It’s in the vows: for better or worse. But, when those “worse” moments come, does that promise ring true? When the loss rocks your world and the pain feels unending, what happens next? What happens when it’s no longer a potential scenario but a current reality? What comes after the unthinkable happens?

Dear husband, you showed me what comes after “worse.” 

When I was reeling over the loss of my dad, you stepped in to help in every way imaginable. You kept a close eye on our sweet son when the pain was so acute I hardly knew what to do. You took care of everything in an effort to take care of me and give me time and space to grieve. 

You stepped into the pain of each family member while also facing your own. You were steady in the moments where I felt like the world around me was caving in. 

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You were there, consistently and compassionately. You were there when it got hard. You were there when it got dark. Without fail. Without faltering. You were there to soothe my broken heart and shine your love into it

And, I am so grateful for the love that grew in that time of grief.

I’m so grateful for the light you continued to show me through your kindness and presence. And I am so grateful for everything you’ve done and continue to do for me in this season. 

You’ve walked beside me through the hardest days of my life. You’ve let me cry on your shoulder when the grief washes over me. You’ve given me space to think and to process. You’ve met me in my darkness and held me until I was ready to get up again. 

You’ve helped me gain my confidence back in parenting. You’ve helped me get back to doing things I love by prioritizing time with family and friends. You’ve been gracious and patient with me through the process. 

You’ve encouraged me to reach out for help when I need it. You’ve been there for me to share memories about my dad and to make sense of the painful new normal of life without him. 

You have honored him and his legacy by helping me bring his love and memory with us into our family’s lives every day.

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And in the midst of it all, you’ve truly seen me. The ups and downs haven’t surprised you and they haven’t scared you. 

You didn’t run from my pain, you ran to meet me in it. 

Grief has changed our marriage, but in ways I didn’t expect.

It has taught us to hold tightly to one another. It has taught us to love deeply and intentionally. It has taught us to weather storms and wait out hard seasons together.

So, for everything you are to me and to our family: thank you. 

When the worse happened, you made our marriage a safe space. When the worse happened, your love helped me hold on to hope that things would get better.

Thank you.  

Liz Newman

Liz Newman is a poet and a blogger from the Midwest. She writes primarily on faith, love, and relationships. She is a wife, mama, and a bookworm. She loves connecting with others through words and hopes to inspire and encourage others along the way.