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  • Terrell Whitener

Confessions of a Completely Widowed Man

Confessions of a Completely Widowed Man In my belief system, it has been said that seven is the number of completions. On February 28th of this year, I will have been widowed for seven years. In many ways I do feel completely widowed. I have tried and failed in relationships, struggled with re-arranging my finances, traveled alone as well as in redefining myself experienced an overwhelming sense of loneliness in the last seven years. Over the last year however, I have summoned a bit more resolve in redefining myself as a person. I had become more comfortable in living a solitary life. Sometimes this was fortified by the fact that I lived in relative isolation during the year of Covid exile. But more importantly, I have always been a person that never shied away from doing personal inventory. Few things validated this transformation more than my changing statuses on social media. Like many, I have a love/hate relationship with social media. Maybe hate is a too strong of a word, but the cruelty that I witness there often makes me both sad and angry. In the last year, my status on social media has transformed from widower to single, from single to its status of “in a relationship.” This evolution in statuses was much more complex than it sounds. When I changed my status from widowed to single, originally, I had the feeling that I was turning my back on Robyn’s memory. In time and after some soul searching, I realized that was not true at all. I will always carry Robyn with me in heart and mind but decided not to allow her loss to assume too much space in my capacity to live what remains of my life in a positive manner. So, single I became until a podcast became an opportunity to live more completely again. Without too many details a conversation after a podcast led to a conversation, which led to more conversations, which brings me to where I find myself now, in a relationship. In many ways, I find it fascinating how much I realize that carrying my love for my wife and the many memories is a comfort in moving ahead in my current relationship. In my new relationship, while there are qualities that are similar between the two women, she understands by my past feelings for Robyn but has a generous and reassuring respect for that period of my life. She has helped me in not allowing my loss to define me but remind me that it is evidence that I have the capacity to love. What I find so compelling is the fact that she makes me want to be better. For the first time in a while, I am enjoying the discovery phase of a relationship, not hamstrung by that too often talked about fear of failure. Discovery allows you to enjoy during things that you have done countless times accompanied by new energy sharing it with you. One of the things that I missed the most about my wife was how much fun we had traveling together. Recently I experienced my first trip with my new companion, and it was amazing. It almost felt like the first time I had ever traveled at all. We have other trips planned and hope to add to our experiences together. I would be remiss however, if I did not take a moment to thank my wife Robyn for teaching me what love looks like, feels like and acts like. I thank my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for keeping in my right mind when many times I felt it would be easier to lose my mind. I thank Mia for being patient with me and listening to me talk through my feelings and emotions and after doing so, still be willing to get to know me better. I am now actually completely widowed now brothers. I am ready to take a stab at living a full life again. I now have the emotional bandwidth to share my life with another person, and only have the two of us in that relationship. Robyn’s memory is not a burden that I bear, but the gentle nudge, the gentle wind at my back, that hologram of a smile that lets me know that everything is going to be simply fine. Believe it can Terrell, just believe it can. Terrell Whitener is an author, motivational speaker, and coach. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Terrell is the author of The First 365, Learning to Live After Loss. Terrell can be reached at my newly redesigned thedebriefgroup365.com, there you will find all my social media contacts or through the Widow Support Network.


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