Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Note from Our Editor

Thank you all for your comments, suggestions, and kind remarks regarding last week's Tuesday and Wednesday posts. What I find equal parts amazing and challenging about leading this blog effort is attempting to meet the multitude of needs of our readers; allowing for the variety of opinions expressed regularly; and at the same time working to offer something valuable at each of the multiple stages of widowhood. As a team of people who essentially work in a vacuum, we do our best to share our widowed journey as we live it.

When I asked each of our writers to join the WV team, I asked them to write about their life NOW...not THEN. I asked this very purposefully. The mission of Widow's Voice is to allow our readers to walk beside us through the ups and downs of widowed life. If we write about the past, we are able to do so with perspective. I have challenged our writers to courageously share their now, even though they don't know where now may take them. I can't count how many times I have personally hit "publish" on this blog with trepidation. We throw ourselves out into the web universe naked and vulnerable, never sure what the reaction to our words may be. Our commenters have the option to post anonymously, our writers do not. I couldn't be more proud of the ways in which they endeavor to light the path for those who read this blog. Always aware of the fact that we will never be able to meet every reader's need, try as we might.

Every person who is a part of the WV team wants to reach out to the widowed community. We don't get paid, we sometimes weather less than positive responses not only virtually, but in person as well, and we commit to sharing our lives week after week after week...whether we are sick,busy, tired, or just don't know what to write. We do this because we know. Because no matter how far out we are, we will never forget THAT day. Because we care about you. Because we want other widowed people to know they can survive. If we did, you can too.

I also want to assure you  that we really consider every comment made to this blog, including the ones I choose, for various reasons, not to publish. I will continue to edit out overly negative or demeaning comments, because I don't feel they serve our purpose here. Comments of all kinds are noted, and your kind words to our writers make their day. Sometimes when you write week after week you wonder whether your words are making a difference, so thank you for letting us know when we do.

Additionally, this is a space for you to support each other. I loved a comment over the last couple of days reminding everyone that this is a shared space and we have a real opportunity here to support others who are seeking hope. Your words matter as much as ours do. So please do feel free to share your feelings, stories, and words of encouragement.

As a team there has been much discussion about what changes we can make to the blog to better serve our community. Starting tomorrow, most writers will be changing writing days. By mixing up the order of bloggers, we hope to balance the dating/not dating, parent/not parent, women/men perspectives a bit. We will be adding a new writer over the next couple of weeks who began this journey only five months ago. I am also working on creating some easier to find links from our archives that share parts of the early journeys of each of our writers. All of the changes coming through the next month or two are intended to better serve this community, we hope you will be patient with us through the process.

When I began this blog in 2007, I never imagined that some day it would be read by nearly half a million people who live in every US state and in 130 different countries. I really hoped one person would find comfort here. And I still do. One person matters. YOU matter. Each time we change one life, we have fulfilled the mission of Widow's Voice. Thank you for sharing your widowed journey with us. We'll be here tomorrow. And the next day, too.

Yours in hope,


Widow's Voice Editor


  1. I love the variety of posts here. Some may resonate more with me than others, but I gain a perspective from each and every WV writer. I appreciate the time and energy the writers put into their posts, the feelings they lay bare, and recognize that some of those feelings may have already been laid to rest a bit but are brought to the surface again to help those of us who follow behind them. They are a very talented group, with a wonderful ability to tell their story so we feel it. My sincere thanks to the WV Blog Team.

  2. I agree completely with the above post. I have always admired the bloggers not only for their willingness to share, but as you said, they are laying it out there for not only the world, but their family, friends, and colleagues to read. That's huge. The fact that you would respond today and are making changes to try to offer something to everyone certainly highlights your committment to helping others. I think you are citing a post that I made about this being a community and those of us who are able should reach out to whomever we think we can help. It's a circle of giving and receiving. When I read the unhappy comments I thought once again of the pain and blackness those with fresh grief are experiencing, and are crying out in anger, anger they are projecting on the world, as I'm sure we all once did in one fashion or another. Although it's impossible to please everyone, because the issues are so extensive, thank you for trying and for all of the work you've done to reach out to those in need. There is a special place in heaven for you and your writers, so please don't be discouraged.

  3. I sure wish I would have found this blog sooner. My first time on here I spent the whole day reading while I cried and laughed. I have experienced the same things each of you have during this painful process called grief. A BIG thank you for all the posts--it's nice to know I am not alone! Keep up the GREAT writing we need you!

  4. Yes, thank you to the members of my community.
    I come here almost every day. It has been a year now.
    Often, as I have tonight. I come here after sobbing in grief for over an hour. I come here to the place where I know someone will understand what that still feels like - no not exactly like me, for all our stories have their own canvas, but because the one thing we all have in common is that our beloved "person" died and we are left behind to struggle with this new existence. The wide range of experience helps me to have perspective on my own. When I read about a widowed moms struggle with a young family I am reminded of the gift of having grown children and the sorrow of not having anyone to come home to each night. Each difference is that way - something gained and something lost.
    Mostly, I come here for hope. For the hope that someday I will not walk around feeling like there is a gaping hole in my chest. For the hope that I can look forward to something and not get part way through and want to sob when I realize IT IS TRUE - he is never coming back. I come here because I want to believe that life is still worth living and that love is still a possibility. I come here because it is a safe space NOT to be judged. Yes, the bloggers don't get to be anonymous. How brave to write from your soul and not be damned for saying the truth.
    Please know that so many of us are saved every day by your words.
    Please be truthful, please tell us the good and the disaster and the boring in between. And please don't censor your happiness. If there is one widowed person out there who has found it again - there is hope for the rest of us.

  5. I am happy to read that you will continue the same format for the blog. I remember when I first found this blog, I was only a few months on my journey. Being able to read about others already further down the road gave me such great hope that a better day was in store for me as well.
    To be honest, there were days when I felt envious that the writer was months, a year or more ahead of me, but only because I was so miserable and wanted so desperately to be in a better place.
    The format you have chosen to write in is REAL life time, and for me, the timing and honestly of each post has and continues to speak volumes to me along the way.
    Thank you, to each of you, for your commitment. I am now 2 1/2 years out and want to say I am certain my grief was changed for the better because of your dedication and efforts in sharing. Sharing not only the better times, but those horrendous moments, hours, days, weeks and months that I could relate to in a way that no one else could express unless they had walked this path.
    I will never forget what this blog has meant to me as I struggled with the most devastating blow of my life.

  6. I just want to reiterate the comments from all those above.
    Thank you so much to all the bloggers who find time when dealing with their own pain and overload of tasks to be completed to offer comfort to others.
    Your loved ones would be so proud of you all.
    Bless you for saving my life.
    PS I live on the other side of the world in Australia

  7. I think that what makes this blog great is the fact that both the postive and negative are expressed. I can feel both hope and despair in the same day. It is too bad that some people feel the need to be so angry at their situation that they take this out on those who are able to find happiness and hope in very difficult situations. Both types of posts have helped to heal me and have been a real blessing in my life. I am certainly glad that you are choosing to print both. I did not always understand how others could be joyful and postive about their loss, but as I got further along in my journey I started to experience those similiar feelings. Grief is a life long process and I want to keep moving foward and not constantly live in the past- my late husband would have wanted that.

  8. Michele,
    That you took the time and effort to write this note to everyone, again shows your committed and selfless efforts to help all those that have joined you on this incredibly difficult path. I admire you and the widow voice bloggers for their willingness and ability to share with the world their very personal and painful struggles. I too have blogged since the first few months following my husband's death. However, I have not opened the blog for others to read. Putting your heart and soul out there each week as you and your writers do takes amazing courage. As we all know, there is no "right" way to do death. We do the best we can out of love and that alone makes it right. I am deeply appreciative of the help and hope I have gained from this website. From some of Kim's shocking, real posts to Taryn's beautiful quotes she shares, to Janine's parenting challenges, and Michelle D.'s new found prince, we are blessed to be able to share in these moments with them. It enables us to feel connected, and it is those connections that give us hope.

    With sincere appreciation,
    Michelle W.

  9. Ditto to the all of above....

    After the rain comes the sun, after life comes death, after grief comes joy. We all hope to move on from the grief in our lives, and reading of others doing just that does, indeed, help us to think that maybe, just maybe, we will be there, too, one day.

    I am so appreciative of all the writers , wherever they are day to day in their own journey, as they speak of new found joy, or tearful memories. Your words do make a difference, day after day, to so many. Thank you all for sharing so we all can move onward.

  10. Yes, thank you bloggers for everything that you do. I came to this site just a week after my husband died suddenly. It is a place of total honesty and comfort. I look forward to reading the blogs each day. Each and every one of us has a very unique journey. The common thread is the pain in our hearts.

    Grief can never adequately be defined or expressed. So I truly believe that the responses written are as one feels on any given day and should be accepted and if necessary, even forgiven if the WORDS appear to be harsh.

    Thank you again bloggers for making my personal grief journey HOPEFUL!

  11. I remember when I first found you guys. I had been so hurt by someone that i considered a very good friend. After Michael died she and her husband and a few others from the group disappeared out of my life- just like that. No more phone calls or dinner together or popping in and out of each other's houses. I was stunned because I mistakenly thought that I would have support and comfort from them. I could not begin to understand WHY they were acting this way. A few grief books touched slightly on it, my family told me that I must be mistaken, there were no answers and i was getting more and more lonely. Anyway, one sad Saturday night, all alone I googled "Losing friends after your Spouse Dies" and up pops A post from Michelle D entitled, "WE Scare the Hell Out of People". I could not believe what that did to me.I felt like shouting from my front porch," SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS, someone has been through it also. See I am NOT exaggerating or imagining this". I've been hooked ever since and I love EACH of you guys- all in different ways and for different reasons. I have read every post from the past that is still here. Thanks for all that you do

  12. Thanks Anon above, it made my day to hear my blog helped you to find us! We do get it, we do understand, and that is why we are still here. - Michelle D.

  13. Thank you Michelle and all the bloggers. With you I have a found a place I feel comfort and belonging thru a united bond. An unfortunate bond but a bond none the less, that unless you've experienced can you "get it". Thank you for also listening to your readers and understanding what we feel, and making changes so that you touch all your different readers at the different places we are at in our grief. I read the blog daily, sure there are some days I don't relate to the whole blog and maybe just parts of it, but I always come back because then there are days I felt you read my mind totally and most of all your words are from your heart and your emotions and it helps me in so many ways to keep me going that "I am not alone" and for this I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.