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.