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Excerpt from "Happily Even After: A Guide to Getting Through (and beyond) the Grief of Widowhood"

Love is All Around You…Really!

by Carole Brody Fleet


I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re reading that chapter title and thinking, “Seriously?”

I’ll be honest with you. After losing Mike, the only thing that the thought of being in love again left me with was a slightly nauseated feeling, followed by extreme exhaustion and a strong desire to resume the fetal position while eating French fries, guzzling Coke, and watching reruns of The Golden Girls.

Love? You must be kidding me. I mean, after all, Mike was the love of my life.

A life that was now over.

Shattered.

Finished.

Are you nodding along? Of course you are, because your husband was the love of your life too. Me? I knew my husband for almost fifteen years before I even married him. He was my buddy, my partner in crime, and yes, the love of my life for almost half of my life... and then he was gone.

But let me ask you this: If your husband was the “love of your life” and he is now no longer here, does that mean that you never get to love again? Ever? Does it mean that you will not open your heart to the possibility that love can and will exist for you once again? Does it mean that you are not entitled to love and be loved in return again?

Now, if you have lost your husband recently, you are just setting out on your healing journey and for that reason, you are not yet ready to entertain such a concept as loving once again; it’s way too soon. However, if it has been awhile since your husband’s passing (and only you are capable of defining the word “awhile”) and you:

· Feel “stuck” in your grief;

· Feel as though you want to move forward and that you’re ready to move forward but you just can’t seem to do so;

· Feel as though you are cheating on your husband if you think in terms of loving again;

...then I have a very important message for you, a message that I want you to think about carefully.

It is absolutely true that Mike was the love of my life and a fantastic life it was indeed. However, the sad reality is that our fantastic life ended on December 19, 2000, at the very moment that Mike left us. With Mike’s passing, the life that I shared with him also ended. It was sad, it was undeniably tragic, but it was also a fact.

There is no question that Mike was the “love of my life,” until the life that we lived together as a couple and as a family came to an end. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, and whether I liked it or not, my daughter and I, at that very moment, entered a new life.

Let me say that again: A NEW LIFE.

During his illness, Mike worried constantly that I would “jump into the grave” with him (once again, his exact words). He did not want me to live in fear, in sorrow, or in a state of grief for the rest of my days. I would venture to guess that your husband would not have wanted that for you either. Yes, your husband was the love of your life, until that life came to an end. Please know that your heart has a tremendous capacity to love and allowing new love into your life in no way disrespects your husband’s memory or the love that you will always have for him.

In other words—say it with me:

You Can Honor Your Past.

You Can Treasure Your Past.

You Can Love Your Past.

You Do Not Have To Live In Your Past.

Carole Brody Fleet is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Widows Wear Stilettos, Inc. Widely recognized as a leader and expert in the areas of grief and loss recovery, Ms. Fleet is a regular guest on national and international TV and radio shows. She has been featured in many magazines, newspapers and websites, and is recipient of the Embrace Life Award from State Farm Insurance Companies and the Board of Directors Outstanding Service Award from the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation. Carole Brody Fleet resides with her family in Southern California.

HAPPILY EVEN AFTER

A Guide to Getting Through (and Beyond) the Grief of Widowhood

By Carole Brody Fleet

With a foreword by Lisa Kline

Paperback original, $15.95

5½” x 8¼”, 256 pages

ISBN: 978-1-936740-13-0


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