Dear new widows,

About a month ago a woman, with whom I worked briefly, experienced the death of her son by suicide. I did not reach out to her until last week. I wanted to, but I also knew she was being bomb barded with emails texts and phone calls. When I did write to her, I just wrote the truth, the raw very un-pc truth. I did not expect a response; I just hoped she read my note and that my words made sense to her. She did respond, and I was kind of shocked by her words. She was waiting for me to reach out to her. She needed to hear from me because I knew her great loss in my own way.

It made me realize that I need to take a moment on this blog to reach out to the heart broken. I am at a different place in my grief and my writings have become lighter. I experience obstacles and sadness every week but not the raw heart wrenching sadness of those early days.  Honestly I don't generally like to go there. 

So for you widowed people who have just begun your long and dark journey of grief I would like to share with you the words I shared with this mother who is grieving her son. I hope you too can find some comfort in these words. Remember to not be hard on yourself. Cry all day and night. Stay in bed. These are things you are allowed to do. But don't stay there forever.  Find a path that has the smallest glimpse of light at the end. Move towards it.

“What do I say? How do I make your heart stop breaking? I wish I knew, I wish I could take some of your pain away. I wish I could bring him back for you even for a moment. I have no idea what you are feeling, but I have a small glimpse of your pain.

You feel like your body is being crushed. You can't stop it. You are certain that you are going to explode at any moment because it is completely impossible to survive like this. These are feelings I understand in my own way, and I can only imagine how this must feel for you. We share the burden of no good bye. I play the night Joey died through my head a million times wondering how I could change the outcome. As I'm sure you do.

What did you do wrong?  My dad told me very early on to stop asking why that it would drive me insane. There are questions for which you will never have answers, no matter how desperately you long for them. I remember the first year I counted days and months. I couldn't understand how the world was still spinning, how people were okay when my world had ended. I counted the days I cried in a row it was like 256 I think. I don't know if I stopped counting or stopped crying. I got jobs at places like wine and design were I could pretend my life was okay. Only to realize the lie would overcome me and I had to speak my truth.

You were so nice to me after Joey died, and you didn't have to be. You left an imprint on my heart for some reason. And now I know why. I cannot fix your pain, but I can tell you one day there will be light. You see nothing but darkness now. You may want to tell me to go to hell for even suggesting that someday you will see some light, because you don't want light, you don't want happiness but I promise it will come.

I will forever be sorry for your loss I know how much he meant to you. Keep looking at those stars for him. Validate moments you know he is near you. Forgive yourself. I’m here for anything you need.”


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  • Diane Taylor
    commented 2017-04-05 04:26:15 -0700
    Hi Michelle, THANK YOU for these beautiful words you shared with that grieving mother. I too lost a child – my only child – 5 long hard years ago, at age 24, my son Jonathan Paul Daily died inside his first apartment, trapped by fire and overcome by smoke. I truly felt like I wanted to die and be with him. Every part of my body hurt. I wanted answers as to what caused that fire. And somehow I found this blog with people talking about grief. I found some comfort here. And I have continued to read it. Now I do find that light peeking thru the clouds. I do see my son’s story continue to be written. And I am the one that keeps turning the page.

    THANK YOU for caring – I am so sorry for your loss :(:(