A Widow’s World – Victim or Survivor

The longer I’m a widow, the less interested I am in “the cold hard truth”, and the more interested I become in the way we see that “cold hard truth”.

The truth is not so much what happened, but how we perceived it. That perception, ultimately, makes us either a victim or a survivor.

That’s not to say that we shouldn’t have our time of grieving – because that is normal and necessary to our healing. There are times in life when we must be open to the pain and deal with it. Without a doubt, grief is important.

But the exact same circumstances in life can turn out completely different responses. We are not always in control of our fate, but how we interpret our lives is totally in our control.

We are all different, composed of all the weird and wonderful parts that make us unique. If we try to see things only through our eyes than we miss what matters most, the person behind those “cold hard truths”. That is why it’s important not to judge others.

As a widow it’s a full time job to watch my own journey – victim and survivor days, both come and go.

My best advice is to try to see things with the kindest interpretation, striving to see a more beautiful world when everything seems to be falling apart around us. If you do that, I promise that grieving will make you a survivor and not a victim.

5 Responses

  1. Bonnie

    Thank you. Nearing a year as a widow, last week was our 28 wedding anniversary. I need to remind myself daily to look for blessings, to discover who I am.

  2. Carol J.

    Your emails have truly helped me over the past 11 months since my husband passed. Your use of the word “victim” struck a chord with me. I realized a couple of months ago that my reaction to my circumstance was that of a victim and I needed to take control. Again, thank you for your many words of wisdom and encouragement.

  3. Mary Francis

    Hi Carol – I also felt like a victim because I felt robbed of my retirement years and all the things we had worked so hard for but never got to do. But it is a journey and over the years I survived and learned that life still has many blessings – my grandchildren being one, but also my family and good friends to laugh and travel with. This didn’t come easy but I’ve learned to be at peace with what I still have. Take care, Mary Francis

  4. Rosemary

    Victimhood is not an appropriate label for widowhood. The death of a loved one is a constant companion, we didn’t choose this road but we are there walking on it. Some with a heavier rucksack than others. We are all getting on with it. We accept it because we have no choice. Like it or not some cope with it better than others. I don’t think victimhood is an appropriate choice of words. That’s just my opinion & I’m OK with people who disagree.

  5. Mary Francis

    Hi Rosemary – I hear what your saying. We are not victims and shouldn’t think of ourselves as victims because that gets in the way of healing our broken hearts. Thanks for joining in the discussion. Mary Francis

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