It’s inevitable that we will all come to lose someone we love dearly, and our world can feel shattered and never the same again. It’s possible that such changes can eventually be positive and self-accepting life affirming ones. — BadWitch
Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…
Dear GWBW — I lost my husband a few years ago. I haven’t gotten over it and no one understands my deep, deep grief. I know I’m not the only one who’s lost her husband, but mine did everything for me and now I am completely alone in the world. Even my kids can’t console me. Sometimes I just want to die and get it over with. My doctor already has me on some middle dosage depression meds for years, this isn’t new, but it’s worse than ever. — Lost Will
Dear Lost Will,
As you’ve already experienced, depression is a complex and highly individual disorder you should continue to monitor with your doctor. Its causes can be physical, neurological, hormonal. Grief is an interesting animal, and a response to an emotion (usually sadness resulting from loss). Being a response, it isn’t always what it seems, time doesn’t always heal all wounds back to original state, but the good news is that we can change our responses — the grief experience is one more of those life lessons you can choose to learn from or disregard to your own peril.
I feel your pain, am sorry for your loss but encourage you to allow for your own (new and current) life. Being present is not just a goal but the only way towards being fully alive, despite our hurts and fears. But as a close family member of mine experiences her widowhood much the same way you describe, and I encourage her to get back in touch with herself and take joy in her blessed and rich life, I’ve also witnessed how extremely easy it is for you to dismiss these supportive words which probably sound hollow to you, and retreat deeper into the seeming safety of your own mind. I firmly believe we create our own realities, so I will end by holding the space for you to find the will to lean into your family daily and console yourself through engaged action hourly.
Wishing you clarity,
Dear Lost Will,
The grief of losing someone you love really never goes away, but the sting can fade over time if you allow it. Of course, most times we don’t want the sting to fade, because if the sting fades, they are really gone aren’t they? But keeping the grief alive only keeps the painful separation alive, not the one you have loved and lost.
It has taken me years to get past the cold, hollow feeling of loneliness I felt when I unexpectedly lost a dear friend who was like my big brother. In fact, he was better than my big brothers. He was there. He disapproved of the boys I chose to date. He talked to me into the wee hours of the morning when I wanted to cut all ties with my mother always and forever. He was my rock and he was suddenly gone at 30 years old.
Does the ache go away completely? No, I’m crying as I type this. But I do not let myself dwell there because my life with Dan was so much more than his death. There were years of laughter and silliness, long serious talks and a constant feeling of actually mattering to someone. I know he wanted more for me than I could want for myself. I know he still does. I refuse to sum up our relationship with grief. I choose to stand up straight and make a plan for a better day—each day.
Like everything in life, positive changes will not just happen. You must make them happen. Do you think the man you loved and continue to love wanted you so immersed in grief you could not enjoy the gifts of life he left behind for you? Your children are extensions of his spirit, his love—your time together. Embrace these moments or you will lose them because you have not taken the time to build a bridge to them. If you are so immersed in your grief, who’s helping them make sense of theirs? Do you want them left with the impression that only he mattered? That they are now fully abandoned because you would rather live with one foot in the grave than walk in the world of the living with them?
I know this may all sound a bit harsh, but the truth has its own sting. Wake up! Life is here for you right now and you are here while your husband is gone for a reason. Find out what that reason is. Is it to help your kids grow strong, knowing they are loved and that they matter, so they can have the kind of love-filled relationship you and your husband shared? Is it to help others who live with deep, despairing grief? You are still here. Do you really think your purpose is to sit in depression waiting to die?
Decide to live and make the most of it. Join a grief support group and talk about how much you miss him rather than stewing in it. Learn to meditate, do some breathwork or even learn Reiki—something you can do for yourself to help yourself heal. Your life is still going and there are others who depend on you to keep going. Do you want to mark their lives by grieving for you, their dad and the lost chance of a loving relationship with their mother?
As much as we moms would occasionally like to crawl under the covers, drown in our sorrows and never come up to the light of day again, we haven’t the luxury. We made a choice to bring these souls into the world. It is our job to meet our responsibilities. Not just food and shelter, but love and companionship—a safe harbor.
I feel your pain, but I feel the pain of those who love you now. Don’t let it all slip away because you were too afraid to try again. Take a step into the light every day. It’s time for recovery. It’s time to appreciate the many gifts he left you, not just the fact that he left you.
May your life be filled with peace. May angels safeguard your heart to give it the safe sace to heal and may all the blessings of your world be made more apparent every single day.
Love and blessings,
Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.
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