Are You Living In The Dark?

To new widows life is dark and there seems little hope, it feels as if we are lost and can’t find our way.

Having lived in that darkness for a while, I decided one day that it was time to find a light so I could start travelling a new path.  Usually this light will come from books, articles or bits of advice.  At times it came from someone who made the extraordinary effort of getting involved in my life.

Help from others was not easy as most of the time I chased help away and made myself difficult to reach.  Experience has taught me that I should not ignore help.  As difficult as my grief was, I had to try to find some light.  I started to pick up a bit of information here and there, before I knew it some wisdom broke through the darkness and lead me by the hand towards the daylight.

Hopefully each of us will eventually face up to the task of finding our way to daylight.  Which way will you take?  Will you search on your own or seek guidance from books or ask for help from a friend, support group or counselor?

If your first attempt fails, will you have the courage to try again?  I hope so smiley

8 Responses

  1. Sharon
    | Reply

    Hubby died 2 weeks ago and right now I feel like staying away from people and they stay away from me. I want to crawl into a hole and close the cover on me. I'm just very depressed. 

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      It’s normal Sharon to not want to bother with others in the early days, weeks and months.  You are not depressed – you are grieving and hurting.  Grief is normal and has to have its time before you can begin to heal.  Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to bounce back as if nothing happened.  It’s perfectly okay to feel awful, lonely and sad – grief is all of that and more.  Reach out to others that have lost a loved one as they understand grief and can offer you some support and encouragement.   Take care, Mary Francis

  2. Terrie
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    My husband passed away March 2. We had been marrid for 34 years. I have never lived alone. Never done taxes. I had no idea where tax paper work was. Still no ides. I got vety sick for a month after his death. He died from a heart attack. We had to remove life support. I am so lost. I am facec with finding a less costly rental house. But I have a dog and cats. I do not want to lose my pets. Lost our 21 year old cat the week after hubby died. My heart hurts. So hard to go to work. Not at my best. T.J. 

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      Take control of your living conditions by asking around for an affordable rental that allows pets.  Be open to finding what you need by letting everyone know what your looking for.  Keep an eye on the local papers and bulletin boards in your area.  Don’t wait until you have to move, start looking now so you can keep the control in your hands.  Take care, Mary Francis

  3. Tina
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    Terrie, you have a small window of opportunity when people will ask if there is anything they can do to help you. Say YES to everyone of them.  Soon enough no-one will ask anymore if you are OK and if you need help.  

    Break your friends into two groups. The listening ones and the doing ones.

    The listening ones;  ask them to take you out for a coffee or a movie or a walk, ask them to do little jobs like pick up a script from the chemist, or post some letters for you.  Or help you with the wording for memorial plaques.  I found my my mother was the best listener, I could talk to her any time, day or night and she would always ,make me feel better about my situation and assure me I had the strength to deal with it.  Two years later, she still listens lovingly.

    The doing ones. They are pure gold.  You obviously need to move house.  Contact your friends and say.  I need to move house and I am finding this overwhelming.  Could you please come and help me for two hours on the weekend, so that I can pack up the kitchen, the laundry etc.  no-one will object to helping you for a couple of hours. Call your husbands friends and say, you know that shed out the back my husband stored everything in, well, that needs to be cleaned out.  Could you come and take it all somewhere for me. Make sure you have boxes, tape, wrapping paper, bins, bags, all laid out when they arrive and in no time at all, your house will be packed up.  This in NOT the time to sort anything.  Just pack everything up.

    Look for advertisements in your area, or ask at the church, for other widows who may want to share their home.  It is possible that a widow may want to keep a home she owns, but cannot afford this on her own.  You could be the solution to another widows problem.

    I am not sure where you work, but ask the accounts department if anyone could help you with your taxes.  Put a notice up in the lunchroom that says you would like help one weekend with the yard as you need to leave your house soon.  Your co-workers are probably avoiding asking, because they don't want to upset you at work, but they probably would love to help you in some way.  Offer to cook a BBQ lunch in return, or serve hotdogs, cookies and coffee.  Go buy donuts, anything, doesn't matter.

    My best friend is a doing person.  She didn't send flowers after my husband died.  She came to the funeral and then came around and cleaned my house, several times. She has helped pack and unpack so many boxes, we think we may use boxes instead of coffins when we die. The worst thing after  being widowed is the amount of friends you will eventually loose.  The best thing is that the people who are left.  In the meantime, make a list, make a coffee and start making those phone calls.  What you need to do is too big a job for a fractured, fragile person.  Life does get OK again, but it takes a long while.  You will be OK, but for now, use all the offers of help and support.

    Let me know how you go.  Much love and many blessings, Tina – Australia

    I have several MANTRAS that help.  The current one I say to myself  is:



    TODAY IS NOT THE DAY I AM GOING TO BREAK DOWN.). Look at your engagement ring or any other piece of jewellery your husband gave you and say these words.

  4. gina davis
    | Reply

    my husband passed away 8 weeks ago and i feel so alone and depressed i have never lived on my own before and i only have 2 friends she is in and out of a mental hospital and her hubby is at work avery day feel like i want to die most days because i feel so alone i do have a cat but she sleeeps her life away i need help i am only 44

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      My heart immediately hurts for you and my mind immediately went back to the cold, lonely and heartbreaking place where you are now.  I remember every detail of that place and I want you to know that you are not the only one who has felt that way.

      For all of you who’ve been there …

      For all of you who are there right now …

      You are not alone.

      You think that you cannot feel like this for one more moment …let alone for the next 20 years or more.  You want the pain to stop and it doesn’t matter who might be left behind or how it might affect them.  You may even think that they’ll be better off to be done with you and your grief.

      I get that.

      I understand that like I never, ever did … or could …“before”.

      You may not believe this but I want to tell you.

      You matter – Your existence matters.

      To not survive means leaving behind an emptiness that will shatter others into a million tiny pieces that can never be put together again.  They have already lost one of the most important people in their lives.  They cannot lose another. 

      No matter how distressed you are.

      No matter how much you are grieving each and every day.

      You Matter

      And … this is the most important thing I can tell you …

      You will not always feel this way.

      I promise.

      I hope that you can trust me.  Your days will not always be this dark.

      His death will not always be the first thought you have when you open your eyes in the morning.

      His absence will not always be the last thought you have before you fall asleep at night.

      Your pain will not always be this intense, this suffocating, this loss of all joy.

      Don’t turn the grief you feel against yourself.  Find a safe way to release your pain: call a friend, yell, cry, or turn to your faith. Some suicidal thoughts can be a natural symptom of grief but there is no need to act on them. If you fear that these thoughts are getting out of hand, seek professional help at once.

      Do whatever you can … whatever it takes …

      to help yourself breathe in life… because you matter.

      So just keep going – one breath at a time.

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