I have been accused of not helping my friends and adult children through their grief. The truth is my accusers just might be correct. In retrospect, I was totally absorbed in my own grief and, after 6 years of caring for my husband, I felt I had no more left to give.

I had spent a lifetime of working at my own job to support my family, while my husband was starting his own business. Additionally, I worked alongside my husband in the family business, raised children, weathered disappointments and heartaches as I felt my husband’s pain along with my own, dealt with financial concerns, and rode the roller coaster of emotions as I traveled the ups and downs of being told by my husband’s doctors that he was doing well and there was hope that he would recover, only to have him relapse many, many times. After watching him die, my well was finally dry. In order to survive his death, I knew I had to take care of me, myself and I.

For the first time in my life, I got to fall in love with me!!!!!!

I had not abandoned my family. I had abandoned me….I was lost; I was that one sheep I got to go after. Only by loving me could I fully love others, including my children. Oh, how I love them all with my whole heart and being. In fact, I love them enough to learn to love me!!!!!!

My hope is that some day my friends and family will see me in a new light and we can come together in our healing. I have learned that there is no script. Neither is there a manual or a workbook that tells you how to handle loss step by step. However, I do know that if we do the best we know how at the time, that is all we can do. And, as we acknowledge that about ourselves and others, we can look past our own judgement about how we or others handled a painful and challenging situation. And by doing so we open the door for forgiveness, healing and building more connected, deeper and more fulfilling relationships with those we love!