I talked about this in another post on this blog, I am changing the title of my book in progress from Hotdogs Are the New Broccoli, but I have not decided what that will be. Those who are new to this blog may not know that my book is about a woman who becomes a widow and goes in search of her identity as a person without her husband. She finds what she is looking for in a garden among new friends who have helped her stretch and grow.

When someone loses someone they love, it changes them, and at first, it is hard to see a direction because of the grief that seems so overwhelming. When that someone lost feels like a vital part of our life, the effects of the change can shake the foundations of our life. Friends and family mean well and their desire in their words is to comfort. It is a comfort to know they care, but no one understands the hurt that we feel even if they have gone through it. My stepson died not too long ago, and I desire to help his widow through these days based on my own experience which has a hint of the same sorrow, but not really. The process of going through grief is the same; the path can be different for each one. So the voices that play in our minds of doubt and fear are voices each widow hears and has to overcome, add the views of well-meaning, but not as empathetic as they meant to be ideas only adds more voices that may need silenced.

A new widow has so many choices and sometimes has young children to think about besides their grief; decisions that are important for her or their future and the voices persist. In my upcoming book, Sydney is dealing with the voices of doubt, fear, and insecurity. She works through some of the voices and makes some bold decisions.

Today I found a poem by my favorite poet, Mary Oliver. She has an amazing way of getting to the core of an issue and in a few words touches my soul. If you are making a journey through life after grief or journeying through life in general, I think you will like this poem


The Journey


One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice—

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late,

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do—

determined to save

the only life you could save.

The only life you can save…. It seems simple, but sometimes we forget ourselves in trying to make changes and worrying about others. My dad chose to worry about us kids when my mother died in a car accident. He said worrying about us kids gave him strength. I don’t deny that. We all do what we think we have to do to gain an advantage in any situation. But in time, when he let his defenses down, grief was still there to be dealt with and sidled pass. He made unwise choices and hurt other people. He was huge in helping me move on, even before I was ready when I was widowed.

If you are a widow or have been a widow, but remarried, you know what its like. Please share your thoughts. How did you get past the pain and grief? Or if you lost someone whom you felt very close to, you know the pain of grief.