Do you feel the lack of caring and loving people in your life? Does an anchor of loneliness persist day after day?
Healing ourselves and healing our relationships are critical. Caring for ourselves is essential in attracting the care and love of others.
Healing produces benevolent feelings that all is right with the world, leading to our own acts of kindness and building of friendships. Keep your own ‘house in order.’ Be sure to keep your own body and spirit healthy.
The result of our health and healing is the strength to not only receive the friendships of others, but also to reach out, help, and create new friends and loving relationships. Healing and health radiate good will.
The more we care for ourselves, the more resources we have to share and care for others, and the more we attract caring and loving people into our lives.
From Healing to Forgiveness
Soon I started expanding on the things I ‘must do’, listed below.
You will want to add those things that are uniquely yours. Go even further. Strike a major chord. Go just one step beyond what you think is necessary, or expected, or is even comfortable. Then reach out just a little bit further….
- Have you made that difficult phone call that has been eating at you? When you find yourself on hold for many minutes, make it easier on yourself and press the speakerphone button. Even better, ask a dear friend or family member to make those calls for you. People genuinely want to help; that’s why they ask. Now is the time to take them up on their offers. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with the things you need.
- Sort through your spouse’s belongings. This can be a tender task and one that is difficult to tackle. Take it on prayerfully, gently folding, remembering and thoughtfully dividing into piles. Decide which items will be appreciated by family and close friends, and which might be donated to the needy. Doing this could be valuable therapy for you.
- Write a comforting letter to someone in your family. It may be his sister or brother who is having a particularly difficult time with the loss. Take comfort in realizing how loved your spouse was by so many. Your words on paper are a special gift. They can be savored in the moment and returned to again and again.
- By far, the best way to heal those terrible feelings of leftover guilt, anger or resentment is to work on forgiveness. If you have been wrestling with some guilt and you are not quite sure what it’s all about, write down your thoughts in your journal. Be candid. Pour out your thoughts where you can read them again later from a different viewpoint. Are you holding some resentment over things that were not quite settled between you and your spouse? Now is the time to deal with it; work a little every day on your forgiveness. Write in your journal. If you seem to get nowhere, call a close friend or even a grief specialist for help. People want to listen to you and you will find that speaking face to face with a caring listener can give clarity and comfort.
[The foregoing is an excerpt from chapter three of I'm a Widow, What Now? Embracing Life after Loss]