A friend of mine who had traveled to Liberia, Africa, shared with me that when a woman is widowed in Liberia, an older widow is sent to stay with the younger widow... to help the younger widow through the difficult adjustment. By sharing our experiences and our strategies - in a positive manner - we can create a similar "virtual" community where we help and support each other ...... as we to adjust. Please feel free to add your positive suggestions in the comments section following each post!

If you have lost someone very recently, please start here.....
Early On for tips for the very beginning.

See also how to use this blog on the right column --------->>


Saturday, November 21, 2015

OneFitWidow.com/Help: Someone Died!! What Do I Say And Do?

Help: Someone Died!! What Do I Say And Do?

November 20, 2015 Michelle
I posted this on Facebook on November 17, 2015 and within a day it had been seen by over 1 million people and shared over 6k times. So I figured it was time to put it in a blog so it can be referred to again and again.

You want a simple and quick list to review when the time applies to you and yours…..here it is.

Let me give a few tips for those who don’t know how to be there for friends who are grieving.


Your first instinct is going to be to give them their space, WRONG ANSWER.  Please don’t run away from them, go to them as fast as you can and keep going to them for years to come.

#2 – Say the name of the person who passed and never stop saying it

Everyone is afraid to say the name of the deceased as if they never existed.  This is one of the most painful experiences for nearly all grieving people.  We never want to forget them so keep saying their name forever.

#3 – Don’t say, “They are in a better place” or “God needed them more” or “God only gives you what you can handle”

These platitudes are just bullshit (excuses my language) and they don’t help at ALL. Even if the survivor is a person of faith I still find in most cases that these sentence do not offer any peace for a very long time. Maybe, MAYBE in several years time these platiudes will offer some comfort but don’t be surprised if they never do.

#4 – Don’t tell them to “move on” or “get over it”

Ugh, where do I start.  Those who live with loss do not MOVE ON….we MOVE FORWARD and in fact we have no other choice. Daily we takes steps to move our life forward but we never forget the person who passed or the life we shared.

#5 – Don’t ignore them thinking they need their space

For the love of all that is good – please don’t ignore the grieving.  Take them to a funny movie, call them and offer to come over and hang for coffee, invite them to dinner.  Sometimes they will say yes and sometimes they will say no but please don’t stop asking!  There is no time frame either, so keep asking long after THE YEAR that society allows someone to grieve.

#6 – Don’t say, “At least you had love” or “At least they lived a long life”

Yep, no help.  NONE.  In fact, down right hurtful.  There is no AT LEAST.

#7 – Don’t ask what they need – just go do something for them

People who are grieving are often lost and a shell of a human themselves.  If I’m being honest, they don’t know what they need in life with the exception of their their loved one back. Just show up, take them dinner, babysit their kids and let them go get a massage or a good cry.  Just let them be NORMAL for a few minutes.

#8 – Don’t expect them to EVER be the same

EVER.  Once you grieve you are changed for LIFE! Never say, “I miss who you were before they died” because who they were died when their person died.

#9 – Don’t be surprised or judgmental about anything they do

We all grieve in our own way, yet nearly every grieving person I know has been judged for their process. See my blog: Widowhood and the Glass House of Grief

#10 – Don’t say “I know how you feel”

Oh my, this one will get you in REAL trouble.  I’ve heard it all from, “my goldfish died when I was 4” to “my friends grandma died 4 years ago and I know how you feel.”  Listen, I’m very sorry for your grief but you do not know how I feel after the father of my 2 young kids and my partner died.  See my blog: Widowhood and the Dangers of Grief Comparison

#11 – Don’t Make People Replaceable

Somehow in our society we believe that if a widow/widower remarries or starts dating or if a parent has another child – that they are somehow ALL BETTER.  What a crock of crap.  Listen, people are not replaceable and love is not mutually exclusive.  Loving one person does not replace the love you had for the other person who has passed on.  See my blog: Dear Widow Police

#12 – Don’t stop saying their loved ones name

Oh, did I repeat that one, my bad.  THAT’S BECAUSE IT’S REALLY FREAKING IMPORTANT. Six years later and I still want to hear about MITCH. Don’t worry, you saying their name does not remind us of our loss – we never forget.

1 Fit Widow

If you have found your way to this page, I would like to suggest looking at....


This woman is very motivating.  This post in particular helped me, even years later.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Social Security

If you are due benefits from Social Security, contact them right away to at least set an appointment.  I thought I had to wait until I had the death certificate and that held up benefits for several months.  I will post additional information on Social Security shortly.  

Their phone number is: 1-800-772-1213

One day at a time,

Saturday, January 12, 2013

One Year

As the one year "anniversary" approached, the lead up to the day can be as bad, if not worse than the actual day. There are many things  one can do to remember your loved one on the anniversary. I am again going to suggest the web site esdeer.com for further reference on additional ceremonies and remembrances. 

What I am sharing in this post, a dear friend sent via email about a week before. I am sharing it here as I found it brought me some measure of Peace. My sons gave me a candle for my birthday, so I used that one.  I did not keep the candle burning over night or when I was away from home for safety reasons.  

In the Jewish religion, a remembrance of the deceased is held on the Yahrzeit, which is the day prior to the anniversary of death. A candle is lit at sundown and left to burn for 24 hours. The loved one is honored & remembered in this way. After one year of mourning, the bereaved are supposed to return to a "normal" life. However, the Yahrzeit candle is lit each year.

The "day before" can actually be worse than the actual day for holidays spent without a loved one. The same is true of the anniversary of death. By beginning the remembrance on the day prior to the anniversary of death, we allow ourselves to grieve instead of waiting in dread of the actual day.

I hope this may also bring you some level of Peace, as you pass your first "Yahrzeit."
One day at a time....

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Wisdom from Winnie the Pooh

This applies to ALL of us.........

Promise me that you'll always REMEMBER:

You 're BRAVER than you believe and 

STRONGER than you seem and 

SMARTER than you think.

- Christopher Robin to Pooh 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Getting Through the Holidays

This is from Maureen Hunter.  She has the web site Esdeer.com.  I find it to be a wonderful, down to earth grief resource, written by someone who has been through it.

One day at a time,

We're just about to hit December and I know for the last few years I just wanted to close my eyes and wake up in January.

For myself (Maureen) early December is the anniversary date of my son's death, something that to date has always tinged my Christmas with a forever sadness. It comes beside all the festivities in the shops and the bombardment of adverts on the TV and in the letter box. It has taken me a long time to look forward to a time of year that changed our lives forever so suddenly, but it's happened. Last year I noticed a shift and this year much more so.

So for our 6th Christmas this year there will be a proper tree once more. There will be more decorations, there will be joyful anticipation and happy moments. Of course they will sit themselves, as they always do at such times, around the missing and sadness of the physical absence of someone who has our heart always. And amidst all of that we will do what we always do, find ways to honour and remember our beloved Stuart on the day.
It has taken me much to get to this place and it has not been easy.
Today I'd like to share a series of short videos I recorded last year about the holidays and what we can do to get through such a difficult time. If you haven't seen them already I hope they help you in some small way.


I am posting the videos below along with the links in case you are unable to view them here.


Video 1: Knowing what to Expect


Video 2:  Getting back to Basics

Video 3: What are Your Non-Negotiables this Year?

Video 4: New Traditions

Video 5: Remembering with Love

Thursday, November 1, 2012

They will remain forever

a part of your heart and soul
No matter where you are 

and what you do ~ there they are.  

Connected always 

by the invisible threads of love in your heart 

and by their invisible presence in your soul ♥

- Esdeer.com

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Basics/Early On

Here are some basic suggestions for the very beginning, but are useful throughout the grieving process.....  In everything I write, these are suggestions.  Always do what you think is best for you and your family EVEN if it is different than what I am suggesting. 

1 - Sleep ANY time you feel like you can EVEN if it is at odd times.

2 - Eat as often as you can remember to.  If someone offers to bring food - - let them!

3 - Take things one day at a time..... don't get too far ahead. Some things will fall into place as time goes by like if one needs to change where to live or their work situation.

4 - With that in mind, try not to make any major decisions in the first several months.. or even a year if possible. 

5 - Choose one or two important thing(s) a day to get done... most of the rest can wait.

6 - With regard to children - ANYTHING is normal right now and kids grieve differently than adults. My kids desperately just wanted things to be "normal." There will be more about this over time.

7 - When people offer help either accept it - or if it doesn't seem helpful at the moment, I would say, "Thank you, but I don't really know what I need right now. Would it be ok if I gave you a call when I figure that out?" That keeps the door open to ask them for something later if need be.

One day at a time,

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Be Gentle on Yourself

This is a quote from the site Esdeer.com:

Sometimes we want to rush through our grief, get it out the way and over so we can get back to our real selves again. It's how we often have coped with life, being in control and in charge. Getting things done. It can take some reshuffling in our heads and hearts to realise there is no a-z formula for grieving and no going back to who we were. Everything is different now. So be very gentle on you as you come gradually to this knowing ♥
- Esdeer.com

One day at a time,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

First Year/General

I just finished the post on making decisions during the first year.  There are so many things  that happen for the first time during that year.  I am not completely through it, myself, still having the holiday season approaching.  

I expected certain days to be challenging - my birthday, the children's birthday, Father's Day.  All of the major holidays of course, our anniversary, his birthday.  Any other dates that have special meaning in your lives... maybe the day of your first date for example.  There will be more on these specifically in a later post.

The things I did not expect, were to feel sad at the change of seasons - the first cherry blossoms on our tree out front, the last day of school, the leaves changing in the fall and  the first snow fall.  My husband was a big football fan, especially the Gators.  One of the last things he did was watch a Gator game.  They won that game!  I have not been able to watch or follow football this year.  Each of these, mark the passage of time.  Each  remind you that your spouse is not there to see it.  

I want the tone of this blog to remain positive and helpful, but I feel it must also be honest.  My intention in sharing this is to have you be prepared if this happens in your life.   It may not.  

Someone, a few months ahead of where I am, recently shared her experience.  I hope that she will post it in the comments section as she shared it so eloquently.  Paraphrasing what she said.... When one has a loss in their lives, there is a hole in your life where your loved one used to be.  Over time, once in a while, gratitude and joy start to fill that space where the pain resides.  It comes from the fact that this person was a part of your life.  I can see this with my husband.  We accomplished a lot together, we have 2 beautiful children and although we had our ups and downs like any relationship, we had a good life together. For all of this I am grateful.

One day at a time!