Letter To The Young Widower


It is hard to lose the one you love. The one you shared your life with, the one who made you whole. This is directed towards one specific man in his specific circumstance, but it is meant for all those who struggle.

I was 29 when I lost my husband in a car accident. I’m now 30. We were married for less than 3 years when it happened, I knew him for less than 6. You had only two years with the woman that you were proud to call your wife. I know that right now to you those few extra years seem enormous. And you are right, they are. It isn’t fair that she was taken so fast. It isn’t fair that you found love and it was stolen away so fast. The rug was ripped out from underneath you and now you feel like you’ve lost everything. Everything you had and everything you were is suddenly gone… It’s a lot to take in. This new life is a lot to take on. It’s too much at times. It’s not fair and it’s not ok… But you will find a way. Not because you are so strong now, but because you have to. This is the life that has been handed to you and for now you need to grieve. You will spend time being angry, sad, and broken. You will get some strength back and then you will fall into your grief again. And it’s going to hurt.

But it gets better. You won’t always feel like THIS. You will learn to live again. And you won’t do it without her, you will do it because of her. Because you loved her and because she loved you. And she wants you to be happy again, so you will grab onto that piece of your heart that knows she wants you to keep living. It’ll take time. But the waves of grief will eventually become softer and easier to handle. Because you will become stronger. All the weight that you now carry on your shoulders will make you stronger and you will live in her honor. Hold on until then. Until you know that you will get through it, because you will. But for now, grieve.

This journey is difficult for a thousand reasons that are so hard to understand for those who haven’t been through this. And what makes it even more difficult is the we don’t fully understand the journey ourselves. I’m not convinced I will ever understand, but I am only just more than a year down this lifelong path so what I know is limited. But I do know that part of getting through it is to hang on to the community of those who are also going through it. No two widow(er)s are walking down the same path, because our grief is as individual as the love we shared. And I also know that the journey of a young widow is unique. We grieve what we once had, but we also grieve for what could have been and what now will never be. We grieve the life we almost had. We must learn to live this new life that we never planned to live, all the while wishing for our old lives back. The journey we have is different from those who had longer… But then again, all our journeys are different.

You will go through waves of grief. There will be times when life feels unbearable and you aren’t sure if you can survive this. You can. You will. And in those deeply painful moments the only thing you have to do is simply hang on. Just don’t give up. That is enough. You don’t have to smile if you can’t smile. You don’t have to pretend you’re ok. You don’t have to take on the real world right now. One day you will know that you will be OK. But for now, just hang on. That is all you have to do. It sounds so simple, but it isn’t. It’s painfully difficult… And when you need to lean on someone, lean on anyone you can. You need all the support you can get right now. This is too much weight to carry alone.


Published by

Becky Nolan

I a widowed mom to my young daughter. I lost my husband suddenly at the age of 29, leaving me with a one year old child to raise on my own. I live in Connecticut, where I met, married, and lost the man that I am still proud to call my husband. Every day I struggle. Every day I learn. Every day I am grateful for the time I had with him, and for the little girl he gave me before he left. I have found comfort and healing in writing. I have found purpose in sharing my story, knowing that so many others have been through it, too. Knowing that everyone has experienced loss and struggle. Words can be healing when they come from that deeply honest place within the soul. Grief is too lonely a road to walk alone, so I aim to give comfort and company on that lonely road.

9 thoughts on “Letter To The Young Widower”

    1. It is hard to know what to say to someone going through this. The truth is, sometimes the best thing you can do is just listen, really listen. And understand that you don’t know exactly what she’s going through, but you can walk with her down this long and lonely journey. Sometimes what she needs will feel to you like you’ve done nothing at all. You certainly have done something by simply reading this! She will make it through. Thank you for looking out for her.


  1. He would be 55 today. I lost him July 31st, 2014 to complications caused by pancreatic cancer. He wasn’t my husband, he was my everything…my heart and my soul. I have peace in knowing he is no longer suffering in horrendous pain…that he is healed and walks with Our Lord now. For myself, I grieve his physical being. I miss his laugh, his voice, his smell, his wit, his logic, his hugs, his kisses, his comfort, his friendship, his care and concern, his humor, his smile (grin), his work ethic, and every second he’s been gone my heart and soul has been empty. It makes me happy to talk about him, and to laugh at the memories of his craziness though. I know he would want me to be ok, but it’s hard to be ok. I am grateful and blessed to have walked to the very end of his world with him…Thank You God for putting him in my life. He gave and showed me more than anyone ever has. Donnie Clavel McCumbers Jr. – May 24, 1961 – July 31, 2014 – Dearly loved and sorely missed.

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  2. I am so glad I found some else that has experienced this. I know that sounds awful but it’s not easy to talk to people that don’t understand being a young widow with kids. I too leaned on blogging to help ease my pain and help clear my mind. I just wanted to say thank you for this and you will be in my prayers tonight. I am only on month 3 of widowhood. I miss my husband daily.

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  3. I am always curious why more widowers don’t blog or have support groups. Just a basic search brings up mostly widow groups and widow blogs and if I search really hard I really can’t find anything for widowers. Anyway, good post, thanks.

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    1. I will be honest, I think our culture is tougher for widowers to make it through than widows. We expect women to be emotional and in pain and need to heal… but we expect men to suck it up and hold in their feelings… and still be ok. But no one can do that when pain feels like this. Men hurt just as much as anyone. Men grieve just as much as anyone. And men have just as hard a time surviving the death of the person they love as women. Surviving does not come easier to someone based on their gender or any genetic traits. Loss is loss and pain is pain, yet we support women while we expect men to stand on their own. It’s not fair. It’s not right. And I hope that there is always enough support out there for the men who need it… just as much as women do.

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  4. It’s very hard. It’s been 31/12 yrs since I became a widow. I was married 37 yrs. although I knew that some day one of us would be left. I wasn’t ready at 59 yrs old. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever faced in my life. He went before my parents. When your heart is broken it’s hard to believe that you will survive. There is actually physical pain. Heartache. I remember some advice that I believe pulled me through. One day at a time. Sometimes it’s only minutes at a time. Thankfully I had God to pull me through as well. As a result my relationship with him has grown much deeper. I know in my heart( the one that was shattered in a million pices ) that I would not be where I am today if it were not for my faith. Slowly I gathered up all the pieces, had hope for my future and accepted this new journey. I had to more than just for myself. I have three adult children and 7 grandchildren. They suffered a huge loss as well. It gets better. It’s difficult, everything is different. Your heart heals. But their will always remain a crack. Nothing will ever change that. Memories will start to be of all the happy times. It gets better. Trust me.

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