The journey of widowhood is not for the faint of heart, nor should it be ventured alone. Partnering with fellow widows and using a strong support team will ease the pain and foster an environment where healing can take place.
When he’s no longer there to say,
“I love you!”
We really need someone to say,
“I’m here for you!”
I didn’t ask for widowhood. It invaded my life and changed everything. Grief from my loss keeps sticking its nose in my business without my permission. I’m forever and profoundly altered. Grief operates on a timetable outside of order, norms, or logic. Heartbreak sends emotions to the lowest of lows and to heights beyond natural reach. Life will never be the same.
This week I traveled to my Mom’s house. It is my first trip home since I came to celebrate my husband’s memorial service. Last year my Dad joined my husband in heaven. This is my first time at home without my Dad to greet me and give me a hug. I was filled with a powerful mix of dread and excitement in anticipation of coming.
My Mom is a widow too now. Her journey with grief is nothing like mine—yet we share an inexplicable bond of understanding of grief and loss that only comes with first hand experience. Our relationship has an intangible new depth that can’t be explained to those who haven’t experienced this type of loss.
Choosing to come and face my fears, I can honestly say is worth it. Now I have new memories to focus on. My relationship with my Mom is strengthened, and I know I will be thankful I made this choice when the time comes I have to say goodbye to her on this earth as well. As some of our activities and conversations about our husbands and journey through the grief process were shared, I believe we both continued to heal and grow.
I have a deep respect for marathon runners. When they are in the home stretch, no doubt so exhausted they aren’t sure if they will make it, runners who already crossed the finish line come back, run with them, and cheer them on to help them finish strong. The mere presence of fellow runners who made it and choose to encourage those who are in a different place in the same race helps replenish the motivation and courage to keep going.
This is our mission as widows if we will embrace it. No matter where we are in our journey, when we see a sister widow faltering and struggling to push on, we can come alongside them to encourage them and cheer them on. Hand in hand, heart to heart… we encourage and support. We may not have made it ourselves yet to some perceived finish line, but we all have something positive we can share. We will also be blessed and find it will help us continue to heal.