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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."

VOLUNTEERING....IS.... HELPING ME FEEL BETTER

Today marks 21 months since my husband died, and it is the first 12th of the month that I am not sad, nor in despair, or crying. What gives?  What is different? Am I healed?  It is almost as if I feel.....normal. Is that it?

The only thing I can attribute this change to is the fact that I started volunteering at a non-profit this week. I have offered my services to help the director in an administrative capacity. Part of the duties involve calling the clients of this non-profit, all of whom are single women....either unwed or divorced single mothers or widows of all ages, all in need of help or support.  I hear the stories...how they can't pay rent, how their car broke down and they don't have money to pay for the repair. How grateful they are for help and for the call that lets them know that we are checking on them and praying for them.

Today I spoke to a widow who lost her husband of 28 years (a second marriage) some two months ago and she is well into her 70's and her husband was about 80 years old. She was full of the grace and strength of GOD. I was honored that I had the chance to speak with her! We both had lost husbands and she chuckled when I said that I was married for "20 years 10 months." We both had lost our mothers to terrible diseases. We both have three sisters and one brother, but hers are close by and have been able to support her, while mine are all far away on the Eastern Seaboard, a great distance from Central Texas.  She also shared that she had lost two children, yet her voice had the sound of strength,hope and resilience.  I enjoyed our conversation so much and I gave thanks that I was able to speak with this woman. I feel privileged to speak with all of wonderful women, all from various walks of life.

Today I called my therapist and told her that I won't be needing her services anymore, so she took me off of the schedule. I am done talking with her. With regards to therapists, I have used them in the past, and when I feel annoyed after an appointment, it means I am done and ready to move forward. I believe that it what is happening.

I also registered to take the certification exam for the PHR- a credential that I need to obtain if I want to resume a career in human resources.  The PHR is the equivalent of what a CPA is to an accountant.  I have been applying for jobs, but I see that most positions want that credential.    I left my career to raise my son, which was supposed to just be for 2-3 years, but somehow, some 15 years later, here I am, full-time mother and homemaker. I did work part-time for a few years prior to becoming the caregiver from my cancer stricken husband. Now I am starting over.

Anyhow, I have three months to prepare for the PHR exam. I have six volumes to read and master, and several volumes have 300 pages. (YIKES!) I am hitting the books, putting the nose to the grindstone, and hope that I can pass them exam in December. I know that I have to work at some point in the future, so why not try to resume my former career?

Enough of my blathering. Change is the one thing that is constant, whether it is a change we expected or not. Death changes EVERYTHING. When I read the materials in the study guide about corporate change, I can now laugh. There is no change like the change that the DEATH OF A SPOUSE brings.

I buried a husband. I administered and close the estate. I got my son and myself the support services needed to get through the worst of the grief. And now....step by step.....I am moving forward, at times painfully, and often slowly.

WIDOWS/WIDOWERS ROCK!!!

(((((((HUGS TO ALL!!!!)))))

~Mariposa

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Comment by Mariposa on September 14, 2013 at 8:21pm

Thanks Diane for your encouraging words and for volunteering with Widowed village.  Thank you only1sue for your encouragement as well.

Comment by only1sue on September 13, 2013 at 3:12pm

I am not ready yet to try it but can see that stepping out into the community as a volunteer is the way to go.  For now I am volunteering in the same old places but I do need to widen my world.

Thank you Mariposa for doing what you are doing, helping women to get balance back in their lives and thank you Dianne for volunteering here and helping US to get balnce back into our lives.

Comment by Dianne in Nevada on September 13, 2013 at 3:08pm

Fabulous blog, Mariposa. What a blessing you are to those women.   

I have to agree that volunteering is what has helped me. I started out volunteering here in Widowed Village behind-the-scenes.  No matter how badly I was feeling, there was someone else whose story broke my heart and brought me out of any self-pity thoughts. I volunteered at Camp Widow and then became the National Volunteer Coordinator for Soaring Spirits. This fills my evenings and weekends with meaningful work instead of loneliness. It's good to feel needed again ... something I lost along with everything else when my dear husband died. Truly thinking of others is a great help to our own healing. 

Best of luck with your studying!

Comment by Mariposa on September 13, 2013 at 2:31pm

Thank you Lauralee, Morgana, eliana, Tod, and liz for the support! :-)

Comment by Lauralee on September 13, 2013 at 5:40am

Mariposa - Your blog is so timely and it sounds like you are in a very similar place in your journey as me.  It has been 18 months since my husband died.  Just last week, I completed training to volunteer with young children at a local Nature Center.  There is curriculum to study and several books yet to read.  I am very much looking forward to my first "day" later this month - I can't believe I am saying that. It does feel like a step in the right direction.  Meeting new people, helping out in the community, reinventing a life - last year at this time I never thought this was possible.  I am so happy for you with your new venture.  Thanks for this blog!  

Comment by Morgana (Janet) on September 13, 2013 at 5:07am

WTG Mariposa.  I am so happy you have started volunteering and beginning to move forwards.  Send (((Hugs))) your way.

Comment by eliana on September 13, 2013 at 12:07am

That is truly, truly wonderful.  Brava!

Comment by Tod on September 12, 2013 at 6:25pm

Good for you,and good for ya!

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