Its ok that you’re not ok

As a widow of 2 years this month, and someone who lost her mum this year too…I picked up Megan’s book for one reason.

So many people had said to me “the second year is much worse. After the 2 year anniversary of losing your husband….it’s worse.” When you hear comments like that , it has the potential to unsettle you a little so me being me,  started reading about it. 

Those who know me, know I am not a “talker” about this stuff, I get that from my Dad (who is probably smiling at that comment if he reads this review!) 

I needed to read about this subject. The scary thing….as I read, I realised she was writing about me and the experiences I had been party to. 

I read Megan’s book in 2 days only to find she was writing about me and we’ve never met. I could list the things that she talked about that I could tick off.

  • Yes, friends stayed away for fear of upsetting me. 
  • Yes, friends didn’t call for fear of upsetting me. 
  • Yes, I found myself getting forgetful. Widow brain…right?
  • Yes, I found myself making big decisions within days/months. 
  • Yes, I found that everyone had advice about how to “manage” grief as if it was a problem to be solved. 
  • Yes, I even had some friends that are now no longer friends. Megan tells you. that grief changes your address book. She ain’t wrong!
  • When I had a conversation with someone who told me they missed my late husband and I said “yes, me too” – they even responded to me with “grief isn’t a competition you know”
  • Yes, it feels like my loved one has been gone for years, even though it is less than that for my gorgeous mum.  

It is a book that should be compulsory reading if you lose someone. It`s invaluable. It tells you that it’s ok to dump your groceries and leave the store. It’s says that it’s ok to say no to people ad if they are offended at that, it isn’t your issue. Losing your loved one has dealt you a blow. It reminds you that forgetfulness is normal and after loss, ….the world is ****!

I found that too many people wanted to fix me. It can’t be fixed. I have to say, from my point of view, I didn’t know how to tell anyone that they couldn’t fix this. As beautiful as a gesture is, it isn’t going to help. This loss is irreplaceable. It will be something I carry for ever. There will be good and bad days. 

The best thing about this book, it reassures you as a widow, that everything you’re experiencing is yours. It’s normal and it’s yours. You’re carrying a rucksack of grief that you never have the luxury of putting down, sometimes it feels lighter, that’s your good day. 

Megan, with this book, you give a gift. You made me realise that what I was going through was perfectly normal. That clearing my husbands clothes after a week was something I needed to do (although I still have some!!). You made me realise that not wanting to be in my house forever was okay. You made me feel okay about wanting to talk about my husband even if others didn’t. You made me feel okay about saying no to people if I didn’t want to see them. 

The best gift that you gave, was a line in this book  “grief changes your address book”. It enabled me to look at those around me and realise who was here for the duration and who wasn’t. My address book has changed and it has taken me a couple of years to really comprehend that. The grief of losing those alive as well as the one you have lost is very tough. 

 Thank you for your book. Its one I recommend and one I treasure!

This book (or at least some of it) should be mandatory for a widows friends and family.
It gives you advice on what to do, what not to do. That it’s ok to say, I don’t know how to help. That it’s ok to turn up and just sit with someone and say ‘I’m here’. Be that friend who picks up the phone and calls them. Be the friend that says “Im on my way, what needs doing?”
Yes, it will be uncomfortable for you as a friend, its natural to want to “fix” someones sadness, but be the friend they need.