"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The American Widow Project

There's a very special website I'm proud to be a part of, the American Widow Project. The very name describes the content, however, I wouldn't be doing it justice if I didn't go a little further and tell you more about this wonderful website.

You can't begin to imagine the number of proud and courageous women who go there to share their personal stories about loving a soldier, a husband, and losing him, especially to war. They dig down deep, open their hearts, and reach out through writing to touch the souls of hundreds, maybe thousands, of other widows who also visit the site to read and share.  They all come away knowing they aren't alone.  We are never alone.

Like so many Vietnam and other veterans, these women know what it means to hurt and grieve. Pain is pain. It's a dead weight chained to the heart and dragged along behind you, sometimes for many years. Because of the American Widow's Project, so many women have found the blessing that comes with writing about their grief and pain -- the healing that begins to grow in the heart ...

The American Widow Project
Widow Wednesday
It's our honor to share this story of a Vietnam War Widow. We thank CJ Heck for helping to pave the way for this generation and for the sacrifice she and Douglas made ♥

[excerpt from Bride to Widow] "The worst day of my life was September 13, 1969. Actually, there was so much more than just that one day, but that’s the one day I can talk about, at least for right now ... There have been things that have happened since then, when I've said, "Yeah, this really hurts. It hurts like bloody hell ... but I will survive, because I can tell you something about what real hurt is ..." [CJ Heck]

** My heartfelt thanks goes out to the American Widow Project for everything they do, and have done. The following comments are just a few of the ones put on their Facebook page after the above announcement of my story on their website. These came from some of the women who read it and were kind enough to leave a comment.

Anne Wienkoop
God Bless the wives that have to endure this type of heartache...
Wednesday at 5:04 pm

Jennifer M Schultz
To say you inspire seems like a poor choice of words. But thank you for sharing and paving the way for those of us to follow. Thank you for keeping his memory alive. I hope that I too will be sharing my story as long as anyone will listen. ♥ I'm so sorry for the loss of your husband.
Wednesday at 5:15pm

Marianne Jackson
Thank you for sharing your beautiful story of unforgotten love...
Wednesday at 5:41pm

Karen Turner
I'm not a military widow, but was widowed suddenly 44 months ago. This part gave me goosebumps: "That day in 1969 was the worst day of my life, but it’s carried me through some other really bad times, too. There have been things that have happened since then, when I’ve said, “Yeah, this really hurts. It hurts like bloody hell ... but I will survive, because I can tell you something about what real hurt is ...” See, for the rest of your life, something like this becomes your yardstick for measuring heartache. You know nothing else can, or will ever, hurt you quite that bad again."
Wednesday at 6:05pm

Kristen Johnson
A beautiful story!
Wednesday at 6:32pm

Susan Lenkus Williams
Love the part at the end about stars shining down, really lovely. And yes, nothing else can hurt as bad as the day our loved one died. I am no longer scared of getting sick or dying just because I know he is there waiting. But I want it to be a long time from now when I see him because our children need me and I still have more to do!
Wednesday at 9:34pm · Unlike · 1 person

Jaime Tomon Gorten
That is so well-written and beautiful. Thank you for sharing. God bless all of you.
Thursday at 4:53pm

Val Nostdahl
I was married a few short years later, in 73, and well remember the base being called up to go to Vietnam and my spouse calling me at work, it was a bad day at work, got home and I was blessed, he told me it was called off, then he died later, after 33 years, your story gives me goosebumps, it could have been him, sometimes now I think of that often, just feeling still a bit of a loss, thank you for your story, you are extremely brave and courageous, I always think there should be a purple broken heart for widows of military...gbu.
Yesterday at 12:21am

Rameshnair Nair
Thank you for sharing Val Nostdahl!
Yesterday at 7:33am

CJ Heck
Thank you so sincerely for reading my story and for your outpouring of thoughtfulness, all of you. My heart goes out to those of you who also have loved and lost and I thank you for sharing your own stories. Your words give such comfort and I'm proud to call you sisters of war and sisters of my soul.

... and did I mention, they are proud ...

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to comment.