Updated: Sep 3, 2020
I met Bryan just after I turned 30. Up until that point I hadn’t been what you would call overly “lucky in love”. I dated, but never found that person that I felt I was meant to be with or could envision any type of long term future with. The same was true of Bryan on the first 30 minutes of our date. I was standoffish, and thinking of my exit strategy. But then something happened and I became strangely enamoured to his brash and bigger than life personality.
That first date ended up lasting 3 days, and from that point on, I don’t think we spent a total of 10 days apart until he died a year later. When he died, I understood what it felt like to have the rug pulled out from under you. We had recently (formally) moved in together and were planning our future together. His death was totally unexpected and a complete shock to myself and all of those around us. My visions of the future died when he did. I was left in this crazy limbo of grief and finding my place in it; I didn’t understand where I fit in this new
world. We weren’t married, we hadn’t been together for years and didn’t have children and for whatever reason this left me with a feeling of not being “worthy” of feeling the grief that I was feeling.
So I did what every grieving person does and made a couple of irrational decisions; I uprooted my life by moving across the country and by starting a new business. Through my new business, I do a lot of speaking to other widows on financial planning, and this involves first and foremost sharing my story of loss. Every time I do it, I think “who am I to be giving this talk?”, “who am I to represent these people?”
The truth is I’m the only one who is thinking that. The women who I speak with are so grateful to have someone who “gets it”; gets the tidal wave of grief that is associated with losing the one you thought you would spend your life with. I still struggle with telling myself I am worthy of my grief. Especially when friends and family ask “aren’t you over it yet?”, or “that was a long time ago, right?” Or worse when they say nothing at all but you can see in their eyes they think that you are dwelling.
I am here to tell you, you never get over it, but you can (and do) move on. I am so proud of the work that I am doing and the widows that I am able to help through my business. If I can turn my pain onto something that can help even a few people who are struggling with the emoti