The leader of a bereavement group I joined 6 years ago had been widowed 17 years.  At that time, I had been widowed about 3 months. As 15 of us sat in a circle one evening toward the end of our 6 week, once-a-week meeting session at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, she announced that she was no longer sad.  She said the void left by her husband’s death had been filled by many friends and family members.

I listened very skeptically and wondered how that could ever be true for me.  It is slowly coming true.

I have made many new friends in the past 6 years whom I’ve met traveling, in classes and programs I’ve taken, as part of organizations I’ve joined and who are neighbors.  I have also renewed friendships from high school and college which have since deepened as we confront our years as senior citizens.

In an earlier post I mentioned The Transition Network ( as being particularly helpful in my effort to fill that large void left by my husband’s death.  The organization functions to help women over 50 deal with life’s transitions, whether they have become widows, or are experiencing a divorce, a job change or a physical move.  There is a chapter in New York City with about 500 women which offers different peer groups and special interest groups.  There are also chapters in other parts of the United States as well.

I am in 4 different peer groups or special interest groups and have become acquainted with about 60-70 women. Among the nicest aspects of these groups is the opportunity to find friends with whom to have lunch or dinner, see a movie, go to the opera or see a play.  I have a theater subscription this fall to see 3 plays that 5 other women are going to as well.  I also have an opera subscription to see 3 operas with another group of women.  And opportunities to go to see a movie or have dinner are plentiful.  One person in a group may send out an email asking if anyone is interested in seeing a particular movie on a particular day.  That almost always results in company.

Tonight, 3 of us from one of my groups are going to see “Grandma” and have dinner afterwards.  It should be a lovely evening and I’m very much looking forward to it.