You should be past this by now.
Why are you still …?
Are you ready to do …?
It’s time to move on …
You SHOULD be…
You need to pick yourself up…
As a widow, we often find that people around us have expectations as to the timeline of our “healing” from our loss. Like it’s a disease we can recover from.
In reality, loss is not something you “get over”. It is something that you learn to live with as best you can. Your timeline will be just that…YOUR timeline. Nobody else can determine how long it will take you. They can help, empathize…whatever…but this is your journey to travel with all of its twists and turns.
Take stock knowing that no matter where you are in this process…it is OK to be there. If you’re not picking yourself up as quickly as others want you to… that’s OK. It’s more than OK, it’s perfectly normal. This is your grief journey. They do not live in your home or your body. You are not responsible for how others feel about your grief. You are also not responsible for how they are processing their grief. You have your journey and they have theirs.
What does it even mean to pick yourself up and move on? Off the floor, out of bed, back to your perky pre-death self? Not likely you’ll be perky anytime soon. Hopefully off the floor and out of bed. Moving on – to what? What is there to move on to but more pain and sorrow? You may be able to glimpse at a future beyond the raw grief but have no idea how to get there. Know that all of these feelings are perfectly normal at the beginning or your loss. The journey will change as you move along; however, things will never be the same. It is OK to redefine how life looks after the loss.
Your world has changed. EVERYTHING is different now. If you are like us, your life is now defined as BEFORE the event and AFTER the event. It is OK to take your time redefining how life will look and figuring out what that will look like for YOU.
Just BREATHE and take it one step at a time, one second at a time, one minute at a time…whatever is comfortable for YOU. It is OK.
Remember, everyone moves through their grief in different times and in different ways. They may be ready to move forward before you. It is OK to move at your speed and direction, whether it is tortoise or jet speed and whether it is a straight line or multidirectional.
Oftentimes, when people say these things they are projecting on you what they wish for you and that they want you to be further along in your journey. OR They may be uncomfortable with your grief and sorrow. That’s all about them and not you. Only you know what’s best for you.
Recently, Jeni was watching an old episode of NCIS. It was Episode 18 from season 10. This episode occurs after Director Vance lost his wife. Ziva, one of the agents, gave him some very sage advice, “do not let anyone tell you when you’re ready or should be ready to move on. That is entirely up to you.” This statement resonates so very well with both of us and we offer it to you as great wisdom to be followed.
Just remember, death is not something to “get over and done with”. Granted, the pain and sorrow will change in levels as time goes by. The joy and happiness of your memories will remain with you. However, this is just something that integrates with your life. Most times, you do not “get over it”, you merely learn how to live with it and move on in life.
If YOU feel you are struggling too much, it is also very OK to ask for help or to see someone to assist you with your process. If it’s been a long time and you’re still not picking yourself up, it may be good to see a doctor and ask for help. It is OK to admit you need help and it is a sign of strength to seek out the assistance that you need.
Whatever your path, direction, or speed…know that it is OK to move at a comfortable level for you. It is OK to ask for assistance where needed and to ignore assistance that does not work for you. It is our sincerest hope that you are doing OK in your journey. We know that this is probably the most difficult thing you may have faced in life and it takes a lot of courage and fortitude to get through to the other side. We hope that our words will help support you and your travels. You can do this. One breath, one step at a time if needed. Please know that you’re not alone in this grief journey. Ask for help if you need it. Ignore that which does not help you. May you find the support and help you need and may you be able to ask for assistance when the time is right.
This is YOUR journey, YOUR timeline. Let the others have their opinions. You do you and, in the end, it will all work out.
We’re considering opening up an online widows group. Please let us know your thoughts and what you might like to see in an online widows group. Click here to share your ideas
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As for us, we are going to walk quietly into the year with some goals and hopes. The primary one being to be of our best service to you.
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.