The concept of widowhood being a journey sometimes annoys me. Yeah, yeah, we KNOW this gut-wrenching, life-swirling, upside-down roller coaster of an experience is actually a journey! When I picture taking a journey, my mind conjures up Bilbo Baggins packing his mutton and tea and heading out into the beauty of the shire; not me rolled up in a ball on my bed trying to keep from crying so loudly that I wake the kids. And yet there is no denying that widowhood is indeed a journey.
But what kind of journey? A Hobbit-like adventure? How about Voyage of the Dawntreader? Or maybe Braveheart (Phil loved that movie)? Some days I think Mr. Toad's Wild Ride would be the best description. One thing I know for sure, no matter what book or movie best describes your widow walk, there are many twists and turns along the way. Unexpected barriers suddenly appear around blind corners, and sometimes halting the ride for a moment is the only way to get through. The idea that I can't do everything has been one of my most challenging widowhood revelations. For the first time in my life my own needs have made themselves absolute. No giving in to others, no stuffing feelings under the rug, and no ignoring the call to feel. In the end the willingness to feel is what has gotten me through the ups, downs, twist, and turns of losing the man I love way too soon.
Our Thursday writer, Nicole, has come to a place in her journey where self-care is needed, so she will not continue writing on Thursdays. Thank you Nicole for sharing your powerful story with us, and know you are surrounded by sister widows who stand by you in spirit as you travel the path ahead.