About Me

My wonderful husband died when I was 44 years old. Being widowed this young happens to less than 3% of married people. Writing through this loss one word at time helps me understand what I've lost and helps me continue to grow. It is how I have gradually recovered from such a severe loss. Research shows that you can benefit from taking just 15 minutes a day to write out your deepest feelings as a way of healing. On the right side of this blog, you'll see a tag for Exercises to Try. If you need some help knowing how to use writing to help heal yourself, I suggest you start there.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What Widows Fear

I can remember it like it was yesterday: the heart-pounding, animal-like fear I felt when we found out that Ken had cancer. If anything is going to activate fear, there's nothing like a cancer diagnosis preceded by weeks of tests and not knowing the outcome. The doctor appointments, the scans, the x-rays, the diagnostic surgeries, the lack of control, put it all together you've got the perfect recipe for being scared out of your mind. That's just my story. For some of you, it was a call from the police, a sudden collapse in front of your eyes, a suicide, a quick and unexpected decline, or something else. Each one, I know, made your heart race.

I've come a long way from the day of that cancer diagnosis in February of 2002. I was 40 years old with a six-year-old and a three-year-old. I've had a lot of fear to wrestle down including: how will I ever survive, what will I do with my life, how will I manage everything, and will I spend the rest of my life alone. It's nine years after that cancer diagnosis which would lead to my husband's death in 2006. Interestingly, I notice that what I fear today is completely different from the things that scared me then.

Naturally, since I believe that writing is an excellent tool for processing feelings and moving forward in your life, the whole idea of What Widows Fear (and don't fear)  is today's writing prompt.

Take 10 minutes. Write about what scares you...what REALLY scares you...and what doesn't scare you. Just keep your pen going without thinking too hard. Try this exercise again down the road some time. I'll bet that your list will be different because when you work on your grief actively, you make progress, you change, and you grow.

Here's my list:

I am a little bit scared of power.
A little bit scared of sugar.
A little bit scared of emptiness.
A little bit scared of loneliness.
A little bit scared of nothingness.
A little bit scared of never changing.

I am scared of falsehoods.
Scared of phoniness.
Scared of meanness.
Scared of contempt.
Scared of bad choices.
Scared of big egos.
Scared of cruelty.
Scared of inhumanity.
Scared of ignorance.
Scared of violence.
Scared of more grief coming my way.
Scared of having to struggle.
Scared of the swift passage of time.

I am really afraid of cancer.
Really afraid of heart disease.
Really afraid of stress.
Really afraid of being overwhelmed.
Really afraid of poverty.
Really afraid of wasting my life.
Really afraid of not being loved.

I am not afraid of my life anymore.
Not afraid of silence.
Not afraid of rejection.
Not afraid of being on my own.
Not afraid of remembering.
Not afraid of remodeling.
Not afraid of lighting a fire.
Not afraid of downsizing.
Not afraid of moving.
Not afraid of writing.
Not afraid to speak my mind.
Not afraid to love.
Not afraid to be a mother.
Not afraid to try new things.

Your turn!  10 minutes of writing about fear (and not fear). Get it out on the table where you can look at it.

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