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My Transition to Widowhood

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Transitioning to widowhood

I had a dream that included a pair of pearl-handled six-shooters. I woke the next morning to ponder what this object meant. I examined it as a metaphor.

A pearl is a grain of sand encased in the shell of certain mollusks and valued as a gem. The other end of a six-shooter is entirely different; it has a barrel that releases bullets that can cause great harm. I would say, one end of that pearl-handled six-shooter has beauty and strength; the other end can be evil.

This metaphor reminded me of a traumatic event that I experienced. I felt the pain and anguish from the barrel of a six-shooter. The situation was the sudden death of my husband, at the age of 41. Within 18 months, both of the children had left home. My loss was compounded, and the life I had pictured for myself ended. A new journey was in front of me, and I had no idea where it was headed.

A friend gave me a book titled Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes” by William Bridges. It talked about coping with difficult, painful, and confusing times in your life—when endings happen and new beginnings start.

My situation was all of those things at one time. The loss produced a pain and numbness that was difficult to describe.

More books seemed to present themselves just when I needed their message. At a garage sale, I bought the book You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise L. Hay.

Reading someone else’s story was helpful in letting me know I was not alone in my loss and pain. Louise’s life had many challenges. She describes how difficult it was for her to let go.

I read books rich with insight by authors writing about their experience in seeking the understanding of life, such as Caroline Myss, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Christine Page, and Wayne W. Dyer.

Transition from widowhoodLoss brings a life lesson that is not easy to understand. I knew I had to find what this new beginning was for me.

I started reading The Life You Were Born to Live,” a guide to finding your life purpose by Dan Millman. After reading this book several times, I knew I had to change old mindsets and old habits. Day by day, I began a new practice.

I made changes in my diet and exercise program. I purchased Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover” and put a new financial plan together. I chose books that would help me examine and improve relationships with family and friends.  I focused on creative projects.  I took part in organizations where I was able to use my skills to reform, improve, and accomplish goals.

The New York Times bestseller, The Celestine Vision” by James Redfield has been my go-to reading many times. He describes putting our awareness into action and having faith. He says, “We must always go within to our highest wisdom to chart our path in life.”

Our pathway to this connection is unique for each of us.

Guest Blogger: Judy Rae Bruns
A version of this article was first posted on the blog, Waking to a New Life.


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Author: Martha Childers

Martha Childers, EdS, LPC is a multicultural psychotherapist specializing in couples, grief and caregiver stress. Martha is a licensed professional counselor in Missouri and Kansas. She received her masters and education specialist degrees in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She practiced Zen through a variety of Japanese traditional arts for 3-1/2 years. Since that time, mindfulness has been an integral part of her life. Her interest in human nature, beliefs, and life styles led her to become a counselor.

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