I’ve received many comments and emails from women thanking me profusely for highlighting the pain that they endure being married to a former widower. I’ve also received many encouraging notes from other people thanking me for enlightening society about the very sensitive subject of remarriage to a widow and/or widower. Although most were very encouraging comments and feedback, I’ve received a few tongue lashings regarding what is viewed as insensitivity on the subject. I’ll go into my take on that tomorrow, but today I want to highlight Rita’s response to one negative comment in particular. Yes, that Rita who compiled THAT controversial list in the first place. I commend her for her strength and ability to maintain a Godly marriage with a former widower, and I commend her for her courage in coming forth with some of the hardships that she’s faced in being in a marriage with a former widower. Here is Rita’s gracious and respectful response to those questioning our sensitivity and feelings on this very personal subject.
First, let me thank you for your candor. I am Rita, and I am the one who crafted that list, not Jessica. Although, I do applaud her for bringing this sensitive topic to the community at large.
I can certainly understand how you feel. As someone who has experienced grief and loss myself, I certainly understand the deep sadness of becoming bereft. I have felt it myself, and perhaps in another lifetime, from another standpoint, I may have felt as you do.
But also, as a woman who has married a former Widower, what I have found is that while it is easy to imagine the dark place that one stands in while grieving, it is rarely imagined what the woman who has (re)married this fellow, might be experiencing. It is no small thing to be called by God to restore love, faith and family to a man who has lost everything. It is no small task for a woman to be called to raise another woman’s children that she bore, all the while standing in the shadow of someone who lived, and died, yes tragically, and yes well before her time. It is no small thing at all.
I believe that Jessica's post (and certainly my portion of it) was meant to inject some candor, context, and humor into a very sad, and frustrating situation that we ladies who walk this path every, single day - must endure. It was not our intention to offend, but perhaps, if nothing else to educate.
I can assure you that for every one person who critiqued this list (likely those who have never walked this path that WE are walking) there were 10 people who applauded us. It is never our intent to be disrespectful to the late wife, late daughter, late sister, late mother, or late friend. It is only our intention to help you understand what we must endure to make a love relationship work with a man who we treasure more than anything on this earth. And, I would venture to guess that if it were your daughter, sister, friend, Mother, who were the woman standing in our shoes, you might feel convicted, rather than judgmental.
Rather appropriate that this comes on September 11th, the anniversary of the death of many. Many were bereft 11 years ago when our nation was attacked by terrorists. And, yes, while we remember them today, I can tell you honestly that more than anything that personally, I thank God above for those that did survive. And for the women and men who (re) married them, the bereaved. I am so thankful for the children that were born through those marriages, and for the hope and dreams that were realized through that terrible, senseless loss. I am so grateful for the path that we walked as a nation as a result of that terrible tragedy, and for the destinies that were recreated from being brought on our knees in faith. Maybe we can take away from that experience at large and contextually apply it to yours. Thank God for Jess, for loving her Husband through and DESPITE his grief. And thank God for the women like her, who help rebuild from the ashes that which was left behind.
This blog was not a blog highlighting the sadness that we live through every day as a Mother/Daughter/Sister/Former Spouse/Friend of the deceased. This blog was about the living. The ones who go on and rebuild the broken pieces that were left behind. The ones with the guts to love a broken man, and to wipe the tears, snot and butt of the children who still need a Mother on this earth. This blog was about having the respect and the guts to celebrate life. And as humans with life, that is what God has called us to do after tragedy and loss, after we grieve, and after we mourn. We pick ourselves up. We rebuild. We grow. We expand. We survive.
That is what this blog was about. Being sensitive to survival, now that we have spent years being sensitive to death.
I hope you have a wonderful day Anonymous. Be called to be the very best you can be today.
With love and respect,