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How can I be brave to do things alone without my husband?

Thursday, August 24, 2023

How can we feel the bravery to carry on AND how do we do things alone where you once had the companionship of your loved one to do these things with?

Let's walk together and we'll tackle this important topic together.

Welcome to Grief Questions Answered.

I'm Eric and it's my goal with this blog to answer the questions we ask in grief, to share everything I've learned about how to survive, find support in the loneliness of grief, and how to intentionally get back up and live beyond the loss of a loved one.

If this grief tip doesn't help you today, I'm confident it can AND will help you at some point in the future. So be sure to bookmark this page to come back and read later on.

Let's go ahead dig in on today's grief question -

It comes from Deb who asks - "How can I be brave to do things alone without my husband?

I’m really glad Deb asked this because it covers two very important aspects of the grief journey - First, how can we feel the bravery to go on AND how do we do things alone where you once had the companionship of your loved one to do these things with?

First - let me just say that you’re already brave for making it to today. I know how difficult it can be to make it to the next day and sometime the next hour when you're grieving. And, it ABSOLUTELY takes and act of bravery and courage to navigate grief, period. And I want to take a second to tell you how proud of you I am for carrying on because it isn't easy... Not only that, it's important to remember that even when you’re crying, it is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength, courage and bravery. And if your crying makes others uncomfortable, then stay tuned because I'm going to address that in another video.

And, as you continue to navigate the grief, white it doesn’t get easier, you get stronger… here's what I mean by that: I’m not talking about becoming numb, and putting up walls and putting on armor, I’m talking about taking your bravery and using that to become more resilient and strong, so that you’re not just surviving - you’re finding ways to get back up and live again beyond the loss of your loved one.

Now, when we talk about doing things alone, it can feel very strange at first. Why? Because for a long period of time, you were most likely doing those “things” with your loved one. I’m sure it hurts a lot that they’re not going to be moving forward with you and doing new things. I can tell you it's still hard that to comprehend that Zoi isn’t here any longer. I can't do any new things with her. There won’t be any new pictures of her. I can’t share “Good news” with her and I can’t take her on a vacation with me.” I know she’s with me, but I think you know what I mean.

I’m guessing it’s why I often get the question “How can I move on without them?” because I asked the same question of myself.

My friend, I know this isn’t easy to resolve internally. And so, to make shift from this unfairness of having to do things alone to doing things again - maybe for you, it’s about asking yourself what CAN you do that makes it possible for you to carry on.

Let me share a couple of examples of what I mean:

One of my coaching clients Jen told me that her husband used to do all of the handyman and outside “things” around the house. She relied on him to take care of it so she wouldn’t have to. After he died suddenly, she was left to figure out how to take care of getting those things done… It created a lot of worry and frustration for Jen. And so, we came up with a list of options and people to call (friends/family/service providers) and she found that it reduced her worry and anxiety. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked. This was, for her, a good step forward.

Terry, from our "Let’s Walk Together" Facebook group told me about how she wasn’t sure she could go on vacations after her husband died because that was “their thing”. Every year, they took a trip to a new location. Every year, they looked forward to that. When the 2nd anniversary of his death came up, instead of not doing anything, she actually planned a weekend trip with her girlfriends. She told that it felt awkward and different at first and there were definitely difficult moments, but she was happy she went. AND, it created a new memory for her and the reminder that she can do other things to carry on. She said “I will always carry my memory of Tim and our vacations together, but I know he would have wanted me to do this and so I did it - for me!”

And so for Deb, you’re already brave for not only wanting to take the next step, but also for the steps you’ve already taken. I know this isn’t easy. You’re not alone. I invite you to look at what is possible for you when it comes to doing new things. There is no rush or pressure to figure it all out at once and I hope these examples help some.

For those of you who are watching this, what are some of the ways you discovered your new “things” along your journey? comment below and let me know.

I hope this helps you Deb and everyone who's watching this video. Do you have a question about grief that I can answer for you? Let me know in the comments...

(P.S.) Do you have a question about grief that I can answer for you? Email me at and I'll create a post here and a video to answer your question. 

I'm Eric. Let's continue to walk together. 

Hi, I Am Eric Hodgdon

Founder and President of Your Journey Guided, Inc.

  • Grief and Resilience Coach
  • Certified Trauma Specialist and Recovery Coach
  • TEDx Speaker and Amazon Best Selling Author of  A Sherpa Named Zoi

Thank you for visiting this blog. Do you have any questions about grief that I can answer? 

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