Grief Through A Widow's Eyes


Grief is such a paralyzing emotion.  It literally robs you of joy, of feeling, of futures you’ve imagined and love that you feel like you can’t possibly live without.  It’s numbing.  It’s blinding. It feels like it’s a weight that will never lift.  And it feels different for everyone.

Last week I had a session with a client who lost her husband suddenly and unexpectedly a few months ago.  He was the love of her life.  He was “the one”.   Her description of the roller coaster of emotions and the process of her journey of grief moved me to tears, and hit me in a way that no other description of grief ever has.  I asked her permission to share her words with others, with hope that they reach someone in need, who for even just a brief moment, can imagine a shred of light amidst the darkness.  Below is her perspective of grief on that day of our last session.

“I’m feeling good today.   As hard as it is to say that.  I’m just going with it, the roller coaster of grief.  If you would’ve asked me last night, you would’ve seen a whole different side, I was a crying mess.  But..I’ve given myself permission to have good days.  It’s so hard to even allow myself to do this.  I feel less numb.  I continue to struggle with letting go of the grief or hanging on to it.  If I let go of it, it feels like I’m also letting go of him.   I cry when I feel like I’m not supposed to cry and I don’t cry when I feel like people expect me to.  I’m not sure how to live in the present.  I’m either reliving the past with the memories of him or trying to imagine 2 years into the future, a life without him.  I struggle with feeling like I shouldn’t actually be able to enjoy anything in life anymore.  I’ve come to understand that accepting the death is very different than accepting the grief in my life.

I don’t know how I got to this point.  To say that I’m feeling good today.  I just know that it’s ok to have ups and downs.  It’s ok to feel angry, to feel like you’ve been robbed of a life you deserved.  It’s ok to feel disconnected.  You feel very isolated and alone, even when you’re surrounded by your loved ones, and then you feel guilty for not being able to be present.

I know I will never see things the same again.  Even when I look outside, the trees will never look the same again.  But I know that as I move through the grief, I am then able to feel more of the happy I felt when he was alive.  I know he is still with me, giving me strength.  I talk to him when I need to talk to him.  I cry when I need to cry.  Each day I wake up it feels like I have to re-live this whole nightmare again but what gets me through the day is that I know he still guides me and gives me strength to carry on.”

I am grateful she allowed me to share these words with you as we can never adequately prepare ourselves for what our lives may look like the day we have to face gut wrenching grief.   When that time comes please remember to be gentle on yourself, be patient with yourself and be selfish with your time it takes to process the grief in the best way you know how to.  One day at a time.