There have been so many recent new members here who are just barely in their journey that I have been thinking a lot about how we can best encourage them. My heart so clearly remembers the first few months and how dark and painful they were to me an how I too felt like I had died. I know many of us also felt that intense pain and sorrow and just wanted to open up a forum topic for us to specifically encourage those new to the journey.
I will start this with a post with a few edits and additions I recently posted in Suddenly Widowed but its relevant to any loss that I wanted to re-post it here in a specific topic. Please feel free to add what other encouragement you might give to those who are now too walking those dark and painful early days of grief. My heart really goes out to those there and thought this could be a good place to help encourage them.
I figured this could be a good way to help us help each other and encourage one another in our journeys...
Here is my edited previous post -->
Oh there are a lot of painful posts this week. My heart goes out to everyone so close still to the start of their grief journey. The first season of grief for me was very hard and painful. I think while things are still hard for me at 18 months at least in some ways it really is less painful for me than it was at the beginning.
Grief is a long marathon rather than a sprint. There really are no shortcuts as much as I desperately looked and wished for one. For me as long as I faced the hurt and let myself freely grieve and I forced myself to address each facet of the loss I can look back now and see truly healing has begun to take place although it often seemed painfully slow for my taste. Let yourself take one day at a time and give yourself that freedom to be weak and to truly grieve if you are still in the most painful stages of grieving. You really need to do that if healing is going to occur. Losing a spouse is in my opinion devastating and takes time to grieve.
So many ask when will it get better? Unfortunately healing never really has a fixed timetable and cannot really be accurately predicted how long it will take so no one can say when will things improve? I think all one can say I remember how hard that was for me, but I held on to the hope that one day it would get better if I just kept walking and enduring. It is hard and will have many painfully tough days, you will likely feel weaker and more broken than ever before in life, but just keep walking. One day at a time, one step at a time, even one minute at a time, just take it as you can do it but keep walking. Rest as you must it really is ok. I remember feeling frustrated that life did not have a "pause" or "stop" button so i could just stay here and grieve for a while, but alas life does not wait.
But I know if you keep doing the right things one day you will look back and see with your own eyes wow it does not hurt as much anymore and will see you are making it through this valley little by little. It is there you will be learning to endure and to persevere and to keep walking. Learn to rejoice in the small victories because they really are progress. So however long your journey is and wherever you find yourself today ((HUGS)) and encouragement to you. I know we can make it out of here one step at a time. ((HUGS)) especially to everyone here who is hurting today and has that raw hurt still so sharp. I really wish we could take it away...
I know you posted awhile ago, but this feeling of needing a pause button is spot on for me. My husband died in August and life is still going on without him. I need that pause button!
I think one of the best things I was told by a widower friend is "feel what you feel whenever you feel it". I've tried to do that, without making any apologies along the way. If tears come, they come. If I'm happy about something, it's ok to smile or laugh. If I need to wallow in my sadness, then that's what I do. Today's one of those days. It's 2:30pm and I'm still in my jammies. Spent the morning curled up in my husband's recliner. Tomorrow will be a better day.
I'm 7-1/2 months out and have found this journey takes many twists and turns. Good days, bad days, so-so days. You may get to a fairly good place and then the overwhelming sadness will take over one again. It ebbs and flows and I just try to ride that wave.
Just as our stories are all different, so is the way we will heal. Try not to compare your journey to anyone else's. It will not help you heal. Your story is yours alone; just as theirs is theirs. There is no 'better' way to lose a spouse, age or time together does not make it easier. Some stories are far more tragic, but that does not mean their grief journey is harder than yours. We are sisters and brothers in this thing called widowhood and holding each other's hand when times are toughest can help immensely. This wonderful place has done that for me. I hope it does for you.
I don't even know where to start here...
Just please let yourself grieve. It's OK to scream, yell, be angry, cry, hit things. LET yourself do that.
I was so angry once I threw groceries into the cupboard after I got home from shopping. That's OK.
Try to get out and do something to help with your grieving...for me I had a lot of extra adrenaline and aggression, and I felt running helped with that. It felt amazing to have my feet hit the pavement. I would write more, but I have to bring my 8 year old daughter to a birthday party lol
Be gentle with yourself. Allow the tears if it is overwhelming. I brought a box of tissue paper to the office and cry when I feel like it, especially during the first few months. One time I broke down in church, after having the second dream wherein he handed me some money and a song triggered the tearr.
Being away from my support system of family, I checked on the Internet for answers, and stages of grief. The information gave me some understanding of what I was going through so I could understand myself. I have an11-year old son and he was stronger than I was, and that gave me encouragement.
I also had a medical check-up as I think my blood pressure rose from lack of sleep and carrying the heavy box containing his ashes and that enabled me to talk to the doctor about the 'what if...' and other possibilities to have saved his life. The doctor was very blunt and told me straight that I must remember I have a son to look after. He was right because I had felt like I too was going, if not for my son and this was my promise to him (I talked to him though he was in a coma).
Most of all this site has been very helpful. I am thankful to M. Hernandez for establishing the SSLF. I get a lot of encouragement from the responses of Widowwville members and reading their stories make me feel I am normal and not alone.
It is hard and I wish we would not have to experience this pain but it is part of our existence. I try to do things that I feel will help me go through this pain and I also talk regularly to my son, and try to keep a tab on his feelings as well.
So thank you all. Just by responding and contributing we are helping each other through this tragedy in our lives.
Yes, thank you for creating this page of encouragement. I will definitely be back here when I need it, and hope someday that I will be able to help encourage others. Right now, it is just getting to that next moment...Thanks again everyone.