An open letter to all widows and widowers everywhere
Losing a loved one is one of the most traumatic experiences you can live through. That deep, achy sadness you can’t paint a smile on. The feelings of gut-wrenching heartache, despair, anger, guilt and loss circling your brain and body, each one firing off at an unexpected moment, while you somehow have to organise the practical, mind-bogglingly mental event management of a funeral, and get up each morning and continue a normal human existence.
All you really want to do is weep and wail for that one person you loved so much, who you will never, ever see again. Or be able to speak to. Or hold their hand. Or hug tight and tell them you love them, one last and final time.
How you cope during this turmoil can change everything in your life. Bereavement can make you feel all on your own, like nothing else really can.
So, when the person you’ve lost was your soulmate – that special someone in your two-man team for what seems like forever – words can’t describe how that must feel.
It’s got to be so tempting, on the first day you manage get to bedtime without sobbing, to want to forget the past. To start anew in a fresh, newborn world, where all that hurt and pain doesn’t belong and can be left behind. You can get rid of all the reminders, move somewhere else, make new friends, even use a different name if you want. And then life can go on being easy. Or at least easier.
I so understand that need to be free of the pain. To be able to run and just keep running. Where new experiences can awaken your senses and make you feel something again. You long for a sensation that will slap you round the face and embrace the feeling of being alive.
Back in reality sits the rest of the mourning family. Heart after heart filled with sadness. And friends who don’t really know what to do or say, apart from asking how you are. And that can get difficult when nobody knows how to react if you tell the truth.
But please, hang in there.
Don’t move away. Stay close to those who love you. They will love you forever and you can surf the waves together. You will get to a point when you can genuinely celebrate an occasion without bursting into tears because a certain someone should be there. You’ll look back on fond memories and be able to laugh, not cry. By pushing your nearest and dearest away, life can seem a little easier. But ask yourself what the person who left you would want.
You can do all the other stuff if you need to. A new home is often a necessity, and a new partner, come to that. Just because you want to be with someone new does not mean you won’t remember the love you lost – and all your living loved ones know that. It might be hard at first, but fundamentally, they will just want you to be happy. And if that means finding a companion to share a new life with, they might just be OK with that.
If you’re honest and open, and you talk to and love your family, you get to have it all ways. You get to start anew, and try to make some memories to help heal some old ones. But you get to stay close to everyone and everything that bonded you to your old love too. The love that meant so much to you, it would be wrong to box it away and try to forget it.
So, this is a small piece of advice to anyone who’s lost – and anyone who does lose their loved one. Don’t forget them. Keep them alive by being with all the people who connect you. Spend time with your children and grandchildren, if you’re lucky enough to have them. Be interested. Learn new things about them. Stay in touch, in every sense.
And in time, you’ll discover that not only has the loneliness faded away, but you have a new chapter to embrace with both old and new friends – and you might just find they can all make you happy again.
The Press Association
Latest posts by The Press Association (see all)
- 5 things to cut out of your diet if you want a better night’s sleep - November 18, 2018
- 6 wine grapes you may never have heard of that are worth getting to know - November 16, 2018
- An unofficial ranking of all the food and drink in this year’s Christmas adverts - November 15, 2018
- 9 ways to stay fit and well in your 70s - November 15, 2018
- Sir Elton John takes centre stage in John Lewis Christmas advert - November 15, 2018
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!