I thought I knew how to honor him, but I was wrong

Mar 14, 2023

At first all you felt was the pain. Every single thing was painful, including your thoughts of him.

And then pain became the primary way you knew to honor him. He was, after all, so worthy of the tears.

In some ways, what you had left was the pain. One minute he was with you. The next minute you experienced unprecedented pain. It was an exchange of sorts.

If you're like I was, you conclude that the pain is the best and only way to honor him.

So, when moments without intense pain happen, you feel confused and concerned.

What does that mean about him?

What does that mean about our marriage?

Did I not love him enough?

It can be disorienting.

I was at the cemetery lamenting that all I could do for him was bring flowers to a grave. I got back in my vehicle, slammed the door, and this notion came over me. It was loud, clear and a bit stern:

No, you can live.

At that time, I was in a place of existing at best. I didn’t know if I could give myself permission to live. And besides, what did it even mean to live again in this world that lacked his physical presence?

I had more questions than answers.

I wanted to dismiss the idea altogether.

But I couldn’t shake the notion that the one thing I could do for him was to truly live again.

I lived that question. I examined it from every angle. Slowly but surely, I leaned into it. I tried it on for size, in small ways.

I started to see that it was possible to honor him in a variety of ways. Yes, he is worthy of my tears. And he is worthy of my laughter, my joy, my happiness. In fact, he would relish in it.

  • When I dream big, I honor him.
  • When I succeed, I honor him.
  • When I laugh out loud, I honor him.
  • When my heart gains capacity for love, I honor him.
  • With every breath, I honor him.
  • With my life, I honor him.

The only thing that changed were my thoughts. And this is what we do inside of Life Reconstructed, my coaching program exclusively for widowed people.

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