My husband died last month after his year-long brain tumor battle. In the course of one year I went from a happily married wife to a widow. Just like that. I'm a widow.
We knew my husband wouldn't survive his brain tumor because no cure exists, but we hoped and prayed for more time. We just wanted more time. Last year was a blur of doctor visits, prescription medications, radiation and chemotherapy appointments, MRIs, hospital admissions, insurance claim phone calls, and a host of other illness-related tasks.
Last year I had to learn how to care for a husband with a terminal illness. This year I have to learn how to live without him. Last year I had to tell my children their father was going to die. This year I have to remind them he's not coming back. Last year we learned how to adapt to a constantly changing schedule. This year the stillness is unsettling.
My kids and I are learning how to cope with our "new normal." It's a daily challenge to figure out how fill the huge, gaping void in our lives. It's also a daily challenge to figure out how to navigate widowhood. Do I still wear my wedding ring? Do I fill out forms as Mrs. or Ms.? Do I keep my wedding photos on display? For how long?
At times like this, I continually recite the serenity prayer: God grant me the
serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
I cannot change that I'm a widow. Now I'm praying for the serenity to accept it.