I am so thankful to have been led to the book, Widow to Widow by Genevieve Davis Ginsburg. When I first started reading it I wept and yet felt thankful as it was speaking of my journey. I remember uttering, almost immediately after Bob passed, I am a widow out loud to myself. I was in the grace period of numbness so I didn’t grasp the gravity of it however, I knew it was a word that denoted a kind of bleakness I didn’t like.
Now I know what I feel is commonplace on the ‘widow’s walk’ and affects young and old alike. As I read the words, unwanted membership, I realized I was being given the freedom to be whatever and whoever in those early days forward. The sadness, the loneliness, the aching were part of facing the physical severing between him and me. It has nothing to do with faith other than without faith I would not be able to face each new day of forging this pilgrim’s path through the terrible gaping. Without faith I could not face this pilgrimage as it is required in maintaining courage and steadfastness. For me, with faith there is peace and hope in the knowing that I, in the bleakest hours, am held safe in the Shepherds arms. I feel His presence and I feel Bob’s presence in the eternity and love of my heart.
I do believe we must be able to embody our grief, any of us, be it through the loss of a spouse, a parent, a child, a sibling, or a friend. We must not hide behind walls of platitudes. We must be able to express the truth of how we feel in any moment along the way and not feel we are letting someone else down. It is okay to cry. It is okay to scream if you have to. However, we mourn is okay. It is a personal journey that no one else can live for us. They can just hold us, pray for us, and cry with us, whatever the moments call for.
I feel joy in knowing that love never dies. I feel joy through knowing our life force, our spirit, is eternal. I feel joy in knowing there is a forever communion in my heart for all whom I have loved that have passed on. Right now the truth is, IT HURTS! And you never know until that moment of separation visits itself upon you how you will feel. Losing your life companion is truly like losing part of yourself. I feel him from within and I know in my deepest heart he is part of my journey, my most ardent cheerleader. He spoke of not wanting to leave me to fend for myself but through the highs and lows of his chronic illness and mine as a caregiver, I learned. He gave me such gifts. I see their value more and more each day and I am so thankful.
I have also witnessed amazing miracles in and through this journey so far. Soul carving, uplifting moments. They seem to be part of balancing the scale and they happen out of the blue. It helps to know we, none of us, are ever alone. There are soul whispers like a kind of divine intervention, there are words on a page that leap out, or the hugs and words of loved ones near and far that ease the moments. Amazing Grace.