This month we witnessed a poignant reminder that grief forms a common bond among all people, no matter their background or circumstance. Anyone who has lost a spouse could instantly identify with the image of Queen Elizabeth sitting alone at the funeral of her husband of 73 years.
In an article in The Wall Street Journal, “Queen Elizabeth Confronts the Silence,”Bob Greene begins describing what any surviving spouse will relate to. “It’s the things that suddenly are no longer there: The sight of that distinctive handwriting on a note left on a night table. It doesn’t matter if the note is on engraved palace stationery or on an old grocery-store receipt—the curves of the letters caught out of the corner of your eye are like a hello. Until they’re gone. The sound of a doorknob turning, and the knowledge of what the first syllable of a voice will sound like as soon as the person takes the initial step into the room.
“The look of the veins on the back of a hand; the raised eyebrow when in the midst of a crowd, to signal a joke only the two of you are in on. The same few words, decade after decade, spoken to say goodnight. Now vanished.”
The power and ability of HOPE group members to help comfort one another stems from a basic truth: if you’ve lost a spouse, you will find that other surviving spouses are truly the ones most able to help you through the process of grieving. May every HOPE member feel the power of this bond and its ability to help in healing.