When people think of widows, they tend to think big picture. How hard it must be for her to spend special occasions without her husband or It must be strange for her to be in that big house all alone. Seldom do they think about the seemingly small things, which in fact tend to make the biggest difference.
Take for example Susan. Susan lost her husband in early December. Her friends and family worried incessantly about her wellbeing over the holidays. They invited her to dinners and family gatherings. They called her up on the telephone to see how she was doing. They brought her groceries and meals. The holidays were hard on Susan, of course, but with the support and love of those close to her, they were bearable.
But now it’s February. The holidays are over. People have gone back to their routines, not realizing that Susan is struggling now more than ever.
Susan feels the most alone when she’s at the grocery store and remembers that she is only shopping for one, or when she feels like going out for dinner, but decides against it, not wanting to dine alone. On Sunday mornings she wakes up anticipating the smell of morning coffee, but quickly remembers that she brews her own coffee now. On weekday evenings she prepares crackers and cheese and turns on the television to watch jeopardy. She blurts out guesses to the questions, only to realize that it’s an empty house.
Yes, to the outside eye these occurrences might seem small and not super impactful, but it’s in these instances that Susan feels the most heartache.
You may have noticed a common thread above: food. Food is not something we necessarily associate with widowhood in this way. Sure, grief can affect a person’s appetite, but we often don’t realize what a big role food plays in our romantic relationships until something happens to throw off the dynamic. Whether it’s going out to eat, grocery shopping, cooking, weekly meal rituals, etc., our food dynamic has the potential to change significantly in widowhood.
If you’re feeling the pit in your stomach caused by these changes, here are a few ideas to help nourish your mind, your body, and your soul.
- Meditate. When you practice meditation, you allow your mind a chance to slow down and rest. We live in such a fast-paced world that it’s easy for your mind to get exhausted and overwhelmed. Couple that with grief, and we’re guessing your mind could really use a break.
- Get moving. Whether you practice yoga, go for bike rides, or clock in some time on the treadmill, physical activity is a great way to get out of your head and focus on being present in your body.
- Prepare yourself a well-rounded meal. We’re not talking about microwaving something frozen or eating something from a bag or box. Spend time preparing yourself something delicious to eat. Good food nourishes your body.
- Express yourself. It’s never good to keep things bottled up inside, but especially when you’re dealing with grief, it can be helpful to channel your emotions into something creative. Paint something. Write a poem. Dance. Let it all out.
- Connect. With your loved ones, with nature, with your faith…whatever it is, connection is a great way to nourish your soul.
At WH Cornerstone Investments, we know that the death of a spouse can feel like an insurmountable roadblock. We’ve spent the last four decades working with our clients to tackle the challenges particular to widows. Helping our clients with plans of action and presenting ways to rebuild both their financial and personal lives is truly our higher purpose. We also believe in the power of community. If you’re experiencing a season of loss or grief, connect with us on Facebook and Instagram, where we share tools, information, and words of wisdom.