I’m so honored to share with Indiana Donor Network a glimpse into my life as a widow. My name is Whitney, and my husband Ethan died from suicide in 2014. I can’t say that Ethan and I were the lovey-dovey type of married people. We didn’t go all out on Valentine’s Day. We were just too cool for that (ha!). Still, it’s hard not to think of him and miss him when the holiday of love rolls around.
The first Valentine’s Day after Ethan died, I went out to eat with my best friend (and one of his best friends) Allison. It wasn’t planned to take the place of anything, but it was a nice way to end up spending the day with someone who cared about Ethan and me; her support meant the world to me while I was piecing my life back together.
As I’ve made my way through widowhood, it has been helpful to think about these days where I know I will miss Ethan and come up with a plan for how I’d like to spend the day (and usually a Plan B or Plan C doesn’t hurt either, since sometimes I don’t know what will feel right until I’m in the moment). I like to remember Ethan through food and he loved an excuse to eat. Valentine’s Day was a time that we would get some nice chocolates or cocoa.
When we were in college, we celebrated with heart-shaped pizza. When we “grew up” and both had jobs, we celebrated with dinner at St. Elmo’s. I see him in places all over Indianapolis. On Valentine’s Day this year I will remember him doing the little things that meant love to us this time of year: holding my hand, scraping my car windshield, snuggling on the couch while we watched a show on the DVR. Sorry, Ethan Welles, I guess I’m not too cool for Valentine’s Day! I miss you and I love you and I’ll definitely be eating your share of chocolate for you.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all Donor Family members. I hope that you feel the love of your person this season.