This site is run by widowed people, for widowed people

Widowed Village connects peers with each other for friendship and sharing. The moderators, administrators, and others involved in running this site are not professionals.

Please don't interpret anything you read here as medical, legal, or otherwise expert advice. Don't disregard any expert's advice or take any action as a result of what you read here.

We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

There are so many twists and turns along the grief pathway. I wrote this two and a half years after my husband died. I was just beginning to feel hopeful again. Today I am six and a half years past Ken's death. I am here to report that I have rediscovered happiness, something I never thought would be possible. I wish the same for every widow and widower.

Grief Meet Hope

Grief and hope try to be friends, but it isn't easy. Grief pulls back, gets scared, loses its mind in the past. Hope moves forward quickly, not even imagining all the trouble that might lie in wait up ahead. Hope is full of energy. Hope wants to branch out, try something new, get out and get going.

Grief takes a big long nap and is grateful for the quiet. Grief needs to lose weight and feels too heavy to get up and start all over again. Grief holds on tight to what is known. Grief demands an accounting of all that's been lost for fear that it will disappear altogether.

Hope says, "Fine, let it all come along for the ride. There's plenty of room. All are welcome here."

Grief wants very badly to believe that Hope can be trusted. Can they really co-exist? If they get together, will they be betraying anyone else?

Hope sings, voices echoing into the future, moving with confidence into unknown territory. Grief mutters in the background. Grief is simply exhausted and needs something to lean on.

"Lean on me", says Hope. I will always be outside your door and if you let me I will help you. It's what I'm here to do.

Grief rests her head on the pillow and pulls the covers up under her chin. She closes her eyes, invigorated by the darkness. She could stay here forever imagining how it used to be, how it could have been, how everything is alien now.

Hope sits on the screened front porch basking in the filtered warm sun, holding a cup of tea. Grief lumbers in, squints uncomfortably in the light. but takes a seat anyway.

"This feels like a good beginning for us," says Grief.

"No hurry," says Hope. "We can get up whenever you're ready to go."

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Comment by Janch02 on September 17, 2012 at 4:41am

Jill, I just read your blog from the beginning to the end. I wanted to see how does it all unfold as I come up on the second anniversary of Roberts Death...this year the date is Nov. 22nd Thanksgiving Day. I just found it so amazing your journey and feelings as they mimic us all I believe. I just stopped at the posting where you described your children to Ken the tears just flowed...that will be me with my 8 yr. old who was  when Robert died...I know she will struggle to remember him and that breaks my heart.  I laughed at your early dating "attempts" to find the "replacement" as I go through that now. Not having dated but the trolling on dating sites but moving now past that to just 'be'.  Doing all the "man" chores...not that we can't but who wants and the snow blower have become one...that first winter with tears streaming down as I cleared the driveway.   Thank you for the blog. I know they say writing helps. I have tried to journal. I guess being on this site and writing is my way of doing it.  

Comment by Jill on September 10, 2012 at 8:10am

Thanks for your comments about this post! I am now 6 and a half years past the loss of my husband Ken. I so remember the early days and years when I couldn't imagine ever having a happy life again. Being able to find even the smallest shards of hope along the way has been so important to me, even in the darkest times. Keep hope by your side! xoxo

Comment by Lori on September 10, 2012 at 7:51am

Thank you for sharing this.  I have a way now to define my schizophrenic feelings, I drove to a beach that my husband and I used to love to go to together with my dog.  I was planning on walking along this beach remembering my sweet Mark, however there was a music festival and the beach was very crowded, no dogs allowed so I drove away. And I was still happy to have gone and happy to not yet experience that beach alone and I felt mark with me saying silently not yet but soon you will be able to walk the beach alone.

Comment by MissingRKK on August 7, 2012 at 6:18pm
That was lovely and just what I needed on a hard night. Thank you.
Comment by lovie on August 7, 2012 at 5:38am

Jill, this is such a wonderful perspective of how grief gets in the way of hope, healing and recovery. I am three years out and hope is much more the dominant friend in my life today. But grief likes to visit occasionally and we let him in but do not allow him to overstay his welcome. I think we will never get rid of him permanently, but his visits are easier to deal with each time he comes around. And, after all, he has taught us valuable lessons on life and living. Thanks for the inspiration!

Comment by kimkirt (KK) on August 7, 2012 at 4:11am

That is beautiful, Jill. Thank you so much for sharing it. Something I will read over and over again. Thank you!

Comment by bj628(Bonnie) on August 6, 2012 at 11:43am

Thanks for sharing this.. I am so happy you are finding happiness !  There are times we take 3 steps forward and 2 back, I keep saying.. There must be a reason.. I must have some purpose here.. I think I will hunt for my book.. A purpose driven Life by Eckert Tolle.. I also heard from a friend " Widow to Widow" is good, I am going to order it from Amazon today

Comment by Morgana (Janet) on August 6, 2012 at 10:52am

Thank you Jill for sharing this.  I am glad that you are finding happiness.  I have printed this to keep and read many times and to it with me when I go to CWW.  Hugs.

Comment by NC Coco on August 6, 2012 at 10:27am

Really beautiful - glad that you are finding happiness - I had forgotten that it exists.

Comment by Joyce on August 6, 2012 at 10:01am

Jill, thank you so much for this.  It is so very appropriate and right on!  I'm going to print it and try to plaster it in front of my  Thanks again.

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