Welcome to Widow Wednesday #15 Living with love

Is it okay to keep on loving those we’ve lost?

Is it okay to love and miss our moms after they die? Yes. Is okay to love and miss our dogs and cats after they die? (check out your Facebook feed) Yes. Is it okay to continue loving and missing our children after they die? Absolutely. Is it okay to still love, miss and remember our best friends after they die? Yes. Is it okay to love and miss your husband or wife after they die? No.  I’ve heard this too often now to pretend that others do not feel this way.

I do not understand this. The very existence of this misbelief makes me a little crazy. Why is okay to still miss my mom’s company but not that of the father of my child, especially on days such as the birth of my grandchild?  Why when I remember the day my mom died is it okay and “we always miss our moms”  but when I remember the day my husband died that I am “still mourning him” or worse still condescendingly told “it’s still early days for you”.  Seriously?!?  I know there is no point in screaming at these less than compassionate and ignorant folks.  I know that if they love anyone deeply and lose them that they too will then understand how wrong they are.  And I know what “early days” look like and believe you me, my life is whole again now. It just contains pieces that these folks do not yet, understand and are unwilling to accept as legitimate. I know it is mainly because they do not want to think that they too may one day live this way. It’s foreign. And so, they pretend death will never grace their doorsteps and unfortunately, they judge those of us familiar with his presence.

I do not think the real issue is that there is still love in my heart for my late husband. Its existence does not hinder my ability to love another.  It is simply not true. If anything, it’s the opposite. Every parent who has more than one child knows this is not true.  Still, my guess is that pretty much every parent who finds themselves pregnant with a second child wonders whether they will have enough love for a second child and whether there will be enough love for their first child if there is a second one.  Somehow it is unfathomable to us that we can love a second child as much as we love our first.  And yet, we do and miraculously we learn that the more people we love the more we are capable of loving. In essence, there is something about adding people to our lives that makes us capable of loving more people.  Once our hearts have been opened to another and our ability to love has grown or increased that train has left the station. We love, we just do.  It’s a simple as that.  And when we lose, we still love. It’s as simple as that too.

In my case, I have also discovered that living with an open heart, loving others and losing some means that I treasure those who are here even more.  Do I love them even more? Perhaps. I am certainly now more than ever immensely grateful to love and be loved.  Like so many others I still love and miss my mom and dad, my brother, my friends (furry and otherwise) and of course, the father of my child, my late husband.  I know that love is fluid and that choosing to love is a way of life – once chosen it touches the past, the present and the future in miraculous ways.

Those who know this truth take heart, it is a truth worth knowing, regardless of what others may say. Living with love makes living better.

Looking for previous Widow Wednesdays? Start here with Widow Wednesdays #1
Buy Heike’s book “Grief is…” here
To learn more about Heike (Author: “Grief is… thoughts on loss, struggle and new beginnings click here