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This is a very well thought out article and worth a read for all of us that have lost a beloved spouse...

by Carole Brody Fleet (reprinted from Huffington Post Blog)

Sometimes I feel really sorry for my family.

They are the unfortunate souls who have to listen to my bellyaching on any given day. Whether it is over a temperamental computer (a constant), a renegade cat (times three), my frizzy hair (which is supposed to be sleek and shiny) or the number on my scale (which depends entirely on my bad-girl eating the night before), my family has to listen to my whining about the pettiest of matters. When my daughters have completely lost all patience with me (again, on any given day), they either individually or collectively interrupt whatever tirade I happen to be in the middle of and bark:

"You're over it!"

Now this is admittedly pretty funny and those of you with children will no doubt relate and giggle along with me. But let's now take that "You're Over It" attitude and apply it to your Healing Journey.

How many times have you been told, "It's been [however-many months / years] since your [husband / wife / partner / significant other] died. You just need to:

"Get over it"

(...like you need a reminder as to when your beloved passed away.)

I will pause while you roll your eyes in agreement, because I know that is likely what you are doing right now. Sadly, a majority of those in the widowed community have heard this phrase at least once during their Healing Journeys.

So what happens when:

You are not "over it"?

What happens when you hear these words (in many cases, over and over and OVER again ) and inside, you are thinking, "Well, I'm not over it, so clearly there must be something wrong with me." Your brain then locks in on the "There must be something wrong with me" part of the phrase and poof -- that is exactly where your focus goes. The result? You actually begin to think that something is wrong with you.

I take great pleasure in sharing that:

There is absolutely, positively nothing wrong with you!

The fact is that the majority of people who are telling you to "get over it" are saying this because it would be easier for them if you "get over it". It is easier for them if you hurry through your healing processes because they do not want to deal with it anymore. It is easier if you would just conform to their healing timeline, which is the timeline they are using to dictate to you. Most of all, they are uncomfortable with the "widowed" part of the deal that you now bring to the table. They want the person that you were "before"; the person that you were when you were One-Half-of-the-Two-of-You...because it is easier for them. People fail to realize that while you have lost your spouse, you did not lose the love or the life that you had together...and that is something that you never will -- or should - "get over".

No matter how much time passes and no matter where your new life takes you:

You will never be "over it"

Now, if a significant time has passed since your beloved's death and you feel seriously compromised in your recovery; if you are unable to function in every day life (at work and / or at home); if you either are or feel as though you want to cope in a destructive manner, you should immediately seek professional help and / or medical attention -- there is a lot of both out there and you do not ever have to suffer alone or in silence. However, you must also accept that you will never be "over" the event that was losing your beloved. It changes your life forever. It changes you forever. Does the rawness of grief temper and diminish? Yes it does. However, the fact remains that you can move forward from the loss, but you will never be "over" that loss... and you may let people know that fact in that very way.

I had been just over a year widowed and on my own Healing Journey when my mother gave me very wise advice (which I both follow and dole out to this day). She told me to stop and look back at how far I had progressed since that awful season in time when my husband passed away. When I actually stopped and examined how far I had progressed to that point (and have progressed since that time many years ago), I started worrying less about being "over it" and started appreciating the healing that I had accomplished instead. To this very day, I still take those occasional pauses to look back and remind myself just how far I have traveled since that most darkest season in time, when I thought that I would never see light or know love ever again

Quit worrying about being "over it" and quit worrying about the people who are telling you that you should be "over it". Embrace that you are not ever going to be "over it"; that you are instead going to move forward from the experience that was losing your beloved spouse and that you are going to do so in your way and in your time. You are also going to take a periodic pause to stop, look back and see just how far you have come since you became widowed -- whether it was ten minutes, ten months or ten years ago.

Most importantly:

Never stop listening to you

You are the one in the driver's seat of your Healing Journey. You are in charge of this very important and deeply personal part of your Healing Journey. Take charge, take control and take over - because regardless of what anyone else says or thinks... your life belongs to you.

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Thank you. I agree - this is a very good article. I read these affirmations and say to myself, YES! It's hard, though, to wade through society's and friends' views and "suggestions" to see the light and being true to my own self. Yeah, I do it - then I waffle and in my mind I think, but you should.....Screw that. And actually it's kind of empowering to just say to others - "with all due respect, you have no idea of what I'm going through or where I'm at". Saying it kindly, of course, lol. I think I'm rambling!

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There's lots more of Carole Brody Fleet's wisdom and experience in her terrific book, Happily Even After: A Guide to Getting Through (And Beyond) The Grief of Widowhood, Mitch. It's a very good read. Click on the title to read Amazon's description and reviews. (You'll find this and many others listed on our site's very own page.)

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I'm so sorry any of you have been told that, it's very inappropriate and insensitive. It clearly shows they don't have a grasp on what this is like to experience.

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If you ever run across something you wish your family members would read, there is nothing wrong with printing out the article, handing it to your relatives, and saying something like this: "I found this article that expresses so well some of what I'm feeling, and I just wanted to share it with you." Whether they choose to read it is up to them, but at least you've offered the information. I think that if we're so inclined, in this way we can use this indirect way of helping to "educate" the public (that is, family, friends, neighbors, etc.) about grief and loss. And if we don't do it, who will?

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