At Surviving Spouse Provisional Center, we provide counseling and support to the bereaved members of our communities in the Atlanta metropolitan area in Georgia. Read our blog posts and articles below to get helpful information.
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|Posted on January 20, 2019 at 3:15 PM||comments (1)|
You made it through the holidays, though you never thought you would. It was a challenging time for you, and you were flooded with memories of holidays past with your soul mate. Through the gift giving, food, and festivities, you are starkly reminded that someone is missing; your beloved spouse. On top of that, you are about to face a brand new year without them. Where most people are happy to celebrate the new year, you're not looking forward to it. For you, time stopped when your spouse passed away. But take heart my friend, there will be brighter days. Though your heart has been wounded, it will heal in time. You will never forget your mate, or the times you spent together. But in time, painful memories will become treasured memories. And those precious, treasured memories will make you smile again. I know, because I myself have been there.
|Posted on November 25, 2018 at 2:40 PM||comments (0)|
No matter how long it's been since your mate passed away, every year the holiday season always comes too soon. It seems like time just speeds recklessly toward Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years day; that magical time of year that everyone looks forward to; that is--everyone but those who have lost a loved one. For those who are still grieving the loss of a spouse, the season is bitter-sweet. It's the time of year when you gather with family and friends for festivities, feasting and fun. But though you are present in body, your mind is with the one you lost. It constantly takes you back to holiday's past that you enjoyed with them. Memories inundate your thoughts, of cooking together at Thansgiving; exchanging gifts at Christmas; and ringing in the New Year with that special kiss. Though you are in the presence of others, you realize that you're not altogether present. You inwardly scold yourself for not being attentive, but it's no use. Your mind insists on drifting back to happier times with your mate.
There's an empty place at the table and an empty place in your heart. You feel that it will never be filled, but it will. It will be filled with fond memories of holiday's past; of cooking together; shopping together; ringing in the new year together. In time, those same memories will fill your thoughts, but with different results. A time will come when they will make you smile; make you laugh—even make you cry—but they'll be happy tears. GOD is a healer of the broken hearted and promises that He will heal you.
“.....weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
|Posted on September 20, 2018 at 1:35 PM||comments (0)|
I found in my experience that one of the most difficult tasks that I had to undertake after my husband Larry's passing, was clearing out his things. There was a memory attatched to almost every article of his clothing, and other possesions that were his. There was the Christmas sweater that he wore to the annual Christmas party; the neckties he wore on Sunday's; his favorite hats that he wore for everyday outings; the stylish brim that he wore when we were going out to dinner; his robe that he slipped into when he wanted to feel comfortable and lounge around the house; his after shaving lotion; his Irish Spring soap—so many memories. So many things that belonged to him! How could I possibly get rid of them?
It's a task that no widow(er) wants to accomplish—but you know that it has to be done. When it happens is different for everyone. Some widows and widowers wait months—even longer--before they can bring themselves to follow through with it. In my case, everywhere I looked, I saw my husband. Whenever I went into the closet we shared, or opened the dresser drawers, I was reminded that the life I shared with him for 40 years, had ended. After he had been gone for about a month, I was able to gather his things together. My daughter offered to help me, but it was a task that I felt I had to accomplish alone. I was also propelled to do so once I found that an organization in the Appalachian Mountains had a great need for men's clothing, and was very happy to get them. I felt a peace about it, because my husband was a giving person, so I knew he would have wanted someone in need to have his things.
His more personal possessions, like his cufflinks, his pocket watch, his favorite calogne, his wallet—were given to my children, grandchildren, and close friends at Christmas. Everyone was touched and thrilled to get an unexpected gift that belonged to him, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. As for me, I purchased a curio cabinet, and built a memorial for him. In the case I put the urn with his ashes, his bible, his eye glasses, his watch, and his stylish brim. Those are displayed tastefully in my living room, in the corner curio cabniet. Seeing it there brings me great comfort.
I shared with you what I did, but like I said, it's different with everyone, and it may be different with you. If it is, it's okay. Let your heart tell you when it's time to let go. Just remember, you're not letting your loved one go—just their things.
|Posted on July 25, 2018 at 2:05 PM||comments (0)|
You're hurting; your in pain. No doubt about it. You wonder if you'll ever feel peace again. The loss of your sweetheart consumes your every thought. There are so many things that were left unsaid; undone. If only you could turn back the clock.....
You can't go back in time--but you can go on from here! Life will get better for you over time. Moving forward does not mean that you are letting go of your mate. To the contrary! You are holding fast to the love you two shared and to the memories you made together, as you press into your future. That love and those memories is what will propel you forward, into new doors and unexplored opportunities.
The Bible says that a seed must go into the ground and die before it can bring forth fruit. It may not appear so now, but fruit will come from the loss of your loved one; good and nourishing fruit, that will give sustenance to others in their hour of loss. In time, you will be able to look back and see that the hand of GOD was there--even in your darkest hour. Your story will bring hope to others suffering loss.
It's true that everything has changed, but life does not stop here for you. You have a course to run; more work to do. You've only just begun to fulfill your destiny......
|Posted on May 22, 2018 at 4:20 PM||comments (0)|
When you've suffered the loss of a mate, the grief can be overwhelming. It consumes your every thought, and no matter what you are doing in the course of a day, your mind tends to drift back to your loved one, reminding you that they are gone. It's normal for your loss to consume your thoughts, especially when the loss is still fresh. There is no magic number of days that you're allowed to grieve--and suddenly it's over. No. Grief is a process, and everyone moves through the process differently, and at a different pace. So don't beat yourself up for feeling sad; or for not feeling like going out and being the life of the party. It will take time to heal from the loss of you spouse. Just remember, you are not alone. In fact, you are NEVER alone. GOD promised to always be there for you, and He will. He will comfort you and walk you through your time of grief.....again I said He'll walk you "through" it. That means that one day you will find that it has passed. It was hard--but you made it. You'll always remember your spouse, but the memories will be happy ones. Your heavy heart will be lifted, and there'll be more smiles than tears. It's at this time that you will be able to comfort and encourage others who are experiencing difficulties in widowhood. After all, you've just come through what they are just beginning to experience; and you'll find that helping others--has helped YOU!
|Posted on February 20, 2018 at 11:50 AM||comments (0)|
Your “normal” has changed. You now have to adjust to a “new normal”, which consists of life without your spouse. Your daily routine may be different: You're now having your morning coffee alone. You're coming home to an empty house. You're cooking meals for one, instead of two; You're attending dinner parties and social functions alone. There is no one to cuddle and watch tv with. Life, as you've known it has changed. The world keeps turning; but for you—time is standing still. You don't feel ready for all the changes, anymore than you were ready for the loss of your spouse. You didn't ask for it. Who in their right mind would ask to become widowed? Yet here you are, going it alone, not by choice, but by circumstances that are beyond your control.
Well meaning people tell you that it gets better with time. But how can it? Don't they know, time stopped for you when you lost your mate? Not only did time stop, but laughter stopped; happiness stopped; fun stopped. Even the sun stopped shining in your world, replaced the by dark cloud of grief.
But let me tell you my friend. Take it from someone who's been there. It's true, that your life, as you knew it when your spouse was alive, has forever changed. Through tearful eyes your world looks distorted, unclear. You don't see how you can ever recover from this loss. But you can—and you will!
As you move through the stages of grief, taking one day at a time, you will find yourself starting to “feel” again; to care again. As time goes on, your load gets lighter and lighter. The worst is over when you find yourself looking forward to what the next day will bring; and looking to the future through eyes of faith—and not fear. It's now that you can clearly see that you were never---going it alone .....
|Posted on January 11, 2018 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
I know that losing your spouse has been a challenge, and sometimes you wonder if you can go on from here. You have your faith; you have your family and friends, but you don't have your soulmate. Your life has changed, and it seems like nothing will ever be the same. Everyone tells you that you'll adapt; that the emptiness you feel now, won't last. That you now have a "new normal" that you must adjust to, on your journey back to wholeness. You know that they all mean well, but they just don't understand. All you want to do is curl up in a ball and make it all go away. The love of your life is gone, and there's nothing you can do to bring them back.
But be encouraged my friend, because all is not lost. There truly are better days ahead. I know, because I've walked your path. As you go through the stages of grief, you are not alone. The further ahead you go, the lighter your load. The lighter your load, the better you feel. The better you feel, the stronger you get. With that strength comes acceptance of GOD'S will. Over time you will recapture your zest for life.
The truth is, your loved one is no longer here-- but you are. You're still here because GOD has a purpose for you to fulfill. It doesn't have to be a huge, major mandate that He requires of you. It could be as simple as sowing goodness into the lives of those around you. Never underestimate the power of a kind word; a helping hand, or a smile. They have been known to impact lives and change them forever. So, keep moving forward! Don't look back and don't stand still. Move through the process. Your greater is just up ahead.