I am a woman who has been reborn in the afternoon of her life. The death of my husband of 42 years could have stopped me in my tracks. Instead, it not only took me on a journey into grief, it also took me on a journey into self-discovery. I didn’t have an answer, but I knew I had a “song.”
“A bird does not sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song!” Chinese Proverb
After my husband’s death, I felt alone, undefined and invisible. At that time I wrote in my personal journal, “I am from a generation of women whose definition of ourselves was shaped by having our consciousness raised. Although I have aged with courage and grace, our youth-oriented culture ignores women past 60 as too old; lacking value and indiscernible.” Oh how wrong I was! These words no longer ring true and I am anything but invisible.
“Life’s not about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain!” Vivian Green.
My healing process began through the gift of time, wisdom learned and the determination to live on. I ventured outside my comfort zone, listening to a voice within me insisting “if not now, when?”
Death can be a great teacher. It woke me up from complacency to an understanding that all I have is the present moment. My past is over (though a part of what makes me who I am), my future is undefined and my today is what counts. It is truly all I have. Learning how to just Be has been a huge life lesson ~ a gift that keeps on giving.
It’s funny how you don’t think about the titles that are bestowed upon you during your life’s journey. Baby, child, young girl, woman, wife, mother, business titles – and then “widow.” Some titles you are happy to own, others are unasked for. The title that best describes me today is I Am! I Am vital, I Am alive, I Am love and I Am open to life’s possibilities!
Laurel Rund 2011