“You’re on a path, whatever it may be, and occasionally you go down a side road. That’s all it is. You’re on a path. We still live, go forward, and that’s about it.” John Lennon
What path are you on? As widows and widowers it may seem overwhelming to be in a world where we have to forge new unexpected life paths, but tough as it sometimes can be, it is important to try to find your own best way forward.
There is lots of advice out there from books and websites ( Christina Rasmussen, OneFitWidow, Megan Devine etc.) to counselling services like Halton based Acclaim Health to well meaning friends and relatives. The truth is, after we absorb and digest all the advice and help offered, it’s up to us to think about what we want now and how to move forwards. For some of us, remaining status quo is just fine, others may prefer to strike out in new directions moving homes, travelling or making significant life changes, while others may want to connect with a new partner. Whatever you choose, your path is your own and all choices you make are right for you at the time. We can always change paths again or alter them for new circumstances – the choice is always yours.
If you are pondering your next steps, here’s some advice we’ve found valuable:
- Change your thoughts and you change you life! Whatever you tell yourself is what you believe – instead of focusing on loss, sadness or grief, it can help to remember what we can still be grateful for in life. Even if it is just a sunny day or a delicious treat, try to focus on what still gives you pleasure and makes you thankful.
- Look for simple ways to experience new things and meet new people. Our community, Widowed Friends, understands how difficult it can be to come out and meet new people, but the benefits of pushing yourself and doing something different will help open you up to the potential your life offers. Finding a new hobby, taking a class in something you’ve always been interested in or chatting with a neighbour are all positive steps forward.
- Grief and life are companions. Everyone big or small, old or young will experience loss of one sort or another and must find ways to adapt and evolve. We all exist with sadness and happiness – but, we can learn to thrive by taking action to move ourselves forwards, even if it is just a little step at a time.
What advice has helped you cope with loss? Do you have a favourite book or website that has been helpful to you? Have you tried some new things as you adapt to change? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
“You aren’t done yet; keep going” Mel Robbins