When I found the Soaring Spirits International website, just after I'd finally gone online with my story and shortly before I became one of the seven widow's blogging here at Widow's Voice, I found a deep solace in the smiling faces on the photos of past events at Camp Widow. Here was a group of people dedicated to a beautiful community of support, fellowship, sharing, and friendship. Here was true life, real people...important healing at work.
Here were people devastated like I was, but able to come together, support each other, and find a way to survive.
What a fabulous idea. A place we could all go to meet. To hear each other's stories. To give and receive hugs. To wipe each other's tears. And maybe, even, to laugh together, and create new friendships and memories.
I wish I could be there this year. I know everyone is set to meet a few days from now in San Diego. I am already hoping to be able to put some funds aside for next year. (There are also events scheduled in Canada in September, and on the East coast next February.)
My widowed friends have been lifelines for me. I could never have survived this without them. And there are a lot of us out there. One of them once told me, when I expressed surprise at how many others I'd met seemingly randomly since Mike died, well, people die, and lots of them had been married. Huh. I guess that's true. Sad, but true.
Though I wouldn't wish widowhood on my worst enemy, I am so incredibly grateful to be part of this community, now that I'm a member of our terrible club. To have this opportunity to give out a weekly hug. To let you know I'm here with you. And I appreciate all of you so much. Your comments and support mean the world to me. We're still all walking a new, difficult and sometimes scary path, but going it together somehow makes it that much easier. We are not alone.
For those who can't make it, let's continue to be there for each other in this virtual world as best we can. I will be there in spirit. Meanwhile I hope my words can suffice, for all the love and compassion I send out there to each and every one of you.