I had a message today from an old friend who has just found out her husband’s cancer has returned and is now terminal. She wanted to know if I could share some thoughts and wisdom around the prospect of her becoming a widow. I thought this might be worth sharing:
- Keep a journal – and share your feelings about what’s happening with each other – and leave NOTHING unsaid – no room for regrets…it will help you a lot later that there’s nothing left to guess about.
- Talk about what’s happening in your family for their sake more than anything so that they are part of the journey – it will help them to deal with it
- Get your husband/wife/partner to write a letter to each of your kids for when they turn 18 or 21. It will mean the world to them.
- What ever your faith is – hang on to that. Believe in life after death – therefore this is not the end of your journey together. and when it’s over – know that it’s just the beginning of another journey for you and your kids – and every day will hurt like hell, but every day it slowly slowly gets better until the good times are all that dominate your thoughts. – Hang in there – ok. You’ll get through this – as cliche as this sounds – what doesn’t kill YOU does strengthen you in ways you can’t even begin yet to imagine.
- Oh and one last thing – find the silver lining in EVERY single dark cloud.
These were the things I suggested to her. It really does get better – although I have to say that I still miss my husband after 19 years. I still wonder about what our life together might have been like. And I still wish he had been here for our sons as they are now young men starting their big lives.
You don’t get over it – you just get used to it. But with the help of good friends and others who hold the torch for you as you go through this journey.