Saturday, October 29, 2011

Widow's Guilt.....What if??

What if... I had called the doctor like he asked?

"Cindy, can you call the doctor and see if he can get me in tomorrow morning before I leave for my business trip?" my husband asked. "I'm not feeling well. I'm starting to get a bad cold and cough. Maybe he can give me something before I get too sick."
I agreed I would call. It was February. We lived in sunny, warm, Florida at the time, however, his trip was in Pennsylvania and the weather would be very cold that time of year.

I remembered to make my hair appt. for the following day. But, I felt terrible that evening when my husband asked if I had made the doctor's appt. Oh, oh!! I had totally forgotten!!

So the next day, off to frigid PA he flew. His cold and cough got worse. He suffered for a week until he came home. I had suggested he see a doctor in PA, but he decided to wait. By the time he got back, he was very sick. He was allergic to some of the meds the doctor prescribed and he continued to get worse. By the beginning of April he was in the hospital with pnuemonia. He never pulled through and died on April 13th.

What if I had called the doctor the day he asked me to? What if he got some meds before his trip? Would he have lived??

Well if you believe what God says in the Bible, I don't think he would have lived a day longer. In Psalm 139:16 it states, "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

I have erased all guilt. I have let go because I had no control over what was meant to happen.  Can you erase yours? Do you think you had control over what happened to your loved one?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Widow's Change of Season

Summer is over. No more trips to the beach. No more sunbathing by the pool. No more ice-cold smoothies on a hot afternoon. Why does it have to end? Sound like something else in your life?

Your spouse dies and your marriage is over. No more vacations together. No more mornings drinking coffee together. No more planning for the future together. Why did it have to end??

Seasons change. We go from summer to fall to winter to spring. My life went from single, to married, to widowed, to remarried.

When I think of the 4 seasons in a year, I can find joy and happiness in each one. I can also find some miserable things in each season as well. Think about it. Summer fun, is about the warm sunshine, trips, beaches and pools. It also has bugs, humidity, and unbearable heat at times. Fall is the beautiful time of year when the leaves turn so colorful but at the same time allergies can be dreadful. Winter can be a festive time with parties and Christmas but it can also have some terrible weather conditions that make driving hazardous! You get the point.

So when I think back about the seasons of my life, (single, married, widowed, and remarried) I can draw joy and heartache from each one. When I was married the first time, there were hard times but the joyful times were more abundent. When I became widowed, it was a sudden change. I didn't like it one bit. As time moved on, I began to find happiness in my widowhood. It wasn't the choice I would have choosen, but since I couldn't do anything about it, I might as well find the joy. I did. I made new goals and plans for myself. The sun eventually came out again and a new summer returned.

So when one season ends, and another begins, grieve for what you no longer have. Grieve for the season that's over. Once you get through your grief, breathe in your new season and look for the joy. It'll be there!  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Picking up the Pieces

Does it feel as if your life is a jig saw puzzle? Life was pretty much together, and then all of a sudden....you're widowed! Your life falls to pieces.... And not like it's a 25 piece puzzle, it's more like 1,000 pieces!!

After the shock wears off, you look around. You have to put your life back together like a jig saw puzzle but have no idea where to start. You don't have a clue what it's going to look like when you're done. At first, maybe you just let the pieces lay where they are for awhile. I sometimes find it easy to procrastinate when a big project looms ahead. Then one day, you have enough energy to turn all the pieces over and spread them out. So what's my plan? I believe that God has a plan for me and He knows what the finished masterpiece will look like. For He promises us in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for you to prosper, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

So I begin...I start by doing the frame first. Once I get going, I build some momentum. Once I finish the frame, I feel as if I accomplished something big. Good feeling! Next, I find a prominent color that stands out but I make sure there's not too many of the same color...like blue! I definitely don't start with the BLUE sky and ocean! I want to make some quick progess so I start with some bright reds. I'm able to put them together and make a rose garden. Though it isn't connected to the frame yet, I still get another reward of accomplishment. Soon, I'm able to connect the inside pictures to the frame. At the end, I tackle the blue sky. Because I've had so many small goals already completed, I have the stamina to go the rest of the distance and finish it. And when I do, it is so amazingly beautiful!

Because God has made each of us unique, your's will be a different picture, but just as beautiful! And you will probably go about putting your life puzzle back together in a different way than I did. We may have similar styles, but it won't be exactly the same. The same is true of our grief. Our journeys will all be similar yet different. And the finished masterpiece will each be one of a kind!

(And instead of struggling on your own....have a friend help you...especially with the blue sky!!!)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

GRIEF- A Widow's After Shock

I like to use analogies. To me, grief was the after shock of suddenly becoming a widow. First there's the "Earthquake" in your life. Your spouse dies and your whole world is shaken and broken apart. Nothing is ever the same. Everything is out of place. Grief is the suffering caused by loss. Like an earthquake, it's not like "one" thing is out of place. Your whole life is shifted and changed. So when we grieve the loss of our spouse, we are also grieving for other losses...he may have been our best friend, lover, and companion. We may have to move, change jobs and/or careers. It's like an earthquake that destroys a town. We have to pick up the pieces and start from scratch!

After the dust settles, we see what we're left with. We begin to look within ourselves to see what we can salvage. At first, it seems very dismal with little hope. As we begin to ask for God's help, He shows us that we can rebuild. Not only can we rebuild, but with His guidance, we can build a stronger foundation. We come to realize where our strength comes from!

Can you tell when it's God that's helping you to pick up the pieces? How do you know?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

TGIM

Thank God It's Monday!
Yes, I'm writing this on a Saturday but I imagine many widows are wishing it was Monday. I hated Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays! Fridays were the day that the week ended and your spouse would be home for the weekend. It WAS a happy part of the week. For a while, it IS the worse. I tried to have things planned for the weekend with family or friends. In the beginning I suffered through those Friday nights and weekends. And with a lot of help from my friends I made it through. One weekend at a time. As weeks turn into months, you take on a different routine for your weekends. I traveled a lot in my first year, which helped to break up the days of the weeks. Whatever it took sometimes to get through and have a sigh of relief when Monday came!

If you're a widow or know a widow, what are some other ways to get through lonely weekends in the first weeks, months, or year??