Widows may slip into denial when their lives take a different path and they are on their own again. One major denial is that we are on our own and that we will sometimes need help. We assume responsibilities unnecessarily because we don’t want to admit that life has changed and we are finding it hard to be single without our husbands.
It is a heavy burden to be responsible for everything and if we aren’t careful we will slowly forget how to play. We may go from lack of play, to being starved of any joy, to feeling unsupported and unloved.
When we are in the denial stage, we refuse to hear what others suggest because we feel that they don’t understand. We may think, “It’s easy for you to say, but you still have your husband.” Denial is characterized by feeling unappreciated and trapped without options in a life you didn’t plan for.
Ironically, when we are in denial, we are our own worst enemy because we don’t seek help. When others offer to help, say “Yes” and share some of the responsibility. Family and friends hand us a gift by being there for us. They don’t know what to do but they want to help. You may not be able to hear their offer because you are thinking that you can do it all. Don’t deny them a chance to do something for you.
Widows tend to compound their problems by undervaluing the potential help others are willing to give. Slow down and look at the big picture. There were two of you and now there is only one – it’s o.k. to ask for and receive a little help.