Once we’re widowed and everyone around us returns to their lives, we quickly become aware that we are now taking care of EVERYTHING. It’s an overwhelming feeling and can quickly spin us into a whirlwind of emotions.
We may have been the main caretaker of the kids or the house, but now every little and big thing is ours to manage. The to-do list that was hardly manageable before becomes too long, and there’s a time when we have to cut and run and just stop doing some things.
You are only one person, and now you are required to be both parents. The household chores and the yard chores are now yours alone. You have to make all the decisions….both big and small. You have to handle everything. It can feel like too much.
Something to contemplate is how you think about this. What if you started to consider what you get to do now? You get to choose how you want to take care of things. You have the opportunity to develop new routines and new ways of doing that work for you. Yes, we know it may be difficult to do this while you are grieving; however, thinking of it in a new way may just help you to get through the muck of doing everything on your own.
How do you want things to be? What can you control? What can you handle? By looking at all of it as a chance to restart rather than looking at it as I am being forced to restart, you may be better able to cope with all that has been handed to you.
An alternative thought – you don’t have to do everything all by yourself.
There are other possibilities.
Some ideas …
If you’re up to it, make a list of all of the things that need to be done and when they need to be done. If that feels too overwhelming, make a list of the tasks you don’t want to do or would like help with.
Examine the list – Are there things that you can stop doing that no longer serve you? If so, cross them off and stop doing them! Just because you did it before does not necessarily mean you have to continue to do it.
Maybe you can defer some of the things that are not urgent and schedule them to be reviewed at a later date.
Another idea is thinking of potential helpers – friends, family, kids, volunteer groups (church, youth, scout, etc. ) that could help take on some of the things you are doing or do some large one-time tasks.
Are there things you can hire out, like yard care, cleaning, curbside, or food delivery, that could make your life easier and stay within budget?
For things that remain on the list – break down tasks into micro tasks that can be done quickly. Schedule them.
Once you are able to check off an item, celebrate – YOU did it!
If there are items that you find you cannot handle or take care of…give yourself some grace and realize that you are doing the best you can in the circumstances of your life. While you may be trying to view this as an opportunity to redevelop things into your own method that works best for you, there may be times when the reality of the situation is just that, and it may be difficult to plow through. Allow yourself the ability to recognize that do what you can. If you need to rest, please do. Remember to take good care of yourself.
Please contact us and let us know of any grief struggles or topics you’d like us to explore. We appreciate your support and input.
Peace & blessings,
Jeni & Teresa
PS: For additional support, you can download our free copy of 10 Ways to Move Forward After Loss
Torn in Half: The First Days as a resource for the first days after a loss – available on Amazon in paperback and ebook.