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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

Today marks 1 year since Patrick's funeral. 

Back then I never thought I'd ever be happy.  I didn't think it was possible.  If I laughed, I felt guilty. 

It did take a while for that guilty feeling to go away.  I knew Patrick wouldn't want me to feel that way, but it was something I couldn't help.  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get that feeling to leave.

Then it slowly did.  I would find myself laughing at something the kids did or said and realize that I was laughing and didn't feel guilty.

After Patrick's funeral, I thought I was done with heart issues.  At first that made me sad.  Then relieved.  I know way more than I ever wanted to know about the heart. 

Then a few months ago, I learned I wasn't done and my new journey was just now starting.  Robbie was diagnosed with a hole in his heart.

Then last week Jazzy was diagnosed with the same heart defect.  So now I transitioned from a heart wife to a heart mom.  Something most mom's find out about before birth or just after birth.  I didn't find out for 14 and 10 years.

I do know  a hole in the heart isn't the end of the world.  Its something that can be monitored and easily repaired when the time comes.  However that mixed with everything I went through with Patrick, it has brought my fears to a new level.

I look back on this past year and I'm amazed at all I have gone through and how well I have held it together.

I still have the good and bad days, but the good days are starting to out number the bad days. 

I have been on a horrible roller coaster this last year with no way off.  I deserve to be happy. 

I won't apologize for being happy.  I have earned it.  I won't apologize for coming here, to the chat, and laughing with others.  Even though all of our journeys are different, we all understand the emotions.  Everyone understands the emotions of being happy and feeling guilty.  I have learned a lot from the amazing people I have met here.  I honestly don't know where I would be if I hadn't found this site. 

I have earned my right to be happy and I shouldn't and won't apologize for that. 

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Comment by Gaining Strength on June 4, 2014 at 7:37pm

Warm wishes to you and your kids.

Comment by hendrixx2 on April 19, 2013 at 12:48pm

Hi Sam,

You know you're right...after enduring the loss and thinking we might never laugh again, it is a welcome relief when we find we can laugh again. I'm with you, I'm trying to laugh every chance I get, and am not apologizing about it to anyone. That I got my first, real, bellylaugh here at WV may be coincidental, but laughing as well as crying is part of the journey, and this is the best place I've found to help make the trek....right on Sam...Peace

Comment by missmyhunny on April 18, 2013 at 7:39pm

Sam, You are exactly right, we all deserve to smile and laugh again amidst our tears and heartache, and learn to live again without our significant other. I am sure they would want this for us too, to grieve for a time, but then to get back into life as best as we can. Life here is such a short time anyway, before we know it the years are gone, so we have to be present in our lives for our children and those that love us.

I am sorry you are going through the stress of the diagnosis of your children, and Prayers for all that to go well for you all.

And keep smiling, you do not need to apologise to anyone for that or anything else for that matter. Take care.

Comment by Mstexan on April 18, 2013 at 2:38pm

Sam, you Do deserve to be happy, to laugh, to have joy in your life.  I am sorry that you are now a heart mom, but you are a good mom and will deal with those issues as they need to be dealt with.  Hopefully, not for a very long time.  In the meantime, love and laugh with your kids and with everyone here!

Comment by cec on April 18, 2013 at 1:20pm

we all deserve to be happy ..Happy is ok too....

Comment by Marsha on April 18, 2013 at 12:46pm

No apologys necessary to anyone ever Sam! We all so deserve to be happy again and the laughter in chat is so uplifting. Something I desperately needed. I know I have had the strengh to move forward with my life because of all the wonderful people here supporting and cheering each other on.

Sending warm thoughts, hugs and prayers to you, Robbie and Jazzy!

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