I attended my monthly Parkinson’s Disease Caregivers’ Support Group meeting yesterday. It’s a small group of very diverse people. All women at this point, although we did have a man in the group until his wife died. We share whatever is affecting each of us as we watch our husbands deteriorate under the plague of Parkinson’s and as we take on more and more of the household duties. What I see are several very tired, very overwhelmed heroines. But we listen, encourage, inform, and affirm one another. Each woman comes away knowing she isn’t alone and with a useful tidbit or two of new information as we each share what we’ve learned.
Last week I was at an event with several recent widows. They were each individually struggling with their new status. Missing their husbands. Grappling with complex household duties. Trying to redefine themselves into an unwanted identity. I couldn’t help but think about my support group and wish there were one for recent widows. There probably is. I just don’t know where it is.
If you’re facing a difficult situation, I strongly encourage you to find a support group. There is probably one near you. Check the Internet and perhaps local churches. If you can’t find an established group, gather two or three people in a similar situation and start one. You’ll learn as you go along. You’ll be glad you did.