I parked under that same weeping tree that I always park under. A small red car was sitting under the next tree down. I could see a female silhouette sitting in the driver’s seat alone. I pondered; how long had she been here? Was she leaving? As I put my car in park, I wondered about her story, grabbed a Kleenex, and began the walk.
Cool today with a bit of overcast; the grass was still damp from an earlier sprinkle. The Birkenstocks that I was wearing were not keeping my toes dry! But it wasn’t stopping me.
Although I have done this walk, what seems like a million times, today it was different. Was it because of the lady in the car, that I needed advice and was worried
I wasn’t going to get it or the overwhelming silence I was experiencing? I couldn’t figure out what it was; I just knew it felt different.
Every time I take this walk, I glance out towards my destination, then I put my head down and try to place my feet one at a time respectfully. The path is always the same, old habit… routine… staying consistent… Whatever it is, it never changes.
Today as I reached my destination, I paused as I could feel an overwhelming flood of emotions about to explode. No words were spoken as tears began to glide down my face. I had many questions, guidance I needed, confirmations wanted, but all I could muster up was… “I miss you so much!” They seemed like empty words.
I. Miss. You. So. Much.
As the brisk breeze blew against me, I stood there, bringing a chill down my spine. The sound of geese honking had placed me in a bit of a trance when I could feel the presence of another soul nearby. As I glanced over my left shoulder, I could see through the blur of my tear-filled eyes a woman knelt in front of her destination. Her face was firmly placed in both hands, and I could see her shoulders shivering. Undoubtedly this was the woman from the car. I felt for her as she stood there alone sobbing. “That poor thing” ran through my head. Then I quickly realized we walk the same path, just to different destinations.
The walk can feel like a thousand miles long, and on most days, it is the most challenging walk with heartache the whole way. Nothing seems to stop you from taking the walk. I have done it in the pouring rain, the hundred-degree heat, and a foot of snow.
The “Widow Walk” is what I call it. It is that trek you make from where you park your car to the headstone of your loved one. A sacred pathway that can lead you to contentment or cause a tornado of emotions inside. The walk is our own! However, it is one we all wished we didn’t have.
To all the widows out there… May you take your next ‘Widow Walk’ with comfort, knowing you are NOT ALONE. Millions are stepping the exact steps, experiencing the heartache, feeling the unknown, and hoping that it may become easier one day.
Love and Blessings