Why come? I’ve struggled with this question as I’ve started reaching out to promote “Widows Anonymous.” Even as I personally felt the keen push to put this work up on the stage, I kept thinking, “that’s all fine and good, but why would anyone else want to come? Why would they want to sit and be all depressed?” I found myself trying to pretty it up with a happy ending, or focusing on the humor, basically looking for anything to make the topic a bit more palatable.
Then I realized that this is what we do with grief. In fact, this is what we do with anything that is hard or uncomfortable. And so, in sharing about this piece I had to sit with hard and uncomfortable and answer my own ‘why come’.
Because it hurts. Because we are human. Because there is something healing and immensely gratifying in letting ourselves feel. Because we spend most of our lives protected behind our masks and our walls, afraid to feel anything. But when we soften those barricades, allow ourselves to open to emotions, there is a sense of communion, of connection, of healing.
I wanted to create a space, a container, where we could do that, allow ourselves to love and ache, yearn and mourn, rage and tear. I wanted to create permission for us to feel it all, beyond just the sorrow, to the many layers, threads, dimensions that are loss.
Though the topic is widowhood, it is also about the great journey we undertake when we are cracked open by tragedy, broken apart by circumstances, and then must somehow find our way forward.
And finally, this piece is an honoring: of how deeply we can love, how deeply we will mourn, and yet somehow, still rise to meet another day. And with each rising, each tiny step taken, with each breath and sob, we find ourselves releasing, claiming, shifting, moving into who we are becoming.
With “Widows Anonymous” my great hope is that we will allow ourselves to be cracked open to feel, revel, commune in the glorious, terrifying, exhilarating thing that is the human experience. And when the lights go dark, and we leave the theater, that we will feel a little more connected, a little more grateful … for the life we have been given, and for the ones we have loved.
With that, I most humbly and gratefully invite you to attend “Widows Anonymous” this June at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. May it feed your soul.