Good Widowing

38EB1FBA-E78C-4535-8124-7CB1B2380BB3.jpgI'm feeling quite proud of myself today.  I've been going through a bit of a tough patch in the past couple of weeks yet despite this, I've been riding it well.  If there is such a thing as 'good widowing' then I think I deserve some kind of gold star. 

I guess, what I've really noticed this past week, is that when the familiar feelings of 'this hurts too much, I'm sinking in this mess' started to wash over me, I automatically went to my little bag of coping tricks and started taking care of myself. 
I booked a session with my grief counsellor, who I haven't felt I needed to see for the past six months or so.  I reached out to friends to talk about what I feeling and schedule some activities that I knew would make me feel happy.  
I have spent time in my garden, plating succulents (like my terrarium in this photo) and enjoying the calming sensation of burying my hands in dirt. And I've given myself permission to rest, to pull back from life a little, making space for peace and quiet.

This ability to identify when I need a little extra self-care and make that a priority is a skill I didn't have when my husband first passed away.  I was plagued with doubt, guilt, impatience and frustration and it took me a long time to learn how to look after myself in this way and ride the waves of my grief. 

To recognise within myself - especially during a tough time - that I have come a long way in the past two-and-a-half years gives me such a sense of achievement.  

It also makes me think about how this resilience and maturity has seeped through to some other areas of my life.  For example, when a drama flares up at work, I'm more likely to remain level-headed, see the bigger picture and not react to the stress.  I'm not saying that I'm totally zen with nerves of steel (I wish!), I still react to things and can get carried away, but it's less often, less intense and I get over things much more quickly now.  

I'm still hitting those grief blocks hard but I'm recovering faster and easier than I used to.  Knowing that I'm capable and I've got this, well, to me, that's a pretty big deal.  

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  • commented 2016-01-31 14:22:07 -0800
    Giving yourself permission to rest, and recognize the signs and take action is indeed a powerful learning curve. I wasn’t like that either before Mike died but do find many of my daily decisions are a reaction to the ever present grief (and good counseling as well). Thank you for sharing this.
  • commented 2016-01-30 11:29:03 -0800
    Rebecca, this is wonderful! It inspires me to be much more aware of when self care is needed, and to realize that it puts so much of what we go through in our grieving into perspective; the result of being able to see how far we have come in the grief process. I am so happy for you! Keep going, Girl, you have so many of us cheering you on! Love, Karen xoxo