This weekend I was surrounded by no less than about 10 widows and widowers. It was more than I ever have been around at one time, other than support groups.
Last week, I received a copy of Everence Magazine (PDF) and over my breakfast, read about a widow named Tina. Tina’s story touched me, as all widow stories do these days. Every widow I encounter on paper, through a friend, in person, I just want to get to know, to embrace in a hug, to feel that understanding bitter connection between our souls.
On Friday, I met Tina. I had made a goal to seek her out on Facebook, but never took the time over the few days after I first read the article. And then I went to First Friday in Downtown Lancaster, met up with some friends, walked out of Fig Lancaster, and nearly ran into her and her new husband. I had only seen the pictures from the article, but I knew it was her-that instant moment of ‘OMW, IT’S HER’, so I stopped her and explained that I read the article on her life, and introduced myself as a fellow widow. She’s a widow who was left to raise 5 adopted children on her own, one who has been blessed with a new marriage and a strong community. She is simply amazing.
We chatted, reminisced, hugged. It was an instant connection, and I’m looking forward to emailing back and forth as we journey through this. It was nothing short of DIVINE that we met. It turns out she’s not on Facebook, and had it not been for the article, and for me happening to walk out of Fig Lancaster at that exact moment, we never would have met. So awesome. I wanted to bawl.
Sunday evening I drove to D.C. for the Soaring Spirits widow party at the Arts Center at American University. I met with a widow friend, and finally got the meet the infamous Fresh Widow, and about 8 other men and woman who had experienced the loss of a spouse. We toured the works of Fresh Widow’s husband, and another widow’s husbands work was also present there. It was emotional, but fruitful to interact with these amazing souls.
It was certainly an emotionally connected weekend, but I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to get to know these people. I won’t even say despite the circumstances, because at this point in my life, it’s just what has happened and I am learning to handle that. It is for these crappy moments, that I get to meet great people such as these. No weight of comparison, just grateful to have them in my life.