Inviting you to something new
Inviting you to something new
Dear Friend,
Welcoming you once again to A Widow’s Way, a new program to increase Young Life’s capacity to walk with mission friends going through loss. There are so many of us making our way in this huge adjustment in life.
My husband’s favorite tool was a hammer. Although he wasn’t very handy around the house, he would attempt any project, accumulating a tool box full of gadgets that he blamed when projects when south.  After he died I gave away most of his things but not his tool box. Every time I would bump into the ugly metal box I would smile, remembering his excitement to try different tools for projects that most often ended with calling in a professional to fix what he had just fixed.

As the great Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle once said, “Man is a tool-using animal… Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.” Tools can help us mend things that are broken, but it is up to us to find the right tool, and put in all the long and tedious work required to see results.

During our last Widow’s Way Conversation we spent some time with author Susan Hannifin-MacNab as she shared some of the tools that helped her rebuild her life after her husband was killed suddenly. She commented that grief and trauma healing do not occur by waiting for time to pass: "Action and intention are the pillars needed to lay a foundation for rebirth and build a powerful roadmap for healing mind, body, and spirit."  Since our grief journies are different, we all need to find the healing tools that work for us. I highly recommend her book, A to Z Healing Toolbox, A Practical Guide for Navigating Grief and Trauma with Intention.

Amidst the June Zoom conversation, those of us on the call agreed that having a pet around was a powerful tool. We had a chuckle as we each ran to get our dog to introduce them to the group on Zoom. (See me and Arthur, below)
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.

Patti Stoetzner
A Widow’s Way

Get Connected
"Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today ... may he also be to you one who restores life."  Ruth 4:14 & 15
Inviting you:

See our new web page HERE sharing our vision and beginning resources for widows.

We are hosting Widow's Way Conversations where widows can connect with others who have experienced this loss in a supportive and helpful way, as well as receive encouragement on relevant topics.  Our next one will be this next Tuesday, July 13th at 7:00 pm Central Time.  If you would like to receive more information on this or find out how to participate, please click HERE.

We plan to gather for retreats one to two times a year to enjoy a safe place for rest, renewal, learning, and sharing with other widows.  Stay tuned!

We’d love to hear any comments, questions or ideas you might have by clicking the "Get Connected" button above, or if you would just like to share a little of your story. 

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