Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Difference Between ......


...... here and there.

"Here" is where most of you are.  Drowning in grief, gasping for air and fighting to just keep your nose above the pain that threatens to pull you down.

"There" is where most people see us after a couple of years of grief.  Including some of us.
"There" is where we've "moved on", graduated,  and have found a new and wonderful life.
"There" is a mythical place.
You need to know that.

I am almost 6 1/2 years out (at some point you stop counting in months, just as you did when your children reached 2).
It's been a very, very long road.  The first part of the road was by far the hardest.  It was chock full of tsunamis and undertow and hurricanes.  I felt that I barely survived one massive wave, only to be knocked down by another.
There were many times that I almost gave up, let the fierce pull of grief pull me under and out to the sea.
But I didn't.

So now I'm "there".
Wherever "there" is.

It's been a fluid year here on "Widow's Voice".  Those of you who've been here for a while have seen a lot of changes.  We've never had this many changes in so short a time before.  You've seen quite a few writers leave, and watched new ones step in.
Change is hard for widowed people.  We've already experienced the most massive change of our lives, we don't want any more, thank you very much.

But change is a fact of life.
Just as death is.

Life moves forward, children grow, friends go, new friends enter, and years march forward.
Situations change, sometimes forcing us to change with them.
But being widowed doesn't change.
It's a part of us and will always be a part of us.
How we handle it changes.
How we handle the waves and undertow changes.
But we never "graduate" to a perfectly calm and wave-free world.

That's not why writers leave.
Yet that's how we appear to react.
We congratulate them for being "there".
We praise them for moving on, for being able to leave this behind them.
For ...... being done with being widowed.
Or so it seems.

I wish it were that easy.

We are never done.
We are never "there".

Yes, we gain strength over the years.
Strength that makes us able to withstand the waves and the undertow.
But they still come.
It just takes more to knock us down.

Writers leave because situations change, whatever they are.
Sometimes our workload changes.  Sometimes our home life changes, forcing us to focus more on that area than on writing.

Sometimes, a lot of times, we run out of things to say.
That doesn't mean we're done.
It just means that it's time for someone else.

And that, my friends, leaves shoes to fill.
A very difficult task.
Because we are a varied group.
Some of us are only weeks out on this road.
Some of us are years out.

And we all want someone to connect with.
Someone who mirrors us and our current situation.
When we're only months out, we want someone who can write about the cold, dark and painful place where we reside.  In fact, those are the posts that get the most comments.
The painful posts.

When we're a few years out, we want someone who's made it past that point and can show us the light at the end of the tunnel, wherever that is.

It's hard to find a writer who will please everyone.
In fact, it's impossible to find a writer who will please everyone.
That's the nature of the beast.
The beast, being life.

Sometimes it's just plain difficult to find a writer.
We are a large group, getting larger every day, unfortunately.
But we're not an easily accessed group.  And it's difficult to find someone who we think will fit.
The smaller the niche, the harder to find (like writers who are widowers!).

But we'll keep searching.
And we know, that although change is difficult for us, we are a group that's full of compassion and empathy and love.
All of the writers have felt that.
And we know they'll continue to feel it.

Even if they never get to "there".


  1. June 21st will be my third year on this grief journey. I've accepted that I will never get There. I exist day to day dealing with whatever each day brings; dealing with life alone without my husband who was the strong one. I accept that I will never be the same person after losing my husband unexpectedly in the middle of the night beside me. I will never be free of this broken heart and the shock and trauma of his death. My soul mate and the life we shared is gone; both died three years ago as did a huge part of me. This is my reality. This is my There.

    1. Anon,
      I'm so sorry that you're still dealing with the shock and trauma of his death.
      While this is your reality now, it won't always be this gut-wrenching.
      As I said, it doesn't get easier, but we somehow gain the strength to deal with it more easily.
      But gaining strength, emotionally as well as physically, can't happen quickly. It's a slow process, and the timing is different for everyone.
      So keep coming here, and keep sharing your thoughts and feelings. This is one place that will help you gain that strength, little by little.
      Thank you so much for sharing your feelings.

  2. Well said Janine - I love the diversity of writers that have crossed my path here. I've learned there are many ways to get to 'there', and I've learned a little bit about how to live 'now' from each and every one, no matter where they've come from and how they got to 'here'.

    1. Thank you, Kerryl. I'm glad that you found this site and that we've helped you, even a little.
      Grief is like a circle ...... you learn a bit from others on this path, you share what you've learned, and you help others, including the writers, when you do. And so it goes.
      Thank you for sharing your heart.

  3. Beautifully written, thank you.

  4. I love this. And I get why writers leave. Even though I cant ever see myself leaving. Until, of course, I can ..... Im just not there yet. Im here.

    1. Kelley,
      Of course you're not "there". None of us are.
      And you may never run out of things to say, or have a reason to stop writing here. Only time will tell.
      Until that happens, IF it happens, thank you for continuing to share your experience with the rest of us.
      I love you, my friend.

  5. Thank you Kelley for these wise words. I had been reading your posts, and those of the other writers here, for support for my own grief. Now that I am set to join you, I have reread a lot of them, searching for some further wisdom as how to approach this new journey as I realize it means I will be baring a lot of my own soul here. I appreciate your advice to the readers here to remember we are a varied group, and there are big shoes to fill - and that we all have our own reasons for the decisions we make during these daunting days. I look forward to developing new relationships and finding new wisdom and support here each day together.

    1. Hi Stephanie and welcome!!
      I hope it's ok that it's me who wrote the above post, rather than Kelley!
      But thank you for the thought ...... I'm happy to think you thought it was good enough to be one of Kelley's posts. :)
      I look forward to reading your posts here.
      And I promise that you will feel loved and supported here, exactly because you'll bare your soul.
      Again, welcome.

  6. Janine, your words are very wise especially "there is a mythical place". That thought was with me all day yesterday and I will carry it forward with me as I am about to make some big changes in my life. WV has helped me so much!

    1. Thank you, Anon. I'm glad that WV has been able to help. Every time someone makes a comment like that, you help us, the writers. While we let you know that you are not alone, you remind us that aren't, either.
      And that's a very powerful message.
      Keep Hoping. :)

  7. Been following WV for 4 years now, and as you mention, as much as I hate the change over of writers as one comes and another goes, I learn so much from all of you, no matter where you all are in your timeline. Thank you all, writers, for sharing your daily posts, and thank you all, for comments. You have been my lifeline when those physically around me assume I am "there". If only they knew what we all know.

    1. Hi Cathy,
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, and your heart, with us. You put it perfectly. We are all lifelines for each other.
      Thank you for the reminder.