When my husband passed away, I was in shock, denial, so lost, empty, and utterly broken. I was in a soul, shattered state of mind. It seemed at that time, that the goodness of my life was gone. Immersed in my own sorrow, I felt disconnected and set apart from the rest of the world. I avoided crowds and any social demands. Isolation crept in. My wonderful family and friends were so caring; nevertheless, they just could not understand or process what I was going through as a widow. I shut down.

My oldest daughter, out of concern, without me knowing at the time, signed me up for Facebook. I had always said that I would never do social media as it seemed so impersonal. However, unbeknownst to me, Facebook literally ended-up saving my life. Shortly after, a friend of a friend read one of my posts concerning my husband’s passing. She humbly reached out to me and sent me a private message. I hadn’t seen her since childhood. She was a part of the Hope for Widows community. Her spirit of compassion shined forth as she shared her raw story. Her reaffirming and fostering words, “I get it” continue to be ingrained in my heart.

I introduced myself on the Hope for Widows closed support group and was immediately drawn to each widow’s harrowing journey…our stories that link and bind us together in such a life altering, fragile; but, profoundly strengthening manner. The Proverb, “Two in distress makes sorrow less,” rings so true, when grief is shared our burdens feel lifted; plus, the camaraderie of mutual widow sisters eases our pain. For me, Hope for Widows, has been a circle of love, displaying a wealth of support, a refuge, and a safe haven from the storm.

Our fellowship enables us to bear each other’s burdens, encourage, and rejoice in our steps ahead. Through this forum, we can vent, scream, cry, rant, ask for prayer, ask for suggestions, reflect, learn, and grow together as widow warriors all in a non-judgmental environment. Reading other widow’s experiences is proof that we can survive and triumph as a widow. Hearing the words, “I get it” eases and validates our mind during the ebb and flow of our grief walk, facilitates the healing process, and nurtures us to embrace, embark, and forge ahead with our new normal.

Hope for Widows provides the venue, framework, and therapeutically allows us the opportunity to benefit from sharing. If you are feeling withdrawn, alone, please seek support from others that have been there. Be an advocate for yourself and cultivate a support system.  Invest your time in interactions and connections with those who get it.

Blessings and Grace to Each of You,

Lisa Dempsey Bargewell

Next Wednesday’s blog topic- “Be Gentle With Yourself”