Pathfinder: A Companion Guide for the Widow(er)’s Journey
I hope you like the name of this magazine. It was just as difficult as it was to name a child. Here’s how we came up with the final choice.
Pathfinder describes the seeking activity that engages our minds now. It implies that there are many paths available to us, and that we have the opportunity to make choices. It is a non-judgmental term, as different paths will be right for each one of us. Paths also diverge and intersect, providing more choices as we move along. Some of us prefer an easy, well-worn path that provides comfort and security. Others of us seek paths that climb rock strewn hills that lead above the tree line. Some of our paths are well marked on a map, and others require some trust in our ability to find our way. There are times for the easy paths, and times for the challenges. We are free to explore them all.
Companion derives from the Latin, com (with), and panis (bread). Breaking bread together is symbolic of friendship and camaraderie. What we need as we explore the pathways is nourishment of body and spirit. The recipe section in this issue plans a luncheon for a few friends. We hope you enjoy some time with old friends or new ones. For the next hour or so as you read this issue, know that we are very pleased to be your companion. None of us can make it alone, but together we have a very good chance.
A Guide is not an authority figure, but is a knowledgeable person who can provide information that will help us to reach our destination. A guide helps us to prepare for anticipated events. A guide might warn us of possible dangers along the way, and teach strategies for dealing with them. But a guide also points out the small and beautiful things that we may be able to observe along the way. Our guides are the widow/ers who have gone before us, and our story about Paul Formica in this issue tells of his way.
The Widow/er is the intended audience for this magazine. All of us hate the word, as it tends to imply sadness and weakness. And though we may feel sad and weak from time to time, it’s not a place we want to stay. Nor do we wish to be defined in that manner. Nevertheless, our language has not yet developed a better word for this stage.
Journey is a great descriptive term for the next stage of our life. The term implies a long adventure, with lots of interesting options. There are difficulties to be managed. There may be some fatigue and discouragement. But also on a journey, we meet interesting people who expose us to new ideas. We see new places and we try new experiences. We learn and we grow.
I hope that this magazine serves as an inspiration to us all, to explore the paths that are available. I hope that you find us to be good companions along the way. The people we feature can serve as guides, as they have walked some of the paths. And though as widower/ers we journey alone in many ways, we can also be in community with one another.
This issue focuses on friendship, on the Companion aspect of our name. You’ll find recipes to help with entertaining at home. You’ll read about friendship from Gunilla Norris. I encourage you this month to make your friendships a priority.
All the Best,
Joanne Z Moore