A Widows Checklist – How Are You Doing?

Please answer these questions honestly and consider how far you have come in your grief journey:

• I have given myself permission to grieve when I need to.
• I am expressing my grief and not burying it inside me.
• I have more physical and emotional energy than I did at the start.
• I am not as depressed and I can concentrate.
• I no longer feel like crying most of the time.
• I can control my emotional moods.
• I can sleep all night without taking any sleep aids.
• My appetite is back to normal and my weight has stabilized.
• I no longer go mindlessly through my day.
• I have outgrown the feeling that I am losing my mind.
• I am beginning to be more sociable.
• I feel emotionally alive rather than emotionally dead.
• I understand the grief process and the stages of grief.
• I know that I need to grieve and I’m comfortable talking about my feelings.

You need to work through your grief and I hope that you were able to check off some items on the above list. It is a long journey and it does take time but women are amazing and we get there with the help of our family and friends.

6 Responses

  1. Dianne Moore
    | Reply

    My husband died suddenly 5 months ago and was only 60 years old. All I can say is that widowhood “sucks”. In addition to taking care of daily life details, I have to also deal with insomnia. Most days I live on 2-4 hrs of sleep. Sleep aids have proven useless and usually act like a stimulant. I have found myself lying to my daughter about the amount of sleep I do get so she won’t worry. I hope this passes soon.

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      It’s common to have sleep problem after the death of a loved one. In fact we have it hard as some of us also are facing hot flashes and night sweats which only add to our lack of sleep. I found that taking a hot bath and reading before bed helped. After several nights of no sleep I sometimes take a Tylenol PM. Sleep is the hardest thing to get back when you are grieving. We need our sleep to heal and it helps to just talk about all that’s going on in our lives to take some pressure off. Take care, Mary Francis

  2. Jan Thomas
    | Reply

    My husband and best friend of 36 years went missing while hiking in his beloved mountains in June. His body has not been found by numerous searches. Knowing that he died where he would have wanted is a comfort. It’s as if he went on his biggest adventure yet. The not knowing what happened is hard. But knowing that his spirit if free to climb all those unclimbed mountains and to swim in the oceans helps. I miss him terribly. My daughters and I decided not to host thanksgiving this year as we can’t bear to keep the tradition. We all have our new life without him now. I am so grateful for the love we shared. He loved me for the rest of his life. And I’ll love him for the rest of mine.

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      Sorry Jan for your loss. You have such a strong spirit and understanding that in grief it’s more healing to be grateful for what “we shared” than to totally focus on what we no longer have. Take care of yourself and have some peace in knowing that you were well loved.

      Mary Francis

  3. Wendy
    | Reply

    My husband died suddenly in June…he crashed his truck less than a mile from our house. My daughter and I drove by and saw it. I relive it every single day. I drive by his crash site and I’m stuck. I have the police officer’s face imprinted on my mind and I see it every. single. day. I’m only 47 and we were supposed to have decades left. I was surrounded by people right away but now they’ve all gone back to their lives- I think it’s too hard for them to think about, talk about, deal with. I feel alone and sad most of the time. I cry ALL the time. If I’m not sad, I’m angry. I miss my husband. I just want to fast forward through the holiday season to January 1st. I want 2016 to be over with. I think about him all the time. I don’t dream about him at all. Is that normal? I thought I would dream of him. -Wendy

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      Dear Wendy – first let me tell you now sorry I am that you have to see the accident scene every day. Not all people see their loved ones in dreams, in fact only a small percentage do. I don’t think that there is a “normal” when it comes to grief. We all have a journey to travel and it’s very personal to us. It’s okay to be sad, angry and lonely – why won’t you be? You don’t have to apologies for your grief – let it have its time and then the healing will come. Don’t expect to move forward easy or fast, it is a journey and we have to do it so we can heal. Take time to research about not only grief but also about creating a more positive future – too hard to think about right now, but it will come. There is a lot of free articles on the website under “Just for You” on the side bar. The holidays are hard, there is no denying it. Just do your best, one day at a time. Mary Francis

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