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Short and Sweet Summary: I think you’re awesome. But it doesn’t matter what I think. What do you think? Read on for reasons why you need to remind yourself why widows are amazing – yes, I’m talking to you!
You’re amazing, you know that?
If you’ve convinced yourself you’re mediocre or not good at anything since your husband died, I’m here to remind you why we widows are amazing.
You are amazing because you’re a widow. Not because you have red hair or because you were born in June. You’re not amazing because you read War and Peace (well, that’s sort of amazing) or because you can recite the preamble to the Constitution.
What’s so absofuckinglutely amazing about you is you’re surviving a loss most people can’t even begin to imagine. Oh, they think they can imagine. I mean, you probably thought you can imagine what it would be like to lose a spouse before you actually lost your spouse. But we widows know better. Whatever people imagine, we know it’s about a gazillion times worse.
So, get ready to feel the love, ladies. Read on for the reasons why widows are amazing:
YOU GET UP EVERY DAY AND PUSH FORWARD
Notice I didn’t say move forward. I said PUSH forward because every day feels like you’re moving an Indiana Jones sized boulder just to get out of bed and make it out the door. But you keep pushing and you keep moving and eventually, you roll the boulder right out of the damn way.
YOU’VE LEARNED HOW TO SMILE THROUGH THE GRIEF
You smile even though your heart physically hurts from the grief. No one can prepare you for the physicalness of grief. The heartache, muscle tension, and shallow breaths. And, of course, the tears. Widows are amazing because, through all the physical and emotional pain, you continue to find reasons to smile.
YOU TEACH OTHERS HOW TO GRIEVE
Most people want to ignore grief, but widows are amazing because you force people to say your dead husband’s name even though it makes them uncomfortable. You give others permission to cry because you cry and tell them it’s the only way to cleanse your soul. When you openly grieve and assure everyone it’s the only way, you relieve others of their need to protect you.
YOU’VE LEARNED HOW TO BE INDEPENDENT
Even if you’re not sure how to do something you find a way to get it done. You hire someone. Or you do it yourself by watching YouTube videos or reading instruction manuals. Your independence grows with every decision you make alone. You’re in control of your life and your choices are 100% up to you. I’m so proud of you! You’re an independent kick-ass widow!
YOU DON’T NEED ANYONE TO UNDERSTAND YOUR JOURNEY
One significant reason why widows are amazing is you’ve learned that no one will understand your journey and it’s OK. You’ve stopped trying to explain why you do what you do. You’ve come to understand it doesn’t matter if anyone else gets you, agrees with you or even supports you. Clawing your way back up from the depths of despair isn’t an easy task. But you’re doing it and no one else has the right to claim they “know how you feel.” Screw ’em.
YOU’RE LEARNING HOW TO BE SELFISH
You’ve spent your life taking care of others and doing what you think you’re “supposed to do.” Well, guess what? Your life was turned upside down and now you get a pass to start doing whatever the fuck you want to do. You’ve looked death in the eye. You understand your own mortality. If now isn’t the time to be selfish, when is? Learning to be selfish is a process because it’s such a foreign concept. But you are learning. You’re saying no. You’re practicing self-care. You are owning your selfishness. Being selfish isn’t a negative it’s a necessity.
YOU’RE BECOMING YOUR MOST AUTHENTIC SELF
Sadness, grief, and pain have forced you to shed the layers of protection you’ve amassed in your lifetime to unveil the you-est you. She’s raw. She’s vulnerable. And you adore her. You didn’t know how strong, independent or capable you were until you had no choice but to be strong, independent and capable. Hello, authentic, bad-ass widow self. Goodbye little mousy girl who I can’t even remember anymore.
YOU’RE IN CHARGE OF YOUR FINANCES
Now that you hold the purse strings, you get to call the shots. It’s scary as hell sometimes and you don’t always admit when you’re worried about paying all the bills, but you still manage to figure it out. You’ve learned critical money management skills every widow should have. You’re rocking it. And, you get to tell people it’s none of their damn business what you do with your money or how much you have in your bank account. Shame on them for asking!
YOU KNOW HOW TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT
You’re aware that everything can be taken from you in the blink of an eye. You appreciate the simple things. Laughter found its way back into your life and you relish in the uplifting moments of joy because you understand joy and pain exist together. Without one, you can’t know the other. So, you dance a little more, take the long way home occasionally and don’t sweat the small stuff. Even though you’ve gone through a devastating loss, you realize there are always people in this world who have it worse than you do. You literally stop and smell the roses when you get the chance.
YOU ACCEPT YOUR IMPERFECTIONS
You’ve given up any sense of perfectionism because you live every day knowing that no matter how hard you try you can’t bring your husband back, predict the future, or save the world. Your perfectionist tendencies don’t serve you well in the widowed world. You’ve seen too many ways your plans can change in an instant. So, you go with the flow and allow the universe to bring you what you need when you need it. You can’t save the world, but you can save yourself. You can’t change your circumstances, but you can change your reaction. Your new, less-than-perfect self accepts the unknown because there is peace in not having all the answers.
YOU’VE LEARNED HOW TO SAY NO
You know you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. It’s that simple. You don’t have to go to any events or activities that don’t bring you joy. You don’t have to abide by anyone else’s standards or justify your actions.
End of story.
YOU WEED OUT TOXIC PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE
When someone dies, you learn pretty quick who your true friends are. You don’t have time for hurtful or damaging people in your life. You don’t have the energy to suffer through someone else’s drama or narcissism anymore. Losing a spouse is at the VERY TOP of a number of stressful events in one’s life and you’re living it.
BOO FUCKING HOO to everyone else.
YOU HAVE SUPERPOWERS YOU NEVER KNEW EXISTED
You uncover new strengths every single day. People look at you and think, how does she do it? You don’t even know how you do it but little by little you realize you really are strong because you don’t have a choice to be weak. You really can do this even on the worst days when you’re convinced you can’t.
Somehow, someway, you roll out of bed and do it all over again. By your damn self.
That, my friends, is true grit.
Repeat after me, “I’m a widow. What’s your superpower?”