Friday, February 19, 2010


As a new widow, I knew other women who were widows, but I did not know any 'young widows' who were in a situation like mine (raising kids still).

Shortly after my husband died I began taking the kids to a bereavement group at Hospice. It was usually a fun activity night that allowed the kids to mingle with other kids who had lost their father and allowed us mothers to talk about life and how we were getting through. We only made it to a few of these before the kids initiated a full revolt against attending these evening. So we stopped.

I did come away from this experience with one very valuable thing. "J". The first time I attended this activity night, I was struck by another lady who was there. She was positive and honest. She wasn't afraid to smile, and helped pick up the other ladies who were there. When the evening was over she and I were walking out together and began talking. She had three kids, as I did - although hers were a few years older than mine. We made it as far as our vehicles and continued chatting about life. The kids sat in the vehicles and turned up the radio while others ran around on the lawn, and others sat there with ornery expressions. But, we just talked. And talked. And talked. We finally caved to the pleadings of the children and exchanged phone numbers and were off.

Here and there over the next five years we would talk. We were very different people but were connected by our similar burdens. I have found great peace in knowing her and watching that somehow we seemed to take similar paths. Words and people and situations might be different - but there was also this strange similarity that gave me peace to see... it is all normal. It is all part of a process. We have both evolved.

I laugh to myself sometimes when I am in the middle of 'crashing'... mentally, physically... she seems to disappear as well. I have quickly gathered that it is because we are on the same train. We can go full speed ahead for awhile... but then we stop. Recover. And then we are back.

If you don't have a 'J' I hope you will find one here. I hope you can read of my experiences and feel understood. Have your feelings validated. Sometimes... just knowing we aren't crazy can be one of the greatest gifts!

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