If you are able to attend Camp Widow in just over a week, you are in for a treat, because I’ll be leading the round-table discussion on being Widowed with No Children. No, that’s not really the treat – the treat is getting to connect with other amazing folks who have also had to experience grief in a most unfortunate way – through the loss of their spouse or partner. Here’s what we’ll be talking about:
“As a widow with no children, I invite you to join our ‘Widowed with No Children’ round-table discussion on Friday at Camp Widow East. Whether you and your spouse/partner planned to have children, or you never intended for children to be a part of your future, we will discuss the unique challenges we face. Some of these topics may include concerns about who will care for us as we age, mourning the secondary loss of being unable to have children with our late spouse/partner, feelings of alienation in the widowed community, questions from others about regrets in choosing not to have children, dis-connection with in-laws, considering becoming a single parent, and more.”
Many of these topics have come up in our discussion board on Widowed Village, but I also noticed some of these feelings at last year’s Camp Widow. While I made some amazing connections, I also felt like this group was lacking. Our issues are unique and magnified because of one thing: we have no children.
I want to address one topic that has continually been brought up around me by other widows (who are mothers or fathers). I do ______ because I need to be here for my children; I have no other reason to do ______ besides my children, or other various versions. To this I ask, what is my reason for living then?
I have plenty of reasons, most of which I had to discover through the “normal” grieving and healing process. I had to discover new hobbies that I enjoyed – ones that were not just things my husband I did together. I had to build confidence in myself and my abilities. I had to build a will to become a better, stronger, smarter, more loving and caring person. I’m still working on it, but I had to do it solely for my own survival, not based on the needs of my non-existent children.
For my widow friends with children, I encourage you to look at living life for you. Yes, you. Becoming selfish. You can’t do everything just for you children, just as any average parent cannot. It’s give and take, even if most days it feels like give, give give.
Please share with me your unique challenges of being a widow with no children, or the questions you have for those of us who are widowed with no children. Part two will come early next week before Camp Widow begins as a launch pad for the round table.
If you care to help send 1 widow to Camp Widow East or West, please contribute here to help donate a Campership.