Tips on Grieving From a Widow and Grief Counselor

Tips on Grieving From a Widow and Grief Counselor

Grief & Loss

I never believed in fairytale love stories until I met my husband. I was 22 years old and the moment we glanced at one another we both knew that there was a rare love between us–the kind of love that held magic in it.  All fairytales sweep us away, but not all have a happy ending.  

During our time together our love created a life. When true love comes together to create a life, there is something so powerful in that new being that no words can describe.  Our daughter is proof that true love does exist, that unconditional love is not just something spoken, that it is real and it is powerful.

My husband and I were together for twelve years.  In January of 2011, our lives was broken into pieces when we found out he was sick with terminal Cancer in his lungs as well as his kidneys.  Naturally, my maternal instincts kicked in and I became his nurturer.  I stepped into many roles; mother, caregiver and wife.  Nevertheless, my heart shattered into a million pieces that could never be put back together.  During our 12 years together my husband and I always planned to marry, but never did.  That April we married, though we both knew the outcome–that our time together was limited.  On that day I was proud to become his wife and to this day, I still am.  In May 2011, I had to say goodbye to my love, our love, our life, our home and our 2 beautiful dogs.  My life was forever altered.  Looking back, I would never change a thing.  

I absolutely agree in being able to love again, but you have to understand it won’t be the same. You will love them in a different way and not because they remind you of that person or act exactly like them. No one out there will ever be the same as the love you lost. You have to love, but know its loving someone for their own qualities and for who they are as an individual.  Long before my husband was sick we had a conversation about this. He told me that if anything happened to him he would want me to move on, be happy and live my life to the fullest for him… in honor of him.  It’s funny because that was my husband’s famous line to me every day we were together, “I just want you to be happy.”  So in honor of him and his love I strive for the happiest days everyday with the love of our daughter.

Everyday, his love is shines through our daughter and in me.  It is because of him that I’ve learned to open my heart to the world. He taught me to love myself after 34 years. He is the reason I became whole and it is through it all that I learned who I was.  I’ve found my purpose, my passion and my love. Through my husband I found my dreams, caught my strength and my will to never give up.  After losing my husband, my heart reached for the stars to never look back. Through my pain, I turned on my own light; from blogging to writing a book–The Grieving Path To Joy and becoming a grief counselor.  It is because of him, I’ve opened my heart to live life with unconditional love. Through the pain, I’ve found blessings all around me that I had never seen before.  It’s his life and love that truly turned the lights on for me. And our biggest gift from everything endured and experienced in our story, is our beautiful daughter. His legacy burns bright and stays alive in both our hearts.

Tips for dealing with grief and loss:

Be fully in the present moment to notice not the pain, but the beauty around you first. After seeing all the beauty, the pain will be carried away.

Take the time to be alone in quiet to breathe and cling to the one greatest memory you have had with your loved one passed. Then, focus on your dreams.  Picture the great memory along with all of your dreams and ground that with the unconditional love you were blessed to experience. Know that it will never let you down or keep you bounded to grief.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you how to grieve. Your grief is yours to own–how long, how little it is all yours to decide. Walk through the hard times and pain and beware not mask it and ignore it because the more you ignore it, the bigger it feels, so walk through your grief not around it.

When I remember my husband I think of his love and how that love has been the motivation behind me to do all things I thought never could be. I take the in the present moment to be grateful for where I am. That even though he is not to be seen, his love is with me, all around me and everywhere I go. Writing down how you feel and keeping track of the littlest things help. 

Tonya Ouimet and Oprah Winfrey

Tonya Ouimet

Grief Coaching, Blogger, Author, Proud Mother


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