Monday, June 28, 2010

How to Avoid Stupid Mistakes

Dear Reader,
Here is some great advice I found online. Let me know what you think of it. It's by Carla Rolfe at
"Reflections of the Times"
Friday, February 6, 2009
Christian Widows
"I have heard that grief counselors will say that you should never (ever!) make life changing decisions within the first year of your grieving process. These kinds of decisions would be things such as selling your house, moving to a new city, taking a new job, going back to school, and even starting a relationship and/or remarrying. The reasoning behind this advice is fairly obvious. You're already going through a very traumatic, life changing ordeal. You're emotional, at times you may be irrational, and you're often not thinking nearly as clear as you would be otherwise. In a very real way you're operating at a diminished capacity and therefore making another life changing decision is just not a good idea.

I didn't hear this advice until after I made numerous horrible decisions myself, in the first two years after becoming a widow, and by then it was too late to undo the choices I'd made.

I can't honestly say that I can look back and wish there were more people in my life at the time that would have had a backbone and said "NO Carla, this is a stupid mistake and I will not support you in this" because for all I know, there were people that said that. My problem is, is that there is much about those first two years that I just cannot remember. I'm not sure why I can't remember it unless it's just a built-in protection mode God places in some people so that we don't re-live overly painful things, but the simple truth is I just can't remember actually making those stupid decisions, or how people responded to them.

What I will say, is that new widows do need these kinds of people with backbone in their lives. They need folks that know how to operate in grace and truth, and will say what needs to be said in as gentle or as firm a way as possible. New widows need protection even if it's from their own crazy ideas or plans. Of course you can't always stop someone from doing something irrational, but you sure can give it your best shot, and then be there for them even if they didn't listen to you the first time around.

In addition, I cannot stress grief counselling enough. It was offered to me free of charge but transportation was an issue and I never went. I truly wish I would have. Many Christian churches have resources for this readily available or can refer you to a solid Christian counselor in your area. When you're going through something like this its a GOOD thing to have someone to talk to that can tell you what you're feeling is completely normal, completely expected and truly part of the grieving process. You may think you've snapped, you may think you're having horrible thoughts that you have no business having, and if you don't have anyone who knows what they're talking about to talk it out with, you may come to some very wrong conclusions."
Thanks, Carla! Any comments? Isn't it sad that although the counselling is available, oftentimes transportation or babysitting is not?

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