When my husband died suddenly, I didn’t think too far into the future, I couldn’t. I needed my strength for more immediate demands.
To those of you recently widowed: Be present. The future will find you soon enough.
Although it’s natural to obsess about tomorrow, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Give yourself the benefit of staying present, focus on the now. You’ve undoubtedly been counseled not to make any major decisions in the first year. Prudent advice. But it’s not just about the finances of whether to pay off your mortgage or the logistics of moving closer to your kids; it also has to do with giving yourself time to decompress. The future – uncertain for everyone – seems a bit more daunting for the widowed. We’ve made plans with a partner. Now everything’s changed.
Take a breath. Save tomorrow’s troubles for tomorrow. Take comfort in your support group. Relish the simple joys of each day: a morning cup of coffee, a much-needed laugh with a close friend, a neighbor’s hug.
Thinking of the future can be as upsetting as dwelling on the past. So be present. Let your tomorrows unfold slowly.