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Bending My Own Strong Will

In my determination to ‘not be defined as a widow,’ sometimes I don’t allow myself the space necessary to actually be one.

So resistant to a debilitating title and a wardrobe of mourning forever,

So insistent that my children will celebrate the beauty of the month of December, the holiday season, and the birth of Christ,

So determined to honor well the anniversary of losing Robb,

I push and push and push with new recipes, new traditions, this, that, and the next.

As if I can be my own distraction.  Or at least theirs.

My children are very fragile right now.  They keep me within their sight at all times, and often within their grasp.  The decorations, songs, and festivities evoke fears in them that they cannot name, and a subconscious part of them fears that I will disappear as quickly as their dad did.

So I stay close.  We sit tight. We watch movies and bake cookies.  And every time they ask, together we name the long list of people who will care for them if anything happens to me.  And I pretend that December 23 isn’t waiting for us to endure, while my own subconscious mind is very, very aware.

In my strong-willed determination to ‘not be defined as a widow,’ I may need to allow myself the space necessary to actually be one.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. It is ok to be a widow. I am 51 years old. My father died suddenly on December 23, 1981. I was 20 when he died, a junior in college. Christmas has never been the same. NEVER.
    My mom lived with a broken heart and never remarried; she said my dad was her soulmate and no one could replace him.
    You are doing a great job. There is no formula for a perfect widow or for how to keep your kids from being scared. You just… it.

  2. Yes, you should… around a year ago, you wrote of allowing yourself to cry, some, around the boys, so that they would give themselves permission to grieve. The wisdom of that article still rings true… run alongside the grief, because running from it is a losing battle, and one you wouldn’t really want the hard heart to win. May fresh peace be your pre-Christmas gift, all season long.

  3. My friend just referred me to your blog and I am so thankful I found someone that knows what I’m going through. I just lost my husband 11/28/12 (2 weeks ago today) in a car accident (my youngest was with him and was left without a scratch), 2 of my 3 kids just had a birthday shortly after and the timing (although never a good time) was at the worst possible season of the year for us. Thank you for giving other widows like Me hope.

  4. “And I pretend that December 23 isn’t waiting for us to endure, while my own subconscious mind is very, very aware.”

    With help from your Heavenly Father and with the prayers of His people, you will endure. I am praying that God will bless you this season with more of Himself – His grace, His courage, His love.

  5. I think of you and your children often, and pray for you when I do. You are a beautiful, blessed woman.

  6. I’m praying for you all!

  7. Yes, I think you are right. I think there is a lesson there for all widows. Praying for you and the boys during these next few weeks especially.

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