A report from eight years later

Sep 12, 2020

Profound loss creates a dividing line in our lives: before and after. In life before, we looked forward to dates on the calendar – birthdays, wedding anniversaries and holidays. In life after, these can pour salt into deep wounds. We are filled with dread as the days approach and when they finally arrive, we relive the difficult moments and feel the pain of the memories. It’s a special kind of torture.  

My husband passed two days prior to our wedding anniversary, so you could say that I get the tough days out of the way. (His birthday is Christmas day, so again, two for one.) This past week was anniversary week. Twenty years ago, we were married. Eight years ago, I picked a casket on our wedding anniversary. Here is my report from eight years out: 

The anticipation that is so daunting in the early years lessons with time.  

I’m now able to direct my brain to focus on the beautiful life we lived together rather than the events of that day – most of the time.  

I know that I can’t believe everything I think. I monitor my thoughts and delete whatever is neither true nor useful.  

I don’t judge myself or my journey. I have no rules to abide by. I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.  

My toughest days are now the source of my strength. If I’m not picking a casket on my wedding anniversary, then it’s not a bad day. And if I can do that, I can do anything.  

While I don’t believe we get “over it” or “move on,” we learn to carry it with us, incorporating it into us. It’s the difference between carrying around more than twice my weight and wearing a backpack.  

I live each day believing that he is with me, aiming to live enough for us both, and creating a life I love.  

That’s my wish for you.  


Teresa Amaral Beshwate, MPH, The Sudden Widow Coach, helps widows who have experienced the sudden loss of their spouse or significant other learn to live and love their life again. Her coaching program is exclusively for widowed people and offers the perfect mix of private and group coaching along with the most life changing tools for the uniquely challenging widowed journey. 

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