I love your Instagram posts, and faithfully read your blog, so I’m hoping you can give me some of that inspiration you offer. Three weeks ago, I lost my husband of 12 years, and I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t know what to do with the hurt. You always inspire me, so I thought I’d take a chance and ask you if you have any inspiring words for me now.
Thank you so much for your kind words, and thank you for writing in!
Mostly, I have this to tell you: Be gentle with yourself.
You’re going to be tired. You are. You’re going to cry. You should. You’re going to feel lost. You will find yourself again – a new, different (maybe even better) version of yourself. You’re going to feel defeated. You’re not.
Do these things: Rest. Eat well. Do things that make you happy. Watch your favorite movies. Read your favorite books over again – even the ones from your childhood. ESPECIALLY the ones from your childhood. Take long baths, get massages. Let people take care of you. Let people hug you. Let yourself be pampered.
And, don’t rush this time.
To properly heal, you need to sit – and be present in the moment, and feel the pain of the past – before you can walk forward into your future.
Most of all, know this: You WILL be okay.
Recently, my friend lost her mother. I think we know how both comforting (yet overwhelming) all those Facebook “I’m sorry for your loss” messages can be, and what she did instead, that follows below, channeled all of the sad energy into a more positive direction.
In a post on her personal page, she thanked everyone for their comments, along with this: “One way you can help is to leave your favorite memory of my mom in the comments below.” It was an instant way for her to turn Facebook from a very sad reminder of loss into a sweet memory-sharing experience of someone she loved. Someone she loves. The best part is that no memory shared will be the same, so you’ll end up with an arsenal of positive memories about your husband to refer to when you need a little reminder of the person you knew, and loved.
I saw another unique way of dealing with loss when I saw my cousin over the holidays, and she told me of her sweet husband’s quick decline due to a brain tumor. I asked questions, but mostly I listened. That’s what I’ve found, most of all, is that people just want to talk and be heard in times of loss, because there is nothing you can say that is going to heal their heart. There won’t ever be that a-ha moment of total healing, because that particular part of them is broken, never to be completely repaired again. But, while they can’t repair, they can remember. And, they can honor that memory.
As my cousin left to go home, I noticed she was driving a huge truck – her husband’s truck. I also noticed a ring hanging around her neck on a necklace. I asked her what it was. She said, “It’s his wedding ring, hung on the necklace he gave me for our anniversary right before he passed away. That way, he’s always close to my heart.”
It’s a way for her to keep him close, to remember him and to honor him, right next to her heart, where he already lives.
I would urge you to find ways to celebrate your late husband in your own daily life. Some people might say to try to start anew, but I don’t believe that’s really possible for you right now. It’s too soon. And, your heart has some healing to do. So, try one or both of these suggestions above, or create one of your own, that’s special to you and him. It will help. And, by focusing your energy and heart on positive memories, rather than the sadness and despair that the loss brings, you will eventually feel better, and you will start to heal.
And, again, be gentle with yourself.
You will be okay.
You are okay.
Sending you so much love…
*Readers: If you have a “Dear Dawn” question, please send it to DearDawn@BeautyFrosting.com. While I can’t promise I’ll give you the answer you want, I CAN promise that I will answer you.
*NOTE: I am NOT a doctor. I am simply a person, who is navigating this world and life, right alongside everybody else.