I have the very distinct honor of leading a group of the most compassionate people I have ever met. Really. When I tell someone what I do for a living, I am generally met with a questioning look and an awkward silence. Since I don't look like a widow ;) the person across from me generally spends a few seconds trying to figure out WHY I am the director of an organization that supports people who are grieving the loss of someone they love. Many times the assumption is made that I am just that kind of giving person, one who reaches out to the downtrodden, grief stricken, mourners of our world.
But I have a secret. Even though I am a card carrying member (um, the initiation is intense!) of this club, I receive more from this organization than I give. Each and everyone of you are amazing. Our facebook page is filled with support to and from one widowed person to another. The comments left on this blog create the framework for a support network that reaches across barriers of all kinds: geographical, religious, political, situational. Over and over again you all prove the point that we are stronger together. We are facing all of the difficult days in solidarity. Whether our challenge is a National Holiday, a deathiversary, a birthday (yours, your spouse's, your kids), or one of those private heart wrenching days no one else would recognize...we all know there is someone associated with Soaring Spirits that will understand, completely.
This week SSLF is hosting holiday parties in four different states (CA, TX, WA & NY). Why? Because we need each other. And I can't think of any better way to start this holiday season than by being surrounded by people who understand me, and you. I think of attending these parties (and I will be at three of them!) as a way of getting my holiday vaccination! The love and support of my widow community will give me the boost I need to run the race of the next five weeks. I want to take this opportunity to thank my board members (Barbara, Michelle, and Patience) and one special Camp Widow attendee who has spearheaded the party in Seattle (Dana!) for their tireless efforts in support of widows across the country, and around the world.
If you are a widowed person, or love a widowed person, or wish to support a great cause...join us. And if you aren't close enough to come by, know that you are well represented, and with all of us in spirit.
See, that is my secret. I carry all of you with me in spirit. Thank you for reaching out a hand to another widowed person. We are all better, and stronger, for every single outstretched hand.