Grief is experienced by widows from all walks of life.  Some have young children still to bring up and some are older left with an empty house. Some are financially secure and others are struggling with the loss of income. The lucky ones have the support of family and friends, while others are on their own.

Myths about Grief:

  • Time heals all wounds

  • Replace the loss

  • Grieve alone

  • Be strong for others

  • Bury your sad feelings

  • It was just God's will

  • You have to keep busy

Your feelings of grief are normal and natural.  The problem is that we have been socialized to believe that these feelings are abnormal and unnatural. People say you have to let go and move on in your life, but they don't tell you what you need to do to accomplish that.  The "Grief Recovery Method Outreach Program" not only makes that possible, but provides partnerships and guidance to ensure that it happens.

In the meantime:

Listen with your heart, not your head.  –  Allow all emotions to be expressed, without judgement, criticism or analysis.

Recognize that grief is emotional, not intellectual.  Avoid the trap of asking if someone is ok, for they will automatically say they are "Fine"

Never say "Don't feel sad" or "Don't be afraid".  These are two of the most common feelings we have to loss of any kind and are essential to being human.

 

 Tips  and Advice from the book “The Sisterhood of Widows"

Coping with loss is a deeply personal and unique experience that you have to go through.   The best thing you can do is to allow yourself to feel the grief and not hide from it.

  • Think and talk positive about yourself. Without a strong self-image, it’s hard to move forward. You need to focus on creating a healthy self-image of a person who can handle the loss and yet still let the world see the loving, caring, wonderful person you truly are.

  • Keep talking and expressing your feelings of anger, remorse, loneliness and sadness.

  • Writing in a journal will give you awareness on a conscious level of all the changes taking place in your life. At the end of six months go back and look through what has transpired in your day to day life. Write out positive affirmations for you to repeat every day. This positive self-talk will help to counteract the negative things. Example: “I am strong and can do anything that needs to be done.” Write your own script of what you want your life story to be from now on. If you don’t take on the job of creating your own life, who will?

  • Cry for your loss. Every day you can start over and don’t be too hard on yourself; it will get easier as you heal.

  • Memories will never leave you and there will be days that you will say; “If he knew what I was doing, he would be upset” or “If she could see me now, she would be laughing till she cried.” Let the memories flow to give you courage to move forward.

  • Take care of yourself physically and mentally with proper food, rest and exercise. If you don’t maintain your energy  it’s harder to cope and easier to fall into a state of depression.

  • When it’s the loss of a parent, you have to resist the temptation to rationalize it as “They lived a long life.” You suffered a significant loss so take time to properly grieve.

  • The death of a child is an impossible grief because parents expect to outlive their children. Children are supposed to live and keep the adventure of life alive for their parents. Hold onto your memories and treasure them by doing a scrapbook, a special garden spot, a memory candle or some other creative way just for you.

  • Stop to evaluate regrets and comments like, “Why is this happening to me?” The truth is that everything is not always a positive, uplifting experience. Your life will have its peaks and valleys as you travel along your path. There can be incredible healing in being able to let go and be open to new opportunities coming from unexpected sources. When you open yourself to changes new people will show up at just the right time to help you.

  • All changes occur in an instant. Making a decision one way or another gives you a clear course of action and the momentum of purpose. Not making decisions because it’s too difficult or too painful will lead to physical and emotional stress. Take that stress and use it as a catalyst to create something positive in your life.

  • Take the fear out of change. You have already faced the biggest change with the loss of your loved one. Nothing can be as bad, so challenge yourself to heal and live a full life. In due time, you will learn to let go of what you cannot control. Open your heart to the awareness that you are worth a lot to the world and in turn the world wants to give back to you. You are no longer the same person and you have the opportunity to do great things for yourself and others. A great thing can be as simple as being “the very best friend or grandparent” that a child could know.

  • Today relax and be present in your life. Make attempts to do something outside your comfort zone that will stretch your boundaries. It’s always easier to curse the darkness than to go after the light. Being responsible for the light, will access all the power you have within you and that is true healing.

12 Responses

  1. Rose
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    Anyone available to text and share on loss of spouse?

  2. Mary Francis
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    You can comment and share on the Facebook page for “The Sisterhood of Widows” You can also comment on any of the blog postings and you will find that the other widows that visit this site often contribute their ideas, tips and support. Take care, Mary Francis

  3. Marcia
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    Widow for 6 months. I feel like my husband just passed.

  4. Mary Francis
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    I’m sorry Marcia. It’s hard, very hard and time stands still at the beginning. Keep reaching out to others for support and reading all the positive resource material you can. Talk to others about your journey and healing will come when your ready. Take care of yourself, Mary Francis

  5. wlegerton
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    I’m having a difficult time. It’s been 2 years since losing my best friend my soulmate & the depression has taken over recently upon the announcement of my 1st grandbaby.

    I love where I live but my daughter is in another state, my home state. I fear giving up my home to move back & be a grandma. My daughter, her husband and his family are the only family I have as I have lost my siblings & parents, and now husband sister at 23, parents at 34 & 44, & husband at 49.

    Soni hear I sitvfeeling guilty for my feelings but also wondering if it’s because I’m hiding. I live on 10 acres away from the city w/little contact with others and limited friends. I’m afraid to let go of this home because it was us and he’s all around. I don’t feel close to anyone and feel a burden. I don’t know how to be there and want but just feel an outcast with my daughter’s new family. They are wonderful people I know it’s me I just don’t know how to be happy or just how to be.

    Now my daughter is having the baby shower on what would have been mine & my husband’s anniversary. I don’t know howntobtake that… She did ask if I would be ok, i guess was my answer. She trys to reach out i know because she asked if I would be ok. If he were here it would have been No. But know, I guess, is my best answer.

    Not sure how to feel.

    Any suggestions?

  6. Mary Francis
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    You will have your late husband with you no matter where you live because he is forever part of your past and your memories and you take that with you no matter where you go. It’s always scary to step out of our comfort zone but that is where we often grow stronger.

    The real question is – Do you want to be part of your grandchild’s life? Your answer will tell you what to do.

    Personally my first grandchild was born after Donnie’s death and I can’t imagine not having her to hold and love. You see, Donnie lives on through his grandchild and I wanted to be part of that.

    Only you can make this decision – please choose wisely. Wishing you the best as you move forward in your journey. Mary Francis

  7. Karen pedersen
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    Hello. My name is Karen, today is 4 years my husband has been gone. Is it normal to relive everything that happened? I have not slept. I am eating, I am with a friend. I just can’t shut my mind off.Am I over reacting?
    Thank you.

  8. Mary Francis
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    Dear Karen – By 4 years your mind should be finding some peace. I know that counselling is not for everyone but if you are still reliving everything that happened after 4 years I think you need to talk it all out with someone who is not personally involved. It helps to share your feelings so please find a safe place to do so. If not a professional counselor, church or senior group, then perhaps other widows who understand grieving. Hope this helps, Mary Francis

  9. Karen Payne
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    Hello, My name is Karen P. It has been 160 days since I lost my 2nd husband. On Saturday July 8th will be the anniversary of the death of my first husband. Yes that’s right I have lost 2 men in less than 15 years. Needless to say this week just drives it home that I am alone and that I have lost 2 men who loved me and took care of me. And 2 men who I have loved and cherished. I am not doing well but am doing what I have to get through each day. I think the thing that bothers me the most is all the people there at the time of his death now can’t even return a call or text. But I learned from mu first husband’s death….out of sight out of mind. Except mine. I have never felt so broken.

  10. Mary Francis
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    Hi Karen – Although you have lost two amazing men, it also highlights that you have been loved by two amazing men- what a blessing. Let yourself grieve and know that this may also bring back the grief from your first love. Your a strong woman and I sense that you will get back on your feet again. I know that your feeling broken and indeed your heart is broken. Let yourself heal and than go out of your way to meet some new friends, the kind that are there for the good, bad and ugly parts of life. Those friends are to be treasured and we find them when we are those kind of friends first to others. Take care of yourself because you are worth it. Mary Francis

  11. Debbie
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    I lost my husband of over 28 years in August of 2016. The roof also caved in on my home the same day and I lost everything instead of drawing me and my daughters closer together it seems to have separated us more I have one daughter that borrowed a lot of money and refuses to pay it back so I forgave her the amount of money she owed me my husband’s birthday was the 4th of July and we went down south to celebrate and go to his grave and then I find out on the 5th of July when the banks opened she stole over $300 from me so I feel like all that they want is what money I have I’m living with my oldest daughter her husband and my grandson and I think it’s going to be alright I’m just so tired of being tired and missing my husband… Debbie

  12. Mary Francis
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    Dear Debbie – I’m so sorry about your husband and also about your daughter. Sometimes we have to let negative people go out of our lives as they only pull us down and never care about anything but themselves. How blessed that you have another daughter with a family that loves and supports you as you progress your grief. Please don’t fall into a “victim” mindset. It’s so easy to focus on what is not right in our lives when things are looking so bleak but you have control over your future. Make decisions to get out of the house, make some new friends, try some hobbies and perhaps volunteer or join a church group. Fight “being tired” and in time you will get “sick and tired of being tired” and make some changes. Only you can do this, so please do it for yourself. When you become happier, healthier and more balanced you will be better able to handle family members that only want to take from you. Sincerely, Mary Francis

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