Widowed and so alone … I attended a newly formed support group


LIFE INTERRUPTED

 life was in disarray. I knew that I had to rebuild some kind of a social life in order to lessen my stress and help me through the grieving process but it took a great deal of courage to entertain couples on my own.

There was no one to talk to when I woke up in the morning and when friends called they remarked on my hoarse voice.  “Well, it hasn’t been used since last night,” I told them.

There were so many responsibilities to assume and I found the bank very stressful. I had never shown much interest in this side of our lives as my husband had done it all. The children helped me a great deal here.

When a support group for newly widowed women was formed,  I thought I would attend one session to see what it was like but stayed for all ten. Besides the practical help given, I made good friends who knew exactly how I was feeling and we started going out together once a week. When a new member walked into the group, I remembered how I’d felt during my first session and understood how far I’d come. A woman told us that all she could think about was her late husband’s suffering before he died and how that wiped out any happy memories they’d shared.  The group somehow gave us permission to speak about personal subjects we did not talk about elsewhere. It lessened our feelings of isolation and helped us realize that we were not the only  ones going through this heartbreaking experience. We helped one another find  unique ways of handling our grief and this helped me get on with my life.

Losing a husband is not something one recovers from but I learned to incorporate his absence with memories of our lives together  and channeled my emotional energy in a different direction. I know that one day my grief will walk beside me instead of consuming me.

Death forced me to look back and reach the stage of acceptance which meant turning things around. One day I will learn to start looking forward.

One does not recover from losing a husband and it takes courage and persistence to incorporate his absence and memories into my life and channel my emotional energy elsewhere . I sincerely hope that eventually, my grief will walk beside me inside of consuming me. I have to get used to my loss. Somehow, I am learning to make him live within me.

Death forced me to look back but acceptance involves slowly turning around to look forward. I have to begin a different chapter in my life.

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This entry was posted in Grief and Grieving, Schizophrenia on by .

About Jill

Author of books and articles on support and experiences of living with a mentally ill family member. My aim in blogging is to let others see how a loving family, with a father and husband who is able to give unconditional love, can help the family cope. Many call me the blogging grandma.'

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