Widow Respect: Imagine!!

Carolyn Moor

Let’s explore the combination of what happens when we imagine something new as a widow (and as a community) to express our gratitude towards what may happen when this occurs.

Imagination is one area that I have found to be a tremendous stronghold, hold-back & obstacle in widowhood. It’s obvious why. We’ve lost all that we imagined for our lives, so how do we dare or even begin to imagine for ourselves a new future when our whole identity is tied to another dream that has died? And is not coming back…..

Well, one answer could be in the power of the statement ‘Seeing is Believing’. How can you NOT imagine when you are in the midst of others imagining, doing and making things happen?

The new company that you keep is a key (and there are many keys) to find your child’s imagination and being grateful for the blessings and insights it brings. *Recall a time when you laughed or played like a child and how you were able to free yourself from the shackles and troubles of the world. This is now the time to tap into that free internal resource within you.

If you asked any widow 10-20 years along if they knew where they’d be today, almost every one would confidently say ‘NO’. I know this only because I know thousands of widows and have asked this very question the past 15 yrs in this journey.

 “Tell me thy company, and I’ll tell thee what thou art” – Don Quixote

Here is the thing. We have very limited time and resources. A widow is the busiest women on earth! True fact. We are also in the most stressful life stage and time of our life…according to the Holmes & Rahe Social Readjustment Stress Scale. Widowhood is the ONLY life event that receives a full 100% on this scale. Add in losing your job, health, credit, home, insurance, changes in social circles and families…..We are validated in our screams out into our society that this is painful, that it’s puts us at risk for health concerns, lack of security…… and please, help. “Please have kindness and compassion for widows”.

But, it’s also time we stopped attempting to change society, and instead, change ourselves and invite society into this journey with us from that angle. I’m convinced, this is the only way to create enduring change for all widows.

Imagine something for yourself, for this community and then those ‘who do not know’. Then and only then, will they begin to imagine and bond with us!!

Browbeating and blowing off steam to friends and family (guilty!!) will serve no one in widowhood. Been there, done that. It only pushed the very people away that I needed. In fact, it serves to do the very opposite of what we hope to do in informing our culture of how very real and catastrophic becoming a widow is in our modern society.

We will first need to invite them to imagine our world, and then invite them to become part of the solution….alongside us.

I imagine a world- where not only do people respect and hold a widow in the highest of regard, but also, steps up to protect her with their words, actions, resources and intentions. Isn’t that what we are doing for each other here at MWC? And it’s because….we know this experience.

I imagine a world- that understands a woman after she loses her partner/ spouse. A world that embraces her after loss within her existing circles — civic, community, faith, family and neighborhoods.

I imagine a world- where policy makers take a moment to consider all the widows and fatherless that will be created in the shadow of destruction before they pull the switch on warfare. How about including a plan for recovery and restoration for the soon-to-be widows and families in the aftermath? Surely, history has evidence that widows are the casualty of such harrowing decisions.

I don’t have all the answers to imagine a more liberated future for the 70% of married women who will be right where we are today…in the midst of widowhood, but I won’t stop imagining that we can do this better as human beings. Consciously and proactively better. I am committed to doing my small part.

Will you imagine with me?