The questions to ask yourself now is what do l want? How do I prepare for what l want and how do l get it? Do I want to be a widow forever and how do I walk out of widowhood into a new relationship?
When you become a widow you become officially single even though in the midst of your present Grief you still feel emotionally attached to your dead spouse.The time and length of commitment with each other prevents you from defining self as single at the time of loss.
That’s why you have to work out your grief – each individual works his or her grief differently.This is not easy but it is possible with our internal grit /strength, and the right support around you.
The most important thing during a major adversity is having the right people around you = Good people,to encourage,motivate,be honest and yet kind to you. You have to do what is best for you e.g. be honest in how you feel and talk about it to those available to support you,get out of the house, go walking,listen to positive music,sleep well,rest,do not hide yourself behind too many chores, and for me it was praying and meditating on Bible scripture.
The latter was the only exercise that gave me the daily emotional lift i needed in my spirit. My day started with prayer and ended with prayer.It still does.
Prayer can be done anywhere,in the park while walking,in the privacy of your home,on the train quietly and in other incidences where fear tends to grip you e.g. at work when feeling over whelmed etc.
‘Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication,with thanksgiving,let your requests be made known to God’ Philippians 4:6
When i was a child i always confessed that i wanted to share my adult life with a male companion in marriage after surviving the ravishes of a broken home.
So in widowhood i reignited the same vision.My main request was to meet a decent and spiritual/God fearing man, who was financially self – sufficient, with a vision for his future and was confidant in himself,also one my children will gradually respect and accept.For this to happen i had to create room in my mind,in my physical space and daily routine.
Becoming single again can easily get you into bad habits such as waking up whenever you want,not keeping your home tidy,no meal time routine,overspending,having no time curfew for people to visit your home and hanging unto friends that just want to talk and waste your time all day.
So i decided even in my grief to maintain the routine i had while my late husband was still alive for my children and i.This made it easier for me to incorporate additional improvements such as a healthier food content,more exercise,less crowds, selecting just a safe set of close friends around me and focusing clearly on the needs of my children.
I also transformed my living space,making it newer and it certainly looks fresh.I removed all old furniture that reminded me of our past and replaced with contemporary fittings.Thank God i was finally able to afford my renovations.
Each step of the way i sought God’s counsel in prayer once i had written my specific plans and objectives.Each materialised in season.It has been and still is an amazing journey.
Meeting a new companion to walk in my future at the time was a distant dream, yet l hoped and prayed continuously that this would come to past.
For Example, what would my future companion look like and what qualities did l want in him. Then I took this into my prayer closet.
This means to those of you that are not Christians, praying (talking) about my listed needs to God in private.
After 5 years of being widowed i began to feel i was ready emotionally to seek a new relationship.Exercise kept me physically and emotionally strong so i maintained a rigid routine of walking,cycling, pilates and eating more pulses and less red meat.
I explored the best social setting in which to interact and socialise.
I opened myself to invitations to weddings, birthday parties and small social gatherings. I found it too obvious to attend single church events as they were full of much younger people.
The former strengthened my confidence and courage as l was able to socialise without being accompanied.
Yet I was comfortable enough to enjoy such outings. I learnt the importance of loving my own company. This is key when you want to start another relationship.
The trap we fall into unconsciously when we have been married for many years is to get used to having a male companion with you at all social events. So, when you lose a spouse you can feel like a part of you is truly missing.
You must gain courage to step out to interact in natural settings again. Once you succeed at the first attempt it feels less scary to do it again and again. Sometimes the company of a friend really helps in the initial stages.
When unsuccessful strides are made at these settings it is important to explore other ways of meeting people. A most popular option these days is online dating, a mind field for many yet the way of the world currently. This would require stepping your Courage up a gear or two.
It is important to confide in someone you trust when you start navigating on line dating as this person should guide and give you perspective etc.Perhaps one who has previously succeeded via this medium or Coaches/ Mentors in this area.
The most important thing is to decide which site to go on – as there are so many. What helps though is there appears to be sites that meet most needs. E.g. Widow/widower, Christian, Professional etc This narrows the demographics for you.
So, if you are a Christian perhaps narrow it down to Christian websites. Word of warning though, not everyone on these sites are who they say they are, as many hide behind a screen and spout fake platitudes. So, listen to the content of their replies and how they answer your important questions.
Be very cautious not to form imaginary emotional ties in your head before meeting the person. Do not chat too long (after 3 to 4 weeks of chatting) you need to arrange to meet them in a safe and public space. The initial meet also requires another level of Courage – just remember to tell at least someone of your arrangement/venue of meeting your blind date.
Signing off now – there is hope after loss!