A few things that I have learned since become a widow:
1. Have a will written. No matter if you are only 33 years old and you think you have an entire lifetime ahead of you. You never know what can happen in an instant.
2. I have said it before and I will say it again, I am so very thankful I took as many pictures as I did. Doug would laugh at the amount of pics I took and I would tell him it’s for the memories. He would say your memories are in your brain (17 years of me carrying a camera could be a bit much for someone). I am so so glad I didn’t listen to him. So tip 2, take lots of pictures, and make sure you are in them. Even if you aren’t fully happy with your appearance.
3. Ensure all important documents are kept together. This thought came to me again today as I was searching for some items I needed. I am very thankful I was the one who handled bills, our checking account, important documents, etc because if this had been reversed, Doug would have been on a hunt for some things that are needed once a spouse dies.
4. I cannot type this one without the tears pouring, and though it doesn’t always seem a realistic goal, try to at least hug your spouse bye as you part ways each day. We tend to take advantage of knowing that hug will always be there. What I wouldn’t give for a final hug. A final kiss. A final I love you. Though we parted ways with an “I love you” before Doug’s work shift that horrible day, it just doesn’t seem like its enough. But then again we were supposed to have many more decades of “I love you” and hugs and kisses.