Thursday, October 8, 2009

Perspective and Purpose

These are two words whose meanings have changed for me since Phil's death. Perspective used to be a word I threw around when I wanted someone else to view a certain topic or situation in a different light. Looking back, I doubt that I worried too much about how I viewed the world around me. Things in my life were pretty black and white, and I liked my goals and plans to be well defined. I know you are laughing right now.

Before Phil died I did things on purpose and expected the intended result. More often than not I achieved what I set out to do, and on the odd occasion when things didn't work out as planned, I would move onto plan B with relative ease. At least that is how things were when the world made sense.

Death mixed up my vocabulary. Many words no longer have the same meaning since I lost my husband. I have an odd feeling that someone swapped my old trusty Webster's Dictionary for the Death and Grief edition.

The meanings for the words perspective and purpose that are found in my new dictionary can be aptly applied to the mission of our blog here at Widow's Voice. We strive to bring you several different perspectives on the journey of widowhood. Our voices are each unique. Our stories reflect our personal reality. The authors of Widow's Voice come from different backgrounds, and we work in disparate fields--yet a variety of paths have led us to the same destination. And from that landing point we have come to find our purpose. We all reach out to others who understand that no matter how different our experiences with death may be, the searing pain of loss is universal. We are a group that believes in the power of a community of widowed people.

Using my old dictionary I may have felt the need to change your perspective. Now I hope we offer you the gift of perspective. Previously I counted on the outcome of my purpose to determine the merit of my action plan. Today I can tell you that fueling a purpose is more important than the gains that result from the effort. Through death I have found a surprising purpose, and I view life with a whole new perspective.

Beginning next week, our Thursday blog will provide us with the male perspective of love and loss. The purpose of this, and other upcoming changes to our blog, is to extend the reach of the hope we offer our readers, and to create a better rounded view of the world of widows. I think you are going to love this. Stay tuned.


  1. I have to admit I am truely disappointed. One reason I have valued this blog over so many others and other websites is that it has been only widows. I understand that widowhood is universal; but I find some of the male perspective on other sites irrelevant. I knew where I could get that perspective if I wanted and where I could come for a resfreshing woman's only view and a sense of saftey and community in the oneness of being widows. I mean no disrepect to widowers as I know their road is a difficult one as well. I am sure for a man buying your daughters first bra would be as difficult as when I had to help my son pick out his first protective cup for baseball. I will try to keep an open mind; but again I must say I am not looking forward to thursdays as I have in the past. I really don't think you are providing a more rounded view of being a widow, but rather a more rounded view of widowhood; there is a difference.

  2. I truly appreciate your willingness to have an open mind. There is very little help out there for widowers, whose needs I do not profess to know. What I do know is that they hurt in many of the same ways as their female counterparts, and that Widow's Voice was always meant to reach out to anyone who has been widowed. I believe our new blogger will provide a different, and valuable, perspective and am hoping that our readers are touched by his journey. Thanks for taking the time to comment, and thanks for being a part of the WV community. We will continue to strive to provide our WV family with hope and support for the journey ahead.

  3. Michelle, much to the surprise of no one, I think this is great. As a widower, few things have been as completely positive as the way that the largely widow-hood community has completely and without reservation embraced me with open arms and loved me unconditionally.

    Having been involved in the Feminist Movement, a Pro-Choice activist, a public breastfeeding activist, and a breast cancer husband (and now widower), I honestly expect and would not have been too deeply offended by the kind of sentiments expressed by Anonymous. Honestly, I get it. The presence of men can put a damper on the passions and feelings and opinions of women which have too often and are still sadly suppressed.

    But I have been so far been quite amazed and grateful to have almost seen none of this in the Widdaverse. To almost everyone, I'm in the same boat, and that belonging, that understanding, feels so good. Of course, my widower bros and I have a special bond, but given the raw numbers, I'm sure glad you all have had it in your hearts to welcome me. And, obviously, your hearts continue to open to both widows and widowers, and I for one think we are all richer for it.


  4. Lori from San DiegoJuly 1, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    Love it, the more the merrier. Besides, I need all the help I can get! :)
    Love you all!

  5. I for one have found each and every one of the daily bloggers providing me with a common perspective. I on some level have related to all of them at one time or another. Janine gets me just because she is from Texas and her struggles as a widowed parent to 6 relate to my worries as a widowed parent to 4. The Two Michelles have given me hope because of their seniority in this group that I can slowly find my way. I relate to Taryn because we have both lost dreams in an instant. Kim, well she is obviously in my head some days because she writes so often about issues that weigh me down at that precise moment. Jackie's love for her dear husband and the family they created together shows me how to cling to the good memories so they won't be lost. And I love getting to know Dan and look forward to learning more about Chris.

    It's not a male or female issue, this widowhood journey. It is a loss issue. We are all in this together, even in our own unique journeys.

    And I didn't forget Matt, the Thursday blogger you referenced here. He is how I found SSLF and Widow's Voice. He has the same name as my dearly loved husband. He and I joined the widowhood brigade within 49 days of each other, both on Tuesdays. Although he was left with a newborn and my youngest were 1 1/2 yrs and 2 3/4 yrs old at the time of my Matt's death, we both have children who do not know their missing parent except thru what we share with them. He is the first person who I could relate to after sooo long of feeling all alone in this journey. I am thankful to have found him just by chance one day when I was searching the internet for anything, anyone who could understand because until then, I was utterly alone without an understanding person in my life. And thru him, I found all of you. I am so thankful.

    It's the journey we all travel together that matters.