A widow’s thoughts after 16 months of her loss

There are not a lot of books out there on the grieving widow, but there are a few. I am sure that most of you have as many as you have been able to find. Why do we gravitate to these books? I am convinced it because of two main reasons,(although I am sure there are plenty of other reasons). The first of these two I feel is to see if there are any more comforting words, or “magical” words that will make is feel better. Secondly, is because we want to know if what we are feeling is “normal”. Let’s  look at those two points  for a little bit today.

As for the “magical” words, there are none.  There is nothing that can be said that can remove our grief. However, I too reached out to find  what others had to say about their grieving and widowhood. Even though the only real comfort comes from God and His word, in the beginning of your grief, you find that you can not concentrate very well. It is one thing to read God’s comforting words and be able to digest them and chew on them awhile, but it is another thing to read God’s word and have your mind distracted continually by your lack of concentration. However, when you can read the scripture and then read how another widow has applied it to herself, it seems to be simpler to digest. Please do not mistake what I am saying. We do still need to read God’s word, and His Holy Spirit can speak to us at any time in our lives. However, I felt that when I lost my son at age 21, and again now with the loss of my husband, that I did better with encouraging words written to me along with scripture, than I did with long reading on my own. When I started being able to concentrate better on my own, I made index cards with the scriptures that really helped me. I put these at different places in the house where I would see them. This is something that I highly recommend for anyone. When I was “heavenly minded” I felt so much better, but no one has time to sit and read their bible all day. Therefore, having a comforting verse sitting above my kitchen sink, on the mirror in the bathroom and in many places throughout the house was one of the best things I did for myself.

For the second reason we seek out books from other widows, it does give comfort to read that others went through the same thoughts and feelings that you yourself are. No two people grieve alike or have the same circumstances. However, we do all go through many ups and down, often referred to as waves. It is good to learn that others also moved up two steps and in no time moved back a few steps.  You read how others also suffered with memory loss, guilt and anxiety.  So many widows have said,” I thought I was going crazy before I learned that others went through the same things.”  And lastly, it is good to read how other widows were slowly able to eventually “move on”.

As I look  back on my journey of grief and healing I know I have come a long way. I did not have to walk this pathway alone. God has been by my side every step of the way. Even when I faltered, He was there waiting for me and always picked me back up again. I have had to learn how to live without the other half of me.  It was hard to realize that you are single again after all these years. I had to learn how to live a single life both socially, economically and financially. I had to seek God’s will for my “new” life, to find new goals and a new purpose in life. Once of my biggest lessons that God taught me is that I can not look back. I can not wish I had my old life back, or I will never be able to move on. God tells us not to look back. We must keep looking straight ahead at the pathway before us. I also learned that I need to be looking upward towards heaven and not downward.  We need to be “heavenly minded” and let the things here on earth grow dimmer to us.

I am not completely to the end of my journey of grief and I do not know if one ever reaches reaches the end. But I can assure all of you that are not as far along on their own journey that healing does come. Isaiah 61:2-3 says ” He will comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve…,to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ass, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. ”  May God bless you as you walk on this pathway with the Lord at your side.

3 thoughts on “A widow’s thoughts after 16 months of her loss

  1. Dear Kathy – I’m so sorry that I didn’t see your comments on my blog from June until now. Thank you so much for our comments. First let me say how sorry I am for your loss of your dear husband. I can’t imagine what you went through during his illness, and what you are going through now. I have been married for 50 years and he’s more dear to me now than then. However I know God, and He is good and His grace is more than sufficient. I also believe that it is He who has put in your heart to speak and encourage others, and He will therefore make a way for your gifts, (which I am sure He has already begun to do – especially lthrough this blog).
    It is great that you have family nearby—it helps at this difficult transition time. However they can never be your ministry, nor does God want them to be your ministry (though as a grandma it comes with the erritory that we can and do loving enjoy and influence them for Christ). He and He alone wants to be our forever husband and ministry. And it is there we find our greatest joy, peace and fulfilment. I know He has been more than enough for you.
    I have two friends who recently lost their husbands of many years, but they are not online – too bad. However, I will certainly recommend your blog to others as I minister and counsel for Him.
    Blessings with your wonderful blog – may God increase it that you may bless others by what He has done for – Fran http://www.francesfernandez.com web/blog : email Pop496@aol.com

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    • Fran,
      I have your book, The Best is Yet to Come and have really been blessed by the devotionals. I feel priviledged to have you even stumble onto my blog and I appreciate your comment. Thank you for writing and for your encouragement. God bless you, Kathy

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  2. Kathy, I disagree with Fran’s comment that our family is not to be our ministry. To minister to someone means to give service, to care for, to aid, to attend to wants or necessities or to contribute to someone’s comfort or happiness. If a mother cannot do that with her own family, who can she minister to?

    I believe that we can have more than one ministry at once. In this blog you are ministering to widows and hopefully to those who are not widows and have no understanding of what a widow goes through after the loss of her husband.

    Thank you for not being afraid to open your heart and share you deepest thoughts and feelings.

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