Everyone deserves a break, to reinvigorate themselves, or get ready for battle, to gain some new perspective, or to just simply get some rest. There is no rule, written or unwritten, that says a widow or widower needs to live in a state of depression, or remain at the bottom of a downward spiral. Give yourself permission to put the grief aside, even if only for a short time. Trust me, it isn’t going anywhere. And that downward spiral? There is only one way to go from the bottom, and that is upward.
There are many times, during the course of my grieving, when I did not do the right thing, or make the healthy choice. But, there was this one thing that I did, just 3.5 months after my husband’s passing, that probably made all the difference in following months, that helped me more mentally than counseling, grief group, or anything else I threw at it. I took a trip. My daughter and I took a trip.
My daughter, A, was just 8 years old at the time. School had literally finished the day prior, and we left town. We boarded a Disney cruise for 8 days! Sounds weird, I know. My husband had been gone less than 4 months, and here I am going on a fancy vacation. Some might even think it is scandalous, but I don’t care. Mentally and emotionally I was drained. My daughter and I had been facing a new reality and quite frankly we were stressed out, and an 8 year old shouldn’t have to be stressed. So we left. We put everything on hold, passports in hand, we went on an adventure!
I have traveled a more than most, but less than some. I have been all over the US, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Europe, and even China, but this by far was the best vacation, even topped my honeymoon! My daughter and I let it all go, we did things we had never done before, like explore a cave, and swim with dolphins. We were pampered by the staff, we made new friends, had some quiet time apart, and some fabulous bonding time together. We still talk about this trip, the fun we had, and how much we laughed!
I am not saying that everyone who is grieving should drop everything and take a grand vacation. But what I am saying is every now and then a person needs to let go. To relax, to give themselves permission to have fun, to rest, to laugh. It feels really good, and you deserve to feel good. And who knows, you just may change something in your life for the better, something that helps you climb out of the “pit of despair.”
Don’t let the grief consume you, learn to grieve on your own terms, in your own time, and in your own way.