To “survive” as per the dictionary means “to live after the death of another person: to continue, endure; to come through alive”. I think that surviving as a widow is more than just “coming through alive”. It’s a part of our journey, but shouldn’t define our whole journey.
You’re grieving and it wants to take over your life, but you have to be strong enough to stand up and fight for a full life with family and friends.
Join groups, volunteer, find your passion, help others, and just go for it. Don’t focus on regrets or feel bad that you are alive and they aren’t. Be a survivor in more than body – be a survivor in your heart and soul.
When your loved one died, you had no choice but to grieve it because you were not in a position of control. Maybe others around you took over and although they were trying to help, again you felt that you were not in control, and maybe it didn’t matter because you were deeply grieving.
But time has passed and slowly you survived and your broken heart started to heal. You need to regain your sense of control so that you can balance your life.
Start writing down all the things you are responsible for. Say, “I choose” to do this. There is something about saying the words “I choose” that shows you have survived.
Before you know it your list of things is done and they are done on your time schedule. Take control because you know yourself better than anyone else.
If you deny your feelings of grief, they may fester inside of you and take a toll on your physical and mental health. We survive because we look honestly at our own behavior and take responsibility for the choices we make.
There is nothing you and I can do about our past. It’s gone, but we can do a great deal about our future. Give yourself the chance to not only survive, but to become ALL that you can be.
Mary Francis, The Sisterhood of Widows
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