I have talked a lot about this feeling of “empathy” that I share with some of my widowed friends. We have had many long talks about the necessity of understanding the reactions of others, trying not to judge, accepting offers of help and being closer to our families.
I do my best not to intrude on other’s grief and to be respectful of their privacy but sometimes when the time is right I have found it helpful to tell my own story. I have found that letting other widows know how I feel encourages them to talk about their own grief. We widows learn from one another and it helps us understand that although we grieve, we all do it in our own unique way.
Sometimes, we are so consumed with our own grief that it is difficult to understand or even acknowledge the depth of others’ grief. All of us have to learn to be gentle with ourselves and to understand and accept that we have done our best, both in the past and in the present.
As widows we are blessed with wonderful events and memories from our past life. It is always amazing and enlightening to me when other widow’s relate events in their lives that were so similar to my own.