I haven’t wanted to admit that I am now a widow. That word has always conjured up pictures in my mind of white haired women who have lost their spouses only in old age, certainly not a term to use for a young woman not yet 30 with a 9 month old daughter. Yet here I am, I have become a widow. My beloved Jared passed away February 1, just barely by my account, and I was thrown into widowdom unexpectantly, tragiclly, dramatically, and many other “ly’s” that boil down to sadly. I am sad.
So here I find myself.
While it is something I have become, I am coming to the realization that it is also something I am still becoming. Or rather, someone I am becoming. God, the ultimate weaver of life, is making a pattern that I cannot see. Will it be beautiful along the way or only in the end?
I look into my daughter’s face, which looks so much like her daddy’s, and joy and sorrow walk side by side into my heart. Grief and I have become fast friends as it has set up permanent residence there. And while happiness lives there too, she’s gone on sabbatical and I don’t know when to expect her back. But as my daughter smiles and her eyes sparkle like I’ve never seen before in someone, I feel hope and sense that we will be ok. The magnitude of love I have for her pushes out the dreariness and plants hope and peace in it’s place. It’s because of her I pick my weeping self off the shower floor knowing she will be waking up and needing to be fed. It’s because of her I still try to plan fun things to do like go for walks or shopping outings. She deserves a happy mom. She is me and Jared all rolled into one perfect, beautiful angel.
So here I go, down this new path as a widow still somewhat in the making.
I am acutely aware of my daily dependence on the comfort and peace I find in Jesus Christ’s Atonement. Through this and the prayers of many supportive family, friends, and strangers I’ve never met, I am being sustained each day at a time. Just when I feel that without Jared as the center of my whole world means my life will stretch on and on and on, I receive a tender mercy that reminds me just how much Jared loves me. I feel connected to him and love him in return. While I have become his widow, our love story continues even though we are apart.
Our love story has been told to thousands more than I would have ever imagined and I am humbled and amazed by what is happening in my life now because if it. I have always known my husband had a special purpose on this earth, but it seems his ability to share his love for Jesus Christ and His gospel has been magnified beyond what I could have guessed. I am feverishly trying to journal all the wonderful experiences that are happening because I want my daughter to know one day of the legacy her daddy has left for her.
I am now of the opinion that becoming a widow is really a calling of sorts. Like motherhood, I’ve now become part of widowhood. It’s not a calling I would hope for nor wish on my worst enemy. But widowhood it seems is another pathway to become what my Heavenly Father wants me to be. I’ve been called upon to wade through this experience so The Weaver can shape and mold me into something more beautiful and glorious and place me next to my dear Jared once again who is being shaped and molded also in another sphere.
I’ve had the thought cross into my mind this week that by being separated, albeit for a time, Jared and I have somehow been given more power and ability to do whatever it is God calls upon us to do. It’s almost as if whatever our mission is together, it has to be done simultaneously on each side of the veil separating mortality and Paradise. I know I have become an instrument in Gods hands now, which is evident by what is transpiring in and around my life.
I can’t deny that it makes me wince to hear or say the word, but I am accepting my new title as widow. It’s right up next to my ever divine calling as a mother. And all though somewhat in the shadows, I still feel my sacred and beloved calling as a wife is there too being pulled along the wayside of this new life being woven. I have been given a glimpse of what the overall pattern will be, and it is beautiful. I feel a tinge of disloyalty to my husband as I say that, but I cannot deny that in the 3 short months since his unexpected passing incredible blessings have been poured out over my daughter and I. So much that I am having to tuck them into every nook and crany I can find because there simply isn’t room to recieve it all. I believe Jared has a hand in all if it, maybe choosing a thread here or a thread there, while God is teaching him to become a weaver himself one day.
While I don’t know much about who am without my husband by my side, and simply finding a new rhythm to life is my daily struggle, I am becoming someone who will one day match who my husband is becoming. I pray each day that my hope in Christ will eventually outweigh the scales against sorrow and fear. Grief and sadness along with love and goodness are tools in shaping who we are all becoming, and it is because of Jesus Christ’s infinite Atonetment that enables us to become.
by Benjamin Malachi Franklin
My life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the underside.
Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
Questions to Ponder:
- What tender mercies are you seeing that are giving purpose to your loss?
- How can you better notice the good things that are coming from this experience?
- How does journaling help you remember and think on good things?
Check out this post in the Learning and Journaling Badge
by Rachael Bangerter
husband passed away due to complications from the flu 2/2014
A Merry Heart