I’m going to say something that will shock almost every parent in our culture.

The greatest honor of my life was being his wife.

I know it’s not what society today expects to hear. You expect to hear that my proudest moments and my biggest accomplishments come from being a mother. Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of my kids and they have given me many happy years.


Nothing, absolutely nothing compares to the feeling I got from being so close with my husband that he knew what I needed before I did. I felt an overwhelming sense of belonging when I simply heard him say the words, “my wife.” It was a feeling of security and safety that cannot be replicated in any other kind of relationship. Our relationship was amazing and we were truly best friends. I’m sure this is one of the biggest reasons dealing with his death was essentially like finding me while grieving the loss of us. It took me about 15 months to begin to feel like I could survive without him.

I decided to never let myself love anyone like that again. That pain is essentially relentless so why in the world would I voluntarily do that again. Sure, I was lonely, but I was strong enough to deal with that. I started thinking about how my girls would forget what it looked like to see a man really love a woman. Then I started thinking about the direction I felt God had planned for my life and I realized that I wasn’t supposed to do it alone. I had to think about it, even though I didn’t want to.

When I decided to let myself love again, I unintentionally stayed guarded. After going through everything I had just gone through, it was virtually impossible to expect my heart to be open to that again. I went through all the motions and made choices to be in the relationship, but I couldn’t let myself get completely attached for a long time. I wasn’t trying to be difficult, I couldn’t make my heart cooperate when my head kept screaming don’t put yourself in this place again. Emotionally, I so badly wanted to feel that connection I lost, with someone new, but I didn’t think I could survive losing it again.

It took a while, and the time frame will look different for everyone, but at some point, you will have to make a choice. Do you let yourself connect again or do you stay guarded? It will be one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make. Give yourself the time you need to grieve and find who you are and then just let God do his thing. One of the biggest lessons I have learned in the journey to letting myself love again is to just get out of God’s way and let him work. If you try to figure this out on your own, you will find someone who will destroy your heart.

It’s been a little over 3 years since my husband died and I can honestly say that while it was the greatest honor of my life to be his wife, I am looking forward to building another amazing marriage with my fiancé and…

 It will be the greatest honor of my life to be his wife.

Amy Ashbrook

Amy lives in the suburbs of St. Louis, MO. She's the mother of four great kids and spends every day helping her youngest fight Type 1 diabetes. Amy was unexpectedly widowed in 2013 after eighteen years of being married to her best friend. Her life became about trying to prove to herself that God still had a plan and showing her children that she would do more than just exist beyond the tragedy. After finishing law school in 2017, Amy is now a Family Law Attorney in the Greater St. Louis Area.