Over the years I kept watch on how and where support for widows developed or didn’t. I remember the nights, kids in bed by 7:30pm and the long night ahead (actually I was tucked in by 9:30pm). Where did I go? To the computer in a chat room! I wasn’t connecting with widows but I was connecting with someone, somewhere.
What I saw develop over time was the not the change in the location of the connections, the computer, but the format changed to a blog. Blogs specifically for widows! Brilliant! You could post your fears, angers, and story’s about your awful days and even the days that weren’t so bad. And, best of all, you received a response from someone who could relate to what you were experiencing from any where in the world. It provided a kind of virtual “support group”. Now there are “Meet-up” groups popping up all over, specific to widows and/or widowers.
Yes, you do need support! And yes it’s out there. Family and friends support are wonderful, if you have it. However, unless they have traveled this journey they will not relate to why you’re still having bad days two years after losing your spouse/partner.
Not every group, virtual or in person, will be a right fit. Check them out and find the one where you feel safe to be yourself and express your feelings without being told what you should be doing. The group may be peer led, other widows, with no structure or facilitated by a health professional as my groups are.
Do support group’s help? Yes, either virtual or in person. I wrote my thesis many years ago on the success of support groups for Panic and Anxiety. At the time, I had been leading such a group for 6 years and saw many participants learn how to control their anxiety and get off medication. The same can apply to us widows. Group support can provide solace from a turned upside down world. A group can support us when we question if what we are feeling is not crazy (your heart literally breaking in two) it is abnormally normal during grief. A supportive group can help move you through the grieving process more readily. Without support you risk unresolved grief, never moving forward and finding joy in your life sooner rather than later.
And, as I say quite often, “no one should make this journey alone”.
I invite you to join my FREE Widow to Widow Support group. We meet every month, by phone, so you can participate from anywhere.
If you are still not sure if you need support, or what you can get out of it, I invite you to sign up for my upcoming free call, You are Not Alone: 5 Keys to Making it Through the Grieving Process.