Civil War WidowShe was sitting in a noisy restaurant, surrounded by friends and family busily chattering away. She lost her husband several months ago. She just sat there, saying nothing. I recognized the Thousand Yard Stare on her face.

The term "Thousand Yard Stare" was probably coined in World War I. It describes the look in the eyes of a battle weary soldier or victim of post traumatic stress disorder.

Those who have suffered a devastating loss can suffer a similar reaction. They disassociate from the world around them. Maybe they are immersed in their own bubble of grief. Or they feel no connection to the "life" going on around them - seems irrelevant or unimportant. Maybe they are dazed by what has happened. Or perhaps the vacant numbness shields them from the pain. So they either withdraw, or don't have the energy to engage in social interactions.

I suppose I wore that same look for months after Doug died. My world had collapsed into a small sphere of obsession with Doug's death. My friends were very patient, but they must have tired of my inability to engage on any topic unrelated to loss.

My world is finally beginning to expand again, to accommodate the present, and life. But my heart ached for this widow who was just beginning the journey.





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