When you get married, no one hands you a book on how to prepare to lose your spouse. I mean come on, why would they? It is supposed to be one of the happiest times in your life next to giving birth. When you are about to marry the love of your life, why in the hell would you ever want to prepare for their death?
Honestly, I think if it were part of the process, most of us would decide never to get married; because the thought of losing this one person, whom you cannot imagine not ever having around, would be just too much to bear. Throw a couple of children in the mix, and it would seem impossible to live through.
It’s not like a broken heart after a bad break up or experiencing that your first love never really loved you. No. It is losing a spouse after a committed, loving marriage is like taking away all your organs, bones, muscle, and asking you to move forward with just your skin holding you up. It’s like ripping out your soul and leaving an empty shell of a person behind to deal with this world. At least that is what it felt like to me.
Then you find out through faith and prayer God was and has always been what holds you together. You begin to lean into this new shell of a person, and you let love grow. You remember, through your experiences in life, that no amount of heartache, pain, and suffering is enough to block out the love of God.
Then you begin to love again. Where is the playbook for that one? What is the right and wrong way to let love grown back? Who can tell you what steps to take, what things to say, and how to react when you get it all wrong? Nope, no one hands you a book for finding love after you lost the love of your life. I mean, come on. Really? Fall in love again. No way!
I told myself after my husband passed, I would NEVER fall in love again. I would NEVER get married again. Look at me now. Never say never.
It happens. So unexpectedly. So random. So crazy how the story unfolds. I, of course, resisted as I do. But love grows within me again. I could have never thought it was possible after losing my husband. But my heart keeps beating with the name of John. Unfortunately, new love after loss is not without its complications, one thing I have learned following the one fit widow.
When two people who have lost so much come together, it is not without challenges. Two people who never knew each other would most likely have never met or found they have anything in common, fall in love; well, it just makes for one unbelievable love story.
On Saturday, May 2nd,2020, after a nice dinner and during this crazy COVID-19 virus lockdown, John Meece asked me, Julie Metzger, to marry him. I was shocked. I had fifty questions. I wanted to know if my boys knew if his children knew and what everyone thought about this possible union. I am not easily surprised and was caught totally off guard.
The old me (after I married my husband) would be so excited to announce such great news. This new me (after loss) and all the complications that come with this new love, has been reluctant to publish the good news.
It kind of takes me back to the days when my husband and I got engaged. Well, if you want to call it that. There was no proposal, no down on bended knee, no asking my parents, and no ring. I was twenty-six years old and pregnant. He said we were getting married and I said ok. We did, and we lived happily ever after for twenty-three years until cancer took him away from me.
This time love is different. It feels different for so many reasons. Different on so many levels. John and I have lost the love of or lives. We are different people now. We are older. We have past experiences. We have children. We have challenges. Most of all, we are still mourning our past loves.
We have spent the last year and a half supporting one another through the loss of our spouses. We have found a new love in each other, and we are crazy about each other. We know how short life is, and we want to spend what time we have with one another, making each other smile.
So why does love after loss have to be so complicated? Loss is horrible, life-changing, and hard. Nothing worth fighting for comes easy, not even LOVE. I believe this love after loss is worth the fight.
So I am in it, even with all the challenges. I am in; I said Yes!