Last Saturday night, a friend and fellow widow, M, arranged a group meetup at a local restaurant. While it was for both widows and widowers, only women came. It was so fun! We ate, laughed and made other restaurant patrons envious of our good time. However, what happens at the restaurant stays at the restaurant-heh.

I knew some of the dozen women there, but not all of them. I made new friends and was asked to take a picture of one of the two tables of women.

As I stood up to take the picture of the other table, I looked at my new friends, these women who share a common experience with me. Did any of us want to be there? I think we wished we were friends under different circumstances. Some had been widowed for mere weeks, others years. Some spouses died suddenly, others did not. Some women had many young children, others were empty nesters. There were those who had been widowed more than once. I don’t know if I could handle that.

I looked at these women again. There was a tremendous, quiet strength that emanated from them. A strength gained from experiencing something horrible and heartbreaking. A strength coming from faith, sisterhood, discovery and hope. I listened as we spoke of those in the world who are worse off than we widows (and it is true). I felt privileged to be in their company. Thank you, sisters. You lifted me.