Brianna Simpson

‘Mom. I need to talk to you.’ She looked concerned. ‘What’s wrong?’ I didn’t want to disappoint her, but I am a grown woman.’: Young widow scared to tell mom she’s dating again, ‘I severely underestimated my own mom’

“I wanted to cry and vomit at the same time. Here I am, a 33-year-old woman, terrified to tell my mom I am dating. I mean, c’mon?! ‘I may have met someone.’ She looked at me surprised and asked, ‘How? And when?’ I told her I’d signed up for dating apps and that my friends had been keeping tabs on me. To top it off, I live in my parent’s house and those feelings of that 16-year-old girl came back. Keeping secrets, sneaking out to see boys, saying, I’m ‘going to see friends.’”

‘She began to sob, her head in her hands. She fumbled for a tissue, dotting under her eyes. She attempted to collect herself.’: Widow witnesses stranger break down in car after sharing daughter for holidays, makes her realize ‘You are worthy of love’

“I was sitting in the Target parking lot when a minivan pulled up next to me. A mom and her daughter were waiting for someone. Not a moment later, a man pulled up in a car and all 3 exited their vehicles. The only thing I can gather is these were divorced parents. The dad was taking his daughter for the holiday. The girl had a backpack with her. She hugged her mom tight. She got in the car with her dad, and they drove off. The mom watched as they drove away, walked back to her car, then I saw her. She sat for a moment. How would I feel if I had to share my son?”

‘You nervous, you got something to hide?’ He was not 31. He’d just graduated high school. Born in 1997.’: Widow gets catfished on Tinder by 22-year-old after trying to date post-loss, ‘I fired back at him’

“I felt a real connection to this guy, we’ll call him Farmer Boy. We really did click. We exchanged phone numbers. Had great conversation. Had a date planned for Friday. Then our conversation came to a screeching halt. My friend messaged me. ‘Soooo, my cousin went to the same high school as your farmer boy… graduated high school in 2017.’ I fired back at him. ‘Are you lying about your age?’”

‘Would I get more male attention?’ I worried how it would look. Would I feel ashamed?’: Widow removes wedding ring after husband’s death, ‘He is with me. Nothing will ever change that.’

“I silently made the decision to remove my ring. I worried about being seen as a single mother, a single woman. ‘Would I feel judged? Would they think differently of me?’ I wasn’t ‘over it.’ But I was going out with girlfriends for girl’s night. It wasn’t that I was looking to meet someone. But as I awoke that next morning, I couldn’t help but feel paralyzed by sadness.”

‘I had this overwhelming feeling I was invited out of pity. I blurt out I’m a widow. ‘I’m so sorry,’ she says, horrified.’: Young widow unapologetic for making people uncomfortable, says ‘that is their problem’

“After my husband’s death, I ventured to a kid’s birthday party with my son. I was nervous. As I started mingling with the moms, things got weird. I not-so-casually slid into the conversation that I’m a widow. I was still wearing my rings, so they assumed I was married. This poor woman looked dumbfounded. I kept thinking, ‘Should I have done this differently?’ I cannot pretend my husband didn’t die just to placate people around me.”

‘I was 32 when my husband suddenly died. I wanted to have children with him. Being without him is terrifying.’: Widow finds the ‘beautiful balance of life after loss’ with 2-year-old son

“A counselor I met with looked at me and asked this simple question. ‘Would Albert want you to grieve with fear, or grieve with hope?’ I immediately knew the answer. As I sat there on the couch, tears streaming down my face, I knew I needed to live. Just because Albert died, doesn’t mean I have to as well. That would be the last thing he would want me to do.”

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