I was all prepared to write about the importance of self-care for this post and had most of it written. It’s a topic near and dear to my heart and it’s a practice that moved me through the darkest parts of my grief. It got me to a place where I eventually had hope for the future.
And then I scrapped most of what I wrote because I spoke with a woman today whose spouse died suddenly 2 months ago and she is beyond devastated. We were basically strangers, but part of this club – The Widow Club – that neither of us asked to join.
You’d think I’d have the perfect thing to say to ease her pain, but I don’t. All I can do right now is witness her pain, offer support in any way I can and let her know that she’s not alone. It’s been 10 years since Dave’s sudden death and in our conversation, I was brought right back to those early months of shock, sadness, and loneliness. That time of barely hanging on until I hit rock bottom and I knew in my gut that I had to start taking better care of myself so that I could take care of my sons, Brad and Bryce. It’s like when you’re flying on a plane and they tell you to put the oxygen mask on first before assisting your child with theirs. I knew I couldn’t help my kids process their grief if I wasn’t dealing with my own.
I started writing in a journal. I was never someone who journaled, but it did help. I noticed that a specific theme was coming up around how a lot of my emotional pain showed up in my body. There were times when I felt like I was going to burst out of my skin and I knew I needed to shake loose that pain. The grief was literally stuck in my body, and I needed to loosen it up and release it so that I could have some clarity and space to deal with the trauma of Dave’s death.
I basically felt numb all the time, so I decided to be open to anything that might make me feel something (hopefully good). I started with my body and got regular massages and pedicures. In the past, I generally didn’t pay that much attention to bodily self-care. Sure, I did the occasional mani-pedi with girlfriends and got a massage here and there, but it was different now. I took a lot of baths because I liked the feel of warm water on my skin.
It didn’t feel at all indulgent to do this. I needed this.
It was like I was giving myself permission to take care of myself and writing myself a prescription for it. A few times when the massage therapist was working out a particularly nasty knot near my shoulder, I cried. It wasn’t really from the physical pain, it was more like a release of the emotional pain I was carrying around.
The more I moved my body, the better I felt. I regularly walked miles around my neighborhood. I was pretty much open to anything because I wanted to feel better – to feel good, even if it was just for 5 minutes.
Each step I took on my self-care quest built self-confidence and gave me the courage to move forward in healing and processing my grief.
But, it didn’t feel like the right time to talk about self-care with my new friend today. There will be a time when she’s receptive and I will be there for her. At the end of our conversation, I said “take care of yourself” – and I really meant it…with all my heart.
Greetings, I hope you are well. I am very blessed to inform you that God has been out strong hold for the year 2020. He is so loving father that he keeps on blessing his children to help those in need and troubles. I would like to encourage you to please share you token of love for children, widow families and youth.
Your love, support and prayers will be blessings for many.
Revival For Youth Fellowship Pakistan