Darkest Before the Dawn

“It always seems darkest before the dawn.”  We’ve all heard that saying a thousand times, but it can be very true for widows.  The middle of the night can be the hardest hours when we are grieving.  It’s extremely hard when we feel all alone and the memories play themselves over and over in our mind.

Your self-worth may also take a hit, and you may feel terrible about yourself.  Grief can cause you to have a very negative attitude about life in general.  Depression can cause constant fatigue with a very low energy level so that you’re worn out – physically, emotionally and mentally.

I want to remind you of just how beautiful a person you are and that you need to fight your way through your grief, loneliness and the darkness before the dawn.

Here are a few tips to help you:

  • Do whatever it takes to laugh. Laughter lifts the gloom and it is truly the best medicine.


  • Go to your place of comfort. Allow yourself to be nurtured, comforted and taken care of by others.


  • Get a makeover. Nothing eats away at our self-esteem like grief.  Don’t wait any longer to get the nails, hair, or health you’ve always wanted.  Find a salon, visit a spa, set up that manicure, join a gym or hire a trainer.  Aim for a new style that is simple and as carefree as possible, so that you can look and feel good, even on the days when you lack the energy to do much beyond combing your hair.


  • Make yourself get dressed each day and keep an ongoing “to do” list. When you check items off your list, you will feel a sense of accomplishment.  You are doing it!!


  • Try not to be alone too much. Surround yourself with good, uplifting and positive people.  This is not the time to be hearing about the problems of others or being with toxic, drama people.


  • If you feel like you want to give up – get help. Call someone immediately who will help you.  Repeat the following to yourself, “I am enough, I will live and yes, I will laugh again.”

13 Responses

  1. Patti
    | Reply

    I do surround myself with laughter. (I always have). I just spent the weekend with my daughter, son in law & my grandkids. Out to dinner then a sleepover. I feel the most comfortable with my kids. My whole family live close by- thank God). They would actually have me move in with them (which is what I did in the beginning months after my husband died). But now it’s coming up to a year & I need to let them live their own lives. So I’ve been forcing myself to slowly reach out more to friends.
    I really have been doing all the things you suggest. Lunch with friends, hair cut & colored (I was letting the grey grow out- then decided NOT YET!), fun visits with my sisters, I actually do enjoy myself & laugh a lot .. it’s just going back home alone that really hits so hard. I’ve always loved my home of 40 years, but I see Nick in every room. It’s way too quiet & it was always filled with family, friends & a lot of love & laughing. I’m starting to consider selling. Now I have anxiety about that! But I am moving forward… very slowly. I just pray a lot & have faith that one day I will feel happy again.. or at least be ok.

  2. Kathleen
    | Reply

    Absolutely the nights are the worst for me. I just can’t sleep. I lost my husband of 47 years unexpectedly in July. I retired in March 2020 and we had so many plans. Loneliness is by far the hardest for me at night. I have never lived alone. Although I live in a great neighborhood with good neighbors all around, I don’t feel safe. I have a dog, an alarm system, and can protect myself, yet, I can’t sleep at night. Both daughters invited me to come live with them, but I’m not ready to do that either. I don’t know what I want. Yes, I do. I want my husband to be here and my life back.
    I try to stay busy during the day. Joined a couple of ladies groups on meetup app and we go to lunch. Most are widows or divorced. Having lunch with 3 dear friends today who have not been available for various reasons so I am excited about that. Prayers for all my sisters in widowhood. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to handle.

    • Patti
      | Reply

      I lost my love of 48 years last month. This is the hardest time I have ever experienced. I feel like a traveling gypsy; staying with my daughter or my sister. Sometimes I force myself to stay at home because I know I will have to, but I just miss him so. Praying for all those suffering like me.

      • Patti j
        | Reply

        My first 8 months I felt the same way. Traveling with my bag packed always. (I still keep it packed for weekends- I find that the hardest time. We were very social & always had plans). I felt very displaced always. I started slowly staying home a few days at a time. Now I’m coming up on a year, I’m still lonely at home, but I don’t cry as often & I keep myself busy every single day. Even if I am home all day alone I find a closet to clean or a friend to call. I’m starting to think of good times with Nick instead of his days of suffering, which makes me feel I’m moving forward although slowly. I can’t imagine feeling happy again, but everything I read & widows I talk to all say I will.. in time. I hold onto that & have faith I will. And I too, pray for all the widows everywhere. We are all a part of this nightmare together.
        Patti j

  3. maryannwidow
    | Reply

    I needed to be uplifted today!

  4. Gracie
    | Reply

    I am alone again after my daughter and I got covid. She lives 70 miles away and we didn’t give it to each other. But she came to stay with me for 6 days and we took care of each other. But now she left yesterday and once again I am alone. My hubby of 45 yrs passed in April, like Kathleen I have never been alone. I plan on moving back home in 2yrs to be around my family. May the Lord bless us all widows.

  5. Patti
    | Reply

    October 28th will be 1 year since my husband Nick died. Sometimes it scared me how happy we were together..
    I feel that I’ve been doing everything I can to move forward. I take care of myself.. dr checkups, exercise, I forced myself to finally meet with friends, I joined a bereavement group. My kids have been incredible & literally take care of me.. & although I love to be with them always, I had to limit it bc they have their own families & lives. I never want to be a burden for them. I’m 71 & have never lived alone in my life either. And that’s the part I don’t think I can ever get used to. The home I love has become a very lonely & sad place. I wake up at night just worrying about where I’m going? Do I sell my house, do I get a house with one of my kids, condo ? Then I just pray. I know it will work out .. I just have to believe that!! I’m so grateful for this place to come & share.

  6. Steph
    | Reply

    I too find the evenings the most difficult, my husband of 22 years passed suddenly in August. He was 65 and we had many plans too. He was my soulmate and best friend. Made me happier then anyone ever has. I find being with my children does help at times, then I need a little alone time, my dog was my husbands best Buddy and taking care of him makes me feel close to my husband. I know that the closeness and love my husband and I had is so very special and I do realize many Never have that! His love will carry me until we meet again. But this road we are on is difficult and I pray for all of the sisters who continue this journey daily. Thank you all for sharing. Much love and prayers.

  7. Catherine Edwardd
    | Reply

    Amen you find yourself living in yesterday when the sun shined so brightly, and laughter was every where. The small things u took for grant now becomes the strength to help you make it day to day. But love is a wonderful thing it just get stronger and stronger, I thank God for the love ❤️ of my life I pray for each of us as we grow to be what each of them want us to be. “My saying now is I am not a widow but a wife who’s husband got his wings.

    • Steph
      | Reply

      I love that saying <3 and it is very true

  8. mary samuels
    | Reply

    Today would have been our 42nd anniversary. He would bring me coffee and say “good morning beautiful.” Then he would say “Happy Anniversary, I would marry you all over again.” I will never hear that again. I know eventually I will start to heal, but now I am in agony. I know you all are going through the same pain and I wish you all love and heartsease.

  9. Mary
    | Reply

    I’m having the same puzzle as Patti above about where to live, and maybe I’m a little too preoccupied with it. I’ve actually had this house longer than I had my husband (30 years with the house, 23 with FA). For now it does seem sad and empty. And WAAAY too big for just me. I wish I could develop some “vision” of how to arrange my living situation for the future; I know it’s too soon to make decisions of that size, and in any case the real estate market is too crazy right now to take a risk on bad timing, but I can’t help thinking about it. I have no children, brothers, sisters, nieces or nephews. I wonder if I need some kind of “buddy system.” Do I think in terms of sharing a house with an old friend, or would that backfire? I just turned 60 so I’m certainly able to live alone…

    Sorry, just realised post not really on topic!

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      Hi Mary. Living on our own is a big adjustment no matter what kind of place you choose.

      I brought a condo and I love that there is no maintenance and it’s a security building.

      Take your time. It’s a big decision.

      Mary Francis

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