Name this group
A grief group, a widows group ... not the right name. This is a group of special women who have experienced profound loss. For some, it has only been a few months, for others- years.
My best friend, Karen, organized the gathering, served dinner, and had a gift book for each guest. There was a lot of comfort and warmth in her lovely home.
Karen and I have known each other for over forty years but reconnected after her John and my Lee passed away. A strong friendship of mutual love, admiration and respect has developed over the past four years. Daily texting and Saturday night dates…we are there for each other. She gets me! I get her!
“Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief.”
The two of us are the seniors in length of time. We thought we would be giving sage advice on how to move forward and survive the unthinkable loss.
The surprise was how much we all had in common no matter how much time had passed. A few months/ a few years not a whole lot of difference.
Our stories were short and abbreviated. As each person shared a brief recap, the rest of us were glued to their words.
Is one person's widowhood worse?
Not at all...whether a longtime illness or a quick unexpected death. Each tragic recount was spellbinding.
No comparison but so much compassion.
My thought was to breeze through the evening just helping everyone else. After all, it was five years for me. Plenty of time to "get over it.' That is not how it happened. Sure time has passed, the tears are less frequent but the memories of the end were once again so vivid. We were all in this same club and none of us by choice.
Different emotions were shared by each participant. Some expressed bitterness, anger, and a total feeling of emptiness. Even with family around, there was the feeling of being completely alone. A few avoided going home to the unbearable emptiness. And others felt real comfort in being in the home shared with their loved one. Some enjoyed being with friends and couples. Others saw only the "empty chair" and felt like a fifth wheel.
Some felt gratitude for what we had and not what we lost.
In the beginning, we all had difficulty just getting through an individual day.
Some families came together giving great support. Others were pulled apart and felt yet another loss losing the in law/friends part of the family.
The term was brought up ...We's and The Me's.
We lost partners, lovers, husbands, best friends, handsome guys, generous men, our rocks, our financial advisers, check writers, and even trash removal partners.
Some had a long illness, some were younger, some were sudden and unexpected. Some were with their partner at the time of death and others were not. For some the chance to say goodbye was not an option.
There is no better or worse...it is all a loss…experienced by this sisterhood.
A few points that were shared.
-Best friends were brought together.
- Not tears, not crying...I use the term liquid love or liquid memories
and there is no need to ever apologize.
-Things that make me smile= legal pad list.
-What’s the kindest thing people said to you?
-What’s the most hurtful comment you heard?
-Call his friends. If they were important enough to be in his phone, they also miss him.
-A person dies twice. The actual date and then the last time his name is mentioned. Talk about him! Keep his memory alive! Lee Rome memorial award.
I did not think I could breathe without him and hard to believe it has been five years.
So how am I doing?
More than functioning, surviving and thriving... I am completely immersed in my business.
Thank you Karen!