"You take all the time you need. I honor your courage as you walk through your grief and trust you as you navigate this time." - Mom
I didn't know how to be with my own grief after my loss. I had many friends and family that didn't know how to be with me during this time either. For those that stayed around, many stuck their foot in their mouth or pressured me to turn the page before I was ready. It isn't a comfortable thing for anyone to sit with.
A fellow widow (twice over) told me "Now you will find YOU." She was right, I had been part of a couple for so long it was part of my identity. And my DH was very much the dominant personality in the relationship. Now I am doing what I want and finding out new things about myself.
Both of my parents have lost a parent, and that is the closest loss they've had. They've been married over 40 years. I lost my dear love just before our 12th wedding anniversary. After he passed away, my parents told me the best thing:
"We're not going to sit here and say that we understand what you are going through. We don't understand. But we are here to support you no matter what."
Barb, I love your message. It's so true that we have to rediscover who we are, and learning that it's possible is encouraging.
Two weeks after Bob's death as I walking on the beach of NAS North Island, a Vietnam widow came up me & other widows individually to say,
"Be w/those that understand you - now go back to your rooms & your homes to console yourselves - big grief days lie ahead. No appeasing family, no sightseeing - you won't remember much of it anyway & it won't be fun."
We were freshly grief stricken - haggard & sallow all in need of rest. Seventeen of them were marine widows from the same company waiting for a transport plane bringing their husbands back stateside - killed in a major ambush. A draining public ceremony w/the press had been planned for their arrival ...
The Vietnam widow's words did not resonate & seemed rather harsh at the time, however, they did make sense later on as well as comforting in knowing there were other widows living near us. Myself & a few others wanted more of her wisdom while still there, but she could not be found. No NAS hotel personnel knew who she was, but some simply regarded her as a guardian angel for the widowed ...
Many times people say things that are just disconcerting. In some instances, actual shared wisdom is shadowed by grief. Where was the big flashing neon sign to alert me of it during the moment ...