For Widows Only – 2 Tips To Help You Cope

If you are reading this then something terrible has happened. First let me offer my condolences. As Joan Didion says, "Life changes fast." Next let me extend a heartfelt welcome. You are now a member of an exclusive club – the club nobody wants to be a member of. And though your world's turned upside down, already you're asking questions: "How will I cope? Will things be alright? And oh yeah, Can I please have my husband back?"

Best I can offer is 2 out of 3. As you have already learned, becoming a widow is like sliding down a banister discovering it's a razor blade and landing into a bucket of iodine. Worse still, trying to explain your pain to someone not grieving your loss is like trying to describe the color orange to a blind man.

Now that I've got your attention, I'm here to tell you, you're not alone. And oh yeah, everything will be all right. You can, and you will cope.

Here are 2 things you need to remember:

Number 1. Breathe.

That's right. Assume the position: Right hand on chest, left hand on belly. Now practice sucking air – In through your nose, and blowing air – Right back out your mouth.

Slow- ly.

When people, or the things people say, begin to overwhelm you (and trust me, honey, it will happen), take one step back, and take a deep breath.

Taking deep breaths will ground you and help you regain your focus. In addition, learning to breathe properly will do wonders for your complexion. You'll look good and you'll feel good, too. I know you could care less about what I'm saying right now, but for you, the newly widowed, breathing is a good thing and something that will become a distraction when you need one most.

Number 2. Repeat after me: "I'm not up to this conversation at this time."

Good job.

Now get ready to say these words to the next perfect stranger who asks you an inane question that will cut like a knife and make you want to run and hide.

If everything everyone is saying at this time sounds inane, then you already know what I mean. So just open your mouth and whisper the above words. I promise those people will realize right away you need your space.

Not only will you the newly widowed need space, but you must also realize you will need to conserve energy for other things, like washing your kid's faces, if you got kids; sitting down to eat a hot meal, hungry or not; and performing simple tasks, like brushing your teeth and combing your hair.

I know it's hard to bury a husband. Life as you knew it is changed forever. But it's now onto Plan B, whatever Plan B is. Just remember my 2 tips outlined above, and like a good scout, you will have earned your badge of courage, and be prepared to conquer your new world, which is vital to your survival in the days ahead.