In the first year of my grief, I was pretty much running on numb. I get that this second year will be a tough haul. My latest funk was triggered in a doctor's office when I was filling out paperwork.
Because the truth is nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. A day which begins in an ordinary way can end with the extraordinary. And whilst I've learned that this is true for the worst days in our lives it can also, I'm sure, be true for the best. Onwards.
A few months after becoming a 30-year-old widow, I sought out support from people who could relate to me. It became apparent to me very quickly that many of us struggled, sometimes daily, with friends and family, sometimes even strangers, who say things to us that make us cringe.
The cure for grief is not "be not sad" and the cure for anger isn't "be unangry!" It's feeling all of the things, even the uncomfortable ones, without judging yourself for them. Your job, when bad shit happens, is to get through it however you can. It is not your job to make your life more palatable for other people.
What if your most pressing need was simply to bring your female body back to life? I need to be kissed, embraced, held the way a man holds a woman... I need to remember what it feels like.
Tomorrow will mark eight years since my husband M died. As my grief instructor S said shortly after M's passing: 'The hole in your heart will get smaller, but it will never fully close.' S was right. My life has evolved a great deal since those dark days of December 2007.
There may be many reasons to feel stressed during the holidays, but grief brings its own brand of challenges. If you're grieving this year and are wondering how you'll survive the season, use the following six suggestions to ease the way.