Last fall, I buried my wife of 45 years. She was the love of my life and I miss her every day. From when she was in the hospital until the time of her funeral services and burial, I was fortunate to have had a lot of support from my children, my family and friends, during her sickness, stay at the hospital until her funeral services. But now that a few months have passed, I miss her even more as I see her in everything that I do. The support I got from everyone has lessened but my feelings of grief haven’t. Where can I go for help to get over my loss?
Unfortunately, there is no “getting over” a loss of a loved one. Grief is something to be worked through and not “gotten over”. Don’t worry; you can work through these feelings. Grief is a process, give yourself time to heal emotionally. You loved and lived with this woman for 45 years, and she’s passed on a mere few months ago! Be patient with yourself. The grief process is work and it can often be physically and emotionally draining, but there are no shortcuts or end arounds with grief. You may try denying or avoiding your grief, but I promise that it will manifest itself in other aspects of your life down the road; such as your health, your relationships and/or your well-being. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask your friends and family for help, even with everyday things if you need it. Trust me, they didn’t abandon you as soon as your wife was interred; they just had to return to their everyday responsibilities. I am certain that they will want to be there for you to lean on during this time. Their love and support will help guide you through difficult times. Another resource is your clergy person. Even if you don’t attend a place of worship on a regular basis, call on the clergy. They can offer valuable counsel or be able to refer you to someone that can. Also, your funeral director is always available to assist. We offer “aftercare” to the families we serve by suggesting professionals who specialize in helping people affected by varying degrees of grief.
If you have, or can gain, access to the Internet, here are just a few of many web sites and groups that are committed to helping people through this difficult time.
www.griefshare.org this site’s mission statement is, “Grief Share is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone.”
www.griefjourney.com The website states, “Because there is so little understanding of grief and loss in our ‘death denying culture’, people often fear they are ‘losing it’, or ‘going crazy’. When they understand that grief is a natural, albeit difficult, experience, this fact can free the person to explore their reactions and feelings by giving them ‘permission’ to grieve”
www.compassionatefriends.com Their mission statement is – “to assist families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive”
You may feel like you will never work through the pain of losing your wife because grief has a way of being stubborn. Understand that coming to terms with such a life-altering change takes time, patience and persistence. Have faith and stay strong Joseph. You will eventually work through your grief and come to accept your loss.
Gerald R. Bosak, Jr.