From Wife to Widow: Depression, Grief & Hope

When I turned 25 my husband unexpectedly died from a complication with his cancer treatment.

He was 28.

In the months and years that followed I got a taste of what it was like to lose my mind. I didn’t know who I was, now that one label had been ripped off of me (wife) and another one slapped on (widow.)

I still functioned, but I started to deteriorate mentally. I went to work, but I was disconnected and intentionally disconnecting from, not only my friends and family, but also myself.

One of the most difficult parts of the grieving process for me was that my mind would not shut off.

It felt like I was trapped in my own body.

Years after his death I discovered a guided body scan meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I believe it was the first time I had stepped into the present moment. It was terrifying and liberating and was a key step in being able to let go of my story.

Life has the potential to pull the rug out from under us. The pounding of negative thoughts can be debilitating and meditation can help us access peace of mind.

As opposed to spiritual bypassing or escaping our realities or our feelings, meditation helps us to dive deeper into our present moment and access an acceptance we can’t fathom when we’re being tossed around on the stormy waves of our thoughts.

Instead of feeling trapped in our body we can find an inner freedom in even the most difficult of circumstances.

This is how we heal. Slowly, mindfully, and one breath at a time.

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