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Thoughts from Dianna...
This week I received an email announcing June 23rd to be International Widow's Day. Even though I'd been involved with the funeral home's aftercare program for many years, this day of recognition was new to me. What are we to do to commemorate this day? I began to search the origins and learned it's a United Nations decreed day designed to remember the injustices widows in many countries of the world experience.
Being a child of the 60's and a social work major to boot – I took “women's lib” very seriously! Those words almost sound silly now – since there's acceptance for most everything. So how could it be that widows in some countries face horrible injustices? After research I learned that indeed the cruel conditions widows face in countries such as Bangladesh and Kenya are beyond our understanding.
Widowhood is hard, no matter where you live. Facing the loss of your life partner is a life changing trauma that cannot be understood unless you've been there. We can have empathy but not real understanding. Maybe you've thought to yourself that a friend or family member “should be doing better by now”. Each person's grief is their grief, and cannot be rushed, pushed or shoved to make it better. Grief is a journey and needs to be taken one day at a time.
So, to commemorate Widow's Day in our wonderful U.S. , let's remember that each widow/er grieves at their own pace and give them the patience that we might not quite understand.