Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

If you didn't know him, can you fully know me?

Sunday, September 11, 2016
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If you didn’t know him, can you fully know me?


This Monday it will be three years since Will passed away. It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long since I heard his voice or was swallowed in one of his hugs. It’s also hard to believe that all the people I have met and become close with over the past three years, never had the opportunity to meet or get to know Will.

Often, with new friends, I feel like they need to know who Will was. They need to know what his sense of humor was like, dark and often offensive to those uninitiated into the world of Will. He played with words in a way few people could pull off. Often testing the boundaries of what was ok to say out loud and always poking at peoples’ PC sensibilities to see if they could catch the subtle irony and sarcasm of his statements and chuckle, or if they would erupt in confusion and tell him off.  His intellect and political knowledge was unmatched, and he loved discussing current events articles he read or speeches we heard. Will had this incredible integrity and unwavering faith in equality and justice. Will was an intense patriot, and he was completely enamored by our Constitution. And he was a teacher through and through, always wanting to help people to understand the world around them. It often took us two hours to watch the Daily Show/Colbert block of television that was our nightly mainstay because we would constantly pause and analyze every sound bite. He would explain the background and implications of everything I didn’t understand. These discussions taught me so much and helped me to shape and develop my own perspectives and points of view.

And though I could go on for pages about who Will was, I know reminiscing about who Will was is only part of our story together.  When I meet new people, and we begin to become closer as friends, there is always a point where I feel it is important that they know that I am a widow. My time with Will was a huge part of my life; we had so many plans for the future that we never got to experience together. The loss, and recovering from the loss, is such a huge part of who I am today.

So in some ways it seems, that to know who I am, you must know a little about Will and also know that I lost him. And I lost him in an instant, I said goodbye before leaving for work and he was gone by the time I got home. They need to know that I have experienced the pain of the loss, the intensity of the tears, the utter hopelessness I have felt on so many occasions. Surviving this loss is a big part of who I am, and it will always be with me. I will always wonder what our life together would have looked like. And at this point, it’s still not clear if I can even accomplish many of the goals we had together while on my own. And, unfortunately, that is the reality of being a widow. And for someone to really know me, they have to know who Will was, they have to know that I have suffered this loss, and that every day I am moving forward towards recovery. 

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