After Donnie died I struggled to find my way. There are periods in the life of a widow when you go through growing phases, and in order to do that, you need to be able to fail.
You have to sit back, regroup and rethink, because the future you had planned is forever gone. I didn’t know it then, but I was going through the phase of “keeping busy” so that I wouldn’t have to deal with my grief and a future without Donnie.
It was a frightening time and I didn’t have Donnie to settle me down. I realized that I had only myself to rely on, but I needed time to first heal my broken heart. Yes, I knew in my mind that I was going to have to pull myself out of my grief, but my heart wasn’t having anything to do with it.
A couple of years later I published my book, “The Sisterhood of Widows”. It was a changing point in my life – I finally found some peace. I think that’s what everyone hopes for, the chance to show off what you can do and become what you’re meant to be.
One of the things I’ve learned through my writing is that so much of what society tells us about grief, what our roles are, and what we’re supposed to be, just isn’t true.
Yes, it’s true that relationship are really important, but there are certain things family and friends cannot give you. They can’t give you peace, self-esteem and happiness.
We need instead to tell grievers that one of the most important things to strive for in life is to be your own person. Then and only then can you go forward without being needy and without looking for others to build up your self esteem.
So, going forward, it’s good to not give up on life – to have some busy work and social time with others. But be careful that you don’t become so busy that you’re using it to avoid your grief.