Widowed at 49 with child

I’m not sure where to post this–mods please move if this is the wrong forum.

I have been a convert to Catholicism for three years now, and I love my wonderful Faith.

My husband of fifteen years died in March, from cancer we just found out about in June. My heart is broken to bits. Our marriage was blissful–he was my soulmate, my best friend, my partner in raising our 13 year old son who has Asperger’s syndrome and ADHD and can be a huge handful. Now, he is gone, and I feel so alone. I know God is with me, I know I have my Church and my friends from Church…I know all that. I go to daily mass, I pray to God, Mary, the saints, to ask for help/intercession. I volunteer in many areas to keep myself busy while I await Social Security’s decision on what, exactly, I will be getting as his widow and the mom of his child. But, I am so deeply sad and confused and lonely.

What I want most to ask is this. The whole thing about there being no marriage in Heaven–I think probably there are others who may feel the same way that I do–that this seems scary, when we think of maybe going to Heaven and perhaps seeing the spouse we loved and tenderly cared for so much just as another face on the streets of gold in Heaven, that they won’t be anyone special to us, that we won’t be together at all, because we will all be totally, 100% focused on God at all times, and I know and understand, logically anyhow, that we won’t care or mind this in Heaven–that when we see the beatific vision, that will be it. But from where I stand right now, all I can think of is the depth of my pain and the rawness of my missing him, and how much I hope to see him again in Heaven and still be somehow special to one another, even if not in a marriage.

My husband was baptized in his final hospitalization, and received an Apostolic Pardon, and I believe he is in Heaven. I hope I will end up there as well. I want to see him, and our baby boy we lost at 20 weeks of pregnancy, again, and I want to know and love them.

What do you guys think about that?

The Lord said that there is no marriage in Heaven because the saints will be like the angels. I don’t think the angels ignore each other. I think they know each other and hide nothing from each other and share their love for God entirely. How could you really know God’s love entirely and without limit if you weren’t in love with all the same people as God is, and didn’t have the special gift of seeing them as God sees them?

Pope Benedict said this of marriage on Trinity Sunday: “God created us male and female, equal in dignity, but also with respective and complementary characteristics, so that the two might be a gift for each other, might value each other and might bring into being a community of love and life. It is love that makes the human person the authentic image of the Blessed Trinity, image of God.” You will not lose the love of your husband when you are in heaven. Your love for your husband is instead only a foretaste of the love you will learn to have when you are truly a saint among saints. That kind of love is what you are made for, and it is made to go out, as God’s love does, to all that God loves.

I do not think that in Heaven you will pass by anyone at all who is “just as another face on the streets”. I think, instead, that when we are stripped of our sin and see as God sees, that you will come to have no less thrill for any other soul in heaven than you do when you have your own beloved husband and child in your arms again. Your loved ones will not be lost to you in Heaven. The circle will instead become infinitely large, and instead of making your love divided, it will enable your love to be multiplied. It will increase the delight you have in your husband, just as you delighted in him all the more on your wedding day, when your love was magnified and felt all the more because you were in the midst of the love of your family and friends. It is an ecstasy too great to be imagined, but then the Apostle did say, “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Cor. 2:9

I am so sorry you lost your husband and your child. It is not any wonder that you are feeling great sadness, because knowing that Heaven is in store does not make the passion of our lives in the vale of tears less. I wish I could give you a hug!! Don’t despair, though, your husband is not lost, and none of the love you have for him will be lost, either!! Only the chaff will burn away, not the gold.

I know how all this feels dear widow I have been there, please keep going I pray so much for you and wish I could hold you. Remember our Mother is holding you tightly
Bless you right now:):slight_smile: patcat

EasterJoy - You are right to say that once we and/or our spouse are dead that our earthy marriage ceases to be. When we are ‘please God’ in Heaven we are spiritually bonded/married to God - indeed, God’s love permiates all His creation in Heaven. Those in Heaven have a love and regard and awareness that transcends anything we can ever experience here on earth.

ps. Many years ago, my maternal grandmother ‘spoke’ to me from Heaven - She firstly identified herself by her maiden name [confirming she was no longer married to her ‘husband’ who was also dead], she continued by saying “God is good”, which is a catchphrase she often used, she then followed that by saying “sits at hand”.

Oh, and no, I didn’t’don’t do drugs or booze, and folks said I seemed to have all my marbles! :thumbsup:

zenith - My own wife is terminally ill with cancer and is diagnosed as having between 6 months and a year or so. So our time as married is limited, but I feel sure our love will live on, after all it is love that is important.

:console:

Thank you. I just feel so incredibly sad–I want to see him again one day, know him and my child, be able to spend time with him, see his smile again. I want him to know me. Are these reasonable hopes?

Yes, your heavenly Father knows what you need, and your every desire will be satisfied in heaven. You will know the peace of seeing your (former) husband again, and your love will be perfect, because of being in the presence of God’s perfection. You may both gaze in ecstasy at your Creator. I will praying for your healing in my Masses today!

-Fr Jones

I think there is every good chance that you and your beloved husband will be reunited again in heaven, not as man and wife, but as beloved children of God. I think you will be reunited with many relatives and close friends from this life in heaven. After we die, our life changes, we are no longer in this world, but the next with God, where we truely beong.

This! Only in heaven will we realize how limited our love has been here! I have no doubt that in heaven not only will we be fully able to love those we have loved here, but that we will finally be able to fully love them in a way that we do not even imagine now. It will not only be no less than what we have known here, but it will be better, the perfection of what we have had here. There will be no love we have ever given or experienced that will touch the love made possible for us when God has made us what we are intended to be.

Thank you so much Fr Jones.

This may sound silly but I long to hear his voice again, and hear him make a joke or two, and see our dear lost baby. I long to spend time with him. Is that wrong? I feel like maybe I should not want that–that in wanting to see hi again I am somehow betraying Jesus or making it seem like His love is not enough, and I don’t mean that at all. I just think that God realizes how deeply attached we become to out earth families–especially a beloved spouse that mirrors the relationship between Christ and the Church–and thus we have the communion of the saints.

Thank you Fr. Jones. I don’t know the widow but my heart breaks for her. There is no better comfort than for a priest to pray for someone at Mass.

Annie

The circle will instead become infinitely large, and instead of making your love divided, it will enable your love to be multiplied. It will increase the delight you have in your husband, just as you delighted in him all the more on your wedding day, when your love was magnified and felt all the more because you were in the midst of the love of your family and friends Well said!

I’m sorry for your loss.

A book you might like is called Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. It is about a little boy who went to heaven and came back. It’s not a Catholic book, but I didn’t come across anything that seemed contrary to our faith. It addresses seeing your loved ones in heaven, and I found it to be a neat, uplifting book.

Another book you might find helpful is No One Cries the Wrong Way: Seeing God Through tears by Kempf.

I am sure theologically, I am totally off base. But I think of it like when you were with your husband and saw a beautiful sunset or dolphins dancing in the ocean, you would look quickly at him, but your eyes would go back to the beautiful sight in front of you.

I think it will be like that in heaven. I will be in awe of Jesus, stealing glances at my loved one with a “I can’t believe I am seeing this” look on my face. :blush:

It is hard to describe.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++

Jesus’ Scriptures/Hymn for you to sing at home my Sister in Christ,

God’s Spirit is in my heart,
He has called me and set me apart.
This is what I have to do,
what I have to do.

He sent me to give the Good News to the poor,
Tell prisoners that they are prisoners no more,
Tell blind people that they can see,
And set the downtrodden free
And go tell everyone the news that the Kingdom of God has come,
And go tell everyone the news that the Kingdom of God has come.

Just as the Father sent me,
So I’m sending you out to be
My witnesses throughout the world,
The whole of the world.

Don’t worry what you have to say,
Don’t worry because on that day
God’s Spirit will speak in your heart,
Will speak in your heart.

:hug3:

Please feel free to pm me if you need. I’m so sorry for your loss.

You are in my prayers.

I have given this question a lot of thought, ever since I became widowed 12 years ago. I was pregnant with our 5th child at the time. I have come to appreciate that whatever I had with my husband, including the special personal joy and affection that was between us - that will be infinitely more so in heaven. It is mysterious how exactly this will be given that there is no marriage in heaven, but it will be so in a way we can’t fathom with our current intellectual and sensible abilities. Heaven could never be a loss of anything good. And furthermore, and I think this is a part we tend to not think about, at the Resurrection we get our bodies back. Jesus ate fish and walked around and did many things. So I know that on that day, If we all make it, I will get to see that wink and that smile again, with my own two eyes, and that is no small thing.

You are in my prayers as you go through this difficult time. Better times are coming!

I too was widowed this year. I’m 48 and have a child with high functioning Autism and ADHD. My husband was diagnosed 4 years earlier so we had a little more time to plan ahead.

I want to tell you that all this is normal and not selfish. You lost a huge part of your life. There is nothing wrong with mourning that loss. You will see him and your little one again, this I know. I know it like I know the air around me is there.

What you and I are going through is extremely difficult and it seems we both have continued our volunteer work to stay at least somewhat active. I also returned to school in order to give myself more options on supporting my family.

I wish I could give you more support than to say I’m here and you are not alone but hopefully even that will help.

Most sincerely,
Dame

Thread is one of the most moving and emotional threads I have ever read online.

I do not know what was meant by there being no marriage in heaven but I can tell you what I think. And my thinking is not at odds with any Church teaching I am aware of.

We are told that there is not marrige in heaven. Ok. We must ask ourself what marriage is and what it’s purpose is.

  1. Marriage is the frame of “family” We need family to survive, grow and prosper in the word. We need family to become more holy and to help our family become more holy. My job is to help my spouse and children get to heaven, that is my number one job. It sounds like you did your job quite well.
    We do not need to become more Holy in heaven, we do not need protection from the secular world or from evil in heaven and that is what family does.
  2. Marriage is also for procreation. That will not be necessary in heaven.

You will not be married in heaven because marriage serves only an earthly purpose. I firmly believe that the bond you and your late husband share will be recognized, celebrated and lived out forever and ever should you both be blessed enough to get there.
Of course you will know him there. Anyone in heaven is a saint and the saints know us! And we know them. It will be more clear than that in heaven. My heart goes out to you but realize that your obvious love, grief and pain also serve to speak to the quality of man your husband was and to the love that you shared. While it may hurt, people who read what you wrote will know more what true love is and what marriage is supposed to be. I will hug my wife tighter tonight because of what you wrote.

Thank you.

Yes, please, everyone who has a spouse, hug them tighter and tell them how much you love them tonight. You can never say it enough, and I wish I had said it more.

Dame, thank you very much for your kind remarks too–sounds like we have a lot in common. I am still strugglling desperately 5 months out from his death to get my bearings, awash in confusion, emotion and fear. I can barely go to the grocery without tears running down my face because we went there together or they are playing a sad song on the overhead Muzak. Such pain as I have never known. I think of our Blessed Mother and how she must have felt when her spouse Joseph died. Perhaps this even happened while Jesus was in his teens, and perhaps it fell to Mary to protect and guide him by herself for a short while, who knows?

Anyhow I ask for your continued prayers, and I offer mine for anyone else struggling with the deep grief of loss.

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