I believe that “Widow Support Groups” are enormously comforting and helpful if you are talking to other widows who are struggling with the same issues.
Some widows are just not interested in face to face support groups. They prefer to connect online because they feel safer from their own homes. Find out what kind of support groups will work for you and then seek them out.
In the end, it’s really your responsibility to look for grief support – no one can do it for you. Seek out a group that makes you feel comfortable, and that may mean that groups for both men and women may not be for you.
It’s important for widows to understand that their life changes best when they match the changes to what fits their personality. Is it enough to honor each day, seek the beauty around us and do a gratitude journal? No – I wish it was that simple, but grief doesn’t have a simple fix.
We need to share our grief with others, to not only get their support but also to give support. All our relationships shifted when we started our grief journey, not as a couple but as a single person. It is almost as if living is new to us, and we need the support of others that have travelled this path.
I have a public Facebook group, but I also have a private Facebook group called “The Sisterhood of Widows – Private Group for Widows” that is currently over 11,000 widows from around the world. Widows support and encourage each other as they reinvent themselves and heal their broken hearts. It’s a safe place to stop running and face the reality of our new lives; the good, the bad and the ugly.
We need to be gentle with ourselves and accept that we are doing the best we can. At times, we will fall down and need another widow who listens and understands our pain. There is something about us widows, the feelings of desolation and loneliness that most people do not understand. It’s very difficult to describe or explain our grief to those that have not lost their spouse.
Our community has widows from their thirties to eighties and age doesn’t seem to matter. We have widowhood in common and it strengthens our community. I’m constantly impressed that every widow in our community understands the importance of listening, understanding and supporting each other.
We all have a grief journey to share, and everyone recognizes that it heals our broken heart when we feel normal and accepted.
Whatever “Widow Support Group” you choose, online or in person, make sure that you feel accepted and understood. Your feelings matter and you should never start wearing the mask of “I’m okay” so that others are comfortable around you.