In the early years of being a widow I searched out women who were years into widowhood and asked them to revisit that period in their lives. They made themselves available to me and shared their deepest feelings.
It was like I was in a dark cave and they came in to sit with me, reassuring and coaxing me out into the light. They told me to prepare myself for a whole new life, but also assured me that despite my grief, they knew I could handle it. Their confidence in me plus being forewarned helped boost my spirit.
Widowhood heightened my sense of life’s fragility and has resulted in some major, life-changing decisions. I’ve realized that I want to try new things and that this priority outweighs my career of thirty-six years.
Donnie’s death has sharpened my focus and strengthened my resolve to enjoy life, to love those who mean so much to me, and to accept that adversity can in fact intensify life, putting the ordinary pleasures that I used to take for granted into a sweetness of living.
Through those early years my widowed friends functioned as my no-nonsense reality check, my advocate as they listened patiently to my anxieties. Even though I complained and felt sorry for myself, I had them to buck me up.
I knew I could trust them, so I felt free to confide my darkest fears knowing that my spirit was in the care of my friends. The very fact of their existence helped as I was buoyed up simply by sharing their stories, witnessing how they lived their lives, and knowing that not that long ago, each of them had been in my place.
I look back on these early years with a willingness to help other women through it. Please take advantage of all the resources on my website, newsletter and blog postings.
And most of all please search out those special friends that can be there for you – to cry, to laugh and to understand your grief.