Life hasn't turned out like I thought it would. Never in my wildest dreams would I have pictured myself standing before a room full of widows sharing with them my thoughts on finding hope in the aftermath of despair. Never. And yet here I am, and here you are, and we are here together.
Unimaginable does not mean impossible. How do you apply that concept to life as a widow? The night Phil died, I could not imagine sleeping comfortably in our bed ever again ~but now I can fall happily into my bed and sleep the night away. When I stood in front of our friends and family to speak publicly about my love for Phil at his funeral, I could not imagine ever wanting to verbalize my love for him in front of a large group of people again ~but now I share our journey with groups all over the country. When I sat alone in a restaurant eating lunch without my partner, I could not imagine a comfortable lunch alone ~but now I often grab a quick bite to eat without even noticing that I am alone. When I took off my wedding ring, I could not imagine ever wearing another ~but now I know that some day I will.
In the same way that we could not have imagined where we would be today, we won't be able to imagine where we may be tomorrow. Sometimes the unimaginable is terrible, but other times the uncertain future brings us gifts that defy our ability to comprehend.
As we gather together today for the first ever National Conference on Widowhood (VERY unimaginable), I encourage you to embrace the possibility of that which has yet to be imagined.