Widows often ask me, “Do support groups work?” or “Will a support group help my grief?”
The answer is “Yes” – regardless of your background, age or circumstances, widows who joined a support group were able to heal faster. They felt less depressed and used less medication or alcohol to soften their feelings of sadness.
The more deeply you get involved in the group, the greater the signs of recovery. Widows become less anxious, have a greater sense of well-being and higher hope for their future.
As a widow, the greatest challenge is the struggle to become “single”. The support you receive from a group that encourages you to live for today is very important.
Your future as planned has been taken away from you when your spouse died, and it takes a long time to build a new future. At first you feel cheated because you expected to grow old together so it’s natural to need support.
“The Chicks Night Out” is an example of a support group for women who have lost a loved one. It’s not a formal meeting, but a place to share your journey. At first you may not feel like you need this group of people, but soon you will get more involved and get to know the other ladies.
Your new friends in the group will help you to get over your disappointment in your old friends, find joy in the present moment and make sense of the emotional journey of highs and lows.
Look around your home town and find a support group. Even though you don’t feel like it – give it a chance. If that group doesn’t feel right than go in search of another group. It doesn’t have to be a formal group but it should be a group of people that understand your sorrow.