The aloneness of widowhood!
In my 74 years of life, I have been supportive of widows since my 20’s. On July 18, 2020, I became a widow. In the ‘busy-ness’ of my hubby’s end of life plans, I did not even think of the word widow for about 4 days. I have the roles of daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, MieMie, teacher, counselor, author, etc. Now I have a new identifier – a widow.
Being that my hubby (Rev. Harold Clemans – 60 yr. lic. minister – married 50 years) was nine years my senior, I knew by statistics that I could be a widow for seven years if we were the same age and then I would add nine years to make the possibility 16 years. My hubby was in his 83rd year of life. (He healed from a terrible fall, but never regained strength because of congestive heart failure and stage 3 kidney disease).
Because of being a 24/7 sole caregiver for nine months, I grieved with tears flowing many times because my hubby was becoming physically weaker each day. Also, because of my extreme exhaustion in caring for him. His transition to the Lord brought a sense of relief for him, but the beginning of aloneness for me.
In my 28 years of counseling (now nationwide), every widow and widower had their individual story, emotions, all uniquely different. In my book on marriage, God’s Design for Marriage (order through my website: www.carolclemans.org or amazon.com as a kindle book), I share that healthy marriages can enjoy emotional intimacy and spiritual intimacy that makes passion wonderful.
The aloneness for me is not having anyone in the home that cares deeply about my emotional self. My hubby and I shared every detail of our lives together. We shared thoughts and feelings about our life’s experiences such as – when I change the decor floral colors for the season, sharing a new article I wrote, sharing Biblical inspirations, hearing hubby say, “Your hair is beautiful!”, hubby wanting the details of ministry travels, the people I would meet, praying for each other, sharing the joy of being grandparents, going out to eat about once a week, etc., etc. (I took this widow (me) out to eat at Cracker Barrel and posted a picture of the almost empty dining room on my FB page. A recent widow said the picture gave her courage to do the same!)
The definition of Aloneness is – having no one else present; on one’s own. This is exactly what I am trying to describe. No one cares when I come or leave home as my hubby did. This definition of Lonely – sad because one has no friends or company – can be dealt with by calling a friend. Most of my close friends are ‘long distant’. Sometimes when they answer the phone, I say, “Are you human? I need to talk to a human!” We laugh together at me. The point is, I can take action when I’m lonely, but I can do nothing about the aloneness in my flesh.
What I must do is focus on truth – God is with me in the middle of my aloneness. God said He would never leave nor forsake me. It does not depend on how I feel. It is a fact because God lives inside me through the power of the Holy Ghost. Even though my hubby of 50 years went to the Lord, I still am valuable to God. My God-worth is because God created me in my mother’s womb and designed me after His image and likeness. My God creator became my Savior and lives inside me, married or widow.
God cares about every detail of my life. Read and study Psalm 139 – NLT –
1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
No one could possibly be more intimate with me in body, soul, and spirit than God. This is God’s truth! I do what I do through the power of His Spirit. Thank God for my ministry of teaching, counseling, and writing that touches people’s lives individually, through phone counseling, the Internet, and the printed page. I still have value and purpose as a widow – we all do!
I can be transformed by renewing my mind and heart with God’s truth – Romans 12: 1 & 2. I will continue all I do because I am alive and will “glorify God in my body and my spirit, which belong to God” – 1 Cor. 6:20. My joy is in the Lord, not in my circumstances.
Philippians 4:4 – “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” This is a command. It did not say rejoice in our circumstances – it said, “in the Lord!” We can choose to be inwardly joyful when everything around us is dreary. I’m thankful that God is helping me ponder on my aloneness through His Word and promises. Yes, I still live in my humanity! Yes, the tears still flow at times, but I’m never alone even in my aloneness – GOD is with me! We are to do all that we do heartily as unto the LORD! (That includes decorating and combing my hair!) TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
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