So, I am a member of a few “clubs” these days.  “Clubs” I really hadn’t given much thought to before Bob’s death. Not that I wanted to become a member of some of them.  I’ve just been thrown in.  Others that I’m happy to be a part of.  Glad I am eligible for membership in a few. Some I’ve been in for years and I am appreciating them more and more.

The widows’ “club”.  Now that’s a “club” that I never wanted to join. It was such a foreign thought that I really didn’t know if it was widow or widower.  Now I know.   Membership comes at a very steep cost and being in the “club” is a constant reminder of my loss. It’s also a very very very big club.  Before, I never paid much attention but there surely are lots of us widows. We’re everywhere!

There is a benefit to hanging out with other widows. They recognize why you might be having a rough day on certain occasions, and they want to make sure you’re ok.  They don’t have to check with their husbands to see if they are free to spend time with you. When you do get together, you can talk for hours.  Usually about those husbands you both no longer have.  But your fellow widows’ “club” member cares and listens. 

And then there’s’ the Grief Support Group.  Oh man, I surely joined a sad “club” when I signed up for Grief Share.  I’m sure I can benefit but right now it’s a hard “club” to be part of. To discuss my loss and grief makes it all so real.  To listen to others as they discuss their loss and grief is heartbreaking. It feels like the air has been sucked out of the room and the other “club” members look as sad as I feel.  We have a common connection in this “club” and it’s not a “club” that any of us wanted to join.  Some are still in denial that they really are in this “club” and others would do anything to trade places with their loved one who passed away.  I feel a bond with all these people although our stories are all so different. We share one huge thing.  We miss someone terribly. 

Our facilitator asked us to commit to a minimum of three classes of the Grief Group before we decide to quit the “club”.  I’ve attended 4 times now, so I guess I’m committing to the entire 13-week program.  I wonder if I’ll be sad when it come to an end.  Will the “club” have cured me by then?  Will my grief be over?  I am sure I’ll still be somewhere plodding through the grief process, and I’ll miss the support of this “club”. Hopefully I’ll forge some new friendships with some of the other broken-hearted folks. Maybe we’ll form the after-grief support group “club”.

My Alzheimer’s/Dementia Support Group has turned into a huge part of my mental survival.  Now that’s a “club” you don’t want a membership in.  To have a loved one with Alzheimer’s/Dementia is a nightmare and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  Even if the “club” has been a great means of support for me, I wish I never had needed them.  I’m so glad that they are continuing to allow me and others who have lost our loved ones to still be members of the “club”.  Losing this “club” membership would be awful. I know that I couldn’t have dealt with Bob’s illness and death without the support of this “club”.  They get me.  They really get me.  

I was thrown out of another support group!  It was a caregiver’s support group and once you are no longer a caregiver, they don’t want you attending.  I was a bit shocked that I was being booted out of that “club”, but I guess they can’t hold my hand and coach me through life forever.  Even though I had benefited from that “club”, I guess it was time to move on.  One less “club” commitment since I am no longer meeting the entrance requirement.

Funny side note.  One of the women I met in the caregiver’s group has reached out to me and we are going to meet up and go to a Soccer Game this month. I’ve never met her in person as this was a “club” that met on Zoom.  I’m eager to meet her in person and I’m eager to attend my first professional National Women’s’ soccer match.  Maybe I’ll join a new “club” of soccer enthusiasts.  Go San Diego Wave!

Now let’s talk Jazzercise. Even though I am totally out of shape, the “club” of women at Jazzercise are wonderful and the crazy mix of the dancing, music, and sweating is great. What a great “club” to be in.  I’m grateful for the hour of time when I can step out of my head and just dance and have fun.  It’s a welcome diversion.  And who knows, I may be able to do a sit-up or a plank someday.

I’ve attended Bible Study Fellowship once a week for many years and I have to say that this “club” changed my life and matured my faith.  Learning the Bible with other Christian women is fantastic.  Just to make sure that I get all the bible and Christian fellowship that I need during this rough patch, I’ve joined a second women’s bible study at my church.  “Clubbing” with these Christian women in both of these bible study “clubs” is just what I need.  Luckily there’s no entrance requirements. Come as you are!

The best “club” that I have joined recently is the “club” of baptized believers! That’s a topic for an entire blog of its own but I can share that I LOVE being in this “club” and am thrilled beyond thrilled to have been obedient to God’s word.  I’m still riding a baptism high!

What other “clubs” am I in?  I’m in Bronco B.A.B.E.S. group (because of my new Bronco Sport but I don’t even know what B.A.B.E.S. stands for) and a Sisterhood Travel group (travel tours for solo women) on Facebook. I’m considering joining a writer’s guild or a memoir writing group.

I’m exploring who I am without Bob. Do I have a new identity separate now from being Bob’s wife?  Do I have a new purpose if it’s not being Bob’s caregiver?   Maybe I’m still the same Susan but I’m exploring and looking at other “clubs” to join.

Hope to run into you while I’m out clubbing!

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