Karen Swim

Writer, Marketer, Woman of Purpose

Love, Loss and the Pursuit of Life

Today would have been my 20th anniversary. I was married for 10 years and now have been widowed for 10. As I ponder this fact this morning, I reflect on the woman I have become in my widowhood. I was widowed before 40. At a major turning point, nothing in my life was as expected but I fought to find my footing even as I began to write a new chapter in my life. Today, on what would have been my 20th anniversary, I am whole, healthy and happy. I am all of these things not in spite of losing a husband but because of it.

I have come to this place through my experiences. I don’t feel cheated by what could have been, for what is while unplanned has still brought me to a place of joy and peace. I did not wake up today a wife and mother but I still have cause to celebrate. I have a good life, a growing business and a purpose.

I am long past the initial raw grief of losing a spouse but many see my continued “aloneness” as a sign that I am not healed. They cautiously ask if I am dating, in their mind the act that would signal that I am fully okay. Yet it is not dating for me that validates that I am whole – strong enough to just be and not seeking the security from uncertainty in the familiarity of being coupled. It took time to learn to become one, rather than one-half of a couple, but learn I did.

The people you love and lose are always part of your life. Rather than be defined by the loss I am refined by the love that enriched my life. For me the loss is a thread in the pattern of my life but there are other threads that make up the tapestry.

Today is a good day to remember and to give thanks for where I have been and where I am headed. Getting here has not always been easy but I am very grateful I have arrived.


May 21, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,


  1. Karen, what a beautiful message of who you are. You have become an incredibly strong woman who is also generous and kind.

    Comment by Lillie Ammann | May 22, 2013 | Reply

  2. You are a beautiful soul Karen. These words a wonderful reflection of time, love, marriage and you.

    Comment by Joanna Paterson (@joannapaterson) | May 22, 2013 | Reply

    • Joanna, it takes a beautiful soul to recognize another my friend. I cherish your words. x

      Comment by karenswim | May 22, 2013 | Reply

  3. Karen, well said! Wishing you a long and happy life.

    Comment by Jean | DelightfulRepast.com | May 22, 2013 | Reply

    • Thank you so much Jean! Wishing you a long and happy life too!

      Comment by karenswim | May 22, 2013 | Reply

  4. I cried, because I know what a strong woman you are, and you are well in now. “healing” does not mean “dating” and your path is yours.. You choose, strong enough to trust your path no matter what other well intention-ed others say. I adore you and wish you happiness in all times.. NOW matters, and you are living it fully..

    Comment by Dawn Christine Khan | May 22, 2013 | Reply

    • Dawn, from our very first tweet I adored you. You have inspired me as you have battled life’s toughest challenges with grace, love and often humor. I don’t know if you realize how much you have blessed me and I am sure many others by your transparency as you fiercely grab life in the midst of even the worst of times. {{hugs}}

      Comment by karenswim | May 22, 2013 | Reply

  5. Karen, my friend, my sister. I read your word and saw you speaking each one. I remember all to well this time in your life. And I remember even in the mist of so much uncertainty there was laughter. You were never a complaining soul nor were you outwardly afraid. Your strength in the Lord never wavered. I am not surprised where you stand today, this was your destiny from the start. You have more to give to many than a spouse and child (not that those would not have flourished also from your love) . But what you have been equipped with is for many more. As I read your words my heart smiled because you got what God was saying to you and directing you. Continue to stay strong in the Lord and blessing will continue in your life so you can bless HIS children. Love you my friend.

    Comment by joyce martin | May 22, 2013 | Reply

    • Okay, now I really am bawling! Joyce, Joyce, Joyce you and Margo were my oxygen mask throughout Bo’s illness and death. It is because of your unselfish love and friendship that I even made it to where I am today. I love you so much and thank God for you my sister. Thank you so much for those encouraging words, holding them in my heart as I continue to move forward in His purpose. Love you!!!

      Comment by karenswim | May 22, 2013 | Reply

  6. Lovely post. Big hugs to you today. My friend became widowed at 40 and blogs at http://www.CalifMom.com. You should connect. Her name is Leah and she’s as amazing as you are! Elaine

    Comment by Elaine | May 22, 2013 | Reply

    • Elaine, thank you so much and thanks for the heads up about Leah! I will definitely visit her blog!

      Comment by karenswim | May 22, 2013 | Reply

  7. Karen my forever friend, you are truly an inspiration to all. God has given you such power to love, to understanding, and such healing words to the soul, not just for you but also for others, thank you! I can’t believe it has been 10 years already, I remembered it so clearly but what I remembered the most is your inner strength and your continued sweet spirit. Jr. would have been so proud of who you are today, but then again no surprise there he knew who you were that’s why he married you, you are truly a blessing and I feel so blessed to have you in my life. Love you always!

    Comment by Margo | May 22, 2013 | Reply

    • Margo honey as I said to Joyce, the two of you were more than friends you were my oxygen mask. It is hard to believe it has been 10 years. Through it all He has been FAITHFUL! I am so thankful for you and miss you so much. I am the one who is blessed, so very blessed to have you in my life. Love you always!

      Comment by karenswim | May 22, 2013 | Reply

  8. Karen, I’ve only known you in recent years, and to me it’s almost impossible to believe you went through this. You are such a completely positive force in the world — a genuinely open-hearted person, which is very rare indeed. You would have every right to be angry and bitter, but you’re the complete opposite. Thank you for letting the rest of us learn from your journey!

    Comment by Kellye Crane | May 22, 2013 | Reply

    • Kellye you sweet beautiful woman it is all a testament to God and his incredible mercy and goodness. I am humbled that I can be one small (okay medium) example of the power of faith. Thank you for being my friend, you are one of the reasons this chapter is so sweet! xx

      Comment by karenswim | May 22, 2013 | Reply

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