Surviving Widowhood

I’m a widow and I understand that you may feel like your life is over, that the tears will never end, that your heart will never feel again, and that surviving widowhood would take a miracle.

I learned thirteen years ago what reaching the bottom felt like, and I also learned that for me to get back on my feet I had to trust God.  I was a young widow at fifty and no one understood the tremendous pain, grief and devastation I felt.  No one understood my feelings of anger and depression – least of all me!

Perhaps you have already made progress in this journey, coming to the realization that widowhood sucks, but that it is survivable.  Or perhaps you are still caught under the weight of your grief.  You are empty inside… feel terminally ill and hopeless.

No matter how long you have been married, their death feels like the end of your dreams, your family and maybe even the end of your whole life.

The trick is to turn your focus outward.  Keep a schedule and routine so that your shock and grief doesn’t make your life so isolating and depressing.  No one can feel your pain for you, so don’t hold back from experiencing it.  If you hide from it, it’s going to still come out at some point.  It’s okay if you are angry, just don’t get stuck there.

Remember to do all you can to take care of yourself, physically, mentally and spiritually.  Try to keep comfortably busy, and stick to some kind of routine, because “widow fog” really does exist.  Note: Comfortably busy, means learning not to volunteer for everything that is asked of you.  Do what you want to do – it is your time.

Surround yourself with family and friends who can lovingly remind you of your self-worth.  You must take control of your life, because if you don’t, who will??

You will hear the birds sing again, and the sun will shine again.  I know that you’re in the thick of the grief storm right now, but remember you matter.

Widowhood is like being on a double highway with someone to share the journey with, and then all of a sudden you’re in the ditch and by yourself.  Sure you can get out of the ditch, but now you’re on a single lane highway, without a map, by yourself and with no idea what to do.  If you don’t want to be wandering aimlessly, you will have to reframe your life and create a new map.

Writing in your journal can be a powerful way to release difficult and painful emotions.  Bottling up all of your pain can keep it hidden from the outside world, but you wouldn’t be able to escape its impact on your life.

Consider yourself the story teller of your life, talk about your heroes, the dragons you struggle with and how you’re facing the loneliness of being single.  Write out your story on how you faced your despair and turned it into new found strengths.

Even on your “widowhood” journey I believe that written thoughts have the capacity to create and reframe your life.  True, our lives don’t look like what we had planned, but perhaps some new thoughts can help reduce our stress and gain a broader understanding of what we still have to be thankful for.

As always, let yourself grieve first and then you can start healing your broken heart.

#thesisterhoodofwidows

7 Responses

  1. Ann
    | Reply

    Thank You so much this is very helpful it will help me

  2. shirley
    | Reply

    Thank you! I’m glad you were my first read of the morning. Knowing you have walked in my shoes and not only survived but are thriving and giving back gives me such hope.

  3. Carolyn Crisher
    | Reply

    Mary Francis, I’m a widow of 1 year after 50 years of marriage. Living with daughter, son in law and 2 boys in virtual school. Haven’t been in a store in over a year cause of covid. So sad and depressed. Want any kind of life back. Can you address Covid loneliness?

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      I did a video to COVID widows on my YouTube channel that may be what you are looking for.

      I also did three blog posting for widows of covid-19 ( May 23, 2020 – April 21, 2020 – Jan 28, 2021 )

      Take care, Mary Francis

  4. Denise Ramirez
    | Reply

    Mary,
    This paragraph sums up my life since my husband was killed on a motorcycle in late July. Going to family wedding in Maui. I feel so alone, even though I will be with family. Just missing him.

    Widowhood is like being on a double highway with someone to share the journey with, and then all of a sudden you’re in the ditch and by yourself. Sure you can get out of the ditch, but now you’re on a single lane highway, without a map, by yourself and with no idea what to do. If you don’t want to be wandering aimlessly, you will have to reframe your life and create a new map.

  5. Julia Allen
    | Reply

    THANK YOU. I am a long, dark 6 years into widowhood. Trying to guide our 6 adult “children” through it, also… Not a smooth ride, to say the least.

  6. Dionne Smith
    | Reply

    This testimony is alot like mine….I find it so difficult to be around some friends gatherings where is people are so happy and I’m so broken..its going on 3 months and everything and every day is filled with tears,pain and heartache.. I’m fighting to be strong but I have children that need me and i feel like I’m letting them down..I try not to break down in front of them i cry in the shower scream when they are gone bit sometimes the waves get the best of me and the tears begin to flow..Im struggling dealing with my husband’s passing because he has been through so much with so many surgeries dialysis,double kidney removal, kidney transplant and to end up with covid-19 that took his life on 2/7/21
    My families world was turned upsidedown forever..
    Married 25 years and our anniversary is in April and I know that this is one of many special days that are going to be so rough ..I continue to praise God though my storm trusting and believing in him to continue to be with me minute by minute hour by hour day by day…
    I feel as if death do us part just wasn’t lobg enough

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