The letter W – it’s number 23 in the alphabet list.

When you hear the letter W mentioned, you might think of Wendy’s Hamburgers. (Maybe that’s just me; I really like to eat). There’s also Willy Wonka, Wonder Woman, Woody Woodpecker, and so many other fun and uplifting things that start with the letter W.

However, what I’m writing about, sadly, is not any of those things. I truly wish I was writing about something happy that would put a smile on your face. You probably get where I’m going with this.

The one thing I never thought of when the letter W came up was the word “widow” (or widower).

I really don’t like those words AT ALL. I don’t like checking the marital status box when filling out forms and that happens to be one of the options. It’s like they put it there just for me, and me alone. Why does it even have to be on there? Maybe I’ll just leave it blank the next time I have to fill out a form and see if they say something. I’ll just let them check it if it’s so darn necessary. Yes, I like that idea.

Who would think this two syllable, five letter word would be so life-changing?

On May 6, 2016 that word became a reality in my life and turned me into a completely different person. I refuse to say this is my “new normal”, because, well, I’m not thrilled about that term, either.

In my mind this life is anything but normal. Sometimes this completely different person whom I’ve become is amazing, and sometimes I think “who the heck is this woman?” Losing the most important person in your life can do that to you.

I’ve always known I was strong, but at some point life can bring you to your knees in a millisecond. I don’t want to be strong. I want to be my special person’s love and best friend again. I want to be told I’m a goofball. I want to laugh until the soda comes spurting out of my nose. I want to be in all of his dreams.

I want my other half here with me.

I decided early on if I was going to get through this, I was going to have to take baby steps. Even if I had wanted to get through it all at a faster pace, my body would have stopped me. I only thought I knew what fatigue was. I find sometimes just taking a shower can wipe me out for the rest of the day.

The mental stress of grief seems to go hand-in- hand with the physical aspects of grief. The physical aspects may be crying, praying, staying busy, sleeping, etc. All of it seems to create an exhaustion I’ve never experienced before. If any of these things helps to give me even a snippet of relief, I have no guilt in doing them.

Recently I’ve joined a support group and it’s interesting to note that we all travel this journey in our own unique way. It’s essential to realize there is no right or wrong way. If somebody thinks they know better than you how you should be dealing with everything, and trust me, there will be those that do, try to stay calm. I know, easier said than done. Unless they have gone through exactly what you have, there is no possible way they could know what is right for you. Even if they have, advice is typically only welcome when asked for. If you can stay calm when you encounter such people, CONGRATULATIONS! I haven’t made it to calm yet when that has happened to me.

I have a feeling the others in my support group are probably thinking “gosh, this woman really speaks her mind.” I do believe my husband is channeling his feisty self through me and just letting it rip. He was a hot-headed Italian, who didn’t care what, when, where, or why he said what he did. There were no filters for him!

I have so much more I’d like to say, but for now I would like to leave you with this: To grieve and hurt as much as this experience can cause, the one very special thing I absolutely know is that I have so much love for the wonderful person for whom these feelings exist.

I don’t think it’s possible to have the grief if I didn’t. You might feel the same.

My hope for you is to experience a real peace in your body, heart, and soul.

Please remember to be gentle and kind with yourself, always.

You matter!

Big hugs to you all,



My name is Ronda Dell’Ario, and I am a wannabe writer. I love reading, dancing, baking, and sleeping. I am a news and weather junkie. I love all things British and anything chocolate. I have written over 150 trivia quizzes for an online trivia site, as well as the lyrics for three songs I hope to get recorded. I also am a Texas girl, through and through!


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