Widower: Reaching Grace Through Grief

Widower to Widower with Fred Colby 

When you find yourself in the deepest pit of grief, when you are hurting as you have never hurt before, and when you feel that you will never be able to feel good again… that is when you can find grace, in this… the most unexpected place.

It can come at the most improbable time… that moment when you suddenly peek over the edge of that pit of grief to glimpse at something that is seemingly out of place… gratitude. It is at this very moment when you are lamenting the loss of your wife that it sneaks up on you to remind you how damned lucky you were.

You can suddenly feel immense gratitude for:

  • this wonderful woman who stuck by you for 20, 40, 60 years, and who
  • grew alongside you through good and bad times, and who
  • loved you unreservedly even when you were not at your best, and who
  • nurtured and matured you in ways no one else could, and who
  • made every day special just by being there!

The feeling you have when you allow this gratitude to take hold… that is grace. You may think of it as a sense of peace, or as a feeling of wellness… or you might see it as a blessing from God.  Whatever you call it, it is uplifting, it can give you a moment of feeling good and hopeful, and it can give you a temporary reprieve from the deep grieving you have been experiencing. It is a shaft of light in the darkness.

Once you recognize this powerful path to healing for what it is, you can begin to actively and purposefully welcome it into your daily routine to counter all the negativity of grieving. Eventually, you can begin to reverse the downward spiral of grief to now becoming an upward spiral towards healing and life.

Instead of waiting for that next moment to come as a surprise visitor, you can take steps to encourage this growth of gratitude and grace in your life. It may not suddenly transform your grief into joy, but it can whittle away at the grief bit by bit until it no longer dominates your every moment and thought.

Start simply with beginning every day when you wake up by giving thanks for her and your life together, and maybe again when you go to bed each night. For me, it meant typing up all the key things I was grateful for, starting with my wife, and then posting this list where I would have to look at it first thing each morning.

Every time I was able to move my thoughts from grief to gratitude, I was able also to feel a little more “grace” in my life. I was able to realize that, through this gratitude and grace, I was holding my wife close to me in a way which was uplifting rather than depressing. It took time, but eventually, it helped me to climb out of the pit of grief and into the sunlight where I could once again partake of life in a positive and rewarding way.

So, even today, when I have moments of slipping back into grieving, I remember to stop and give thanks for all that I was so fortunate to have in my life… and to pause and feel the grace that comes along with that. 

If you are in that pit of grief and depression, give this a try and hopefully bit by bit it will help you as it did me. Blessings to you.

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