The Things I Wish I Could Have Told Myself After He Died


When I look back at myself and remember my fears after my loss, I wish I could go back in time and tell myself a few things.

You see, something happens to us after loss, and we have very little visibility of our true thoughts. And little to no visibility of our dreams and desires. The real ones anyway.

I had great visibility of my fears.

My fears woke me up, and put me to bed every single day for years.

I am writing this letter for you if you are being stalked by nightmares, insecurities and a living hell. I was there too, for years. And if I could go back I would tell myself the following things:

 

  1. Don’t worry so much about paying the bills. Instead go to that art school you always dreamed of. The world will not come to an end.

 

  1. The worst has already happened. You have nothing to be afraid of.

 

  1. Don’t listen to the people who tell you not to get the puppy for the girls. They don’t know what it’s like to come back home to an empty house.

 

  1. You should sell your house and move somewhere new. This house feels scary at night. Don’t stay. Don’t you stay.

 

  1. Ask for help. It doesn’t mean you are weak, it just means you are human.

 

  1. Don’t worry about what people think about your choices, they have no clue.

 

  1. The girls will be more than OK. They will even get A’s in math. I know you worried about that when he died, he was the math person between the two of you.

 

  1. You are not always going to be alone.

 

  1. Don’t go and work at a place you dislike so much, it is making your grief so much worse.

 

  1. The nightmares at night will stop. Nobody is kidnapping the girls at night. It is just a bad, bad dream. It will stop.

 

  1. You will learn to be independent, very independent. So independent that you will not even recognize yourself one day.

 

  1. You are smarter than you think.

 

  1. You will make new friends, but there will come a time when you will feel misunderstood. It will pass.

 

  1. Your health will suffer the most, take care of your body. Now.

 

  1. It will take you years to get your laughter back, don’t wait too long.

 

  1. You are so young, still.

 

  1. He is there watching over you, especially the first few years. Then the signs will stop. So enjoy them while they last. Don’t be afraid of the bumps in the night.

 

  1. Keep a journal.

 

  1. One day you will be helping many people, you will write books. I know this one is really hard to believe.

 

  1. You need to know that your biggest fears will never come true. Not even close.

 

Now it is your turn.

I want you to tell yourself a few things you need to know.

There is a way to access this wisdom earlier.

You don’t need to wait years to know these things. You have a place inside of you that knows already.

Please share the things you need to know after your loss either in your journal, on our Facebook page or here on the blog.

I want you to stop being afraid. I know that your worst fears will never ever come true. (Click to Tweet!)

The worst has already happened.

With life,

Christina

Comments

  1. I was widowed for the second time in May, 2014. I was starting to get 5 hours of sleep in consecutive hours when I had a dream that I went to heaven and even though I could not see both husbands I knew they were there. I was told at “the gate” that I could not get in until I picked which husband I wanted to spend eternity with. I have been frightened to sleep since because I am not able to choose. I loved them both dearly and cannot bear the thought of hurting either one. I know it sounds unreasonable but such is the life of a widow. I wish I could get rid of this issue and rest. Has any second time widows have any issues similar to this and how do you rest?

    • The bible says that there’s no marriage in heaven like there is on earth. So, the reality is that you won’t have to choose. If you’re interested in reading about heaven, I became a little bit obsessed with where my husband was when he died, I would recommend “My time in heaven” by Richard Sigmund, it helped me immensely. Bless you.

  2. Thank you Christina. I needed this post at this VERY moment. I was just headed out to sweat through a walk on the beach to try to relieve some fears. I will think about this on my walk… my fears will never come true. my loss is not like yours. in fact, my loss, that is really just a fear of loss, is so small compared to yours, and it makes me feel silly to even compare it to your real loos… but still so big to me. and still causing fear that i find your words comforting. my loss is illness right now going on with my 4.5 pound dog who depends on me for everything. she is very ill and i am needing to think more positively and intentionally. your words… “your worst fears will never come true” is comforting… but i haven’t lost her yet… and that is my worst fear. thank you for sharing your posts. I am a physician and i deal with loss every day… and i speak to patient’s everyday… but i am experiencing my own fears now… and i seek guidance. thank you for sharing

  3. Man. How I needed to read this. My dear friend from Calif who is also a widow sent me this site. My fears are so great-although I try to not let them surface. My income is 60% less in the household and the job I have is so dependent on my mind and skills – yet I just want to quit! I didn’t get to rest after my husband died last May 2015 and I moved, downsized, lost stuff, and neighbors.
    Now I have to hold the household down with an adult daughter with disabilities, so I have no family support. Thank God I too trust God to see me through but I still wonder why?

  4. You are so spot on with this one Christina. I love following your posts, I’m 2+ years into this widowhood journey and I’m so glad I found you early on. Life is what we make it, hopefully we all are facing our own fears, whatever they may be. Each day we have a new day to begin over. Some days we slip back a few steps, we just have to keep going, step out of the comfort zone at times. Just life life to the fullest, it is so short and we are meant to enjoy. <3

  5. What an amazing post !! Thank you so much for all you have done for us widows.. Your book was the only one that truly helped me !! I am now almost 4 years into widowhood.. I am remarried now.. I meet him on Facebook and I had to make the move from Florida to the big city of N.Y. I was so scared…I later started my blog page and I posted this.. I wanted to share with you and your readers……..

    Widowhood.. What a journey this is…for many of us losing our partner represent not only the loss of them but of ourselves..we were Mr & Mrs so and so.. Who are we now ?
    We always had that person even if he was in another room watching football on a Sunday..
    But he WAS there..

    Now he is gone…
    And that room that was once filled with noise and laughter.. is now an empty room in which I can not enter…

    Widowhood….For many of us including myself took me back to being a CHILD.. yes a CHILD..
    Every single FEAR that I NEVER had with him by my side became by life… and FEARS that I DID have prior to his death were now more INTENSE than ever before…
    FEARS controls the life of a WIDOW…

    We FEAR about our finances..

    We FEAR about taking the car to the mechanic..

    We FEAR on how will we survive this….

    We FEAR, We FEAR, We FEAR… Then one day I said…
    What do I really have to be FEARFUL OF ?? I mean the worst thing .. The very worst thing that could have happen to me .. DID….HE DIED !!! That was my biggest FEAR…

    So now I am left at 48 with hardly no family, no siblings, no kids. NO ONE…

    So I have begun to comfort my inner Child.. I explained to her it was time to grow up..
    I told her the ADULT “me” was here for her..
    She can cry.. and I will hold her..
    She can feel AFRAID..And I will take away her FEARS…
    I am now in CONTROL..
    And although I may still not know who I am or 100% where I am going…
    I can still comfort my little girl inside.. and tell her everything will be Ok…

    I will make sure of that…So before I toke that big step of leaving my job…
    My State..
    My home that we shared together in a small town in Florida…
    And making my huge leap of faith by moving in with a man I have come to love…but never lived together…
    To moving to a state I had only visited once called New York…

    Life give us little messages.. And one month before my final move to New York I came across a bracelet…It said FEARLESS…

    And so I bought this bracelet…

    I wore it on that last and final day, and as I waved goodbye to my house I saw my bracelet,,,
    I gave it a kiss and reminded my little girl..
    Don’t be scared..
    I will protect you…
    I am in control.. and no matter what struggles we have ahead of us.. we will do them together.. and everything is going to be OK….

  6. I received this as a link from my oldest friend. It was spot on, it put my mind at ease,it reassured me that I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’ve been a widow for 5 months now and have no contact with other widows my age. My Mom and my brothers Mother in law are widows but both became later in lift. I still have 3 kids at home late teens to early 20’s. We were in the middle of remodeling the house when he died. No walls just studs no carpet and no light fixtures. Fortunately his co-workers and my Brother and Brother in Law have stepped up and are in the process of completing it. Thanks for the comfort it provided me

  7. I’m sure you’re right. My husband of almost 30 years has been gone for 2 years. I still cry everyday. I cannot imagine being with someone else. This will never happen. I don’t want to meet someone new. John was IT. I just hope the pain gets easier. I still work and put on a pretty good “face” at work but I feel like a big part of me died with him. I’m forever altered.

    • I feel the same.. married for 23 years to the love of my life and he has been gone for only 80 days. I go to work and put on an ok face, but my life is forever altered. Half of me is dead inside. I cry everyday, specially driving home, cause he isn’t there to tell him how my day was. Half my life with him and now I’m empty. I hope it does get better, cause this pain is unbearable.

  8. This is so true…it’s coming up on a year he’s been gone. It seems like everything around the house is falling apart. I feel like I still hear his truck pulling in the driveway. He’s never coming home again. Some people will remember and surprise you with little things that will bring tears and a smile, some people forgot the day after the funeral…you learn quickly who your friends are. Don’t beat yourself up for not getting everything done, wait until you’re ready. Don’t be afraid to say his name, to talk to him out loud, tell stories about him…this is a big rule for me even though it really hurts sometimes. Things will eventually get better with your Autistic son, don’t give up. You will continue to battle your MS. Gaining weight won’t make it better…put a plan together when you’re ready and stick to it. You’re the only parent your kids have left.
    Thanks for listening,
    Peggy

  9. Thank you. Tom died on Feb. 8, 2004. He hasn’t really left me. He comes around from time to time and it brings me a sense of joy. I miss him though. I miss what we had. I miss the family we built in our blended family. I miss his laughter, his touch, his devotion to me. I miss being taken care of in the way he provided for me. What I’ve gained: a keen sense of self. A sense of compassion and empathy for others. The understanding that yes indeed if you can make it through being widowed it is a badge of honor. I realize the gifts from beyond although less frequent don’t end. All of the things you shared in this post are TRUE. Thank you for putting them into words. I do notice though that when I experience any type of loss or the threat of a loss it really impacts me still. Trying to still work through that issue a bit. I have had love after loss. It surprised me and took a long long time.. but my advice is to keep your heart open. Love again. Live again. It’s still your life. Just because your spouse died … they didn’t bury both of you. That is the most important thing to remember. Get Up. Get Out. Get Going. Get Living. Thanks so much for your post.

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Christina Rasmussen

Welcome to the Message in a Bottle page, here you will find wisdom, truth and tools for you to start over. Make sure you sign up at the top to be sure to receive it in your inbox every Friday.