I always felt I was a misfit widow because I was not following through them.
[For example] the idea that you are supposed to sort of wallow in your traumatic feelings because that’s the way to get past them.
They tend to oscillate between feeling fairly normal and fairly sad and those oscillations are pretty intense at first and over time they get farther apart and less extreme. I never understood why I could be so terribly sad one moment and be laughing the next. With grief, you can be feeling pretty good for a while and then 2 years later have a crushing moment of grief and that is normal.
But you can also have happy moments and people need to accept that is normal too and not feel guilty about it.
So why did you decide to start your own widow’s group five years after your husband’s death?
I’d been doing this research about grief and it still haunted me that I felt there wasn’t a good model out there for me to follow. I asked everybody I knew if they knew anybody until I cobbled together five people who said they’d do it.