Grief is experienced by widows from all walks of life. Some have young children still to bring up and some are older left with an empty house. Some are financially secure and others are struggling with the loss of income. The lucky ones have the support of family and friends, while others are on their own.
Myths about Grief:
- Time heals all wounds
- Replace the loss
- Grieve alone
- Be strong for others
- Bury your sad feelings
- It was just God’s will
- You have to keep busy
Your feelings of grief are normal and natural. The problem is that we have been socialized to believe that these feelings are abnormal and unnatural. People say you have to let go and move on in your life, but they don’t tell you what you need to do to accomplish that. The “Grief Recovery Method Outreach Program” not only makes that possible, but provides partnerships and guidance to ensure that it happens.
In the meantime:
Listen with your heart, not your head. – Allow all emotions to be expressed, without judgement, criticism or analysis.
Recognize that grief is emotional, not intellectual. Avoid the trap of asking if someone is ok, for they will automatically say they are “Fine”
Never say “Don’t feel sad” or “Don’t be afraid”. These are two of the most common feelings we have to loss of any kind and are essential to being human.
Tips and Advice from the book “The Sisterhood of Widows”
Coping with loss is a deeply personal and unique experience that you have to go through. The best thing you can do is to allow yourself to feel the grief and not hide from it.
- Think and talk positive about yourself. Without a strong self-image, it’s hard to move forward. You need to focus on creating a healthy self-image of a person who can handle the loss and yet still let the world see the loving, caring, wonderful person you truly are.
- Keep talking and expressing your feelings of anger, remorse, loneliness and sadness.
- Writing in a journal will give you awareness on a conscious level of all the changes taking place in your life. At the end of six months go back and look through what has transpired in your day to day life. Write out positive affirmations for you to repeat every day. This positive self-talk will help to counteract the negative things. Example: “I am strong and can do anything that needs to be done.” Write your own script of what you want your life story to be from now on. If you don’t take on the job of creating your own life, who will?
- Cry for your loss. Every day you can start over and don’t be too hard on yourself; it will get easier as you heal.
- Memories will never leave you and there will be days that you will say; “If he knew what I was doing, he would be upset” or “If she could see me now, she would be laughing till she cried.” Let the memories flow to give you courage to move forward.
- Take care of yourself physically and mentally with proper food, rest and exercise. If you don’t maintain your energy it’s harder to cope and easier to fall into a state of depression.
- When it’s the loss of a parent, you have to resist the temptation to rationalize it as “They lived a long life.” You suffered a significant loss so take time to properly grieve.
- The death of a child is an impossible grief because parents expect to outlive their children. Children are supposed to live and keep the adventure of life alive for their parents. Hold onto your memories and treasure them by doing a scrapbook, a special garden spot, a memory candle or some other creative way just for you.
- Stop to evaluate regrets and comments like, “Why is this happening to me?” The truth is that everything is not always a positive, uplifting experience. Your life will have its peaks and valleys as you travel along your path. There can be incredible healing in being able to let go and be open to new opportunities coming from unexpected sources. When you open yourself to changes new people will show up at just the right time to help you.
- All changes occur in an instant. Making a decision one way or another gives you a clear course of action and the momentum of purpose. Not making decisions because it’s too difficult or too painful will lead to physical and emotional stress. Take that stress and use it as a catalyst to create something positive in your life.
- Take the fear out of change. You have already faced the biggest change with the loss of your loved one. Nothing can be as bad, so challenge yourself to heal and live a full life. In due time, you will learn to let go of what you cannot control. Open your heart to the awareness that you are worth a lot to the world and in turn the world wants to give back to you. You are no longer the same person and you have the opportunity to do great things for yourself and others. A great thing can be as simple as being “the very best friend or grandparent” that a child could know.
- Today relax and be present in your life. Make attempts to do something outside your comfort zone that will stretch your boundaries. It’s always easier to curse the darkness than to go after the light. Being responsible for the light, will access all the power you have within you and that is true healing.