Time Frame > Newly Widowed (1 day to 6 months)

Our suggestions for the newly widowed

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This thread is to share our experience from those early days  for those  new to this life. There is no one perfect answer but we have recommendations.

--- Quote from: missingsquish ---Breathe. Drink water. Cry if you need to. Have lots of tissues handy everywhere. Eat if you can.
--- End quote ---

--- Quote from: LisaPop ---Allow people to help. Eat and rest when you can. Post often.
--- End quote ---

--- Quote from: chopperette ---Don't make any important decisions until your head settles. Don't give anything away his/her things are yours and you decide what to do with them. An example of giving things away that I regreted later... I cleaned his closet 1 week after his death, then I found out that some people made throws out of shirts. I would have love to do that but it was to late.
--- End quote ---

--- Quote from: swilson ---Let family, friends, people in your life that you can trust help you. Don't try to do it all and tough it out, it can overwhelm you.
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Self congratulate for every achievement no matter how small.  Brushed your teeth?  Ate a meal without throwing up? Posted a letter? Say "Well done me!" to yourself.

64 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Grief


EC wrote in the old forum these points which I wish to add to this thread:

In the early days, everything is a blurry mess and decision making is heavily clouded for relatively long time. As choperette already said, making important and long lasting decisions is not a good idea for a long time and an important decision can be as seeming little as answering the question "what to do with your husband's/wife's belongings". Trust me, you are not in a hurry and taking time and allowing time to give you the answers is the best way to go. Surely some widow's want to get rid of everything as soon as possible and this is fine too but if you doubt even a bit, take a time out and see how things develop. I personally didn't move a thing for months and when I did, I felt really strong urge to do so. Else I did nothing. I also bought a camera and took pictures of my home and the things the way they were when my husband died. I wanted to have the option to return to that time should I ever want to do so.

Allow yourself options. I did. I also reserved the right for myself and others to cancel any agreed lunches, walks etc even at the last minute because I could not be sure I how felt when the time came. I did keep some agreed things and others I simply had to cancel due to my state of mind at the moment. If you say this in advance, people in general will understand and not get offended which they easily can do too.

The stuff around you is yours now and no-one has the right to take any of it nor tell you what to do with them. There can be people that come to you claiming something is theirs or that your late husband/wife promised them something or owe them money. If it's not properly documented, this is never the case and you do not have to "honour" any of these claims. Unfortunately some people do this and not everyone is good and kind. Anything you have is really now yours and if someone even politely asks you to give them say tools, just say that you will use them at some point even if you don't. My BIL asked for my husbands power-drill and I simply smiled to him and said: "yeah! can you imagine how good tools I have these days! I have a power-drill of my own now!!!!" Never asked for it again :)

Your finances are private. Do not discuss those with anyone unless you really trust them. Blunt people will ask about life insurances and other such things and it is not their business. Period! There are people who may try to take an advantage on financial level on a person who has been hit with this immense tragedy. You can reply with "That's a private matter", "Can we talk about something else, please" or just with a silence and a puzzled look. Also on the phone. EC adviced in the original thread that if someone asks about your finances over the phone, just stay silent until they break it and when they do just say "I got to run now. Talk to you later" and hang up.

I'm really sorry for your loss and I'm sad you have to walk this path! I know you would want to smack me for saying this (I did want to smack anyone who told me this in the early days) it will get better over time. It's a hard path to walk and there are so many ups, downs, deep black-holes and all on the way but you can pull through. Lean on this board! It will catch you if you fall. It did so many times in my darkest moments and I'm forever thankful for it. Join the chat when you feel like it! I've had such an incredible discussion over there (instructions on General -section) and made such a good friends that I'm overwhelmed. Go to bagos if/when you have energy (I'm heading for my first own :) ) and remember: You are not alone! Hugs!!!!!!

  Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to write such supportive and informative posts.  Blessings to you all!


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