Be part of the herd

Hello Brothers! I haven’t written much lately. I have, however, been watching the forum, reading many of your posts and cheering you on as you courageously deal with so many issues and challenges of life and death. I’m so impressed by the young men in our group who have instantly become school teachers, IT experts, coaches and mothers as well as fathers. I take my hat off to each and every one of you. I stand in awe of the job you are doing. You are standard bearers for the rest of us. There is a lot of good happening to the men in our group. It continues to be an honor to be part of this Band of Brothers.

This week marks the 21 month mark of my journey into grief, restoration, renewal and all that goes with it. I wish I could say, without reservation, that it gets easier. I cannot say that. What I can say is it becomes more normal, and acceptable as a way of life. We may walk with a little bit of a limp, but nonetheless, we keep walking. Who ever said that grief is not a linear process really knew what they were talking about. Certainly the last year, when the word pandemic became part of our every day language, our process became even more complicated and convoluted. The isolation we already were enduring became manifested through the quarantines etc. Hopefully, we are seeing an end to that. As I look back on my personal journey in the last year, it seems like I’ve done a lot of treading water. Treading water…. that’s good. If you’re treading water, you’re staying afloat. If you’re staying afloat you’re not drowning. I’ll take that as a win.

As I write this, we are three days away from the first day of spring. I’m still in Florida, thinking of when to wind my winter season up here and work my way back to Indiana. I was able to get the first part of the COVID vaccine today. I heard a few people joking about being part of “the herd”. As I listen to them talking, I realize we all want to be part of the herd. I want to be a part of the herd that’s responsible and doing their part, no matter how minor it might seem, to help bring this pandemic to an end. I want to be part of the herd that gathers at my beloved St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Indianapolis every Sunday morning. I want to be part of the herd that sits on friends patios and enjoys good food and fellowship.

The most important herd, however, that I want to be a part of, is this one. This herd represents survivors. This herd represents men who have been thrust from the peaks of their life into the very depths of despair and have chosen to continue life. This herd represents men who have endured life’s cruelest experience. This herd consists of men who have probably never met each other, yet care for each other very very deeply.

I like that. I like seeing the instant support and response for a brother who is hurting and is brave enough to share his hurt. This group is our herd. Stay with the herd.

Wishing you all a healthy spring season!

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You can write Jim Winner via Facebook Messenger. Jim was featured along with fellow brother Larry Ahrens on the Widowers Journey Podcast #19. To listen, go to https://WidowersJourney.libsyn.com

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