Jonathon's Closet

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

There are more of us than you might realize!

A friend recently mentioned “public education is a good thing” - a phrase that I’ve been known to use almost to excess, in my efforts to make young widows issues visible.

I’ll admit, with great joy, that our numbers are small. We do not have the strength of the AARP, nor do we want it, for that would mean that so many others would be on this journey with us. But THERE ARE MORE OF US THAN YOU REALIZE.

We don’t have the energy to be vocal – grieving is hard work. We don’t have the time to be activists – we are trying to raise our children alone. We don’t have the resources to be heard – most young widows live well below the poverty level. EVEN THOUGH WE ARE NOT OFTEN SEEN OR HEARD, WE ARE HERE.

In the widows groups I facilitate, we often speak of empowerment; of finding your voice and letting the world see a tiny segment of what we deal with every day. After all, unless we allow people to see what our lives become they will remain totally clueless … and even if we tried endlessly to provide that fly-on-the-wall view, we still realize that true understanding comes only with experience.

I’m of the belief that a small amount of comprehension is better than none at all. So I speak. And I write. And my real-life group members participate in activities that are designed to empower them, to encourage them, and to help them find their voice. And even in my cyber-groups, we find understanding and friendship … and sometimes even the courage to say our thoughts out loud to the masses!

I speak in the hopes of helping others who are walking this path. I speak in the hopes of reaching someone who is lost in the throes of sorrow. I speak because too many people do not realize what they have until it is gone. I speak because our stories need to be heard – because even though you may not see us, we are out here.

The issues faced by young widows today are many … and they do not go away. We deal with financial struggles, discrimination, the pain of our grieving children, the loss of our life partners, and so much more. And we deal with these things each and every day, for the rest of our lives.

We move forward, we gain strength; we do both ordinary and amazing things for our shattered families and even for the communities around us. We have walked thru the fire and we are not only still standing, but we are still standing strong.

In hope that someday, the world will realize that it’s treatment of young widows is SO totally wrong, on SO many levels. Yes, public education is indeed a good thing!


Post a Comment

<< Home