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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bereavement Series: What's Next?

In the aftermath of loss one of the questions is "what's next" in life. It's a little like wondering how to find a bridge to cross over this experience and keep going.
I am 56 years old. In 1996 I lost my husband, whom I had known for 25 years, to cancer. Recently I lost my dearly loved gentleman friend, who did not survive heart surgery. We had been together for 3 years, the best years since my husband's death in 1996. Sharing so many of life's moments with a dearly loved one and then losing that special person leaves a huge void.

The love, hugs, affection and emotional sharing is gone. The companionship, conversation, shared goals, special meanings of life are gone. No one can fill that person's place and the future will be different.

A widowed friend of mine said one of her favorite tips was to make something good come out of the loss and pain. A grief counselor once told me that in every tragedy lies a seed of opportunity.

Those who have lost a dearly loved one have empathy and compassion from having walked that road. Giving back to the world, making a difference, volunteering for charities, turns that sense of loss into something meaningful.

Another widow I know, named "Joy" gave me some advice I followed after my husband died. She said, "You never need to be alone. There are so many people in need and so many places where you can volunteer to help others. And you'll meet the nicest people when you are helping others."

1 comment:

Sheila said...

Oh Kristi ! How I love your article ! I lost my dear hubby, as of today 23 months ago exactly.
And yes, I received that same advise & took it, nervous, but I did, and what its done, is given me strength to get through each & every day !
My Dad died 36 yrs ago, my Mom 6 yrs ago. I'm a only child, barren, with relatives that are outright thieves. But I've turned myself over to Christ, and He's always here, always carrying me through this most difficult journey, I've ever had in my life !

You're not alone, no ! And please feel free to write me any time !

Yours in God's Grace,