Do you remember looking at lists of ‘stressors’ to see if any of your problems were on the list? In any given season of our lives, most of us have some change happening if not a minor or major crisis. We look at the list and see, “Yes,” It is there. It’s OK to be upset or almost unglued, because ours is a common and real problem. That was yesterday.

But here we are today, a widow. (I still don’t like the word.) Numb, puzzled, vulnerable, sad, frightened, angry, yet laughing at things most don’t find so funny. What has happened? We have experienced the top of the list item, ‘death of a spouse.’ The psychologists call it a ‘major life event.’ I looked at the ‘minor’ life events and most of them accompanied my ‘major’ life event! (Bureaucracy, waiting, lack of sleep, changes in family, changes in friends, loneliness and many more)

Yet I, and many others, possibly you, are determined to move into this new life, not just exist. We are determined to find meaning, to be impacted, but not defined by our loss. In order to move forward, I have had to look deeply at each area of my new life--not one aspect has been spared the intense shake up that has accompanied Bob’s exit to heaven. I have discovered new realities that you might find helpful. Perhaps sharing my experience and discoveries will spare you some of my missteps or confusion, or just comfort you by discovering you are not alone.

Friendships. What happened? A tornado hit our mobile of friends, removed many and left our mobile either swinging wildly, or just in motion and out of balance. Understanding and letting go frees us to face forward.

Finances. Money usually ranks number one in the lists of widows concerns. This section offers more than encouragement. Download budget forms and discover Yes, You Can. See the first 8 steps to take. But just take the next step!

Emotions. Our emotions become intense beyond our comprehension. We need new understanding plus new tools to grow forward. Read about grief, depression, and more emotions to come as they relate to our new life.

7 Tips to Help Widows. Do some offer to help? Do some struggle with relating to you? Print these tips and share them. Others will be grateful because they mean well. They often truly do not know what to say or do.

Read on, my dear friend. I trust that these helps will give you a boost as you move forward.