I have always known even before my husband’s death that my entire identity did not lie in being a wife just as it did not lie in being a mother or Grandma. For me my main identity lay and still lies in being a child of God.
Having said that, however, I also realize that when one marries the two are supposed to become one. This was my goal when I was married to my husband, Wayne, for over 39 years. Yes, we still had our individual likes and tastes and personalities but the goal was unity and working together as one in our marriage.
That is why I have never felt completely comfortable with grief literature telling me that I had NOT lost my identity when Wayne died. In many ways I believe this to be true, but another part of me realizes that I did indeed lose part of myself.
Recently I came across a post on a web site that hit a chord with me. This author said that when her husband died she was cut in half because of what I discussed above. Yet part of her was alive, and God was still with her. She was not alone.
Also she alluded to the widow being like a branch which is pruned or cut way back. Pruning is a drastic cutting back process, and the branch can appear to be dead. Because it is attached to the vine, however, it can grow to be productive, new, and beautiful once again. So even though I am cut in half so to speak I can eventually branch out into something new and fresh and begin a new life of unexplored avenues of service. This is spoken of in John 15 in the Bible.
Having said this, I know that cutting away in my life hurts. It will take time to heal. I need to be patient with myself in the grief process. It is okay to acknowledge that it hurts. Because I am not alone and I am attached to the Living Vine, I will be okay and not only be okay but flourish. I must remind myself of this on the dark moments which still sometimes come.