Writing

A Widow Wants Answers

Last weekend I went to a dinner party. The hosts were the parents of my daughter’s friend and I hadn’t met them or their guests. I had been warned, however, that one of the other guests had just left her husband a few weeks earlier and that I shouldn’t discuss anything related to that topic.

I was seated next to this woman, a very pretty lady who looked to be in her early 40s, and she asked me about my work. I explained the Goodbye Wifes and Daughters project and the inspiration I took from the widows, particularly in how they carried on. She wanted to know how they did it. She kept asking for details, as if  searching for the magic answer to something: what had those women done to get survive their tragedy? I wondered why she was so interested in the specifics when she mentioned that she had LOST her husband five weeks earlier. He’d been diagnosed with cancer 7 months prior to that. Now she was left with three daughters, two teenagers and one in her 20s. (During the conversation my daughter had with her friend, lost got translated to left, a completely different situation.)

I told this widow, with her raw pain and, I could now see, her sad, sad eyes, that I didn’t know exactly what the Bearcreek women had done, though I supposed it had to do with putting one foot in front of the other every day. She looked so disappointed that I couldn’t provide her with a secret, and I wish I could have. Does anyone reading this have the answer? I doubt it. Aren’t time, grit and faith all any of us have?