While expressing our grief openly is beneficial and necessary, there can be an excess of grief that can be damaging both psychologically and spiritually. It is possible for us to become so obsessed with our loss that we become overtaken with grief.
The sorrow we feel when our loved one dies and leaves us is real and painful, but there are factors that can stir up hope and shed light if we are willing to look for them.
We need to concentrate on the positive aspects surrounding us so that we don’t dwell only on the loss of our loved one.
Holding unto our sorrow will only perpetuate the pain and render it even more difficult to recapture any sense of a normal life. We should be careful that we are not trying to keep our grief alive to the point that we succumb to the negative view that grief is blocking us from living a life filled with fresh goals and enjoyment.
From whatever point of view it is approached, the lot of the widowed is anything but enviable. It is a lonely life that in most cases is not easily overcome. It is not morbid to face this reality as far too many spouses meet this dreaded crisis unprepared.
Perhaps some planning might have reduced the trauma of the experience, but no matter how we try to prepare ourselves there is still a shock when we are faced with the grim reality of death.
The dark reality is that our loved one is no longer here to love and be loved. Their companionship is not readily replaced and our early grief is inexpressible. We have a sense that the suffering and loneliness which can not be expressed must be borne alone.
Speaking from experience, I know that in the early days of bereavement, we receive a great deal of sympathy and support from those that are genuinely concerned about us. We receive many invitations out to meals, social events and friends drop in to visit. But life is hectic and these offers and visits decline as time passes.
We go out in the evening to attend a social function, but then we return to the lonely house – a daunting experience that does not seem to lessen as time passes.
What I learned as the years passed is that a widow need not succumb to the hopeless abandonment of life. She doesn’t need to forget her pass life once shared with her husband, but she does need to gain her own identity.
Awareness of life and having a measure of contentment – this comes from knowing that life must go on. The death of a loved one does not mean the end of all things and we must face reality if we want to survive.