Sunday, September 12, 2010

A DOD Without Issues

(Note: I wrote this on Sept. 10th 2010, but just got around to posting it today...)

Today is LW's DOD...#14. As I look back over the years, I am amazed at the growth and progress of my W...but also, of myself. Gone are the days of my feeling "less than" or "second best". My insecurities, once raw and laid bare, are barely a flicker. The intensity of my jealousies has been distinquished and doused by the love we have tended to and grown throughout the years. I cannot even remember the last time W and I discussed a W/WOW issue of our own. I don't recall the last time he felt melancholy about "the one who came before me". I no longer wonder, worry, or compare. I have wisely invested in living for the present, which has slowly added up to a future. I no longer look back...just forward.

Today is LW's 14th DOD, and It is just another day on the calender. I haven't secretly driven by the cemetary like I used to in almost a decade, looking for evidence of W's having been there. I remember the date only because it is the day before 9/11, and now that I have remembered the date, I remember the woman. I whisper a "thank you" in her honour. I'm sure W has had a fleeting thought today, but I'm equally as sure that it will be one to make him smile and not plunge him into a deep depression. He will not mention his thoughts or share them with me, as his past memories are his own. WE have OUR memories, and they are the ones he cherishes now.

Today marks the 14th year since LW's passing. The only sadness I feel is for her, but not for W nor for me. She never got the chance to be a mother; to share with W the wonderful joy of parenthood with him that I have. She never experienced the wonder of growing old(er) with him, sharing not only the odd but expected age-related aches and pains together, but also the awe-inspiring depth of love that can only be achieved over time. I start to feel sorry for her, and then I remember where she is. I can almost feel her looking down on us, laughing at our "all too human" thoughts. She is a resident of Heaven. She walks and talks with God, experiences no more pain or heartache...and I can't help but think she is happier now than she ever would have been here on earth...and I smile at how comforting that feels, knowing she is well cared for and loved.

Today is LW's 14th DOD, and my thoughts are with her mother, father, sisters, and other reletives. I send up a heartfelt prayer for them, as I know this is a day that they will never forget. As a mother myself, losing a child is, I believe, the greatest loss of all, so I pretend to wrap loving arms around LW's mom on this day when she misses having her own arms around her baby. I hope that when they think of LW today, their thoughts will be ones to make them smile and laugh. I know their grief journeys will be never-ending, but I pray they experience more peace and acceptance with every passing DOD.

Today is LW's DOD, and my heart is with you, my sisters. I pray that my post here offers you hope that some day, your time will come when you can, like I have, release the chains that previously bound you to negativity, insecurity, and jealousy over LW. I hope you will someday be able to experience a DOD where, without a word spoken between you, you simply reach for the hand of your W and know that each other's thoughts are not on the past, but in appreciation of the present - and with a confident hope for the future. It is, without a doubt, the most beautiful feeling in the world.


  1. I thank you, Julie, with streaming tears and a grateful heart.

    I am a new WOW and my recent 2 month wedding anniversary was also LW's 1st DOD.

    I wondered all day if he 'went there' to 'be with her' and ached over being what I swore I would never be ... a WOW.

    I also cried my heart out for him and his 6 children knowing they still mourned deeply for her. I, yet once again, promised LW and God I would love her children and 12 grands.

    I, too, cried for her. For the torturous death she endured, for missing out on what they had worked for and now I was enjoying ... watching her grandchildren grow up, the love of a good man, the trips and pleasures of empty-nesting.

    I cried for myself, for my jealousies, resentments and insecurities and not being stronger and more mature about it all. My head knows better, my 'higher self' knows better. My 'worldly, wounded heart' does not. And I am ashamed of who I, some days, am not in all of this.

    But, I look forward to the future, knowing I bring something different and as valuable to my man. I know he loves me deeply and appreciates the ways I am different. And, after abusive love relationships, I give thanks for the blessing of a good man.

    I know I can overcome my feelings and grow "with confident hope in the future" and am grateful for my Sisters who have gone before me as WOWs. Thank you for your examples. They are torches of light to me.

  2. Kaylyn,

    Thank you for your beautiful post. I can tell you have an "attitude of gratitude" that will benefit you AND your W as you make your journey together.

    I would like to invite you to join myself and the over 500-member Official WOW/GOW Message Board, which you can access via my website at

    Hope to "see" you there!


  3. I'd just like to say that, with inspiration like this, Julie, I'm sure a great many other WOW's will, one day soon, experience the same feelings you've expressed here in this blog. Excellent message.

    Take care, my friend,

  4. My husband of three months has a joint burial site with his late wife who died of cancer 7 years ago.
    He says it's too soon to do anything about it. I know he loves me.
    Does anyone have any advice?

  5. Oh, gosh. That's a hard one, isn't it?

    My W has a joint headstone, too. His LW passed 14 months ago and we've been married 4 months. Personally, I'd never ask him to change it.

    One of his sons recently asked him if he'd purchased the plot on the other side yet for me. The sons are in favor of it.

    When he asked me about it, I just said, "no, I'm not going to be buried there. I'll find my own plot elsewhere."

    Maybe over time I'll feel differently, but for now it's where I find the most peace and protection for my heart.

    Have you checked the message boards on this topic?

  6. Julie , thank you for the beautiful blog. You are such a talented writer. I feel special feelings toward my husband's late wife. She was a good woman and while I know she is in a better place and extremely happy I feel a bit of sadness for her not being able to see her only child get married, while I was there in her place. I am grateful to her for loving my husband and allowing him to love her. He learned many valuable lessons while married to her. Which have in return been blessings in my life.