I fumbled for my phone this morning, same as I do every morning. I know it is a horrible habit – looking at my phone before my eyes are barely open. I don’t even know what I am looking to see most of the time.
This morning was one of those mornings where there actually was something to see – an email from a stranger, which came through The Widow Wears Pink site in the middle of the night. It simply said:
During my darkest hours, you came through as an outlet. Thank you.
I was sad and smiling at the same time.
When I started The Widow Wears Pink, I had no idea what I was doing or where it would lead me. I quickly realized that writing helped me to heal, and it gave me an outlet for all of the thoughts I had in my head since Howie died.
It also gave me something unexpected; the feeling that I was helping those who came after me, others who were unfortunate enough to go through the death of a spouse. Hearing from these women (and men) made me want to keep writing. It gave me some sense of a purpose.
Now, years later, to still receive these messages causes me to remember how I felt a few years ago. It is a very, very dark place to be. To wake up in the middle of the night with your heart racing, to worry about anything and everything, to be scared for yourself and what will happen to you, and more importantly, scared for your children. How can they make it without their father? How can I make it? Emotionally, financially, socially?
When you feel that way, it is impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There does not seem to be any light at all.
The timing is different for everyone, but eventually, we may see a glimmer of hope, which just may begin to bring us out of the dark. But, when you are in it, there is no way to even imagine getting out.
When Howie died, I didn’t even know what a blog was. I would never have thought to look one up in the middle of the night when I was awake and alone with a feeling of pure terror.
In the years since I began my blog, I have found a whole community of widow bloggers. Some were there before I was, and some are just starting their journey.
When Mimi and I created Living the Second Act, we each had ideas about what types of categories to have on our site. The one that meant the most to me was the Widow/Loss category, and it has become one of our most successful. We have found amazing widowed writers who each have their own unique story, and their writing is incredible. We are thrilled to feature them.
To those who wake up in the middle of the night with their hearts racing, I hope you are able to find what I didn’t know existed – a widow blog that resonates with you. Reading it just may help. You will always find some common bond, and possibly a bit of hope.
I hope that I truly did help the woman who wrote to me last night. I’ve been there. I get it. Many of us do. You are not alone.