I've been widowed and you may have been widowed. But my journey will be different than your journey. There are similarities we can talk about....the empty chair at the dinner table, lonely nights and weekends, holidays and anniversaries, becoming head of the household and making ALL the decisions, and of course...what to do with my life now!?
Grief is kind of like figuring out how to get from one place to another. Say, from the East Coast to the West Coast. The most logical way would be to fly or drive and find a straight route to get there as quick as possible. But for everyone that makes the trip, no two trips will be exactly the same. Some people will take different routes, stay at different motels, eat at different restaurants along the way. Then some may never make it across at all. They'll get lost on their journey and end up somewhere they don't want to be. These are all variations of grief journeys.
So how did our family celebrate the first year of holidays without daddy? My daughters and I took a 4 week road trip to visit family and friends within 7 states. Reuniting with loved ones gave us joy that softened our pain. As I hear others tell their stories, I heard as many variations as there were widows. Each one had a different and unique way of getting through the holidays. Such is the life of grief!!
So what do we see when we reach our destination? Hopefully, if we completed our grief successfully, we will have reaped what we sowed and know we made a purposefilled journey. Life is good again and joy returns!
What's something that makes your grief so unique?