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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."

It seems like we have instructions for everything.  Instructions for putting things together like bicycles, grills, using hand tools, coffee pots, microwaves, washers, dryers, lawn mowers, downloading and installing software.  I have found that LIFE does not come with a set of instructions nor does this journey through widowhood.

We just muddle our way through the journey of widowhood stumbling along the way, falling down, getting back up with some scrapes and bruises along the way.  We search out support sites or grounds, find and read the books on grief, grieving, loss and healing that we can find and those recommended by friends.  They are only books though written by people from their own perspective of what their widowhood journey is like.  The similarities are the same but we soon discover that each journey is unique for each of us as we wonder along this path turning right, maybe a left turn here, going backwards, moving forwards only to go backwards again and wondering if we will ever see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I have this to be a very exhausting journey that takes a toll on us not only physically but on our nerves, emotions, it stresses us beyond belief, turns our hair gray or grayer and changes us forever in ways we never knew or wanted.  It tests our courage, our strength, our trust in people, our faith and our spirituality.  We widows/ers refer to it as the "New Normal" because the normal we once knew no longer exist and is gone forever.

We move from the numb and fog to the realization that this is our life, our "New Normal", now and go WTF happened.  We ask "What happened? ... Where do I go? ... How do I cope? ... What lies ahead on this gut wrenching journey?  So many questions and so few answers.  We just continue to muddle through and we hope and pray at some point we will come to the end of this journey...but we discover there is no end to the journey.  We just learn to live with the “it is what it is and it was what it was”.

Maybe LIFE isn't mean to come with a set of instructions.  Maybe it is that LIFE is the teacher and we are the students learning new ways to live, new experiences, learning to deal with the road blocks along the way, taking detours but always finding our way back, learning "The Widow Dance" as Susan so aptly called it in her blog.  We don't get lost on this journey but we are creating new excursions as we wander along hoping to reach our destination in life...whatever that maybe.  We gain new way of learning to live, dealing with what has been given us, finding our own way through grief, making new friends, reflecting on the past and wondering about the future.

 I have said and have other others make the same comment “I would not wish this on my worst enemy”.  Getting through grief is tiring not only physically but it is mentally exhausting too.  It doesn’t define us but it does help to shape us as we discover who we are now as one instead of the whole we were.  Reflecting on the past and discovering who we are now instead of who we were; finding a strength we never knew we had; solving problems and making decisions without our partner to help us; learning to put us first in the grief process which is foreign ground for us.  But we do keep moving forward if only one baby step at a time.  We learn that we can and do survive.

Some as we have will eventually find their way here to Widowed Village.  We find people who get it, understand and are willing to listen, become friends and our family, who accept us for who and what we are, we learn that it is okay to disagree and that some days cyber hugs are the next best thing to a real hug.  We give of our time and our compassion to help others but we also take away a better understanding of who we are.

Thanks to all the wonderful people here who make life just a little easier for all of us on this journey.  Thanks to Michele for creating Soaring Spirits and Supa Dupa for Widowed Village, a place to come to when we are down, a place to laugh and cry, to find hope and give us the courage to continue to move forward. 

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Comment by hendrixx2 on May 26, 2013 at 3:32pm

Hi Janet,

So Right On! No damn instructions and the task appears so large; but it is amazing what our "muddling" through can produce. Beyond the fatigue and exhaustion we find 'us', we rediscover that we 'are' and 'can' and actually 'do'...I think you are right, it won't define us, but it does shape the future people we become. WV has been the anchor for my own drifting ship, and I join you in saluting all who have made this site possible...Peace

Comment by Patricia Marie on May 21, 2013 at 9:04pm

Good lord Janet, are you wise. Thank you for expressing the value of the Village and I guess, the value of this journey we are on, now that we have reached this wretched turning point of losing our beloved.

Comment by lovie on May 20, 2013 at 3:36am

This reminds me of the Charlie Brown quote "In the Book of Life, there are no answers in the back!"  And, oh, how many times I have thrown the instruction manual away and figured it out on my own. I totally agree that LIFE is the greatest teacher and that we can learn from our grief and we can survive. Cyber hugs to you today, Janet!

Comment by hendrixx2 on May 19, 2013 at 12:59pm

Hi Janet,

So Right On! No damn instructions and the task appears so large; but it is amazing what our "muddling" through can produce. Beyond the fatigue and exhaustion we find 'us', we rediscover that we 'are' and 'can' and actually 'do'...I think you are right, it won't define us, but it does shape the future people we become. WV has been the anchor for my own drifting ship, and I join you in saluting all who have made this site possible...Peace

Comment by onmyown on May 18, 2013 at 9:47pm

Well said!! You described it all and so well. Maybe these are not instructions but you provided a good guide to our "new life".  Thank you!

Comment by Suz on May 18, 2013 at 5:22pm

Thanks, Janet. Sometimes "life" or life before a big crisis like widowhood does seem like it runs smoothly. Widowhood is actually just a part of is that one or the other of a couple will eventually reach. None of it has instructions, I am beginning to think. I watch older friends and my in-laws hit their nineties and that isn't looking like a lot of fun either, in most cases. I am not sure I would wish for the confusing time of having my children tell me i couldn't drive or that I had to go into assisted living either. My goddaughter just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at three weeks. Talk about rough. I am not meaning to say that widowhood isn't as hard because it is certainly one the roughest I have encountered. Life just has ups and downs. That's Life for ya!

(((Hugs))) and thanks for a great blog.

Comment by Susan on May 18, 2013 at 5:08pm

Thank you Janet. Maybe LIFE isn't meant to come with instructions...but I''m sure glad I found WV and its community of fellow travelers.  I can't imagine where I would be today, a little more than 6 months into the journey, if it weren't for the people here.

Comment by Morgana (Janet) on May 18, 2013 at 4:28pm

You are welcome Cathy.  Yes this is a cluster fuck of a journey.  We do  try to continue as we process along, not an easy journey for sure.  I wish he was here to hold, cuddle, snuggle, talk and so much more to, being by best friend and  companion on this journey.  He isn't so all I have are the memories that help to carry me forward.  Wishing you al softer days ahead.

Comment by JPSwifeCathy on May 18, 2013 at 12:53pm
Very well put Janet!! We ARE MIA--missing/lost without our loved ones but still trying to continue with life by staying in ACTION---although many times we don't want to--thinking "what's our purpose now! Thanks for sharing & Thankyou Michelle & Robin!

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