There are a few people on my grief journey I have found that are very inspiring, one of which is Michelle Steinke, the owner and blogger of One Fit Widow. I was moved by her raw honesty on her blogs and how she is inspiring other widows and widowers through her passion, fitness. She is an empowering figure and a true example on how to build your life back out of the ashes when you lose a spouse. Many of us who have lost loved ones use our experiences to help others through grief, trauma, and loss. Helping others is a form of therapy and healing. Shared experiences help us all to see we are not alone in this world and the things we experience in the aftermath of death are often universal. Which leads me to this post. Michelle has gained quite a following and has helped many, many souls who are in anguish over grief move forward in their lives. She has validated that we can all find love and happiness that we all are deserving of while remembering and honoring our loved ones who have passed on.
Michelle found herself the target of cruel yet commonly held thoughts by so many people who do not understand this collective experience that everyone at some point will go through. One of her articles was published on www.scarymommy.com entitled “I Won’t Return My Widow Membership Card”. So I challenge those who posted these heartless comments on “Scary Mommy” to some deep self-refection. Truly- the scariest of mommies ousted themselves by verbally roasting her like a witch in the town square. This visceral reaction she received is at the dark core of what happens to widows in society.
Michelle, you are doing an amazing service to humanity as a whole. I know they tied you to the stake here and I know it was so hurtful. But what you did here is expose the truth about how many people treat widows with their ignorant and hurtful attitudes. Inadvertently, you were able to bring this negative side to humanity to the surface and exposed the truth. Exposure of the dark side to our human natures needs to come to light so that we may all see what really happens and then work towards improving the understanding of grief. We as widows need to all allow this exposure to happen and to look at it as a means and a beginning to change these terrible social norms and expectations of how we live our lives. I am so sorry this happened to you but hopefully through your ability to rise up you can see what a huge benefit this was to all of us to give exposure to the cruel and senseless opinions and comments of these women. Sure, have a differing opinion. But try opening up your eyes and your heart just a little wider. If you can’t, then go back home to your imperfect life and your imperfect marriage and your imperfect kids and hope and pray you’re not next in line for the fire.
Holly C Barker