Yesterday morning I enjoyed spending a few hours with a man I had just met face-to-face for the first time . Oh, we had both talked on the phone several times, but our meeting was the first actual moment of seeing the “real” person.
Now before you have a sharp intake of breath and say, ” oh! Lesa is dating !” Let me give you a chuckle and tell you that I just met the contractor in person whom I had hired to replace the shower and do some other repairs at the cabin as it is prepared for sale. He was referred by a friend. We walked around Home Depot together, picking up Sheetrock, clamps, posts, etc. all the while bantering and laughing. Nice guy, Divorced, two sons playing baseball. I have a new friend in our common interests. And truly, That’s it .
(Had you going for a minute, right, Mom ?)
Human’s need companionship. Some will say they don’t, but they’re lying. From the beginning of time, God knew that it wasn’t good to be alone, so he made a companion for Adam and then there was Eve. You know the rest of that story — but God gave Adam a helpmate and gave Eve a husband. Together they were a team for the parentage of the world. ( talk about a legacy, right ?)
So, back to my story — as widows, and widowers, I am convicted we need companionship. I learned early on that the very best of friends generally aren’t who one might expect after the initial casserole dishes are returned and grieving guests go home. The best initial companions, truthfully, are other widows and widowers . Now, don’t get me wrong, being surrounded with caring friends can’t be valued highly enough, but it’s just different. I appreciate all my friends, but my lifeline came from the veterans of the widow road.
Through my widow support group online, and my GriefShare class at church I have learned that initially this is the place to find companionship. When someone can look into your eyes and “lock” with their “me too” it has a healing salve for the heart. Knowing the other person has traveled the same road allows for advice and first-hand experiences to be shared, and bridges to healing are constructed in both .
There’s also no secret that grief can be overwhelming to those lining the outer rings of your life, professionally, extended family, old friends. People are anxious to get you to ” move forward” because let’s be honest- grief is uncomfortable for them, too. When something hurts you want to slap a band-aid on it and cover it up, but grief isn’t like those other wounds. It takes the light of love and understanding and the hope and love that comes from exercises in self-discovery. It’s the hardest boot-camp you’ll ever graduate from. Your friend circle can completely change. As a result, I’m not the same person I used to be, and that’s ok.
Widow friends, thank you for knowing my heart. Thank you for sharing yours, for baring your souls to the light and love of another’s suffering. Today I pray that we can all be planted in the path of others who need our listening ears, our veteran hearts and our receiving arms, for as long as it takes. This healing is definitely “three steps forward, two steps back” but healing is possible, even if it takes several years.
My Home Depot time was fun. It reminded me that I was not created to stay home and hide with a puppy forever. I’m an incredibly social person, it was one of the things my quiet Dean marveled at our entire marriage. We couldn’t have been more different, but it worked. He used to say I could “talk to a post, and it would talk back” . So life balance through true friends and love shared is my goal, even to you “posts” . Life is short, but I can bravely say that life is good, even after massive loss. I know now there’s good evidence that I do have a healthy scar over my tender widow’s heart .
Thank God ! I am healed and set free.
“Loving never shared is knowledge stolen – wisdom never shared is knowledge lost ” — anonymous
“Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.” — 1 John 3:18