Widow Wednesday #6
Welcome to Widow(er) Wednesdays. A new way for me to share what worked, what didn’t work and what could work better. One of the things that helps us heal is letting go of misbeliefs or calling them what they are (just plain wrong). This week I tackle the misbelief that “If you work hard enough at doing everyday things you will be able to end your grief.”
There is this misbelief that staying busy, going out, returning to work, buying a new car and even dating someone new are all signs that we are healing and moving on with our life. But, in many cases, they are simply actions used to break the powerful hold that grief has on us. They may bring temporary relief but they are not indicators that one is healed.
Don’t get me wrong. Keeping busy is not a bad idea. Keeping busy can be helpful at times. Everyone needs distraction now and then. But, keeping busy, especially in the early days is really about staying distracted. Distraction gives us a break from the very real, very hard work of healing after loss.
So let’s call ‘keeping busy’ what it is. A tool to help us stay sane while we physically heal enough to regain sufficient energy to figure out how to incorporate the lessons of loss into our souls and move forward with our lives: lives that often look very different than the lives we used to live. Why? Because we need to bring all of our memories and experiences with us if we are to create a new way of living that makes sense to us. This requires a lot of trial and error and creativity. It can also take a lot of time.
But, that does not mean that we should not work to build good things into our lives, even if in the early days, they are simply acts of distraction. Distraction can be an act of self-care. So, whenever necessary, feel free to indulge in the distraction of keeping busy. I encourage you to schedule in distractions such as walks in nature, massages and tea or drinks with friends. Yes, stay busy and add some healthy distractions into the chaos that is grief, even if you need to indulge in some less than healthy ones too. Remember I’m the gal who gained back weight lost during my husband’s illness by eating mostly fudgsicles and drinking red wine. AND please let go of the notion that you can end grief through purposeful action (a.k.a. staying busy) and crush the idea that staying busy means we are healed. Worry less that others haven’t a clue that it’s a much longer and harder process than anyone could imagine. And know that you will build yourself a new life in your own damn sweet time.
Till next time,
Looking for previous “Widow Wednesdays? Start here with Widow Wednesday #1
Buy Heike’s book “Grief is…” click here
To learn more about Heike (Author: “Grief is…”) click here