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My First Year as a Widower

Greetings to all Widows and Widowers,

Being widowed is a club you never wanted to join. Know that we are here to support one another. The Widows/Widowers Support Group assists all ages ... through a time of grief, a time of loneliness, and a time of challenge.

We know that solitude can be agonizing, especially for someone who had never lived alone. That first gutteral cry from the heart. Uncontrollable tears can last for hours at a stretch. Longing for your mate, feeling the fire of anger, we've all wanted to scream at them to come back.

Life will not be the same as before your loss. When we wish to be near people, just to sit, come join one of our groups. We don't preach any doctrine. We want to help you understand the new "normal" is where you are today.

When we were first widowed, none of us were educated to know that grief is a normal process that takes its own time. We hope and expect the sense of loss to subside quickly and automatically. But, our emotional triggers overpower us and our world stops. But, we regain strength and we move forward.

Spending some time each day in our own sanctuary or protected place lets us fully grieve. That's better than trying to avoid feelings by sticking to a routine.

Some of us felt guilty as we experienced both grief and release. Yes, we had a deep love, but letting go means you're human. After your loved one dies, we could fear we were partially responsible in some way for their death. No worries, we did everything we could to make decisions based on what information we had to work with.

For a sudden death, it's a crushing loss, if we had unfinished business beforehand. It's common for unresolved feelings to surface after a death. Some of us did seek individual counseling while attending these grief support groups.

You are welcome to attend more than one weekly Widows/Widowers Support Group. Each group facilitator coordinates the sharing of widowed experiences. As an active listener, you can learn what hurts as well as what works.

Acceptance of the death of a loved one marks a transition in life. Being ready to move on involves coping with pain and grief. Someday, you will reestablish priorities and focus on what truly matters. Each day it gets more tolerable. That's our new beginning and we don't tell someone to get over it. We hope to help you get throught it.