An Outlaw’s Grief


When I was married, my sisters-in-law, who had also married into the family, and I jokingly referred to ourselves as “outlaws”, instead of in-laws, and my mother-in-law would borrow the title from the 1954 musical, ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”, to describe us.  On October 31, 2011, the day my divorce from my husband was finalized, I was no longer a bride, and I went from being part of a band of outlaws to being a lone outlaw.  With the end of my marriage, came the end to some relationships with my ex-husband’s family members, which caused further grief and pain, but one of the people who reminded me that my marital status did not change their feelings for me was my father-in-law.  Today, after suffering a massive stroke 8 days ago, my former father-in-law passed away, and I find myself at an absolute loss with how to deal with this loss.

As I have stated in previous blog posts, my ex-husband and I remain devoted parents to our little girls and the best of friends to one another, and even though we did not live happily ever after as spouses, we are determined to live happily ever after as the best ex-spouses.  I have never been as grateful for our relationship than I have been these last eight days, as during my attempts to offer him support and comfort and trying to help our daughters cope with their own grief, my amazing ex-husband realized that I was in need of comfort, as well.  Legally, I no longer was related to his father, but you cannot legislate matters of the heart.  I loved him before and after I was married to his youngest son, and I am mourning the loss of a truly phenomenal human being.

Since I am no longer a member of their family, I grieve in silence and alone.  I have my own cherished memories of conversations and interactions with a man I admired, respected, and loved, yet I feel like I forfeited these in the divorce, along with my right to care about him.  My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with my ex-husband, his mom, his siblings, and all of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and I will continue to do what I can to ease the pain of my ex-husband and our daughters.  They are living legacies of a man who lived a good, full life, and I am grateful to have been a part of his family for 18 years.  Thank you, Jerry!

That’s another story . . .

Categories: That's Another Story

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8 replies

  1. The Ms. Kristi I’m recently beginning to just now know is never really alone. She has countless people constantly surrounding her, smothering her with nothing but warmth and their very best thoughts. If she ever really needed to speak with someone at a time like this, all she’d have to do is think about which one of them to reach out to, with just one of her also always warm thoughts. They’re all sitting there at attention and waiting, for the call or message allowing them to return the favor and lend a compassionate ear, the kind she’s always presented to them.

    I’m very sorry to hear about your very personal and close loss.


  2. Writing about it is important, KJ, and just remember that while you may be the “lone outlaw”, you’re never going to be an “alone Outlaw.” Your friends and family, and yes you SHA sisters,(even those of us far away) will always be there to love and support you. I think you are amazing, and I am thinking about you, Matt, his family, and your precious little girls during this difficult time. Love and hugggs…


    • Shannon, many heartfelt thanks for all of your love and support, both now and previously, as it helps more than you know. Our SHA sisters are the ones who always come through to ease the pain and to accentuate the positive, and I am blessed beyond measure to be part of our SHA family. Gratitude and love being sent to you!


  3. Such a moving tribute to your ex father-in-law. What a wonderful post.


  4. Dearest Kristi, Your love for your father in law did not redefine itself once the ink dried on some paperwork in October of 2011, nor did his love for you. Celebrate his life and his love. He would want you do so.


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