Pain is our friend not our enemy.

Those with leprosy lack the ability to feel physical pain and this can lead to the loss of body parts from repeated injuries or infection due to unnoticed wounds.

Being able to feel pain is the body’s way of saying that something is wrong and needs attending to. The pain that we feel when a significant other dies, in our case our partner, is real and is often called heartache. The pain in our chest is real. We need to attend to this heartache to heal. Our pain does have purpose. We need to embrace the pain and feel it. We need healing and with healing comes peace.

In our experience of meeting many widowed young people some have developed the idea that the only way to deal with the pain is to avoid it, to block it out by keeping busy. To be in a controlling state, perhaps in a place of denial. Others we have noticed often feel overwhelmed by the pain so need to be helped to get to a place of resilience where they can function again.

There may be valid reasons for the above, but what we are experiencing internally will eventually come out.  It will surface and will show itself either in a way that is evident of deep sadness or in a much better way that is reflective of your healing because you are doing the necessary grief work.

So it’s important to grieve. But what does this mean?

“Much of grieving is about expressing emotion– some may be unfamiliar, and unacceptable to self or to others, e.g. anger, guilt, remorse. Finding a safe place and an accepting person for support to work through all the effects of bereavement is important. The amount of support available from family and friends may be limited if they too are grieving.

"Misunderstandings can arise when people experience different responses to a shared loss. External supports may then become a vital factor in understanding and expressing your grief. It is important to know that you can survive the experience and that the new life that eventually comes about may have very positive effects despite the difficulty of arriving at this point.”

Dr Bill Webster (Grief Journey.com)

Transitioning from pain to peace can be a lonesome journey, but it doesn’t have to be! We and our befriender volunteers understand your pain as we too have experienced it and can help and support you. Yes it is a walk that requires vulnerability. Whenever we are exposed, our natural response is to seek refuge but that refuge should be a healthy and safe one.

It is of course a choice not to stay forever in the painful grieving stage but to move forward to a new normal albeit not one desired or chosen. The time this takes is different for every person and depends upon decisions made.

“Healing just doesn’t happen by itself although many people seem to think it will. Part of the problem stems from the biggest single inaccurate idea that we have been conditioned to believe: that “time heals all wounds.” Time does not heal. Actions are what help identify and complete unfinished emotional business. Waiting to do grief work is potentially unhealthy. It is not time that heals, it is what we do with the time that can make the difference.”

Dr Bill Webster (Grief Journey.com)

By accepting that your loved one has died and then finding trusted people who can provide a safe refuge and who understand and can lead you to that place of healing, to be able to re-engage with life again, become resilient and eventually get to a place of peace, is so important.

Care for the Family provide such trusted people at their Widowed Young Support Events and through befrienders who have “walked in your shoes”.

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At Care for the Family we support couples, parents and those who have been bereaved. If you would be able to make a one off donation to support our work, we would be very grateful. Thank you.

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