Although I am a nurse by trade, I am not compassionate by nature. Rather than displaying compassion, I am more prone to looking for lessons in circumstances. My desire to see someone learn through a difficult circumstance can be a real turnoff when that person is hurting and needs comfort. I am a widow. True to my nature, I have tried to look for lessons in this role and to pass on my findings to others.

Widowhood is a unique calling to leadership. Widows are so diverse, each bringing to the calling of widowhood the beautiful qualities seen in them before the loss, along with the additional character traits that have been honed during their moments of grief. “Grief is the pain of the mind, produced by loss, misfortune, injury, or evils of any kind; sorrow; regret. We experience grief when we lose a friend, when we incur loss, when we consider ourselves injured, and by sympathy, we feel grief at the misfortunes of others.” (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. )

“Pain of the mind” has its way of reducing us to bare emotions, to the core of who we are. Pain places ambiguous pressure on the very essence of our being, a pre-requisite for change. My pain and “the sympathy that helps us feel the misfortunes of others” is where I am being stretched through my loss. I am growing in compassion.

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