There certainly is a lot of information out there about grieving and widowhood. I found several articles that deal with what they describe as the three stages of widowhood. They deal with money, but I want to widen the focus to deal with grieving and widowhood in a broader sense. Also, I use the word widow for both men and women who have had their spouse die.
The first stage of widowhood is Grief. That awful time of shock, of numbness, of confusion and pain. That time that feels like it will never end. The time of intense and confused emotions and feeling like you are going crazy. The season where just living is exhausting. The time where grief consumes us and defines us.
Stage two of widowhood is called Growth. It may take years to get to this stage. But as you realize you have gotten there it will help you know that the worst is behind you and that you have moved forward in your grief. This is where I am now. You find that you can think clearer. You find that you can make decisions easier. You feel like your life is centering and finding balance. It seems that clarity has returned to your inner vision. This is when you find yourself laughing again and dreaming again and finding enjoyment in life again.
The third stage of widowhood they call Transformation. This is when we discover our new identity, not as a widow, but who we are becoming. This is a time to explore a new purpose and calling for our lives. This is when the future draws our attention away from the past. This is when new passions are set ablaze inside us. This is where you leave behind the pain and loss and embrace new people and new relationships and a new future. Fear is replaced by faith.
I have said before that grief is not a checklist or steps to ascend one by one. But as we move forward through our grief and widowhood we find a new life being born within us. And it is wonderful!