I’m sure my friends wondered why I still had the sympathy cards up 6 months after my husband died. I found them comforting. It visually confirmed all our friends and family that cared for my daughters and me. I wasn’t ready to put them away. I needed to find a special place for them and decided one day I’d get around to it.

The closets were still untouched. One of Nelson’s shirts had a musty smell. Had it been that long? My husband died in April and now it was October. Many friends offered their help. I knew they just loved me and wanted me to move on. Was I afraid that if I moved forward I’d have to let go of the past? Material things weren’t important to me, however, I felt very possessive with Nelson’s belongings.

Perhaps I was stuck in grief at this point. I think God knows how to nudge us when it’s time to let go. Mornings were getting a little chilly. My friend, Dinah, called me one day to ask me what I was planning to do with Nelson’s leather jacket. Dinah and her husband, Arturo, had been our very close friends.

My hand clenched the phone. “I hadn’t thought about it,” I said. “Well, Arturo was planning to buy a leather and if you’re not keeping Nelson’s, could Arturo have it?” Dinah asked. Our conversation caught me off guard. What if I wanted to keep it? But it was too big for me. The sleeves covered my fingers. I had no reason to keep it other than for sentimental reasons. It was Nelson’s favorite coat!

Of course I gave the coat to Arturo. But when I did, I felt a part of Nelson go. God knew it was time and I had been holding on as long as I could. When Arturo picked up the jacket, my tears came later on that evening. In the midst of my painful cries, I suddenly felt God’s peace flow through my body. He was my comforter.

The process of letting go became easier after this point. Closets got cleaned out and I felt like it was the right time. Now the cards were a different story. I waited until Christmas cards came in, then I replaced the sympathy cards with the Christmas cards. This was my way of adjusting. And I always did things my way! (With God’s gentle nudging and guidance of course!)

Cindy Adams 2012

Cindy Adams

Cindy A. Adams, LMSW, became a 34-year-old widow in 1995 with 2 young daughters, 6 and 7 years old. Holding on to her faith, she worked through widowhood and realized there was more to life than grief. Once Cindy accepted her loss, she came to the realization that she had to make new goals and dreams. She decided she wanted to help others through their grief and tough times. After surviving her loss, she spent years volunteering at Hospice and also supported some of her own friends through their grief of losing children and parents. Cindy went back to school while raising her daughters and obtained a Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2010 from the University of Georgia. Cindy feels blessed that she remarried in 2009. She currently resides with her husband, Joseph, in Atlanta, GA. She serves in her church as a GriefShare leader and pursues her social work degree as a Medical Social Worker for a home health agency. Cindy self-published her book, "A Widow's Pursuit", in 2012 that she has written from her grief experience and where she was led over the years. It is a faith-based book in how God kept her on track to pursue different goals and dreams while finding new purpose in life. Listen to Cindy speak about her journey at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHE7ilbwuzs&t=28s%29

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