A Message For All Widows: Need Your Help
Posted by Christine Smith-Johnson
Becoming a widow can make you feel as if you are going insane and it can make you feel as if you are the only sane person you know.
The emotions we face can be unbearable, they can make us weak and they can make us strong. It is frustrating to feel a hundred different emotions and then again feel a completely new emotion years later. People think we aren’t healing fast enough, they think we should already be operating again as we once were. This can frustrate us even more. We go to bed with plans of tackling certain things the next day and we wake up feeling great. Then out of nowhere something someone says or does takes us completely off track and the thought of picking up our to-do list seems unbearable. We start feeling heavy and spend our day trying to shake it off. It is bedtime and another day was wasted. We try again. We never stop trying and never stop believing that one day the heaviness will be gone. Our minds are motivated and want desperately to clean the house or start that project we need to finish but our bodies just won’t let us. We function and we accomplish things, just in smaller steps than what we are used to.
Other than the fact of not having our loved one here with us, not being our usual superwoman self is the hardest part to deal with. Some mornings, we can barely drag ourselves out of bed just to get the children off to school. The children can barely get out of bed. We do what must be done and are completely worn out just trying to get dressed but we never give up. We fight everyday to regain our strength, our energy, our memory, our old selves. We constantly wonder if we will grow old like this. We have our good days and we feel like a new person when they suddenly appear. We pray the bad days never come back and they always come back. We wake up wondering why we feel so bad. It is a roller coaster that you just want to stop. You cannot bear the thought of reliving it again. Have you ever wondered how lost love can drain you of so much? Ending a relationship hurts and causes pain, but you can still function. Becoming a widow stops you in your tracks. It cements your feet in time.
The anger, the confusion, the short-term memory loss, the shock, the crying, the questions, the wondering, the forgetfulness, the emptiness, the pain, the aches, the heartache, the sleepless years, the empty stomach, the clenching of the jaw and teeth, the numbness, the depression, anxiety, uncontrolled crying, memories, pictures, their clothes, their toothbrush sitting dry, the not focusing, the racing heartbeat, the longing, the begging, the grasping for anything to do with them. It may all seem like nothing to people who have never lost a husband, wife, or child, but to us, it is our way of life, our every breath we take, our every step. We no longer take the small stuff for granted and the big things seem irrelevant most days.
I would never wish this pain on my worst enemy and I pray for God to spare others the mind-numbing and heart breaking emotions we feel all in one day. It makes me angry that someone would cause this pain on another human being but yet I pray for my husband’s killer. I forgive but I do not forget. I still want justice and I will always search for it.
I keep running into people who are not hurting a little, I run into people who are broken beyond repair. It is as if God is putting people in my path to help. My friends are now referring to them as my angels. They are people who are lost and I have walked in their shoes, as an adult and as a child. I can relate to them and God is using me to help them. I know when they see us healing, they see it is possible. I have a message to all of you hurting and lost. Find someone who is hurting. Show them how far you have come. We will never be one hundred percent healed. When we go to our death-bed, we will still have sorrows and regrets. Every day that you wake up, you ARE healing. You may not feel it but you are and you have to trust that you are. You will not wake up one day healed. Healing is a journey, it is learning to cope, learning to find ways to comfort yourself and others. This is healing. Healing is knowing that you are even if you do not feel it all the time. We have our good days and our bad days.
I was shocked to find so many people suffering from losing a loved one. Everywhere I turn, I am finding people from all walks of life that are begging for someone to talk to and receive reassurance that they are experiencing normal symptoms. I always recovered from losing a loved one and never knew this pain existed. Sure, I dealt with issues of losing my father and other loved ones but I could still function. It wasn’t until I lost my husband that I learned the seriousness of it. We will never reach all the widows or parents or children throughout the world who are silently suffering. With that being sad, we need to search for them and show them they are not alone. You know yourself, when surrounded by many loved ones, you can feel completely alone. Children who were abandoned and are now orphans feel the pain we feel. Can you imagine a child feeling this pain? They are everywhere, in every city. It even makes you slow down long enough to realize the emotions animals feel. They feel afraid, happiness, loneliness, and I cannot even stomach thinking of the ones who are tortured. You suddenly realize how many of us feel real pain.
Please pay it forward and find others to comfort. Ease their suffering just by showing them they are not alone. When you show them how you are healing, you will also be healing yourself. It puts experience under your belt and it puts your focus on others instead of your pain. It gives you something to look forward to. If you are unsure of where to start, ask God to start putting people in your path to help and then start taking notice. It may be a little boy standing by a coke machine, or the stranger sitting next to you, or someone you have emailed for a while and never knew their story. You will know when to speak. Listen to your gut and follow your instincts. If you ask, He will deliver, you just have to be watching and listening. You will be shocked at how many are silently suffering and can live a better life just because you were in their path. You will be their light in their worst darkness just by listening and sharing your story.
You can send them or enter them (and yourself) on an online prayer request at http://TheLifeAtHome.webs.com for other viewers to pray for. A place to tell your story was just added this week and so many will be lifted from hearing our stories.
May God Bless You on your journey of rediscovering who you are and who you were. Keep their memories alive and talk about them. Honor them and share their life with us. Always hold onto the fact that they love you and are waiting on you on the other side. Until then, please be a light to others who are living with the hundred emotions we feel on a daily basis and do not know how to process it all. I hope to hear back from you and all the good things you are doing to improve your life and the life of others.
One of my favorite quotes:
You never know how strong you are
until strength is all you have left.
About Christine Smith-JohnsonI am a widowed mother of three children, ages 11 to 19. I hope to encourage you through my trials and traumatic experiences. All my life, I dealt with heartache, and kept my head held high. Recently, I dealt with a heartache so big, it consumed me. Every part of me was lost and hurting. I never thought I would make it through. I did and I want to help you make it through your heartache, no matter how big or small it may seem to you.
Posted on December 18, 2011, in Dealing With Death, Paying It Forward and tagged belated, child, death, Emotion, family, God, grief, Grief Loss and Bereavement, heal, Healing, health, loss, love, mourn, mourning, pain, relationships, Widow, widower. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.