Widow’s Journey: A Note from Gayle

When I first began writing about being a widow, I had already been one for over a year. “I will write for two years,” I thought as I began. It was a commitment to myself and to the Lord.

I have to confess that near the end of my commitment, the pieces got harder and harder to write. I was growing farther and farther from where I’d begun, and going back into the emotions of loss and grief was getting difficult, especially since I was writing my heart, not offering advice.

I’ve now been widowed for longer than four years, still not a long time, I know. I only mention it because time is the framework that allows us to see change. We can look back and see we’ve made progress. Oh, we may not be as far along as we hoped we’d be, but we have moved forward, and that’s reason for rejoicing. I mean, I actually enjoyed last Christmas, my fourth without Chuck, my first that caused me to think without reservation as I drove home from my kids’ homes, “That was a wonderful time.”

Sure, I’m still lonely, the unoccupied side of the bed looms large, and there are some things I hate to do alone. But I’m less lonely, I fall asleep without tears, and there are many things I am happy to do alone or with girlfriends.

I’ve no guy friend and I’m fine with that. In fact I haven’t had an evening with a man since Chuck died. Sometimes I think it would be fun to meet a nice guy, but at my age there are fewer and fewer guys out there, nice or not. And I’m picky, very picky. After all, I was married to Chuck.

I want to thank you for taking this journey with me. I’m sure sometimes I’ve written things that make you blink in surprise or shake your head in disagreement, but I hope more time you were able to say, “Yes! That’s exactly how I feel. I’m not crazy and I’m not the only one.”
Know you are special to me and I pray for you, even though I may not know your name.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way.
-Colossians 1:9,10


A couple of footnotes:
A Widow’s Journey will become a book, release date March 1, 2015.  Watch this site, and my personal web site for more information on this.
-Sandy Cove Christian Conference Center in the town of North East, MD, is hosting a Widow’s Weekend March 5-7, 2015. I’m one of the presenters and you can find out more here on the Events page, or on Sandy Cove’s web site. Come join us!
-All posts on this blog will be available long-term, to be a help to others who follow us on this widow’s journey.

Continue the Journey


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  • Gayle: I totally relate to everything you wrote here. The progress. The missing still. But the getting on with life. A steady singleness that comes with showers of emotion, but fewer than before.
    Blessings to you for all you’ve shared to help with the journey.

    Janet Chester Bly

    August 13, 2014 | Reply

    • Thanks, Janet. Looking forward to seeing you in November!

      Gayle Roper

      Gayle Roper

      August 25, 2014 |

  • Gayle, I just want to thank you for writing this blog. When Jim died a year ago in January, I began pouring over it, soaking in every word, finding comfort and encouragement as well as validation. It was a safe place where I could record my thoughts with someone — you — who I knew from past writers conferences and trusted. Thank you for being there for me in this blog.

    P.S. I still have a picture of us on the steps of Barrows Hall at Wheaton College during a Write-To-Publish conference. I think we stayed in McManus Hall that year.

    Beth Ann Ziarnik

    August 13, 2014 | Reply

    • Beth Ann, thanks for your kind words. You’re in the middle of that difficult second year, but you’re fortunate: you have your writing as an outlet and a place to bare your soul. Blessings to you1

      Gayle Roper

      Gayle Roper

      August 25, 2014 |

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