GirlTalkHQ: Leaving Silence Behind

I shifted nervously in my metal folding chair. The harsh fluorescent lights of the church basement magnified my discomfort. I was attending my first meeting of a bereavement support group. My husband Clarence had died a month earlier. I was a 44- year- old widow.

We were invited to introduce ourselves around the circle. I listened to each in turn—mostly women, mostly in their 60’s, mostly white. “Please say your name, your loved one’s name and what they died of?” What?

“A long battle with cancer,” one woman said. “A sudden heart attack. No warning,” said another. Sympathetic looks were telegraphed around the circle.

What would I say? And how would my intro be received?


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