Gifts are found in the connection with others. Some of life’s biggest rewards come from a deep connection with others. Yet, so often after the death of our spouse, we lose our connection to so many people.
We are no longer a couple. We don’t feel as though we fit in any longer. A third wheel so to speak. Friends stop calling us. Loved ones no longer stop by. Invitations to events top coming. Seems like, relationships with some become tense and strained.
We take it personally. Our self-esteem takes a huge hit. Which often times can lead to stress, anxiety, low confidence and a feeling of rejection. Thus, we stop reaching out. Isolate ourselves in the depths of our despair.
It seems that nobody understands the journey of a widow and frankly we become tired of trying to explain it.
It’s true, those that haven’t experienced the loss of a spouse or partner do not understand. How can they? I myself hope they never have too. But here is the thing, there are many people who are able to support you as you go into the pain. Even if they haven’t experienced it.
“You have to be with that pain, but you have to have support.” ~Gabor Mate
Gifts found in connection
For that reason, you may have to form new friendships – new connections with people who are able to support and guide you with compassion, empathy, and love. No judgment, fixing or trying to take away the pain. I was fortunate to have such a person come into my life after my husband died.
She showed up at my door. Hired by my Realtor to stage my home when I had to make the painful choice to sell it only a few months after my husband died. I believe God sent her. She was my angel. We talked for countless hours. She listened and just bore witness to my pain. She walked right into that pain with me and held my hand. No judgment, no fixing, not taking away the pain. That was nine years ago and we still have a deep bond of friendship. Therefore, I am forever grateful for the gifts I found in our connection!
Gifts of vulnerability, healing, laughter, being heard, non-judgment, love, hope, faith, self-love, self-esteem, kindness, compassion, empathy, courage, strength, learning, curiosity, discovery, inspiration, motivation, remembering, special deep bonds, lifetime friendship, support, and guidance.
We crave human connection and touch
As humans, we crave connection. Most noteworthy, the type of connection that gives us a reason to live. We all want to belong, feel loved, wanted and appreciated. Without meaningful connections, we tend to isolate and disconnect. So often, we try to cover up the pain using so many different ‘coping’ mechanisms.
I love this quote –
“Whatever you do, don’t try and escape from your pain, but be with it. Because the attempt to escape from the pain creates more pain.” ~The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying
When you have deep meaningful connections, you’re better able to cope. You’re better able to step into the pain and allow yourself to really feel it. You allow yourself to be vulnerable because you trust that person. Such gifts to be found in connection!
Consequently, life starts to move forward as we give ourselves permission to really mourn. We won’t always be in the deepest part of the pain. At some point, we will find we are ready to cross that threshold and reemerge as a woman transformed into living a full life with passion and person.
Building new connections and bonds
The new friendships and meaningful relationships you create don’t have to be with other widows, but it can be so very helpful. Other widows ‘get it’. Their journey may be unique, but they can still relate to your loss. They will hold you up, cry with you, listen to you, inspire you and encourage you in the hardest of times.
Strong bonds can be created both online and in person. Sometimes they start in an online group and then you find out that person lives in the same city or one nearby. Or perhaps, you decide to meet someplace for a fun adventure. One of my dearest friends I met in a group on Facebook. Later to find out she just lives down the block and even attends the same church.
Ultimately, it’s up to you. Strike up a conversation at the supermarket, join a meetup, volunteer at your favorite animal shelter, attend a grief support group, go to yoga. Is there a widow’s support group in your area? Maybe your pastor knows other widows.
I get it, it’s not always easy to reach out, to find new friends and build relationships. It takes time and a willingness to step outside of ourselves. Don’t you think you’re worth it? I believe you are!
Here are a couple great places to start:
Liminal Space: A Place of Transition for Widows – Open to women only
Are you looking for a new kind of online support group? A place to make deep connections with other widows? A place to find all those gifts connection can bring?
I started this group so together we can reemerge as women transformed into living a full life with passion and purpose! 👭
Soaring Spirits International – Open to men and women
Soaring Spirits is a widowed community that offers widowed men and women understanding, friendship, inspiration, and encouragement as they learn to live without the person with whom they intended to spend the rest of their lives.
What Are Your Next Steps?
STEP 1 LET ME HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. What gifts have you found in connection? Please comment below
STEP 2 GET LIMINAL SPACE NOTES
Are you ready to rebuild your life and reemerge transformed into living a full life with passion and purpose? That’s just the type of inspiration you will get in each weekly edition of Liminal Space Notes. Get access here. It’s free!
Most importantly, you can also check a box to receive the FREE Top 15 Strategies to Break Free From Loneliness and Embrace Happiness.
STEP 3 HOP ON A SHORT 20 MINUTE CALL WITH ROXANE
I would love to hop on a short 20-minute call to help you gain clarity in any one area in which you’re currently struggling. Simply fill out this form with what you would like to focus on and lets chat. It’s free!