Fury, Pity and Self-Loathing

On the day I’m writing this, it’s exactly two years since the day my husband died.

Two years of wandering around in the dark. Two years of feeling like a failure as a mother and a person. Two years of being silently furious about everything and anything.

Grief makes you into someone you don’t want to be. In my case, it has made me mad and, even worse, it’s made me petty. So many times, I hear about someone else’s sad story and think “hah! I’ll see you that and raise you five fatherless children and an elderly mother.” I don’t like that.

I don’t want to be the person who is constantly one-upping someone else’s tragedy in my brain. I don’t want to be the person who is lashing out at my kids for asking simple questions. I don’t want to be the person who hates myself because I can’t help but feel sorry for myself and feel furious about the hand I’ve been dealt in life.

And so enters this blog.

It’s part personal therapy (I hope) and part resource for other widowed moms. We’ll see how it goes, but I am hoping we can work through some of the issues facing young widows, share some practical advice to use on this journey through life and maybe even foster some joy and encouragement along the way.

My hope is to have at least one substantial post up a week with some smaller snippets in between. Right now, it’s May but the blog won’t launch until August so most of the posts in the near future will be a bit retrospective. However, I am sure we’ll eventually catch up to where I am writing and posting in real time.

A word on the name

Originally, I had planned on having this blog named The Widow’s Might, a play on the Biblical story of the widow’s mite. If you’re not familiar with it, you can find it in the Gospel books of Matthew (12:41-44) and Luke (21:1-4). In a nutshell, Jesus observes a widow put in two coins into an offering box and declares that she has given more than those who are throwing a portion of their riches into the box. Why? Because the widow is giving all she has.

When I was younger, I didn’t think much of this story. Maybe because I was raised in a house where we lived on my Dad’s public teacher salary and didn’t have a lot of extras. To me, sharing all I had seemed like a logical and natural thing for a Christian to do.

Now, that I’m a widow, my perspective has shifted. I’ve found that I hold on to things much tighter. I’m much slower to offer to help. It’s almost as though I feel like I’ve already given enough. I shouldn’t have to give anymore.

So when I heard the story of the widow’s mite in church this year, it caught my attention. It caught my attention not because it was a poor person giving all they have but because it was a widow giving all she had.

Maybe it’s was different back then, but my thoughts nowadays are more along the lines of “Sorry God, you took my husband; you’re not getting my two cents too.”

I no longer feel generous, but I want to be generous. And if the widow in the Bible can give all she has then I’ll take that as a challenge that I can give all I have too.

However, as life tends to go, the name Widow’s Might was not available as a domain and so a change was in order. My friends seemed to think this one was more appropriate anyway (even though it feels a little “look at me!”).

That said, welcome to The Mighty Widow. I hope it’s a name that will come to describe not only me, but you as well.


1 Comment

    1. Hey Maryalene. My name is Robin Miller. I live in Colorado. That’s right, we just won the Super Bowl…Ha! Since I am turning 62 in December, I was looking at an article on aol about Social Security benefits and eventually meandered to your site. So sorry about your husband. You seem like an amazingly strong and determined young lady. 22 years ago my husband had an affair and left me with 4 kids, one being a newborn, for 3 years. I do remember feeling so overwhelmed and afraid. These comments to you are meant for nothing more than to say, you are amazing!!! I know what got me through was my strong faith in God. I am not saying that to impose anything on you. You are finding your own way for sure. I take my hat off to you and will pray for you and your kids every day. May God bless you.

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