I recently learned that most animals in the wild run from a storm; however, not the buffalo. The buffalo will walk right into a storm and walk right through it. Let me explain how this can be applied to our journey through grief.
My late husband, Ray, and I had been married less than 10 years. We had 4 young children and lived in a small home that was located close to our town’s little hospital. One night, we got word that some friends of ours were at that little hospital awaiting news about their 2 year old who had been found face down in the family pool. Without hesitation, Ray jumped in the car and headed out to be with this couple. There he waited and prayed with them until their family members arrived.
After the tragic loss of their son, this little family fell apart. We lost contact with them over the years after the father moved out of state. Fast forward 25 years. Ray’s obituary was posted in our local newspaper, along with a memorial site which allowed people to post their condolences. I was deeply touched when one was written by the father of this young boy. In it, he said how he would never forget how much courage Ray showed by having the guts to come to the hospital and sit with him on the worst day of his life.
Ray taught me many things over our 36 years of marriage. However, for me, the example of his courage has been the most important lesson.
We widows talk about widow fog, which is very real, but I have found there is also something I call the Widow Wall. I feel this invisible wall go up around me, when I start to feel deep emotional grief at his loss. I feel this wall sometimes when I meet someone new and I start to share my story. I feel this wall when I’m told by others how I “should ” feel or what I “should” do. This Widow Wall is what I put up to protect me from my fear.
My Ray was like a buffalo. He could walk right into a storm and face it head on. I seldom saw him try to go around a storm in life. My hope is to follow Ray’s example by learning to step through my fears and be courageous under all circumstances. My Widow Wall is self constructed, so I know I am able to tear it down.