One of the many grief struggles is dealing and coping with the question, “What will people think?” We are the closest to the loss, and we often move at a different pace than others expect. Our grief looks unique. It’s one of many grief struggles we get to live through as widows and widowers.
In life, there are always decisions and choices to be made. At times, the grief journey makes these decisions and choices more complex and challenging. Often, we hear widows ask, “What will people think if I…?
Here, again, we want to take a moment to remind you that this is YOUR journey. You have the right to make the decisions that are right for you and for what you need in your life. There is no wrong or right way to do this. Ultimately what people think is just that – what they think. You have the ability to decide what is right for you. You don’t have to concern yourself with their thoughts if they do not serve you well.
No matter what you do, people are going to have opinions and advice. You may become overwhelmed by information overload if you try to please and adapt your life to all that the advice and opinions that are “given” to you.
Know that some of the advice is going to be helpful. We tend to call these the golden nuggets of wisdom. If they serve you well, take them and cherish them and use them as you travel this journey. Other advice is going to be…well, questionable, unuseful, and possibly damaging if you take heed to their words. These are the lumps of coal that you can dump in the fire.
Some of the overwhelming choices include:
- What to do with the house
- What to do with the ring
- What to do with the “stuff.”
- Whether or not to date again
- Timing on moving forward in life
- How I’m caring for the kids
- How I’m choosing to be or not to social and finding community
- How I care for myself
- What my grief looks like & what they think it should look like
Even though there are identifiable stages of grief, please remember that they are not linear. There is no certain timeline for any of it, and everyone’s journey is going to be a little different. When you are overwhelmed, take a moment to breathe and ask yourself, “What feels right in this moment?”, “What will serve me well?”
If you need to, make a list and weigh the pros and cons or ask a trusted friend or colleague. However, knowing that this is your journey and can be taken at your pace may provide the best way to travel. You will make the decision that is right for you at this moment.
If anyone disagrees, let them. You cannot change them. They are all going to have opinions no matter what you decide. Decide what is best for you.
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.