What to Expect as a Widow

When you suddenly become a widow, you don’t know what to expect. Your world’s been turned upside down and nothing is as it should be. Even though you may think you’re going crazy, you’re not. You’re just a new widow and your life is forever changed.

Learning to expect the unexpected will help you get through this painful time, so here are a few tips:

• Expect people to say stupid things like – “You’ll meet someone new” or “I understand because I’m divorced and also single”. Just let these comments go as they aren’t worth your energy.

• Expect to break down in tears when you least expect it. Just the sight of a couple walking hand in hand can be enough to get the tears flowing.

• Expect to feel weak, strong, sad, happy, silly, guilty, lonely, tired, overwhelmed, and continuously unsettled.

• Expect friends to not know what to say or do. Therefore some drift away – the good ones come back.

• Give yourself permission to process your grief any way you need to.

• Expect that there will be times that you wished you were dead too.

• Expect the grief to always be this painful. – It won’t as in time you will learn how to manage it.

• Expect no one to truly understand your grief because each grief is personal, no two are alike.

• Expect that you will make.

• Realize that you are not alone and expect/ ask for help when you need it.

4 Responses

  1. Debbi
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    My husband passed 2 years ago and I kept hearing . You don’t have to be alone . Your still young . Go on the dating sites . I tried but could not do it . I just get sick to my stomach when I think about getting involved with someone else . I miss my husband , he was my best friend and accepted me as I am .

  2. Mary Francis
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    Debbi – the answer is simple, your not ready yet to date so wait till you are ready and not when others think you should be. Listen to your inner voice and let it guide you by instinct. Everyone is different and some are nervous but okay with dating after 2 years but for others, myself included, that was way to early for me. There is no magic time for grief or dating, so we all struggle to find what feels right for us. Good luck when you do make that step and always remember to listen to your instinct for what you want first. Mary Francis

  3. Janice B Berry
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    It’s been 19 months and 3 days and yes I went though all of your expectations and still am. The worst was my sister’s friend that was divorced saying she understood as she is also single. She is very good friends with her ex-husband and they recently went with family on a 2.5 hour car ride to a wedding and sat next to each other. I would have loved being divorced from my husband so I could at least see him and talk to him. I bit my tongue the whole time she talked of her trip, but ended up leaving the room.
    I was still feeling guilty that I was still alive and he was not. But after some serious thinking, I began to think I was questioning God, and did I not trust Him? So, I do not feel guilty anymore, and I do trust that it was God’s decision to take my husband and leave me. Recently at church my Pastor discussed questions that were asked and I thought they were so true:
    Why does God allow suffering?
    God’s purpose in allowing suffering:
    1. To test the strength of our faith.
    2. To produce humility.
    3. To give us kingdom purpose.
    4. To move our focus from the temporal to the eternal.
    I hope this helps other’s.
    Love your blog and thank you, you have helped me so much!

  4. Mary Francis
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    Thanks for sharing Janice. People do say stupid things but we need to forgive and forget because they just don’t get it, and if not widowed probably never will. Take care and thank you for the encouragement, Mary Francis

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