What advice would I give my new-widow-self?
- It’s ok to curl up in ball on the bed and shut the rest of the world out…just don’t set up camp in that dark space.
- Every now and then your mind needs a break. Jumping into a mindless, light book is a great escape…do more of that.
- When others want to help, let them. They are grieving too, they are looking for ways to show they care, and let’s face it, you may not want to admit it, but you need the help right now.
- Don’t try to do too much too soon. Don’t jump right back in to work. You may think you want to be busy, but you will have a melt down at the first sign of stress, and the last thing you want to do is tarnish a relationship with a co-worker or client. (speaking from experience here)
- When people ask “how are you doing?” don’t just say fine, or ok. If you are not fine or ok, be honest. You don’t have to unload on them with all the deep dark thoughts in your brain, but you can say something like….”I am a work in progress, I have good days and bad days, but I am working it.”
- Find friends and family who will sit and listen, without judgement or advice to give. Don’t let others cloud your thoughts with theirs. No one has walked in your shoes, so listen, but make your own choices. Only you know what is right for your.
- There are no perfect timelines or concrete stages of grief to follow like a flowchart or roadmap.
- While you will learn to reshape your life and live with your grief, it never really goes away…in fact years later it can still creep up on you and bite you in the ass.
You are in control of your destiny, as cheesy as that sounds, your “new normal” does not have to be your old life minus one. Build a new life, create your own new normal. Take care of yourself and don’t let anyone make you feel selfish for doing so. Figure out who you are now, and be you!