We want our husbands back.

We don’t want your husband, your son, your father, your grandfather, or your cousin’s next door neighbor’s husband, her son, her father, or her grandfather.

If we ask the simple question, “how is he doing” That’s all we mean. We may not want to be alone, but we never want to wreck a home.

We want our lives back.

We want what we can’t have; can never have again.

We want you to understand that. And if you can’t understand it, please learn to accept it.

We want to win at the game of life.

We hated losing everything.

We want the pain to go away.

We don’t want to kill ourselves. Though we may say, I wish I were dead.

We don’t want pity.

Yours or anyone else’s.

It causes us to feel pathetic. So, please don’t preach if you decide to stop and chat.

And if you see us on line in the Dunkin’â„¢ Donuts, please don’t point at us to your friend when we pass.

We hate it when conversations turn to whispers when we step one high-heeled toe into the party.

We don’t want that.

We want an ear; a shoulder. Someone to listen to our terrible horrible ugly day. Think King Kong with Faye Raye.

We don’t want to hear, “If there is anything I can do, call.”

Be specific.

We want, “Can I drop off a chicken and potato dinner Tuesday night at six?”

We don’t want to tell anyone we are afraid, though we are scared to our core.

We are afraid to reach out, we are afraid to ask favors. We are afraid we can’t pay back.

We want others to know that we are concerned about the future — Ours.

We don’t want to be alone.

We do want to be alone.

We don’t want to answer the door, the telephone, or the sea of sympathy cards mountain-piled on the kitchen table. They act as reminders of death. Even emails can be overwhelming to us. When someone is dead, they do not return. It takes time to process that.

We want space.

We know you are there for us.

We don’t want space.

We don’t know you are there for us.

We will reach out when we are able.

We want others to do the same.

We want others to know we know you care. Be patient.

We want others to know, we don’t know you care. Be persistent.

We want to measure time the way we once did.

Not BD (Before His Death), or AD (After His Death).

We want others to know that for widows, time has changed.

And we must process that.

We don’t want to hear, “I know how you feel.”

You don’t. We pray you never will.

We don’t want to hear, “I know what you need.

Even if you are an authority, it’s not up to you.

We don’t want to hear, “You’ll be okay.”

Especially when we feel nothing will ever ever be okay, ever again.

We don’t want to be judged for something we did, something we said; something we didn’t do, something we didn’t say.

We are human beings and now we are alone and we are vulnerable.

Under the circumstances, we want others to know we are doing the best we can.

We don’t want to hear (not at this time, anyway) about a visit to a hospital to visit a best friend’s cousin’s dying milkman.

Please spare us the details.

We want to know that someone in the world is mending, healing, getting better, and soon, very very soon, will be leaving the hospital on his own two feet.

We don’t want to know about a stranger’s funeral.

Chances are, we already know. We just don’t care. At this time.

We want never to forget Him.

He was everything. He loved us back.

We want to cherish His memory.

Please don’t feel uncomfortable if we mention His name.

We want others to know, though life has kicked us where it hurts, we still find joy.

We want to go on living, plan to meet someone new, to laugh out loud, to live and love and be loved back.

We want the world to know, we dare to dream.


Linda Della Donna is a freelance writer and a widow. She supports widows as they work through the grief process. Della Donna wants every widow to know we’re not alone. You can learn more about Della Donna at her blog created especially for widows at — http://griefcase.blogspot.com Perhaps you have a writing assignment for Della Donna. Feel free to contact her at littleredmailbox@aol.com

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