Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Comfort Among Strangers

Date: 
Monday, October 12, 2015
Posted By: 
Kris Lukas

It’s been approximately 3 ½ years since I lost my husband. In the early years, I was the hamster in the wheel, keeping busy and keeping the wheels turning. I thought if I could get the kids to all of their activities, pay the bills on time, put some dinner on the table a few times a week, keep the cars running, the house decently clean, everything would seem “fine”. Life would function as normal. The truth is, through the façade, nothing was fine and nothing was normal.

I was a mess. I finally realized that I needed to stop and deal with this grief and loss that we had been handed - instead of trying to run from it. Running from it wasn’t working. It wasn’t going to resolve itself and I hadn’t been able to find anyone with a rewind button.

I needed to address the loss of my husband and start coping with it, so I could then try to help my kids. I took the initiative to join a couple of grief/spousal loss groups. These were weekly sessions where a facilitator guided us through discussions about mourning, bereavement and this journey of sadness we’d been handed. It wasn’t easy. I had already told myself for almost 2 ½ years that I was doing ok and that there was no one else out there who could possibly relate to my situation. At our first meeting, I walked into a room full of strangers, diverse in culture, religion, and stages of life. I naively thought there is no way I will be able to connect with these people!

Now, these are my people! They get it. They share a common form of my pain, worries, fears, sadness, and loss. They have walked a similar path – down a road none of us wanted to take.

Through the commonality of grief, I have developed relationships with people who I now consider to be some of my most cherished friends. With these people, I can laugh. Yes, widows can laugh. And it’s ok. We don’t judge each other, and deep down we know we need it! We carry the loss of our spouses around on a daily basis. We carry it with us to every soccer game, every school open house when we sit by ourselves, every song that comes on the radio that sparks a hidden away memory, every time we kiss our children good night and every time we tuck ourselves in, alone. Put yourself out there, make new friendships with people who understand, and laugh with those new friends. Once in a while, it is ok for us to lighten our load and lighten up.

Comments

I couldn't agree with you more, Kris! I was very worried about joining groups and it took me a long time. Once I did, I finally found people who really get it. I found friends who understood my pain, my heart! Love the article. Love you, lady!

I would like to be involved with a group. I can relate to your comments as it has been 2-1/2 years for me and I need to face my situation.

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