroad.com).
After explaining my story to a very kindhearted soul the other day, he was gracious enough to make an exception for me and…reactivate my old site! I was so thankful and appreciative!
Here’s the bummer, though. With my new site, I am using an upgraded plan that offers more features and the ability to have my “.com” so that the address is easier to find and remember for my readers. Unfortunately, I am unable to do that for soaringthroughsorrow because that domain name is unavailable. So, I’ve decided to stick with this new name.
But here is the great news! The person I spoke to was able to transfer all of my previous followers, both through WordPress and through email, to this new site!
If my words are reaching you for the first time in a very long time, I want you to know how genuinely happy I am to be able to share my journey with you once more – as I continue to soar through sorrow along this broken road called life. I hope you will continue to follow and find inspiration here.
I’ve got lots of thoughts to share and big plans for this year – so stay tuned!
Just a couple of months ago, I had a fellow widow reach out to me. On January 17th of this year, she unwillingly and involuntarily entered into this lifelong club of young women who lost their husbands long before they were supposed to – before having the opportunity to share a lifetime of memories with them, of building a family, of growing old together. She told me that she’d come across my blog and thanked me because my story gave her hope. While I was thankful that my words reached someone who truly needed them, I have to be honest – I felt helpless. She said she felt “destroyed” and I hurt so much for her because I can completely empathize – something that not everyone can truthfully say. I wanted so much to comfort her, but all I could muster at the time was, “I am so sorry. I know it doesn’t feel like it now and you will never be the same, but it will get a little easier.”
I’ve been reflecting long and hard on my conversations with her, asking myself what I can do to help – and after the anxiety I’ve been dealing with the last couple of days, I realized that I may have lied to her. Not intentionally, of course, but in hindsight perhaps the promise that “things will get easier” is a gross oversimplification of the the grieving process altogether. I realize that grief is very unique to every individual, and that hers may not look exactly like mine. I’m hoping, though, that my recent “aha” moment can offer some insight. My widowed sister: this one is for you.
I remember during my first few months as a widow, it was often so hard to nod in agreement when someone told me to stay strong, to remember that everything happens for a reason or in God’s timing, to take solace in the knowledge that Ralf was in a better place. Even back when my grief was brand new, I realized that people said these things because they had no idea what else to say – and the truth is, there is nothing that can be said to ease the pain that early on. And still, even though I should have known better given my own experiences, I found myself trying to comfort this woman using one of those very same cliche condolences.
So, I take it back. What I said is inaccurate and misleading. IT (as in the loss of your husband who you loved with every piece of yourself and envisioned an entire future with) will never “get easier” – how could it? That statement doesn’t even make any sense if you really think about it. Here is the good news, though: YOU will get stronger. IT will never turn into some distant memory of an obstacle you once overcame – YOU will learn to somehow continue living with a permanent scar on your heart. There will probably be difficult days for the rest of your life, moments when the pain rises to the surface and results in sadness or anxiety or anger. On those days, don’t be ashamed of how you feel. It doesn’t make you weak or ungrateful for what you currently have. Allow the tears to flow and remind yourself that they are a testament to the great love and loss that you have experienced. These emotions will eventually visit you less frequently but I doubt they will ever disappear forever – even after you’ve managed to rebuild and recognize that your life is still beautiful.
And yes, beauty and happiness can be found again in this life – in ways and to extents that may seem impossible right now.