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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Growing Old(er) Together

I thought we'd grow old together... 

Such a common phrase in Widow groups. 

When Flavia died, that dream died with her. You don't just grieve the loss of the person's daily presence in general, you grieve so many specific things.

*She's not here to see our son become an Honor Student. 

*She's not here to see our other son struggle with a topic and then find breakthrough and overcome! 

*She isn't here to enjoy this house, that she would have loved. 

Then there's this whole other level, the future

You eventually pick yourself up off the floor and start to live again. 

It starts with just going to work, paying bills, eating, and not dying. But if you leaned into grief counseling and processed healthily, you eventually start to really live again. You start looking forward, making plans, buying a house without her, changing jobs without her, making life altering decisions without her... And then it hits you... 

"We'll never grow old together".


We did grow old-er together.

In our case, that was 14.5 years of happiness, tears, struggles, fears, and victories. We grew up, grew older, and grew wiser... Together. 

We succeeded and failed several times, together.

For some couples, that time was shorter or longer. But with very few exceptions, most couples don't leave Earth in the same moment. Every one of us couples will be a Widow(er) eventually, or, leave someone else in that state. That could happen when you're both 80... Or when you're both 22. There are no guarantees.

Some couples were married 50 years before one died. 

But I know several, personally, that lost their spouse after just a few years, widowed in their 20's. Even these, grew older together. Maybe not as long, maybe months or just a few years, but those experiences, however short, were still experiences you had together. You are still a person who grew because you knew them. 

You can find joy again if you accept that love, life, relationships, kids, families, friends, jobs, careers, all of it... Are about Seasons, they're never permanent. 

Like a river they change shape and size and depth and direction, and over the years they even morph into other things... the only constant is change. 

Once you give up forever and you start accepting life as seasonal, you can grieve the passing of a season while simultaneously embracing all this new season has to offer. 



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