I met seven extraordinary people a couple of weeks ago, who are sharing “seven different perspectives on the journey of widowhood” each writing once a week for The Widow’s Voice blog. Met maybe isn’t the right word as I only have seen their photos, tagged as Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… but I have heard their stories, and have enveloped their self-proclaimed “painfully raw” essence of grief and life and hope. They are real and do list their names, but I like this weekday playfulness and attitude!
Each day, I find myself looking forward to reading the musings. They are personal and I feel like I’m receiving an e-mail just for me. They are as varied in topic and emotion as is anyone’s grief journey: Talking to others about their loss, venturing into the outside world, children, friendships, time; Hating, loving, anger, contentment, joy, guilt, fears… Nothing seems to be unspeakable, which I find comforting and reassuring, and I suspect would be more so for other widows.
The time period since these writers became widowed (or is it widows became writers?) are from 2005 to 2009, their marriages were from five years to over 25 years, and death came to their loved ones both suddenly and after illnesses. They are bonded by their common experience as widows, but each travel uniquely along in their own loss. They are all parents.
Their continued writing and self-discovery that is happening years after the death of their spouse is a testament to the fact that grief and assimilation of loss goes on naturally for a long time – not a specific 3 months, one year or whatever arbitrary time frame family , friends, and bosses think you should grieve. Apparently, the yearning to both count and not count the time passed marks the milestones along the way.
I am not a widow, but statistics indicate I will be the likely one to outlive my spouse. I am a woman, my husband is significantly older, and I am in better health. This is not a club I want to join, yet their bond is enviable, and their friendships are real. “You may find yourself nodding your head in kinship or wiping away a tear as you read the stories that are posted here daily,” noted on their website. ”Together we examine the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of life as a widowed person.” Together, they are each teaching me about life and grief.
The Widow’s Voice is in concert with Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation, sponsor of Camp Widow, an annual event taking place this weekend, August 6-8, 2010 in San Diego, CA, Widow Match, an internet support program, and American Widow Project, for military families. If you or someone you know is widowed, subscribing to this blog may be the helpful support to realizing you do not have to go alone in your partner loss journey.