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Heading Somewhere

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I want to share something I wrote (and posted on YWBB) years ago. I hope it gives you courage and hope. When my husband died I was lost without him, but I knew I had to keep moving even if I didn’t know where I was going. Forward motion even if I wasn’t getting anywhere.  It was too tempting to withdraw, to hide and never come out into the world again.


So I kept moving and ended up with a life worth living.




Written June 29th 2007


The Widows Walk

Widows understand circles because that is where we walk. We are tied by an invisible tether to our dead husbands. They are the center that we are connected to. We take small and unsteady steps and we keep moving but we cannot move too far away. There is so much they haven’t seen and we need to tell them about it. How else would we understand it? How else could they know what we are doing? So we tell them about our lives and what we see and what we do and we are tied to them. We walk in circles.


Sometimes the rope stretches and I move farther out. But it is still a circle. The path is worn and full of holes and I stumble, but I walk the circle. There is nowhere else to go.


I see things off in the distance. Can I go there? How do I get there? Do I pull on the rope? Does it stretch far enough to let me move in another direction? Do I cut it and hope I can find my way back? Do I pick him up and carry him with me? But what if I get lost? What if I can’t find my way home? What if there is nothing out there?


Those who have walked the circle before me tell me I will never lose him. They say he will always be with me. I trust the widows. They would not lie to me.


But I am afraid to move on. So I walk the circle. I look for a straight line to walk. But all I see are paths that bend and turn. Where do they lead? Can I go there? Do I want to go there?


I walk the circle but I am looking toward the horizon. Another path is calling to me.




Written July 12’th 2009


There is a straight line and I found it, but chose not to walk it. I picked the crooked path.


The straight line went on and on, and I saw the end. It was an easy path to walk. Uneventful, but easy. Not much more than forward motion. I could even close my eyes while walking but not stumble.


I thought that was what I wanted. Easy, safe, uneventful, boring. Walking forward until I died. Instead, I’m tripping over rocks, turning blind corners, getting tangled in the weeds and stepping in mud puddles. I’ll admit that I’ve stubbed my toe, almost drowned, got a nose full of mud and got caught in the weeds for a while. And I will do those things again. But I’ve also found myself. The crooked path is the path of living, not just existing.


And the best part is that he is still walking with me. He would have been bored on that straight path. He would have been sad that my life turned into one foot in front of the other. Instead, I hear him laughing. Laughing for me and with me.


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