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Navigating Widowhood

Turning the Scary Stuff into Stepping Stones

A woman hesitantly moves forward navigating stepping stones

I remember when Steve died, I was terrified. Terrified about solo parenting, running the business, being alone, managing finances, making decisions, buying a car, planning a vacation, and the list could go on. In time, as I started to do those things on my own, it got easier. I still don’t like it, but I know I can do it, and I am no longer terrified.  

Fear is part of life. It is how you approach it, think about it and rise above it that matters. It is about not letting fear hold you back from trying something new, walking into a room where you don’t know anyone or taking a new job opportunity. It’s remembering to ask yourself one of my favorite Byron Katie questions: “Who would you be without that thought”? When we all stop to ask ourselves that question, we can see that whatever we are reacting to and trying to talk ourselves out of is not really as bad as we make it out to be. It’s about learning how to let go of that little voice in our head that likes to keep us playing small.  

Take the Leap. Do the Thing.

This played out recently in my life. I had the opportunity to apply to speak at a conference for CEOs. Before I pushed send on my application, I definitely questioned myself. Would I be able to do it? What if they did not select me? What if I completely bombed on stage? What if the audience thought my topic was dumb? You can see where that conversation in my head was taking me. Nowhere good. I pushed send on the application, and I was selected to speak at the conference. Before I officially accepted the speaking engagement, more thoughts ran through my head trying to talk me out of it: Do I have enough time to prepare? I have never spoken on a huge production stage before—what if that is overwhelming? There are 1,200 attendees; I have never been in front of that many people; what if I forget what I wanted to say? Again, a thought process that was taking me nowhere good. I took the leap, accepted the talk, got to practicing and am delivering the talk next week in Miami and later in Istanbul. I know I will do my best, learn from the experience and get even better the next time.  

Take the Leap. Do the Thing.

Being a widow can feel like stepping into the unknown, and yeah, it's downright terrifying. The grief, the loneliness, the “what now?” questions can make your head spin. But guess what? It doesn't have to be a never-ending horror show. You have the power to flip the script on widowhood, turning the scary stuff into stepping stones for personal growth and resilience. Here are some thoughts on how to think about this differently.

Rally the Troops:

You don’t have to go it alone. Call in the troops—friends, family or a support group of fellow widows who just get it. Having a squad to lean on makes the tough days a bit more bearable and the good days even sweeter. I like to call this the Widow Board of Directors. I have created a free document that you can download here if you would like to create your own.  

YOU Time:

Now, let’s talk self-care. Treat yourself like the VIP you are. Healthy food, a bit of exercise and a good night’s sleep—it's like a spa day for your soul. Throw in activities that make you happy, and you've got a winning combo.

Rediscover You:

Widowhood can feel like a solo act, but hey, it’s also a chance to rediscover the star of the show—you! What did you love before the “we” became “me”? Dust off those hobbies, explore new interests and get reacquainted with the awesome person you are.

Be Realistic:

No need to conquer the world in a day. Set realistic goals—personal, professional, or just for your sanity. Break ‘em down into bite-sized pieces, and celebrate those wins like you just aced a pop quiz.

Embrace the Shift:

Change is the only constant, right? So, embrace it. Whether it’s a new living situation, a fresh hobby or a wild career change—roll with it. Change can be scary, but it can also be the plot twist that leads to the best part of the story.

Find Your Thing:

Loss does not mean that your life is over. Find meaning and purpose by volunteering, joining a group, exploring nature or doing stuff that fires up your passion. Making a difference and connecting with others can be like hitting the refresh button on your spirit.

Most importantly…

Take the Leap…Do the Thing:

Don’t shy away from something because it is scary. Take the leap and try it. Don’t quit after one try; try it multiple times. I promise you it will get easier. Do not talk yourself out of it. Remember the important question to ask yourself if you are questioning: “Who would you be without that thought?”

While navigating widowhood might feel like riding a wild roller coaster, remember—it's not a one-way ticket to despair. By letting it out, seeking support and embracing the journey, you can turn the scary bits into stepping stones toward a life that's uniquely yours. You do not need to do this alone, and with a dash of patience and a sprinkle of self-love, you can find joy, purpose, and maybe even a few belly laughs along the way. Cheers to the next chapter—you've got this!

Take the Leap. Do the Thing.


Jody Hello Portrait2.jpg

Hi, I'm Jody!

I’m a widow, grief expert, widow coach, and mom. I hope that Widows in the Workplace is able to provide you with comfort, support and guidance while you find your way with your grief journey. 

It is possible to Rediscover, Reimagine and Relaunch your Life again. You do not need to do it alone. 

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