Someone asked me recently why I only write for Widows and not a larger group of the grieving. This was part of a conversation on why The W Club is Widows only and doesn’t include Widowers or parents who had lost a child. It was an interesting question, and I had to think about it a bit.
Here’s the deal. I don’t write only for Widows. I write for myself. I write for other widows because we share a common story and we are part of the same tribe. I write for friends and family of W’s who are desperate to help and need insight. I write for my fellow grief journey travelers which by the way, includes all of us.
At some point in our lives, we will all experience loss. Maybe it’s not the death of a loved one. It could be due to divorce, the loss of a job, a pet, or a childhood dream. The point is we all experience loss. These losses impact us whether we want them to or not. We all grieve differently, but life ALWAYS comes with loss. If we can accept that loss is inevitable, it can free us to revel in all the other glorious live now moments life brings us.
With a few exceptions, the advice (or rants) I write aren’t Widow specific and can apply to anyone who is grieving. I’m not a professional, so can only share my experiences about what I’ve found helpful or harmful. As terrifying as it has been, I’ve chosen to shine the light on the dark side of grief that most of us hide from the world out of a sense of propriety or shame. Why would I open myself up to that kind of scrutiny and vulnerability? Because I know how alone it felt in the darkness, and I’ll do my damnedest to make sure no one else has to feel that. And if I can help just one person figure out how to reach out and grab the hand of their loved one who is grieving and not let go, it helps me find meaning in Dan’s horrible death. If I can help one widow avoid the internal dialog about taking her life, it makes my struggle worth it. And if one person who is grieving, regardless of the reason why, remembers that there are support options out there for them, being open and vulnerable was worth it.
So no, I don’t write only for Widows. I just happen to be one.
The Wandering Widow