You Never Know When

Our first Widow Voyages trip of 2017 was a small group and I allowed one our widows to bring her mother along to help fill out the group so we could still go. It was a first for our trip to include a non-widowed person, but I knew the widow coming and figured having a mother along wouldn’t be a bad idea.

She was a great addition to our group-filled with joy and humor. She was emotionally touched as we shared intimate details of our widowed lives, as often happens when you put a bunch of widows together on a trip. We get to know one another and realize just how much we have in common and how tough this road has been on all of us. I’m sure it was difficult to hear her daughter talk about losing her husband. I’ve often wondered how tough it has been on my own parents to watch me go through widowhood and to not fully understand what I’m going through. As the baby of my family, I know it was incredibly tough on my parents to go through this with me.

Last week we received a message that the mom on our trip had lost her husband. Just 3 weeks after returning from a trip with other widows, now she too was widowed.

I’ve struggled with timing. With coincidence. With signs. I can embrace the belief that some things DO happen for a reason even if I never understand why. I have seen those signs, when everything is timed so perfectly that I know it cannot be coincidence. I haven’t felt Kevin’s presence since his death, but I have felt those moments of certainty and calm that I’m making the right decision, that a door was opened or closed for a reason. It’s been a comfort.

I can’t help but think that this woman was meant to come on this trip with us. A trip I nearly cancelled because it was going to be a financial loss for the business. A trip my new husband and I agreed to complete at a loss in order to continue to grow these great experiences. A trip that was meant to happen and meant to include this woman who is now widowed.

Most people enter the widowed world without a hint of knowledge or understanding about what they are going to face. With no support system. This woman now knows several of us, besides her daughter, who understand. Who offer empathy for what she has to go through. Who are now her support system even miles away.

Life is too odd to be all coincidence. May we all be able to have our eyes open to see those moments of light and hope on the other side of complication.

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