05/05/2014 11:46 am ET Updated Jul 05, 2014

Venting My Grief Can Be So Satisfying

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Venting is oh-so-satisfying. I get it out of my system and feel cleansed, refreshed, ready to face the next challenge. I know who is reading my blog. I really do. It is those who love me. And those who need to read it. Those who connect with my pain and grief. Those who have or are experiencing the pain and grief.

A friend wrote to me in response, "You are creating a light for others who will follow in your steps. A light in their darkness as they stumble forward." Let us stumble forward together, then.

Today I had lunch with my new widow friends. My GPS got me lost, and I was going to be late. I cried in frustration. I cried in sorrow. I drove and cried. I thought of just going home, but something keep me going. I knew I could arrive with a tear-streaked face and would find loving embraces.

The conversation was about pain and grief. It was right out there in the open, right on the table. We talked about anniversaries coming up: of our spouse's death, of our birthdays, of their birthdays, of our wedding anniversaries. We said the numbers of months out loud. We spoke our husband's names as naturally as could be.

And we struggled to think about what these dates were going to be like. And what we would do for them. Celebrate? Observe? Mourn? Alone? With friends and family?

We talked of holidays and the ache of getting through them without the one who has been by our side for so long. And we talked of traveling, alone, to places new and places familiar.

There was laughter and tears. Compassion and understanding. We were there for each other. Widows. And to think at one time I was so appalled to be called one.