Most of my friends are people that I have never met. They live in my phone and anytime I need something, they are always only a couple of clicks away.
That is the beauty of technology. And social media. If I have to be a widowed person, I am grateful that it happened in the digital age where you can find people that you connect with due to similar (yet unfortunate) life circumstances.
If it weren’t for the groups that I have found on Facebook and the individuals I have encountered on Instagram, I’m not sure where I would be right now. They have provided such a strong support system and a place where I can be my true self. There are groups for general support, dating after loss, expressing yourself through dark humor, and the list goes on and on.
I have virtually met so many individuals that I have grown to consider friends. Having people to turn to who just get it, no matter what the “it” makes this treacherous journey slightly more tolerable. If I want to vent about an insensitive thing that a “normie” said, I can. If I want to cry about how much I miss my husband chasing me around with snot on his finger, I can. If I want to gripe about how the dating world is pretty much the last place I want to be spending time, I can. And if I want to laugh about the really funny (and equally dark and twisted) joke I just made and the horror that crossed over the person’s face, I definitely can.
The relationships that are formed in these groups are exactly what I needed to regain some semblance of hope in this world. We get each other. We support each other. We are a shoulder to cry on. And we are willing to go to war to protect each other’s honor.
Recently, I was lucky enough to finally meet a group of widows in “real life” that I have known online for at least six months. We have made strong connections and supported each other from a distance through so many bad days and significant events. To be given the opportunity to enhance that bond by spending time together in person is something that I am incredibly thankful for. We had such a good time celebrating and just spending time together, it reminded me of just how strong my widow tribe truly is. And just how important our relationships are.
As widowed people, we come together. And as widowed people, we stay together. There is absolutely nothing like the bond that we share.
Where else will you find people who, in the freezing cold, will form a human barrier to protect you and others from the trigger of an ambulance being loaded up with a patient on a gurney?
Where else will you find people who understand that you physically cannot walk past that scene until the emergency vehicles have driven off?
And they will stand there, patiently, no questions asked. They will keep an eye out for more triggers throughout the night. And you will do the same for them.
Because you get it. And they get it. And together, you’ve got each other.
We didn’t want to have to know each other. We didn’t want to have this unbreakable bond. But we do. And I, for one, am abundantly grateful for it.