How do we do this?

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A widow said to me, “How do we do this?? 34 years with my soulmate, my life my everything. We raised 4 children. We had hopes and dreams for our future. He’s gone. I look around, see people laughing, having fun, loving. HE was my smile, my fun, my reason for waking up, my comforter, my shoulder to cry on, my protector, my everything. How do we just go on? To know I will never have that love again, never feel his touch, hear his words…..its devastating. Did my life with him just vanish with him? Who am I now? This is all so scary to me.”

It’s a whole lot of grief because you are not just mourning a person, you are having a funeral for the life you planned together.These emotions are so universal with the loss of a spouse. I have said before that I lost 2/3 of me when my husband died…the 1/3 that was ‘him’ and the 1/3 that was ‘us.’  It has been a journey to discover who the 1/3 remaining is by herself.

Loosing a spouse is loosing a future life. It’s a whole lot of grief because you are not just mourning a person, you are having a funeral for the life you planned together.  That takes time to process and figure out.

They talk about finding a “new normal.” I’m still on the path of discovering that, but I have found comfort and direction by turning to God. He has replaced my husband as the person I go to now. He is showing me a very different path for my life than the one I burried or the one I was trying to plan after Scott died, but I find that it is a good one, one involving helping people especially those who are grieving too. No, I don’t think we will ever be the same, we come out of this a changed people. I like to think for me that change has been for the better.  I am more empathetic, kinder, more grateful… those things are good things and evidence that God is making beauty from the ashes of my life. Yet, I still find it hard to watch other couples… that is the selfish part of me and the part that gets lonely.

Sometimes it literally hurts my heart if I allow myself to think about it too deeply, but I don’t feel that I have lost my husband for forever.  I feel we are just separated, it is like he is on call at the hospital again, and we are doing our jobs apart for a bit…. a long bit for me.  I’m trying to focus on my children… Find joy in them.  Sometimes I am better at that than others… Still their are glimpses, glimpses of hope for the future, possibly companionship at some point.  I have many widow friends who have remarried and who have found solace in that.  They never quit missing their first spouse, but there is someone to share life with.  For others that door is completely closed.

I think these emotions are universal and part of the grieving process.  Understanding that you are not alone in these feeling can help you accept them, learn to cope with them and move through the grief and begin healing.

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