“To love a woman, who has been through true darkness and the depths of pain, is no easy task.” ~said by someone smart on the internet somewhere
Losing Wayne was a heart-opening experience. I learned to love deeper, to be raw, real, and more emotional…which of course, made me more vulnerable.
A few months before Kjell and I started dating, I read an article entitled, “To the Man Brave Enough to Love a Widow.” It helped me realize the rarity of finding a man who would be able to handle all that comes along with widowhood.
Here’s some of the hard stuff:
She has scars. You need to see that the scars actually make her more beautiful.
You must accept the admiration and love she still feels for her late spouse.
Don’t feel jealousy. Understand he still has, and will always have, a portion of her heart.
Make her your priority. Don’t leave her wondering how you feel. Because her heart is tender, she needs reassurance of your love.
If she is choosing to love again, then she has been through her worst and she is ready to have the courage to open herself up to vulnerability—the vulnerability of love, potential loss, and heartbreak. So, don’t be a jerk and screw with her emotions! (OK, I added that last part)
Here’s the good stuff:
If she loves you, then you have cracked open a wall she built to be safe, to never feel the pain of loss like that again.
You will get a woman longing to live a full, big life, with freedom and adventure because she knows life is short and rules no longer apply. (Lucky Kjell gets to deal with my spontaneous ideas a lot. )
You will get a community of warriors who will admire you and love you for stepping up for a woman they all have spent countless showing up for.
Once you have proven you want to protect her heart, you will have acquired a fierce new family of warriors who will hold you high with her.
You will get a woman with more to give you than you could have imagined.
You will be admired with gratitude every single day. She will treasure you.
Because she has survived the worst imaginable loss, she knows that she can be alone. She doesn’t NEED you, she just WANTS you.
I will always love Wayne, but that doesn’t mean there is less space for Kjell. Just like having multiple children, a widow’s heart expands allowing more room to love.
Kjell will never be able to take away the sadness of marker days that make me retreat from him, the random grief triggers instantly bringing tears to my eyes, or the pressure I feel to keep Wayne’s memory alive for my boys. But instead of being put off, jealous, hurt or offended by these things, he gives me space, and also holds a space for me, for when I’m ready to come back. That’s unconditional, deep love and I’m so thankful for it.