My Life Didn’t End

Everyone gave me the same advice “You need to get more balance in your life and learn to rest more, have more fun.”  I had just become a widow and my life didn’t end when Donnie died, but I needed to find out how to live without him.

That may sound easy, but it isn’t.  To me, as a recent widow, balance was out of reach.  It was only after I had weathered the first hard years of widowhood that I could see how out of balance my life really was.

How easily I would say yes to work, remodeling a house and doing projects, but I rarely said yes to myself.  I didn’t relax or make time to exercise.  I kept so busy that I seldom went out with friends.

The ridiculous thing was that I was the one in control.  I was the one who believed I didn’t have enough time or energy to focus on my needs.  The real problem was that I hadn’t decided whether I deserved to enjoy my life.

I began to look at the ways I had shut down when Donnie died.  I’d been so consumed with healing my pain that I had left minimal space for rebuilding my life just for me.  Now I make a daily effort to take care of myself and feel good about it.

Don’t put your life on hold while you “self-improve”, take steps today.  Find people who will help you to rediscover the parts of yourself that were lost in grief.

Yes, grieving is hard and emotional healing comes in waves.  Some days you won’t be able to name one good thing in your life, other days seem to dance with promise.

Mental stimulation is something we neglect as we grieve.  We simply did not have the energy for anything new.  But we need to heal and become eager to learn again.

You have to take time for just you.  You may need to develop new friendships, hobbies or even romance.  Search your heart and you may find a piece of yourself you thought you had lost.

In your life it will take a certain amount of introspection to determine what makes you feel good, what is interesting, and what is fun for you.  Once you know, make a deal with yourself to do something about it.  Just taking one positive step forward, puts you back in control.

8 Responses

  1. shirley burke
    | Reply

    When my husband was dying last year he told me to make sure i put one step in front of the other. 3 weeks after he died came the pandemic. When he retired 3 years ago we moved to a new location in a private area on 2 acres. I don’t know many people and of course the pandemic didn’t help. Haven’t seen family in over a year. I don’t think they care too much but that could be depression talking as I know their lives have also changed. I really don’t care to live. I feel as though it’s the right time to leave and I wish God would take me. I won’t kill myself but i’m sure ready to leave. I miss him with all my heart.

    • Diane
      | Reply

      Hi Shirley, I am so sorry for your loss and the grief you are living. Moving on is certainly not easy, I hope slowly you can make baby steps towards it. You probably live in a wonderful area,although somewhat secluded, are you able to take a ride to a local park so you can take a walk and meet people, even if you don’t know them, most people will talk if you talk first. I try to talk to everyone with a dog, it is an easy wayto start a conversation.
      When we are allowed to be more social I will join clubs in activities I enjoy, for me line dancing, playing cards and rejoining friends over latte and scone. Good luck, please look forward to the summer coming.

      • shirley
        | Reply

        Diane, Thank you so much for your response, it meant so much.
        I think I know what I need to do to move on it’s just that I don’t do it. I know it’s depression. I feel ashamed that a year later I’m still depressed. We have 2 dogs so I have no excuse for not taking them for walks. Because I have property I can just let them outside but I also know they would enjoy a walk as that’s what we used to do all the time until this move. I keep saying I’m going to try harder and then I don’t do anything about it.
        I’m happy you are looking forward to the summer. Hoping it’s a good one for you.
        Thank you again for reaching out. Shirley

  2. Krissa Lopez
    | Reply

    Thank you. My husband died in August and I’m having a terrible time moving ahead.

    • shirley burke
      | Reply

      My heart truly goes out to you. I wish I knew how to move on and I wish that for you. I never knew anything that hurt this much.
      Never thought a year later that I would not have moved on. I wish you joy. Shirley

  3. Naomi Charneco
    | Reply

    Moving ahead is very hard. I have been reading this blog and I come away learning that I never put myself first and loving myself first. I am 68 and lived all my life thinking this way. Well to move forward I need to love me first and after 68 yrs that is extremely difficult to do.

    • Shirley
      | Reply

      Hi Naomi,
      Moving ahead is very hard. I’m sorry you are going through this too. I’m 72 and we were married 50 years. We certainly had our share of struggles but I always knew how much he loved me and I knew when things were bad I could always count on him. So he not only was someone I loved so much he was my very best friend. I think I miss my friend the most. I’m mad at myself for not do better than I am doing. It feels like after a year I should be doing better. Kind of ashamed as though I’m not trying hard enough. I’m so tired of feeling sad.
      Hope things get easier for you.

  4. Arlyn
    | Reply

    My husband of 44years died after a surgery where he was suppose to be home in five days. My family came in but I just wanted to be alone. He passed 1/27/2021. My birthday was 1/29. I’m struggling but I will make it. So will you. God loves us. Arlyn

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