A couple of weeks ago, Brother Larry Ahrens shared a brief thought from SC Laurie titled “A Shout Out to Everyone Trying Right Now.” This amazingly well-put-together thought was also written about so poignantly last week by Brother Tom Peyton. At that time, I posed the idea with Tom about offering articles built around this work. So as I sat down to formulate my thoughts on this work, the simple words poised at the end of this message profoundly grabbed me. These words were “I See You. I’m there too. We’re in this together”.
Though I will never have the privilege of meeting most of you in person, we do gather here on these pages from time to time. I see the beautiful pictures of your departed spouses and partners. I see you struggling with family dynamics that change due to our loss. I see you trying to figure out if you dare take a chance on love again. I see you trying to feel whole again. I see you trying to recalibrate the finances that affect us more profoundly than we are willing to admit sometimes. I see the sadness in the words you share. Brothers, I see you.
I’m also there trying to patch this thing together for the rest of my life. I’m there too when your family and friends tell me that you must tell us what is going on in your life, only to say to them and find evidence that they don’t remember or never heard a word you said in the first place. I’m there too, trying to figure out the “dating game,” one that I haven’t played in decades. I’m there too, trying to figure out if this is all that I have left. I’m there too when I walk around this familiar place I live in, but sometimes it just doesn’t quite feel like home anymore. Brothers, I’m there too.
Finally, “We’re in this together.” When I visit this place called sadness, I remember that I have survived a road that so many of my brothers are just starting to travel down. I remember that I have the honor of sharing my thoughts with so many men from all over the world on a regular basis. I remember that I had the amazing privilege of loving an amazing woman Robyn Anita Street-Whitener. We are in this together, brothers, because you can fill in a name just as I just did, and maybe just for a moment, a smile will come across your face. I wish I could promise you that it would get easier before long, but the timeline and path we must travel is a custom-made one. That is because we all had custom-made loves.
So, thank you, SC Laurie, for your beautiful words. Thank you, Larry Ahrens, for sharing those words with us, and thanks, Tom, for your thoughts that inspired me to offer my thoughts on this topic. So let end as I began with “A Shout Out to Everyone Trying Right Now.”
Terrell Whitener is an author, motivational speaker, and coach. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Terrell is the author of The First 365, Learning to Live After Loss. Terrell can be reached at my newly redesigned thedebriefgroup365.com, where you will find all my social media contacts or through the Widow Support Network.