Grief doesn’t come in nice, discrete stages – it often comes in waves and I’ve found that with the passage of time, the waves don’t last as long or reach as high.
But there are still times when they come washing over me and I found this last month hard to handle. It has been over five years since Donnie died but on his birthday he would have been fifty-eight years old.
All our plans for retirement, enjoying the cottage and travelling died with Donnie. We lose so much when our husbands die and it takes time and effort to get back on track.
We need to grieve but after the tears and shock we are faced with confronting a life that is strange – a non-couple, single again life.
We need to find support that understands our confusion and pain – change our way of thinking and expand our horizons. It sounds easy but it’s not!
I looked after my grandchildren this past weekend while their parents were away. While doing their laundry I wondered if my son wore the same size pants as his father. Silly, isn’t it – the thoughts that pop into our minds. But while folding the laundry I couldn’t resist looking at my son’s pant size. And there it was – he wore the same size as his father. Such a silly and unimportant fact and yet it was important for me to know.
Birthday’s, holidays and anniversaries will come and go but grief can still be overwhelming as you realize that all your dreams and plans have been totally wiped out, never to come true in the ways you had imagined. I felt that Donnie was always going to be the other half of what made me feel whole and it took me a while to feel complete again.
Dealing with the loss of your spouse is a process that takes time. Grieving also takes hard work to find your bearings again and to feel like you are a valuable, though single, person. But if you continue to put forth the effort and give yourself time, you will eventually heal and find your way.
Feelings are a big part of what makes you a distinct person. Coupled with your thoughts, beliefs, and values, they contribute to your uniqueness. What you feel isn’t right or wrong, good or bad – Feeling just are.
Your feelings will change over time, especially as you begin to work through them and create new thoughts and behaviors. Grief doesn’t go away on its own; it needs to be dealt with openly and honestly.