Putting Grief in It’s Place

It has been just 8 short weeks since my husband died of Kidney Cancer. Between the weeks of his advanced illness and the weeks since his death, I have taken a great deal of time to look within myself to determine who I am.

When a spouse dies, you suddenly find yourself as a “non couple”. All of your friends and most of your acquaintances are married and live a couple life. My husband and I were very active as a “couple”. We quit our jobs almost 5 years ago so we could be together. And together, we were. We did everything together. We traveled, played golf, fished, shopped and just walked on the beach nearly every day.

Suddenly, I find myself with no one to even go shopping with. I am suddenly myself as a “non-couple”. An individual with time on my hands and no one to share it with. Beyond the fact that the grief is sometimes overwhelming, the constant pain of loss, the constant reminders of the life you once had, there is another kind of loss very few people talk about.

It is an overwhelming reality that you now have to do things alone you once did as a couple. And for me, where I choose to live, my family is hundreds of miles away and most of our friends are seasonal in this resort community. They will come and go and there are times when no one is around to even visit or drop in on. But it is where I choose to live. A beautiful little island in the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina. AND! Just because I am no longer a couple, it is still where I choose to be. And since I choose to be here, I must make it MY home.

One thing I am learning to come to grips with is; I must find a place for me where I can thrive and continue to be an effective and productive person. As a business owner, my business does require a couple hours of my time each day and I find it is too easy to simply bury myself in work. But that will never help me to deal with the grief.

In my business community, there are many highly successful mentors available for guidance. While talking with one of my mentors earlier, she said something that opened a huge door of awareness for me. She said “When you are making major changes in who you are and how you respond, you must see yourself as a different person. You must be able to look objectively at who you were and who you are becoming”. Then it hit me…

Because I am no longer part of a couple and the person who was most important to me is gone, I am now on a journey to becoming a different person. But in order for me to become a highly effective individual, I must separate the past person from the future person. Now this past person holds a lot of wonderful memories, so I can not let that person go. That person is a vital part of me, and will always be with me.

I must be able to objectively look at the “2 Me’s”. It is like standing on a cloud and looking down at myself. I am learning to use this exercise to put grief in the right place. The grief belongs to the old me. I realize if I do not take control of the “new” me, the grief will consume me and stifle my future. That is not what my husband would have wanted. His specific instructions to me were “go spread your wings and show the world what you can do”. I can not let the grief identify who I am.

In order to honor his wishes, I absolutely must thrive. It is important for anyone who has lost a spouse to experience grief, but the grief is “not” who you are. It is a part of who you are and it has a place. We have to let go of the old self to mold and create the new person we are about to become.

Wanda Grindstaff is a successful Home Based Business professional as well as a business coach and marketing expert. She has assisted many people in achieving major financial goals and is passionate about showing people how to escape the rat race and lead powerful, self created lives through free enterprise and personal development.
Her vision is to serve others and empower them to have anything they choose and is on a mission to assist 100 millionaires in the next 5 years.