I I lost my husband. My best friend …

and thru the gift of hindsight, I realize I lost so much more.

For me, a HUGE loss is that of a constant companion.

S𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘀.  The other losses no one warns you about

Secondary losses are the ripples created after losing a loved one. They often begin to appear after the initial shock of death has lessened. Each one, and there are many, forces us to rethink how we see ourselves. They can appear in many forms including financial setbacks, changes in friendships or your place in the family.

Since the age of 14, when I first met my future husband, I took it for granted that he would always be by my side.

Together we set out to create a lifetime of memories.

It was all soooooo simple. I had a partner available for any adventure I could dream up for us – large or small.

And now?

Like most widows, I was overwhelmed with support after the initial tragedy. However, in time people naturally go back to their own lives and the invitations decrease.

So what’s a girl to do?  I know I am one of the lucky ones because I have a large network of friends and family. If I would like a companion to join me, I am now required to search for a friend who is interested AND available.

Sounds simple? No, it can really shake my confidence as I often hear various forms of “no” from my mostly married friends. That’s secondary grief!! It changes our perception of who we are and how we move thru our new life.

In hindsight, is there anything I could have done differently?

“I would find myself getting deeply distressed if I lived in hindsight all the time.” – Abraham Lincoln

For me, hindsight is an opportunity to learn and grow.

It’s hard to imagine that sudden death will happen to your loved one and forever alter your life. It’s even harder to imagine that there will be additional grief and sorrow as time goes on. I have no control over death and grief but I can control my reaction. And I refuse to live with regrets or focus on what ‘should’ be. So, onwards I go into the future collecting any lessons I can along the road.

Have I learned lessons thru hindsight?

Most definitely!

Life is unpredictable. I can’t change the past but I can try to appreciate the now. I may have taken the gift of companionship for granted but no longer. I am truly excited when offers come my way and I am very grateful to those who say “yes” to my invitations. Now, I try not to take ANYTHING for granted.

I shall forever miss my husband and cherish our shared memories. I shall also move into the future forging new paths & new memories.

Forever evolving.

 

About 

On May 20, 2014, Susan’s world came crashing down. Her 54-year old husband passed unexpectedly of a heart attack. The years since have been a whirlwind of emotion, trauma & joy (yes, she said joy, thanks mostly to the birth of her grandchildren).

Over the next 5 years, Susan experienced additional heartache following the death of her dad & both of her brothers. She knew her only way to make sense of all her grief was to find a way to use her experiences to help others.

Now, armed with a grief educators certificate from David Kessler, a coaching certificate, her learned experience and inspiration she has set out to help the grieving.

Initially Evolve was created as a site to support others moving forward on their path after bereavement. Yet, in time, Susan recognized that the emotional and financial toll created by death is often made more overwhelming because society shuns all aspects of death. In order to truly make a positive impact, we must shatter the taboo about death.

Let's create an annual day dedicated to conversation and education about all things death.

Susan encourages collaboration and dialogue so please reach out to her at evolve beyond grief on her website, Facebook and Instagram.

Let’s normalize death – before it kills you.