I have had a really exciting meeting with a widow from another church today - a joint friend set us up and she came over to have lunch with me, although it was our first meeting. She is lovely and I really feel that we are going to be good friends - there is a bond between widows anyway, I feel, but I felt that we got on well today. She has an inspiring vision for a ministry for widows on the internet and in local work too, and I would love to join with her and help her to make it happen - with a lot of prayer and careful consideration too. I've got to talk with the folk at the church here too, but I think it might complement what we are doing here.....and there is room for both.
So, widows out there who read, thank you for those of you who contacted me in the past, and I hope you won't mind if I get in touch with you again, and ask you a few more questions about your experiences. And those of you who are new here, but who might be widows too, would you like to email me, on the email address on the top right there, and share your thoughts - I'd love to know what has helped you in your experience, what you think might have been done better or differently, and any ideas you might have to share...it all stays confidential and nothing gets published anywhere, or publicly discussed. It just helps me to understand the wealth of wisdom that we have as widows, and the way that we are being supported, or not, and who/which organisations are giving the most helpful support.
As my new friend and I shared today, no one understands a widow as well as another one, and yet every one of us has a slightly different experience, and they are all to be valued, respected and held in a safe space.
Thank goodness times have changed since the days in which we would have been expected to wear clothing like this - but time hasn't made death much easier to talk about in general society.
(image from dailymail.co.uk)
"If you are a widow, know that this is a space for you and that there are those here who understand something [not everything] of how things can be. We have dealt with the undertakers, made it through the funeral, waded through the paperwork and benefit claims, comforted the children, and started to find a new and different way forward. Learning to cook for fewer people, having to find out about new responsibilities, getting used to being single again; none of it is easy, and there are some wise women who comment and support one another here. This is a space in which women hold one another up rather than beat one another up, who support and encourage rather than compete and challenge, and who bless one another with patience and peace."
And that is what I want to work towards creating. What do you think?