What is a Glimmer?

Glimmers are small moments of joy or peace that arise from appreciating simple things like the colors of a rainbow, the scent of a flower, or the sound of the rain. Glimmers and triggers are opposites in that glimmers spark positive feelings while triggers spark negative ones. – The Newport Institute

Although I didn’t know of this word back in the early days of my widowhood, looking back, I can remember many of them quite well.

I know it’s beyond difficult to look for the “good” times when your world is falling apart, but if you remain open to it, these little blips of time can become absolutely precious moments amongst the darkest ones.

There were days when friends would pop in, just to say hello, and then another friend or two would as well. There was a good chance that at least one party would have brought snacks, and in those early days, almost everyone did.

Normally, I’m not big on drop-in company, but in a weird twist, I welcomed it at that time.

I can remember the sun shining and having the doors open, during many of these little impromptu get-togethers, which of course, adds an element of fondness to these memories.

One night, my old middle school bestie – with whom I had only recently gotten back into contact – came over to color my daughter’s hair, and have an old-fashioned slumber party.

There were always tasty snacks, and much of the time, there was wine too. (My friend is actually a farmer and winemaker! Top-tier products for anyone interested.)

Another friend came by every Sunday to sit with me, because he knew Sundays were the bad day. My mom would also call me, if I wasn’t visiting them, or if they weren’t visiting me.

When my daughter returned to school, her classmates had all written her sweet notes and given cards expressing sympathy for the loss of her father.

So many people came together to see us through that awful time.

My Glimmers aren’t only about the people who visited and the thoughtful gifts they brought.

I remember sitting down to watch The Golden Girls, and it just happened to be the episode where Blanche is dreaming about her late husband George, still being alive.

Talk about timing, right?

Then there were the first couple of dreams that I had about Bret, and the first books about grief and the afterlife I read.

So many things, big and small, brought a smile through my tears in those first fragile months.

And I still find them important to remember on the tough days.

Some years before Bret left us, my oldest child was involved in a terrible accident, of which we were told was going to be fatal.

Time passed and the wounds healed and now, I have fond memories of the hospital that hosted the miraculous recovery.

There were even multiple laughs shared with support staff since everyone on that floor got to know me pretty well.

Those were Glimmers too, only I just didn’t know it.

Finding the joy knotted in with the pain can be so monumental in the grieving process.

It was really illuminating to me when it dawned on me that some of these great joys would not have happened without the pain.

Look for the Glimmers (when you can; when you’re ready.)

When we are forehead-deep in grief, the littlest sparkle of happiness can be such a wondrous, underappreciated lifeline.

And although sometimes we don’t want those moments of happiness, we deserve them; we need them.

Our spouses would want them for us. 

Photo by me – just admiring the sparkling sky.


Mark your calendars! Hope For Widow’s annual virtual Widows of Hope 5K event has returned on Friday, May 10 through Sunday, May 12, 2023. Anyone can join! Whether you are a widow, widower, or a friend/family member showing support or walking in the loss of another family member, everyone is welcome to participate. The proceeds will directly support widows through the annual financial Restoring Hope and Peace Grants, Sunshine Boxes program, and Bring Hope Holiday Assistance Program. Do you have or know a business that would like to sponsor? That’s an option too! To register and frequently asked questions- please go here:  https://secure.getmeregistered.com/get_information.php?event_id=139671



Layla Beth Munk is a blogger & author who was thrust into this widowhood journey abruptly and tragically on February 11, 2018. Her husband of 12 years had ended his pain once and for all. She soon made the decision that she would not let his final decision define the rest of her life or their daughter’s life, so with her sense of humor at the helm, she started writing about her newfound station in life. Grief waves still get to her, and probably always will, but with the help of her fellow widows as well as friends and family, she has been able to realize her dream of becoming a published author! Layla is so grateful to Hope For Widows Foundation for providing this level of support to her, and so many others! Layla has two amazing children, one who is grown and one who is almost grown. She lives in eastern Oregon and has a wellness & beauty background. Layla enjoys writing poetry, watching anime, and homeschooling her daughter.

Her blog can be found at laylabethmunk.medium.com and her debut novella, 24 Hours in Vegas, is available on Amazon.