My Work with Women
Added: Thu. Jan 17, 2008 4:16pm
Posted in: Living
One of the many stages of grief is the feeling of being deeply hurt. The person you loved has left you and you feel abandoned. For me, after the death of my husband, that feeling meant that for quite some time I felt very negative toward men. In my grief, I think I blamed all men for what had happened to me. So it was only natural that I would turn toward women for the nurturing and care that I needed. After all, a woman had not betrayed me as a man had done. Irrational I know, but during the early stages of grief there is much that is irrational. Given this feeling, the women’s movement became very important to me.
Because I had married so young and spent the late 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s raising four children I always felt like I had missed what must have been the very heady days of the early women's liberation movement – the events that made our society sit up and take notice of our value, the coming together as women who could make a difference, etc. I wanted to make up for lost time.
Wellfleet, MA in small cottages finding our inner voices through art, journaling and introspection - in Jamaica where we stayed in a wonderful guest house on the south coast of the island and spent the week finding the goddess in each of us. Every event I attended gave me the opportunity to bond with other women, to express myself through dance (I pretended I was Isadora Duncan), creativity and discussion.
I began going to women’s conferences, attended workshops, consciousness-raising groups and weekend get-aways. I spent time away with other women - in
As usual I threw myself into all these events, even helping to organize some of them. I was always eager to volunteer in the workshops and that eagerness led to a serious knee injury in one workshop. But I stayed on to the very end, not wanting to miss a beat!
Finally, from one of those conferences, a spirited older woman named Ruby came forward and offered to lead a small group at her home. Our focus was on growing older gracefully but we discussed every conceivable topic as it related to our sacred feminine. We met monthly for six years and that group did much to help me find my voice as a strong, single woman. They also encouraged me to return to school, and that support was very important to me. Along with all that, Ruby became a wonderful role model for me, something that had been missing in my life. We had a great time.
Florida and the group to the best of my knowledge is still meeting. Once I moved to New Hampshire I was not able to keep up with them. What I’ve done here in the Granite State, however, is to bring together a small group of women who want to work on wellness as we age. We’re all over 55 (most of us in our 60s), have some weight to loose and want to add more activity into our day. So we meet weekly – have been for a year now – email daily, and have all lost between 20 and 35 pounds.
Ruby now lives in
Oh…by the way…during these years, my feelings toward men changed as I came to terms with my grief, and I’m now happily remarried. Men aren’t so bad, after all!!
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