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Gwen Suesse
Notes from Planet Widow
Gwen Suesse, author
Planet Widow: Finding My Way After Loss is the story of how a grieving woman painstakingly found her way through the alien territory of widowhood. Life was rolling along largely in the way my husband and I expected it would. Ups and downs here and there, for sure, but basically on a mostly predictable trajectory. But on an August day I will never forget, our normalcy vaporized with the sudden death of my beloved husband. Boom! Without warning, I landed on Planet Widow, an utterly barren landscape with no roads, no buildings, no people, no trees, no anything in sight – only total desolation with mind-bending disorientation and soul-piercing heartache as my sole companions. I had no vision of what life could look like in such a place. Slowly, however—oh, so agonizingly slowly—a landscape began to take shape. Signposts came into focus to reveal a path forward. Insights built on each other to form a trail of breadcrumbs that I used to hold myself together as I learned a new way of being. Planet Widow is a story of rebirth, describing the trail of insights that knit themselves together to restore my sense of wholeness within an altered context. While I couldn’t totally eradicate grief, I could learn profound lessons from it. Finding the courage to be open to it as a fierce teacher, I slowly lived my way into a new realization of self that includes grief, transforming disorientation into grounding and a measure of peace.