Widows and widowers can integrate facts, feelings, and faith to strengthen us in our widowhood season. This is a 3 minutes 43 second read and then please, let us hear from you.
Widows and widowers can integrate the facts, feelings, and faith to strengthen us in our widowhood season. Part of my working career was as a corporate trainer and speaker. My first speaker’s bureau representative thought she could make something attractive out of my cerebral approach to customer service, sales, and leadership issues. So here’s a glimpse of that integration.
I thought little of this for those 20 plus years. Now with 4 years into this widow season, I realize, in part, it’s what keeps me moving forward.
Thanks to the last man I dated, who likely unknowingly helped me realize I may be using my feelings to find the facts. And guess what?
Feeling more in these long days of healing and growing may help me move further forward.
First, let’s consider that often people believe only facts can guide us best. So then, if I think back to the first year of Marty’s death, the fact is, he died. Another fact is, I felt I wanted to die.
We can integrate facts, feelings, and faith and strengthen ourselves.
I planned how to kill myself with the least amount of mess for anyone who found me. Yeah, I know. Likely I’ll be tidy until my end.
Goodbye, dad, goodbye Marty, goodbye mom in that season of pummeling. This kind of loss is labeled complicated grief. Yeah, it’s tough. And it’s a fact.
Then I remember my pastor told me, “If you have a suicide plan, it’s time to call the National Suicide Hotline.” Recognizing this, I made the call.
The rep who answered circled me back to my psychiatrist. When I filled her in on my situation, she pulled back on my recently prescribed anti-depressant medication dosage. Within a couple of days, the thoughts and feelings subsided.
But while anyone might have thoughts of suicide, and it could be higher for widows than we assume. Life can be challenging, and widowhood is undoubtedly harder for so many reasons. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/578535;
Second, it is possible to use our feelings to uncover the facts. Recently my meditations have gone in this direction. Thanks to a free app that personalizes my meditation experience daily! I don’t care, as some of you may, how it does this.
I care why this new app does this. But then you already know in part.
Widows and widowers are different. We certainly have some unique challenges which may have arrived in our life unexpectedly or not.
Take the sometimes heavy feeling of loneliness. As an introvert, I can tell you I was never lonely, as some introverts may know and be okay for them.
But as someone married for more than half my life to a wide-open life-loving extrovert, I find the entire widow’s experience a lonely trial. That’s one reason to get and be connected.
I love the groups I can find connection with “where everybody knows your name,” as the saying from a famous sitcom Cheers, 1982 to 1993, is known for.
Making your way in the world today
Takes everything you got
Taking a break from all your worries
It sure would help a lot
Wouldn’t you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came
You want to be where you can see
The troubles are all the same
(Better have a good night)
You want to go where people know
The people are all the same
Discerning who I hang out with is another reason I choose more socialization with widows and widowers: they know more than my name about me without saying a word.
Finally, I lean on my faith in God to help me every day. I talk with God every day, even 4 years out from that day that changed my life as I knew it. Pray, praise, complain, and express gratitude.
The Bible is full of wisdom about faith in the hardest of times. That’s likely because life can be cruel. Some times are more complicated than others.
One of my favorite verses serves as a reminder of the kind of God we have:
Hebrews 11:6 AMP
6 But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.
When I lose hope and faith, thank God, which is less and less each day, it’s so convenient to just have scripture in mind. Whether it is the entire verse or a portion of one, I find it reconnects me to something and Someone who is more significant than me, Someone who has told me to come and lay my burdens down at His cross. And I am not afraid to do this several times a day!
Whether my faith on any day is up or down can actually depend on the fact and feeling that there is something bigger than just me. Or even the collective of widows and widowers.
There is a God who has this plan … a God who can when I cannot. I am one who is widowed who can integrate the facts, feelings, and faith to strengthen this widowhood season.
What’s your formula for strengthening yourself to where you are in your widow walk?
How does it work for you?
Others and I would love to hear from you.