This post is dedicated to my Bros on both sides of the pond. You know who you are. I wouldn’t dream of doing this life without you. XO, L
A Coping With Grief Post
November marked the fourth deathiversary since I said goodbye to my Daddy. In the time he’s been gone, I’ve lived the lowest lows and highest highs. I’ve had to learn to navigate widowhood without his counsel and support. The cycle of life spins on without his hugs, belly laughs, and occasionally raised eyebrows. But I haven’t done it alone, I’ve had a group of amazing men step in to help fill that void, my Bros.
The Bro Code
Now and again, I get asked why I spend so much more time with my guy friends. This query usually elicits a confused, “huh?” And then laughter. It may seem that way because they don’t care if I post their photos. But have no doubt, I have a tribe of women I love fiercely.
But I do love my Bros, my knights in shining armor. One of the many reasons they are so important to me is that I’m a fatherless widow.
I started thinking about the significance of being a fatherless widow as I recently watched another W lose her Dad. (I lost my Dad eight months before my husband.) Widows are tough survivors; badass warrior queens, even. We lean on each other. And while we don’t need a man to complete us, there is something special that the support and guidance we get from them provides. Think of it as the balance between the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine. Yin and Yang. We need both to be whole, and as fatherless widows, that healthy masculine perspective is often in short supply.
And my Daddy was special. I knew he loved me, even when I disappointed him. Which I did, often. I never doubted that he believed in me, which encouraged me to try harder. I grew up in a traditional family, but not once did I ever hear him tell me I needed to marry well, or even marry at all. He was always a sounding board, who would listen without judgment, and then offer the best advice he knew how to give. When he died, so close to D, I didn’t know what to do. Between the two of them, I was invincible. Without them? I didn’t know who or what I was.
For those of you that are new, here is a short recap. In less than a year, I lost the two men I loved most in the world. They were two of the only humans who could safely get me to stop talking long enough to listen to their guidance, which was almost always right. (And back then getting me to shut it was a sometimes dangerous endeavor.)
Since l lost them both, my Bros have stepped up to the plate. They guide, advise, encourage, commiserate, and shenanigan. They help with fixing stuff, lifting the heavy things, translating Dude for me, and letting me be one of the knuckle-dragging guys. There is no pressure to date or remarry, a topic that unfortunately often comes up with other women.
My Bros also call me out on my bull$hit as quickly as they hug me when I’m crying. They extend a hand and yank me out when I fall into the lows. And most importantly, knowing they have my back gives me a sense of security and being cared for that I miss terribly.
And while I’d give almost anything for one more hug from my two guys, my Bros do a pretty amazing job with theirs. I know Daddy and D appreciate them as much as I do. Could I do this life without them? Sure. But I wouldn’t want to try.
The Wandering Widow
Live Now. Dream Big. Love Fierce.
PS: Ladies, I’m well aware some of us didn’t have Dads or didn’t have good ones. I know I was lucky and mine was one of the best. My relationship with my Daddy influenced my opinion here. This is just another facet of our global grief story and not an anti-feminist statement.