No one can completely understand the pain you are experiencing . . . but God.
God loves you and wants to comfort you. The Bible says He is our Comforter. We only need to ask.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV).
When I first lost my husband, Bill, I couldn't even pray. I was too numb. All I could say was a whisper, "Help me, Lord." God's faithfulness was so personal, so real, it became richly evident that He knew me more deeply than I had realized.
Here are a few things I learned along the way that may help you . . .
There is no right way to grieve.
Everyone grieves differently. There is no time frame, no limitation. The key to healthy grieving is to keep going forward. Don't fall into the trap of grading your progress.
Life will never be quite the same, but it can be good, fruitful and rewarding.
As soon as my strength allowed, I joined a Bible Study, took art classes, made some decorative changes in my home, and developed a whole new group of friends.
Though I was still grieving, I made myself keep moving forward. I'm grateful to report, I'm more skilled in my creative arts, more settled in my new identity, and now I'm comforting others with the comfort God gave me.
Don't make major decisions hastily.
Give yourself time to think things through
and get the necessary counsel you might need. Many say you shouldn't sell your house in the first year. But many widows and divorced women can't afford to stay where they are and have to relocate. Take as much time as you can and only move after careful thought and you feel peace. God will lead you.
Find Your Secret Place
Look for a place where you can sit quietly and privately to relax, think and pray.
My old farmhouse has a wonderful porch with a swing. That became my secret place where I go every morning to watch the sunrise. Whenever I feel overwhelmed I go to my swing to breathe the fresh air, to think and to pray.
Accept help when it is offered
I've heard many widows say, "I just hate to be a bother." I understand that one, but you will need help at times. I learned the hard way that I shouldn't climb ladders and clean the gutters at my age.
The key to preventing helper's burnout is having an assortment of people you can call on. My sons have families and jobs with more on their plates than they have time to do. I try not to call them too often for help (Though they'd never complain).
Stay active, and eat healthily
It was difficult to get used to cooking for one. In the beginning, I just snacked. So, I gained weight. I needed to get serious about veggies and protein. I have to admit, ice cream and crunchy-carbos seem comforting, but the weight gain and ill-health that follows is not. I found a couple of friends who liked to take walks. Later, I joined the YMCA.
Don't wait for others to call you. If you need to talk, call a friend. I learned that a homemade pot of soup lures good company. Having friends over for soup and a muffin turned out to be a wonderful source of fellowship for me, and it slowly evolved into ministry.
Have any healthy tips to share? Why not comment.