I’m going to finish the week off strong with more…. Widow talk!
Being a new widow is hard and lets be honest, I think people avoid us, the topic and it is not a subject most people talk about or bring up voluntarily.. Maybe that is because people honestly don’t know what to say. Unless you experience it, you have no idea how we are feeling and the extent of our grief, you don’t know how to approach the person or what to say since it is such a sensitive subject and time. Which makes the grieving and adjusting to our new life in Widowhood that much harder. You feel alone. Nobody gets it, the comments people make to you just make you so angry, upset, sad, you name it! Things like, “I know how you feel”, “You can’t sit around moping forever”, “At least you were prepared”, “God never gives you more than you can handle”, “At least they didn’t suffer”, “You should be over it already”, “They’re in a better place”, “You’ll find someone else”. I could literally sit here and write about all the idiotic and insensitive things people say to new widows and none of these things make us feel good or better for that matter but these people don’t know that because they haven’t been in our shoes and we don’t stand there and say well that was insensitive as fuck.. On top of that, everyone says right after our loves passing “I’m alway’s here for you”, “Let me know if you need anything at all” but as I’m sure you’ve found out, those very people are nowhere to be found now. They also aren’t there checking in on you like the first few weeks too, right..? Disappeared. It’s sad. Again, I think that is because they don’t know what to say or how to approach the hysterically sad and emotional widow but that is no excuse to avoid us because it is uncomfortable for you.
Tiny Tip from an annoyed widow to fellow non-widows: If your comments include any of the above, specifically “I know how you feel” but you actually want to be helpful and sensitive, say something like “Is there anything specific I can do for you right now?” Or “Would you like to talk about anything?”….. You may not know the right thing to say in response but sometimes, we just need someone to listen. If you do feel the need to give a gentle response, you could say something like “I am so very sorry and cannot begin to imagine what you are feeling right now, is there anything I can do to help or comfort you?”
Carole Brody Fleet has so many more great suggestions and tips all throughout her Widows Wear Stilettos book which I have some of those places where I can see them daily, as reminders. You can snag a copy for yourself here and I promise, you will love the book just as much as I do! It has been a true Godsend to me! I talked about the Widows Wear Stilettos book more in my “Grieving over the holidays, especially the firsts…” blog post from this past Monday so head over and check that out!
Another thing you don’t hear many people talking about dealing with, is dating after their significant others passing. I feel like it’s something we all have to deal with on our own, internally and struggle trying to understand the feelings we are having alongside the grief. For some, dating seems like something that will never happen. Others may look for that shortly after their loves passing. There is no right or wrong way to move forward. Any path chosen in moving forward is okay, it’s your path to follow and I feel like you will know when the timing is right, when the right person comes along if that’s what you choose. I’m sure people have also said, “He/She would just want you to be happy” to you. They have to me. I’ve heard it all, trust me! I know there are some that hate hearing that and I do too to some extent. It is true that they just want us to be happy though and I learned that through some other amazing books. The Other Side is complete with peace, love, understanding, absolutely no judgement and they do just want us to be happy, they don’t want us to be miserable for the rest of our time here on this side of the veil. Concetta Bertoldi’s books were life changing and that is where I learned everything I know about the Other Side. She is the one that confirmed for me that they do just want us to be happy and says it all the time throughout her books. My two favorites of hers are already linked for you in my first blog post which you can check out here, where I talk more about her books and the Other Side!
I do know there are a lot of people who get to the point of dating again and they feel guilty for moving forward and finding someone else. You are completely valid in feeling that way and it’s okay you’re feeling guilty for starting to date again. There is no need to feel guilty though, I am here to tell you that but I know it isn’t something you want to hear or something that makes the guilt any better. Like Concetta says, “They just want you to be happy”. But what my brain says when I see or hear that statement is, I know they just want me to be happy (and not sad) but it’s hard to not be sad and feel miserable when your world has been flipped upside down. For me, the love of my life, my best friend, my four legged babies daddy, the one I would call when I needed anything at all, the only person who knew my whole soul and every little thing about me, all gone in a blink of an eye. How could my heart not be completely broken and how could I not be sad and miserable? I lost everything in a split second whether I anticipated it or not and I can see how when dating comes into play again, how the guilt would creep in amongst all of those other feelings we have.
Something that may help you navigate those feelings and emotions, that gives you someone there to listen and give you guidance, is getting a therapist! I waited about five months or so before I was ready for therapy again and again, there is no right or wrong way of doing things. Although I will say that therapy can help so much and the sooner you find someone you connect with and like, the quicker you’ll make more progress than you would if you wait and wait to start therapy.
Therapy is not a bad thing even though people make it out to be. I think it is such a healthy and helpful tool to have and nothing to be ashamed of by any means! Lately I have been going weekly because I honestly have so much shit going on that we have plenty to work on but even if I didn’t, I would probably still go every other week. It’s nice to have someone I look forward to talking to and working through things with, who has the education and knowledge to guide me in navigating this new life. Like I have said before, you may not find YOUR therapist at your first appointment. It really is trial and error so if you go to your first appointment and don’t connect and mesh or you don’t feel very comfortable or like them, that is totally okay and do not feel bad!! Keep on looking and don’t give up! You’ll find the one and you will be so happy when you do. I absolutely love my therapist to death and don’t know what on earth I would do without her!
If you are in the Dallas area and need a recommendation, my inbox is always open and of course I would not discuss any of your personal information with anyone when asking about therapist referrals but honestly anything you say to me in confidence. Anything you say is safe with me unless you are planning to harm yourself or another💗💗
As always, talk soon..