It was difficult for me to leave the house after Tom’s death. A dear friend and neighbor knocked on my door one day with a dog in her arms. He had been wandering the neighborhood and she asked if I could keep him until we figured out who he belonged to. I could barely take care of myself, so how was I to keep a dog alive? But she insisted. And so began an unexpected journey of healing with my new dog, Arthur. Every morning I left the house, coffee in hand, no makeup, ball cap, and wearing the clothes from the day before to walk Arthur to the park. Each evening again, I left the house, wine in hand this time, still no makeup, and wearing the same clothes. I kept my head down with my sunglasses on so I wouldn’t have to talk to any of the neighbors. But Arthur would have none of this. He would bounce into the park, interacting with every dog and person he encountered, dragging me right along with him. Gradually on these walks I started putting on clean clothes and even makeup. I eventually took off the cap and started leaving the coffee and wine at home, letting Arthur lead me into conversations with others in the park.
We each need a variety of tools in our healing toolbox, for different situations. Find what works for you and commit to the process. This grief work is the hardest work we will ever do, but we are not alone. We have each other and we have God working right along with us, not to fix, but to soothe our broken hearts.
Psalm 34:17-18: "The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
We walk this journey together.
A Widow’s Way