Jan 26

Having lived in Minnesota my entire life, this is the life I know and love.

I’ve never had the view that our winters are so long and cold.

That has changed!

I have come to a place in my life where I, too, recognize that life can feel long, and quite lonely here in the great white North.

For those who are bereaved, winter may bring new darkness and cold into daily life. As we hunker down in our warm homes and spend limited time outside, we may find ourselves with fewer personal conversations and experiencing lonely days and nights. We may, in addition, be adjusting to life without our beloved.

The first winter after my husband died was extremely difficult. I lived in our large country home, alone.  I looked out to a lake and fields, it reminded me of the empty and alone. I would go from my home to work and back, often having few if any personal interactions with others. I felt alone.

Our three sons, friends and family were supportive, but then again, I was alone. They assured me to call if I needed anything, but I did not have the energy to call, to ask, to take the first step.

Winter surrounded me with long dark days, nights and limited social interactions.

Experiencing Minnesota winters as a bereaved person has changed my view and this is what I came to recognize and believe to be helpful:

As a bereaved person, our energy may be limited, it may be helpful to plan for one enjoyable event/task each day.
For myself, activities of comfort became arts and crafts. I started attending a knitting session at a local craft store.  I found emotional care in touching the lovely yarns and found gentle companions as we sat and knit together. Others only knew my story as I let them. I enjoyed the evening of sitting together rather than being home alone.

As a bereaved person, it may be difficult to make a phone call, we may find it difficult to reach out and have one personal conversation each day.
For myself, I began calling those friends and family who lived further away. It was good to have conversations and it was good to hear of their lives. 

As a bereaved person, it may be helpful to seek ways to find purpose in life.
For myself, volunteering at our local food shelf allowed me to help others and have simple conversations that did not need to revolve around my loss. 

As a bereaved person it may be our new normal and easy to feel sad.
For myself, I began a daily habit of noting three things that I am grateful for in life. I soon added praying for three others each day, the focus on what I can do has been profound.

I hope you may find some thoughts here to help you in your journey of reconciling your grief.

Believe in Love!

Geralyn Nathe-Evans has been called to the vocations of wife, mom, Lay Ecclesial Minister, nurse and friend.

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(4) comments

I really love that you are sharing great ideas from your perspective. You are telling me things that not only have meaning for me with family and friends who have lost a spouse or child or loved one, friend, but I can share with our Faith Community Nurses who minister to people. What practical things to share with people we know who we are on this journey with. We often don’t know what to say. A book I read long ago said to raise self esteem one should “learn new things and do good deeds”. You are spot on! Thank you.

    Geralyn February 2, 2019

    Thank you Annette! For your generous and the beautiful ministry of care you share. I am blessed my your affirmation. Geralyn

Dani January 28, 2019

This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your practical tips and being open about your loneliness and lack of energy to make the first move. These ideas would also apply for those experiencing depression or those who are lonely for ANY reason.

    Geralyn February 2, 2019

    Thank you Dani! Yes, these ideas may be helpful for so many of us, those who may minister as well as those receiving care. Thank you for your kind words. Geralyn

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