If Ever I Should Leave You

By Pat Nowak

One morning you get a call… your husband has been killed walking across the street, by an uninsured motorist.  You are instantly alone, saddled with debt, bombarded with questions, required to make decisions, and completely clueless about most of what it takes to manage your affairs. And if that wasn’t enough, eighteen days later you lose your home to a devastating fire destroying the last remnant of your sacred sanctuary.

I woke up on the morning of January 31, 1995 full of hope and promise but within eighteen days, our lives were shattered.  As the process unfolded, it began to take its toll on my mental and emotional state. 

As I concentrated on taking back control of my life my mantra became to do what was necessary to stand up for my rights and when that happened I actually began the process of healing.

What I discovered is that there are three things necessary for your survival. They are discovering the attitude, balance and courage you will need on your quest for living life successfully after the death of a spouse no matter what the age.

An attitude adjustment is necessary to revitalize and embrace a newfound self-confidence. Even though the prospect of striking out on a different path is continually daunting make it a point to try new things daily. If you get out of the same routine you see new and amazing activities and events just waiting to happen. 

The hardest thing for you to learn is to make yourself heard when necessary. Even if you are not a confrontational person the exercise will renew your self-esteem. Be the one who plans for your life and discover what makes you happy. That process will open up your mind up to the exploration of your surroundings and embracing the new changes within. This will allow you to be free to let go of the past and proceed easily on to your new future.

Balance comes from within. Mental and financial balance is essential if you are to meet the challenges of facing life. You need to learn, earn and stop the yearning for balance to work. Learning from professionals what you need to go forward can help solve problems easily. Use an accountant, attorney, and financial experts to help you with any necessary decisions for your future well-being.

Your mental balance may take a bit longer to achieve. The slow and rigorous ritual of becoming whole again will take many tears, embracing family and friends for a support system and taking small steps back into life. You will often notice you are taking two steps forward but one step back in this process and that is to be expected. Eventually the tears will turn to smiles and you will be able to see some light at the end of the grief tunnel.

Courage is the inner strength that allows you to wake up each morning and get out of bed, even with tears streaming from your eye. It is the firm determination to get going when all you would like to do is crawl in a hole. Courage will be tested each day as you relearn to live as one in a society meant for two but it is also the tenacity that will make you succeed.

Remember there are so many women out there just like you. A few are prepared, some are able to cope, but don’t let your personal anguish becomes a living, overwhelming hell. With these few simple tips you can go on living with renewed hope for a great life.

Pat Nowak author of “The ABC’s of Widowhood.”  www.abcsofwidowhood.com

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