Thursday, August 19, 2010

Widow Lingo

So, there's a whole widow world out there, and I've been slowly wading in I guess.  There are websites, blogs like mine, message boards, something called Widow Camp- yes camp, sites that will match you with another widow, and even merchandise for sale.

Yesterday I spent a lot of my online time visiting a message board for young widows.  I even posted something for the first time and shared my own story.  I received lots of welcoming (though everyone always writes that they're sorry you're there) responses, advice, and links- even an invitation to a gathering in the NYC/NJ area.

But I have mixed feelings about forums like these.

They are great because you can connect with others who actually know what you're going through.  Are they grieving the same grief as you?  No, because each of us has our own life, relationships, stories...but it's more that they understand the totally other realm that you enter when you lose your spouse- especially to a sudden and unexpected death.  It seems like a lot of the widows use the board to vent.  Some of them are very angry- with their in-laws, with their friends, with the people who just "don't get it."  They call them the "DGI's" (don't get its).  And I definitely understand why.  There are so many of them- even though the ones I have encountered always have good intentions for me.  How could they get it?  I would not expect them to.  I certainly never did.

It's funny because Sarah, who also lost her husband, and I were saying the other night how when other people say certain things- like "He did more in his 33 years than some people do in a lifetime," it's not appropriate for them to say.  It sounds like therefore, his death was "OK."  But then we were laughing about how if we wish to say or think those things- it's OK.

But after a few hours of on and off browsing around there, I felt more drained than energized.  Perhaps energized is too strong  a word- I don't expect anything can make me feel that right now.  But some of the postings were just so completely devoid of any hope- and some of these were years after the loss.  I found myself writing these women to encourage them.  I'm not sure why I felt the urge when my own grief is so new, but I probably just put myself on their DGI list.

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