When my Husband passed away from Lung Cancer I was, well there is not really a word I can use that would do the feelings of loss, devestation and sorrow justice. I was contacted a few days after by St Giles Hospice that would have provided Palliative Care to my Husband (if he had survived to that point) asking if I wanted to speak to one of their Councillors (free of charge of course as St Giles are a Charity) - I didn't - it was all too raw at that point so I declined the offer.
A few weeks later whilst sitting on the arm of my sofa, alone in the flat I shared with my Husband and sobbing like a baby I had what some Alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity - I was not going to make it through this alone. And by that I am not saying I had no support, I did, friends and family were amazing, but the trauma of losing my husband so young and so fast left me wanting to talk about things that I couldn't with people I knew. It is very hard to talk to someone you know sometimes as they get upset or don't know how to react, or just can't cope with the feelings someone in my position had, and lets face it the people that knew my Husband had their own grief to cope with aswell.
After my moment I called and arranged a meeting with the Hospice's Department Head for the Councelling and we talked about what had happened, she then assigned me a Councillor. I don't think it would be a lie to say I would not have made it throught the next year without her help. I had some extremely low times and did briefly contemplate ending it all as the pain was too much to bear. I had sessions where all I could do was cry or not say much at all - but that was ok, someone was listening and understanding and could speak to me from a place where they were not emotionally involved, although it must be terribly hard to deal with some of the things widowed people talk about.
My Councillor helped me start remembering the fun times my Husband and I had as all I could think of at first was him being terribly ill and losing him. But it was all the other things that comes with being Widowed too, I had to move out of our flat, the place we were happy, the place where we got married, it was heartbreaking to leave. I also couldn't face going back to work as that was where we met and where he came to do work - I remember one Valentines day getting in to work and he had already been in and left a Red Rose and a "Love Monkey" toy sat on my desk :-)
Losing someone you love changes your whole life and had I not had the support I did the outcome might have been very different indeed. I owe a lot to my Councillor and will never forget the help and advice she gave me.
Just to clarify for you, I didn't ever ask for help in my life, I always thought I was strong enough to cope with anything life threw at me alone, so to do what I did by asking for help from St Giles for me at first made me feel weak and needy - but I am here to tell you, don't ever think that, asking for help when you need it is sometimes the bravest thing you can do.