Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Never Alone~

I just finished my first Camp Widow and I'm on my way back to Arizona to see our oldest son get married.  As soon as Camp finished,  I hopped in PinkMagic and headed north to the Panhandle and turned west.  All of which is to say...I haven't even begun to filter through the experience of meeting so many beautiful people, men and women who are traveling this widowed road.

There is too much to write about, too many impressions, too much emotion, too much of pretty much everything and I need to focus on driving, so I am.  

But I will tell you that if you have any opportunity to attend Camp Widow in any of its' three locations, then go.  Yes, it's a life-changer as I was told.  I don't know how yet, but it was so powerful that it has to be, maybe in ways that will only reveal themselves to me as my road continues.

No, it didn't take away my grief and that wasn't my expectation.  Perhaps the greatest thing I brought away from it was, quite simply, that I did it at all.  I drove from Arizona to Florida and it was so that I could be a part of it but do you know what was the biggest draw for me?  The flash-mob dance.  And not the overall dance but specifically the part in the dance where the dancers are required to open their arms to the side.  Yes, it was that specific for me when I watched the youtube video.  I saw that one particular movement and my heart clicked in recognition and I knew that I had to be in that flash-mob so that I too could open my arms out to my side.

Because, you see, (and I know you get it), as much as I write about my grief, as open as I am with it, and as open as my heart is to this new life I must create without my dearest heart next to me...I cringe at opening my arms wide.  Opening them like that required a willingness to be completely vulnerable. It meant raising my eyes to the heavens, leaving me exposed.  It meant not only opening my arms but swirling to the side and back again.  Yep, that is what that one little movement in that one short dance meant to me and I knew I had to do it.

And I did.  And you'll be able to see all of us who did it when the video is released and I'm waiting to see what it looks like because I already know what it felt like.  It felt exactly like I thought it would and there was so much grief at the same time as there was so much comfort in dancing it surrounded by so many others who know this new world.  I know that all of us who danced last Saturday danced not only for ourselves and our loved one, but for all of you who couldn't be there.

I cried afterwards, no surprise.  I cried and felt this surge of pride in myself that my grief and the love I had, and have, for my husband, got me in the car and helped me drive thousands of miles to join this exemplary group of men and women at Camp Widow.

That's all I have for right now.  It's a long road back to Arizona and I need to get there and have our kids around me and have some time to feel this all through.  So I'll leave you with this;  all of you who were there, all of you who take the time to read what I write here, all of you who follow my personal blog and keep me company on my Odyssey of bless me every step of the way, every mile that I drive.  You are part of my story forever more.

Thank you~


  1. How nice for you, Allison. I understand that "arm opening"in the flash mob dance...I recently went to day long yoga retreat, and one workshop focused on heart opening poses. Bit by bit we help our bodies heal, ever so slowly but that's what they need. Safe travels back to AZ, and congrats on your son's marriage. My daughter married this past summer, I know how hard it is for their parent/your husband to not be present for this significant event. Make sure you scope things out and have a plan to step aside to a quiet place if needed. Long life love.

  2. Allison, I am so glad that you had the opportunity to take this journey. It is as you know only the beginning. If you need to stop in Louisiana just give me a call here in Baton Rouge. I am finally on my feet and driving again.

  3. It was sooooo amazing meeting you!!!!!!!!

  4. Allison, I'm so glad I finally got to meet you. The weekend was too short and wish I could have spent more time with you. Congrats on your son's wedding. Just know you are an inspiration to me, not only for your writing but you are doing in your life exactly what I want to do. Thanks for sharing