Happily Even After: Why Don't I Feel Better

In her book, Carole Brody Fleet discusses how to get through the grief of widowhood.

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Ever hear the phrase, “back to basics”? This is what I’m going to encourage you to do now—go back to the “basics” of healing. Even though you may be further away from your husband’s death in terms of chronological time, you may very well need to revisit the very basic first steps of healing in the ways that I described earlier. Reestablish your basic routine; pay attention to your health and start your recovery processes over again.

If you have since remarried or otherwise re-involved yourself in a serious relationship, you need to share your feelings with your partner. Don’t keep them guessing by playing the “What’s Wrong / Nothing” Game because that’s unfair to both of you. Let them know that you still don’t feel as though you are quite past your loss and that you’re going to need love, patience, and under-standing while you attend to this very important emotional growth period in your life. I assure you that anyone who truly loves you and is committed to you and is aware of what you have been through is going to understand and support you all the way through your pain.

Finally, if you feel that all else has failed and that despite all of your best efforts to seek support, take advice, and implement suggestions, you just can’t seem to move forward in a healthy and positive way, get help! This truly does bear repeating over and over again because you don’t have to do this all by yourself. While continuing to surround yourself with the tools and the support that you need, you should consider consulting with your doctor as to therapies and different alternatives that will best serve you and your needs right now. Emotional wounds and symptoms are every bit as serious as physical symptoms and your doctor is in a position to either help you or direct you to a specialist who can help you.

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Our widowed friend put it so well earlier when she observed that, “It doesn’t get easier; it just ‘gets different.’” This observation is actually one of the first things that I teach all widows. Will life be the same as before? No, it won’t. Will life once again be wonderful? If you open your mind and your heart to that possibility, it certainly can be.

Happily Even After    From Happily Even After: A Guide to Getting Through (and Beyond) the Grief of Widowhood by Carole Brody Fleet. Reprinted courtesy of Viva Editions.

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Carole Brody Fleet
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