I thought this week about how people grieve differently and how there is no “one size fits all” way to cope with grief, just as there is no time-frame. I’ve read others express numerous times in the past week how the second year is so hard. I totally agree with them. I suspect that, like me, the first year was a blur of changes. Not the least of which was paperwork.
For those who lost a husband during the “pandemic”, grief was compounded by having to deal with people working from home. I’m thankful the people I talked to were kind, but the communication piece was a nightmare in many cases since they were not working in an office with access to more resources. I did not let the COVID-19 restrictions hamper me; but many were not so fortunate. I understand that fresh air and sunshine do wonders for the spirit, so I pursued these. Before we left Alabama I was able to get out for short walks/hikes. This was while my husband was still alive. After he died and I moved for the second time to a rental house, I spent months pulling weeds and trying to grow a garden. I do not have a green thumb, but I had arugula and collards and I was proud of them.
So, I want to share a few of my coping strategies and would love to hear from others as to how they get by in the often daily struggle of grief.
- Sunshine -Vitamin D is necessary for my health.
- Hiking – when I have a place other than the flatlands of Florida.
- Walking my dog.
- Snuggling with my dog. She sleeps with me every night.
- Paint-by-number – this gives me some focus and stress relief.
- Coloring books – I color sometimes when I’m watching TV. Also stress relieving.
- Cooking for others – I find delivering meals to others gives me a purpose.
- Cooking for myself at least once a week.
- Writing letters and sending cards, especially to other widows.
- Reaching out to others via text.
- Yardwork – I bought an old fashioned rotary mower for my tiny front yard and I love it.
- Watching sad movies – sometimes it helps just to cry.
- Playing albums by our favorite band – sometimes this makes me smile and sometimes this makes me cry; both are okay.
- I joined a water aerobics class. Sometimes it’s good to be in a group where no one knows you. You can share as much or as little as you want.
- A little wine and/or a little ice cream go a long way.
- Church. Church has been my flotation device. Not just the preaching and teaching on Sunday, but the Christian fellowship I have found there.
- I get by with “A Little Help From My Friends”
- Reading. I’ve read all kinds of books this past year. Especially helpful have been books for widows, books on grieving, and books on loneliness.
- Writing here at Hope for Widows as well as my personal blog and some poetry.
Like I said, we all grieve in a different way. But, we can all use some help now and then. .