(Author’s Note: This was a difficult post to write. Please do not eat or drink while reading. Remember, this is based on my experiences the past decade. Not sure I got the words right. Rewrote this post many times.)
Widowhood is brutal.
At some point, everyone got on with their lives while I was stuck in the muck of figuring out who I was and how to move forward with a new life.
Then one year later, life threw me another curve ball – unemployment.
My department went through a reorganization and I was booted to the unemployment line.
It made my life harder because I was too young to be a widow but too old to hold a job that enabled me to keep my covenant agreements with my creditors. The way God keeps his covenant with us.
My journey trying to rebuild a career, especially the last 4 – 5 years has brought me a deeper, more excruciating pain than Joe’s passing. In part because I live in a DIY society. Put your boots on and pull yourself up by the bootstraps. Requests for help are met with criticism, condemnation or empty meaningless cliche’s.
Most of society says life is all about self-sufficiency and not about service or teamwork.
A New Perspective
It is because of recent hard times and seeing everyone else thrive and flourish that I understand why widows:
- die by suicide
- attempt suicide
- never remarry
- become mistresses
- marry for money
I never understood any of this while single.
But now I do.
Now that I’ve walked in other widow’s shoes and dealt with some of the hard life that other widows experienced. I can see how easily it would be to choose to do something desperate.
I have no criticism or condemnation of them. My heart is filled with nothing but love, compassion, and understanding because sometimes life gets very hard and people deal with their hard life in desperate ways.
God is using my hard life to help me understand why people sometimes react to life the way they do.
The Job Offer I Turned Down
My career took a turn for the worse after I turned down the best paying job I’ve ever been offered in my life – mistress to a CEO.
Life has been so rough the past few years, there are days I wonder what my life would be like if I had accepted that position. Would I still have career woes after a half-decade of being a mistress or would I be sleeping with the fishes?
I do not regret my decision to turn down the CEO’s offer.
Even before Joe moved to heaven, I was unsure that I could ever remarry. I figure it would be too much work to find someone, fall in love, combine 2 households, and combine my biological family and Joe’s family in with new hubby’s family.
Friends With Compassion
What I and other widows need are friends good at plumbing, yard work, electrical etc… who are willing to give their time to help out a struggling widow. Friends who understand that the Bible preaches love, service, and teamwork and not self-sufficiency.
Because Lord knows my main concern is keeping my job, that pays a little bit above minimum wage.
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
Elvis recited a poem and sung a song about how I feel, about how we all should live.
“You never stood in that mans shoes and saw things through his eyes.
or stood and watched with helpless hands while the heart inside you dies.
So help your brother along the way no matter where he starts
For the same God that made you, made him too. These men with broken hearts.”
The 10 Years A Widow Series will conclude Monday April 30th.
Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while managing call center teams, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of history, chocolate, red roses and golden retrievers and is an amateur photographer at OgleOhio.