Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lesson Learned From Widowed Friends

As a widow or not, we all have different groups of friends. I have school friends from grade school through grad school. I have coworker friends from different jobs as well as neighborhood friends I've made throughout the country. I have my Christian friends and church friends to feed my soul along with my special friends that are with me for the long haul. I can't forget about my Facebook and Twitter friends. And last but not widow friends.

Now all my friends hold a very special place in my heart. And each one has a purpose in my life. Soon after my late husband died, I consciously looked for any of my widow friends to find out what life was going to be like. Now days, there are widow blogs and other social networking means to find a multitude of widows. Back in the day, I only had a few widow friends that I could talk to.

It made a world of difference to talk with others that have been on that road. It was a common bond of widowhood. It felt healing to share each other's experiences and recognize that life goes on. Reading other widows' stories helped me to understand some of my crazy feelings and unhealthy behaviors. Grief makes you do crazy stuff. So when you hear other widows that have gone wild, then you don't feel as crazy. I guess it's a little comforting to know that we're all looney!

There was one huge lesson I learned, from other young widows. It was easy for some of them to get involved, almost immediately, into a new relationship. For some it worked out but for others, it was a mistake. I understood very quickly how widows could easily fill their void with other men instead of living through the pain that's necessary for healing. I made up my mind, our healing would come first.

I lived single for another 14 years as I raised my children. My two daughters were 6 and 7 when their father died. Though I was totally against getting remarried for quite a while, God did bring another wonderful man into my life that I couldn't resist. However, this man was wise and he waited until my girls were adults before he proposed. And I believe that because my girls had their time to grieve with much of my undivided love and attention, they are now happy young ladies.

I understand that each widow's journey is different. I know some widows that are very happy and never remarried. I think the majority of widows do remarry because God made us to be relational. The lesson I learned here was when was my family's grieving period over so that I was ready to remarry.  Because I pursued God's will, I remained single and loved my children first. Now they are happy and on their own, and I'm happily remarried!

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