A Widows Grief Process

Take a close look at the emotions listed and understand that you may feel some or all of them.  These are all normal and healthy symptoms of the grief process and should be acknowledged.

  • Sadness – You may feel such a deep sadness that you never want to laugh again.
  • Confusion – You feel like you are losing your mind but confusion, memory loss and the inability to concentrate are caused by stress and are usually temporary.
  • Anger – It’s common to be angry with others and even with the person who has died.  It may be because the death was also the end of your dreams and future as you knew it.
  • Relief – If there was a long illness, you are probably mentally and physically worn out.  You are relieved it is finally over and they are no longer suffering.  This is quite normal and there is nothing to feel guilty about.
  • Loneliness – You may have the sudden “empty nest” experience and find evenings and weekends especially difficult.
  • 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.  There is no real solution to the pain of a lost child because parents will always have that pain of loss. Parents need to be aware of the stages of grief and try to prepare themselves for the emotional journey that they have ahead of them.

2 Responses

  1. Eileen Stutter
    | Reply

    Dearest Mary
    I am 56 and have been a widow since 28th January 2015.

    No one could have prepared me for what lied ahead that day, my Husband had always seemed fit and healthy, two weeks prior he developed flu symptoms and a persistent cough visited the GP was given a nasal spray, blood was taken and he was due to get results the day he died.
    We worked at HMP Wandsworth we had lunch together an hour later I received a call asking me to make my way to the centre, when I arrived I was told Dennis was poorly and was taken to the trauma room, he looked so pale and frightened paramedics were with him and said he was having an Heart attack, tears running down his face he said I’m sorry I said I love you your getting yourself in a state and making the readings wrong I rubbed his leg as it was the closest I could get to him, we were taken to an awaiting ambulance, I secured my seatbelt and we were about to go when I see my husbands head fall to one side he had gone into cardiac arrest 1hr and 40 minutes later he was pronounced dead.
    I had watched his clothes ripped from him CPR and defibulation to this day I relieve it like it was yesterday.
    We had a silly little argument during our lunch break and I feel so guilty.
    I have 3 children they are grown up and have children of there own, I was coping the only way I knew how, I through myself into work and kept myself busy, I told myself you have to be strong your children still need you.
    I would cry most days Driving to work, I had to pass the hospital he died in to get to work and then walk the path where the ambulance stood on entering the building.
    My husband had served as an officer in the establishment for 23 years his death had affected so many of his colleagues and prisoners alike. 600 colleagues attended the funeral and he was given full honours. Week later I returned to work, some would turn and walk the other way when they see me, some would cry some would ask why I was there others would ask how I was and say they admired me. Our 2 Daughters also worked there one had been in the service 18 years the other 11 They told me they couldn’t go back there.
    a week after the funeral we did return the 3 of us hand in hand.
    There would be laughter in a room when I walked in the laughter would stop, I enjoyed the work I done I put on a brave face till one day I set off to work I was driving past the hospital it was raining, on the radio they played a song one of mine and Dennis’s love songs, I sobbed Uncontrollably, I Parked my car outside the prison only this time it was different I didn’t want to wipe my eyes, I didn’t care who saw me like this, I walked into work tears running down my face the first person to greet me was an officer that had known Dennis for years he said are you ok come on you got to be strong and hugged me I said I’m fine, I’m strong on the outside but inside this is how I really am.
    I went with my emotions and decided to take a 2 year career break it seemed so right at the time.
    Going to work gave me a purpose at the same time it was just another way of hanging on to Dennis he somehow always made me feel I mattered. the children come round less and less none of them look back as they leave they have all told me they can’t bear seeing me standing alone, I See the pain in my children’s eyes and feel so helpless.
    I spent another day on the sofa unwashed and so so lonely wishing my life back the only life I know. I’ve been dreading January coming it is such a difficult time for me my Father passed away aged 41 on 19th January 1983 my Mum 04th January 2014 With in a year my husband Dennis on the 28th January I miss them so so much loosing Dennis is the hardest of all a big part of me died that day too. For the first time in weeks Today has been different, I logged on to your page, I listened to you, for the first time since that awful day I could relate to so much of what you said, our loss is so different but I actually felt that what I’ve exspirienced and the way I felt is a part of a journey that I and other widows must make too I cannot thank you enough somehow I don’t feel so frightened and alone, Yes I do matter.
    I truly believe that true love is everlasting and one day Den and I We will be together again.
    you have been such an inspiration thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    I will be in touch and let you know my progress
    Thank you
    Eileen

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      Dear Eileen
      I’m so proud of you for taking this turn in your grief journey – now leading you towards the healing you so desire.
      Dennis was incorrect on saying “you got to be strong”. He didn’t know any better and meant to comfort you but instead it caused you to wear the mask where you say “I’m fine….but inside this is how I really am”. Grief is messy and we shouldn’t try to hid from it.

      Take your time and check out all the resources on the website and perhaps the samples on the product pages will also be of some help. You have come to that point where – the pain of staying the same – has become greater then the pain of change. That is good, because it means you are ready to start healing. You are a strong lady and it’s time to take control of where you want to go – it’s your journey, make it count. Take care, Mary

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