I spent this past weekend at the first ever National Conference on Widowhood, an experience I now fondly call “Camp Widow”. I watched in awe as women from around the world met each other for the first time and talked for hours like long lost friends.
I’ll never say I take my friendship with Michele for granted; having a widow friend to walk the path with me has been a gift from God. However, I think I saw firsthand this weekend what it might have been like without that friendship. As I saw the understanding dawn in each woman’s eyes and the amazement as some woman they just met “got it” in a way no one else ever had, I was reminded what a gift this kind of friendship is: someone to finish your sentences, to know what you mean when you say you’ve had a terrible day, or even a good one; someone to understand, to “get it”. Invaluable.
I was struck several times over the course of the weekend by the sheer numbers of us, and the terrible tragedies represented by each person there. It is so sad that we need each other so much, and so awesome that we have found each other. I think the message I came away from the weekend with was a simple one: our club is one with a very high initiation fee, and not one I hope others have to join anytime soon, but if you have to join the club, find us. We’re here and we understand.