To truly heal is to allow yourself to be vulnerable, to face the pain you mask – sometimes unconsciously, and to wholeheartedly digest reality. What most people don’t realize is, as a widow you have to immediately go into survival mode. First with funeral arrangements, then finances, helping the children adjust, and the inevitable – going back to work. Following those immediate changes usually follows much larger changes that involve heavyhearted decisions and other unforeseen changes. Regardless the activity, survival mode can also be called ‘auto pilot’ because you are so numb by grief you aren’t truly coherent or processing your sadness, or anger, or anguish.
There is no time frame, the dust never truly settles. So how do I heal? It’s a choice. Every moment. Every day. It’s a choice to simply live. No, it’s not easy. Not all moments are happy moments. But not all moments are hard either— with time. Something will bring a smile, laughter, or peace. But even when the tears come, that’s part of healing too.
Widows don’t have a face. We don’t have a voice. We are neglected and overlooked. This is a secret society that no one wants to be apart of… but hopefully what I share will help you feel less alone.
You may have lost your spouse but you are not alone.
Written June 2015