Pay It Forward

I went to my monthly widow luncheon yesterday. It was the third meeting and the second I have attended. I am the youngest there but have been widowed for longer than many of the women. I feel mixed emotions. Sadness for the losses we have suffered, pride in our ability to pick ourselves up to keep moving ahead and also a bit of fulfillment knowing I can help those other widows who are new to this club that none of us wanted to join. (I stole that line from someone and can’t remember where I read it.)

Yesterday a woman attended who lost her husband just two weeks ago. She is young, gorgeous, three kids in junior and senior high school and so brave to have attended the luncheon so soon after her husband’s death. I could see the grief in her and felt her sadness and pain as she absorbed the stories of the other women and tried to share hers. Her numbness mixed with such raw emotion was almost four years ago for me but sometimes feels like just yesterday. I wanted to just hug her (and I’m not a hugger), bring her home with me and fast-forward her grief past the early hopeless days. But I know the only thing that will heal her is time. And yet my heart aches for her and the other “fresh widows” out there in the beginning stages of their mourning.

All I can do is continue to spread my message of minimizing stress and maximizing life and hope that as other widows encounter it, they will embrace it and find some comfort in knowing they aren’t alone.

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