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  • Writer's pictureSerena Johnson

This is my husband Randall. He is one of my greatest supporters… always has been.

Randall has seen 2 different Serena’s : “the before loss” Serena ~ and “the after loss” Serena.

The-before-loss-Serena was outgoing, EXTRA extroverted, quick on her feet, a high energy optimist and a mega multi-tasker. The moment my mom died, The-after-loss-Serena became withdrawn, easily overwhelmed in large crowds, drained by sadness and suffered from mental exhaustion with the simplest tasks.

I felt bad at first that my husband had to see me in an upside down state, but I knew I couldn’t push myself in unrealistic ways. I hated to have my sons and husband see me in such a continual fragile state. The internal struggle was real as I wanted so badly to still be the mom and wife my family needed me to be. I kept thinking "I got this, I can just shrug this off". If only it were that simple ... the more I resisted these new challenges, the more I struggled.

As much as I wanted to push through and be a "Shero", I had to face reality. My denial was hurting my progress. I shared with Randall my struggles and new found “limitations” and learned to work within them. When entering into large crowds, I would retreat to take a breather alone, or go to my seat instead of talking. I used to be a strategic planner, but now that I couldn't think past the last second - I had to take our plans day by day.

My husband wanted to be there for me, but even Randall couldn’t fix me. He would simply offer me hugs when I needed a shoulder to cry on, and a listening ear when I just needed to vent my pain. Just him being a listening ear helped me so much in my healing journey, as I had so much pent up inside of me. Randall allowed me to take breaks when I needed them and often encouraged me to slow down. He truly served as my safe place to release.

I encourage you spouses out there who are supporting your grieving husband/wife… Be patient and gracious as your spouse learns to navigate a new norm and their unexpected grief symptoms. Ask your spouse what they need from you, pray for them and just be present. Encourage them in their healing journey. Grief is even harder without a safe support system to rely on🫶🏽


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