Monday, March 19, 2012

What's One Thing You Would You Tell A New Widow? Part 1

I recently asked this question on Facebook and I just have to share the comments with you. They were so good, and a few had more than one thing to say! Come back tomorrow for Part 2, and we'd all love to hear what You would tell a new widow, too, so click on the comment line and please add your advice.
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Sheri--If there are children, especially over 10 or 11 - get a counselor right away - don't wait until there are problems. Even in the best of Christian families! You can't talk enough to your kids the way that needs to be, because of the grief you are going through.

Linda--Lifeboat (our private Facebook widows support group) would be compulsory for me. She would get loads of practical advice or suggestions. This would be something special just for her.

Jenny--Do not make any big decisions for a year. Take it slow and seek Christian council. Abide in God's word and rest in his sovereignty. Put one foot in front of the other and as Elizabeth Elliot advises "do the next thing." She shares the following from an old Saxon poem: "Do it immediately, do it with prayer, do it reliantly, casting all care. Do it with reverence, tracing His hand who placed it before thee with earnest command. Stayed on omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing, leave all resultings, do the next thing."

Ruth--Start every morning in the Word, asking the Lord to give you a special message - it works! And.... exercise every day: it helps burn off stress & work out those overwhelming emotions

Teresa--Take time to heal in your own way. No two need to grieve the same way or pace.

Sarah--Something I do when a person becomes a widow is mark my calendar for the time it happened so I can write a note when she reaches the 1st year milestone. If the person is closer to me, I do this at her husband's birthday and their anniversary, too. (No, these aren't things I say except in writing.) I've always thought an anniversary is still that to the widow, even though they are apart, and should be acknowledged--unless the widow prefers not.
Linda--Right now it seems that there is no light, no laughter and perhaps no hope. But there is light, laughter and hope in your future. God knows what is going on in your life and even though you may not feel it now He is right there beside you and will continue to walk with you and even carry you during the times when you can't walk. Take one day at a time and if you don't think you can handle one day then do it one minute or even one second at a time. You have more strength than you realize and God is at work crafting a new life for you. When you are strong enough and "well" enough He will show You what His next assignment for you is. Hang on to Him with both hands and when you feel like you can't then realize He is hanging on to you with both of His hands. Ask Him to lead you to a grief support group - either in person or online or show you a private grief counselor. Cry as much as you need to and above all don't let anyone convince you to do anything or make any changes in your life that you are not ready to make.
Carrie--My advice would be...each and everyday, take time for yourself and/or do something for yourself. As busy as days can be with children, jobs, and an entire new routine, I think it was a huge help in my healing to take time for me. It doesn't have to be anything major...just some down time or a new blouse!

Leslie--Make grieving a priority. Take advantage of your local hospice. Even if your husband did not require hospice care (as in my situation with a sudden illness/death), they are a tremendous resource for grief classes and support groups.

Cindy--Healing comes very, very slowly but healing comes.
Thanks to all my Facebook and Lifeboat friends! I'd love to hear your comments, too. Check back tomorrow for more. 

1 comment:

  1. Give yourself permission to grieve, but don't stop living. There is no time-line. Take however long you need and expect that it will take a long time to heal your heart.

    Every part of you may just want to hide and avoid being with people. Let your friends and loved ones surround you and keep keep you busy. I found the distraction they provided to be the most helpful and healing. They will help bring normalcy, joy and laughter back into your world. Don't be afraid to smile and laugh again. You are not dishonoring your husband by doing so. You know he would rather see you you moving toward healing and happiness.

    Know that the Lord walks with you every step of your journey. If you cling to Him during this painful season, you will grow closer in intimacy with Him than you ever dreamed was possible. He is Faithful and He is your husband now. Trust Him to be there for you. He promised He would never leave or forsake us and He always keeps His promises.

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