The title of this blog, Widowhood – so much more than grief, suggests there are many facets of grief. Each one of us experiences grief differently and we walk through this haze with varying degrees of angst. The variation comes in the way we grieve, the memories we have stockpiled over the years and the experiences we shared. Differing personalities come in to play as do family dynamics. Moreover, we don’t grieve alone. Our friends, co-workers and family members also grieve our loss.
The widows group I mentioned in my last blog post has been a great source of comfort. The comfort comes from knowing we are not alone in our grief. We share an understanding, a common bond which gives us the right to let the tears flow when we are together. This group is learning to laugh again and even speak of the laughter that used to be part of living. We also talk about the guilt we feel because we fear what others think.
The reality is people watch us. Some scrutinize with a critical eye, deciding on their own when enough should be enough. Some tell of conversations with friends who admonish our behavior saying, “It is time you get over it. He’s been dead a year already. Besides, you know he is in a better place.” Nods of agreement around the room confirm this. We have all been assaulted with this type of comment.
On the other side of the coin there are those who think our memory of our spouse is fading too fast. We are smiling too quickly. Even going out to dinner and a movie with friends offends them. It isn’t easy, but to everyone who has an opinion about how I grieve I say boldly, “Mind your own business. If the day comes you are in this situation, come to me and we’ll have a conversation.”
It is so good to come together each week and just talk. We have no particular agenda, we simply share our lives. Memories will arise, tears will fall, and always the Grace of God fills the room. His presence is apparent when hugs from Heaven are experienced within the arms of one another.
Each of us understands that life is different now. When grief is fresh, we cannot see a future with any joy. By spending time with others who have walked this road for a few years, we know there is hope that tomorrow will be better. Today smells of stale winter air, but there is a fresh fragrance almost within reach. Spring is nearing. Get ready to throw open the windows!
John 16:20 (NIV) I tell you the truth; you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.
Grace ‘n Grins,