As I venture into this realm of public writing, I am making sure I understand the potential impact my words could have on anyone who happens upon this. I was given a glimpse of this last night, thankfully in a positive way.
Back when I was first widowed, my sister found a couple of grief groups online for me. One of those groups was the Hot Young Widows Club. It is a private group for any widows or widowers, but there is an emphasis on those who are younger. There is a different dynamic to the process when you are a young widow.
I started a lot of my grief-related writings in this group. And my personal page. But the HYWC helped me so much with my processing and understanding of grief. So often the amazing posts and discussions helped me with my own personal struggle. So much love, support, and inspiration. It has had such a large impact on my personal growth through this impossible time.
Last night, the Minnesota chapter had a gathering. I am always beyond excited when we have these, they are always a blast. To interact with other people who are able to just get it. A room full of people who will all make morbid jokes, cry, and ask openly, “so how did your person die?” or we ask, “how long has it been?” and it’s just normal to deeply discuss life, death, and grief.
Going into this gathering I really was unsure of what to expect. My social life is still so new and unique to me, I just never really know how comfortable I may feel or if I will fit in. I was greeted with such warm welcomes from wonderful people who I would consider a very important part of my life. I received numerous complements on my posts and I was completely blown away by the amount of name recognition (I am so terrible with names, I felt like such a jerk). I often worry my posts come off as rambling or whiny. So hearing that they are so warmly received blew me away and filled my heart with such a joy that I cannot even begin to describe.
I realized in that moment that I have a genuine community in this group. I matter to them as much as they matter to me. I belong. There’s now a part of my life that actually sort of makes sense in this weird, almost paradoxical way. And we all just shrug at the oddities that come with life after the death of a spouse together and say, “life’s fucking weird” and laugh.