... it would have a picture of a family of four, all of us together, as we often feel we are. There would be two men in this picture, one of them representing the life we had and the other, the life we’re building. They’d both be there because they’re both with us. Because one would not be here if it were not for the other.
I choose to look at widowhood not as a loss, but as an opportunity because that’s what it has offered me: an opportunity to learn what my limits are and understand that these limits aren’t boundaries that constrain me; a chance to make room for a new love that is unthreatened by the sadness of a love that is gone. This new love is not a replacement, but an addition, and to be able to add after a period when every day was defined by the weight of a subtraction truly is a blessing.
I might have written a note to accompany my holiday card updating you on where my daughter and I have traveled to in 2019, what she and I have accomplished, how she and I have thrived when surviving might have been a perfectly acceptable outcome for another year without my husband— her father, the man who made us whole. But I couldn’t figure out how to envelop the meaning of our new selves and our new life and this new love we’ve welcomed in an end-of-year update. You have to spend time with us to understand what it all means to us, the three of us who are here and, I’m sure, the one who isn’t, but who is always going to be present.
I’ll leave you with a picture that is incomplete, then, just as a holiday card would have felt incomplete.
May you find in this picture, in our smiles, the hope you need to get through whatever difficulty you’re facing. Because I know you’ll get through it, and that you’ll grow as you navigate this difficulty. You might even be pleasantly transformed by the experience, just as we have.
With love and purpose,
WHY – AND HOW – I WRITE
The key to writing a good story is knowing what you don’t know and finding the right people and documents to help you learn it. You have a fundamental question that leads to a bunch of other questions that need to be answered so that your fundamental question makes sense. This is how I write.
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