I would agree with the fact that the death of a spouse is at the top of the list of the most stressful events we might ever go through. Like the author of the source post for this post, I lost my husband too soon. As many who have followed our story know, he died of cancer, he was only 45, I was 51, and it has changed my life and that of our children in every way imaginable.
As I muddle through each day trying to grasp just a little normalcy in it, feeling like Im getting everything wrong even when I know that’s not true … the pit in my stomach as I wake each morning is like a blackhole as I remember he isn’t here anymore — it’s a groundhog day merry-go-round that’s difficult to get off.
Getting off, however, is a choice only I can make. I am more fortunate than most and have a support system of close family and friends who have and continue to circle their wagons around the kids and me. Sadly not everyone has that. If you are experiencing grief and have nowhere to turn, start with your GP. She (or he) should be able to supply you with many options locally where you can find the help and guidance you need. Even if it’s just someone professionally trained to listen. I highly recommend some grief counselling. An ear that hears and a shoulder to lean on is a good start to help you take your first tentative steps forward.
Heartbreakingly in the 6 short months since losing my husband, far to many others in our small community (and the wider world) have also lost loved ones, and are facing their grief, many also trying to guide those closest to them through theirs.
Be kind to yourself and do what you need to do to get through the day, keep in mind that the coping choices we make that seem to be the easiest aren’t always in the long run. And after losing someone you love … the run is long. (a glass of wine that turns into a bottle will do nothing but leave you with a terrible hangover no matter how attractive numbing the pain within a numb body and mind may seem at the time.)
I have no advice to give on how to manage the grief you are experiencing, I know you have probably received more than you know what to do with. I do have a couple of tools I use though, that I am happy to share.
- I breathe. Especially when things get tough. In for 4 out for 4
- I set my intention every day even if I don’t follow through – I keep practicing: Just for today I will not Anger or worry … I will be kind, I will honour myself and others, I will work hard at all the things I need to work hard at.
- I focus on honouring my husband in how I deal with his loss. I would not have held him back in life and refuse to in his afterlife by tying him to my grief. I know if we are happy down here he is up there and he deserves to be happy and peaceful.
- I only surround myself and our children with loving and kind people who have our best interests at heart. Now is not the time to spend with anyone that doesn’t bring a genuine, happy vibe to our lives.
Time doesn’t heal all wounds, and as I write that I understand my grief has only travelled a short distance to this point. All I know is that missing someone you love doesn’t change…I will always miss my husband, having said that I know nothing will make him happier than watching our children and me live a wonderful life. And that I can do for him … no matter how hard it will be to do without him, because I love him, truly, madly … deeply.
These are 5 things I found to be true after being widowed:
- I am strong
- I am capable
- I am supported
- I am loved
- I am going to be OK