LOSING your spouse changes everything. You can’t be the person you were anymore, not just because of the pain and grief, but because you’ve lost a piece of your identity. Your “personal puzzle” has been blown the smithereens, and your pieces are missing edges and cut into threes.
Most people aren’t aware of your daily struggles. And that’s OK. It’s not necessary to broadcast battles others are incapable of understanding anyway. Just give yourself credit for being stronger than you think you are.
Sometimes people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them
Unless the people around you have experienced a similar loss, they will never understand it. They can try, they can love you to the moon, but they simply cannot understand it. They’ll try to help, and sometimes say things that seem insensitive – try not to take it personally.
The reality is that you’ve just witnessed the unimaginable, and have a newfound appreciation for trying to live your most authentic life. You have to learn to let the judgments roll off your shoulders, whether you’ve found love again or simply choose to change the venue of your life.
You have to give YOURSELF grace while you figure yourself out. You can’t go back no matter how much you wish it so, you can’t change what’s happened, you cannot undo what’s been done.
Forward is the only way. Remember that always.
After all, as they say, “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.”
Grief never ends, but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love.
There is none; there is literally no way around grief, you just have to let it take you under, drown you, and then you have to let it change you. It’s arduous and exhausting, but worth the work (I promise)
Grieving is hard work. Take breaks and rest when you need to.
Joy and Pain Have Coexisted Since the Dawn of Time
You can’t have joy without sorrow. Light without dark. Grief without love. We find the context and meaning in the opposites.
The “relationship” between you and your late spouse just shifts over the months and years, because it has to; you can’t stay married to a spouse who isn’t here anymore. I know, dear reader. I know how painful that fact is. I know how we all want to go back in time and grab them and not let them go; but we don’t live in a world of “what if,” we live in “what is.” “What is,” is that our spouses are gone. “What is,” is that we have to find a way to go on. If you’re new to this, you’ll get there, I swear. Just do the work.
May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
You begin to shrink when you relinquish your power. Even though you’re grieving, you’re still in charge of you. In charge of how you want your story to play out. Instead of letting grief shrink you, why not expand your new understanding of yourself and all you’re capable of?
You already know there’s no happy ending to your story. What’s the alternative now? It’s up to you.
If you’re looking for a happy ending and can’t find one then start a new beginning instead.
Adunke Olatunji is the President, Tabitha New Life Foundation