Gather Your Board of Directors in Grief






One of the best things you can do for yourself and your family after you are "up off the mattress" of loss is to create for yourself a board of directors. You and only you will be the Chief Executive Officer. Put differently, as one of my favorite authors, Adele Davis, said: "My house is a democracy and I run it!" She was all for benevolent dictatorships and I totally agree. Nobody knows how you should run your life better than you do.

It can't hurt, though, to have some trusted advisors; people whose integrity you don't have to worry about. It's a good idea to gather your board of directors in grief. I'm thinking of friends, or maybe even family and neighbors who care about you but aren't overbearing when you ask for advice. You'll want someone who can give you good advice on household repairs, car maintenance, money management, safety, and security (see  investments, and some generally wise old souls. These people don't need to know the answers to all of your questions, in fact, it may be better if they don't. What you need are people who can point you in the right direction when you are faced with a challenge that leaves you feeling lost and overwhelmed.

Maybe that means giving you a referral for a plumber they've used, or perhaps they know a good auto mechanic. It could be a friend who has been widowed a while and can help you navigate the shifting landscape of friendships and how your address book will change. It won't hurt to have among them someone who loves you, knows great loss themselves (that part is important) and will tell you the plain unvarnished truth when you need to hear it. Don't rule out male friends or family members. If they can check the urge to defend, protect and fix you, they often make great advisors and sounding boards. Men often show their consoling techniques differently. They'll stand on their heads if they think it will make you smile again. Most also welcome the opportunity to be of help.

] Gather Your Board of Directors in Grief

The directors on your personal board can coach you through getting estimates for major repairs, trading in a car, doing your taxes, or even winterizing your home (if these are things you haven't done before). Brothers and brothers-in-law, cousins, friends at church, gal pals, vendors you've known and liked for a long time are all good candidates. One of the other "best things you can do for yourself" is to learn how to look things up on your computer. Google, Youtube, and Pinterest can yield answers to the most mystifying problems. I talk about how to hire a contractor in another article here: Learn how to research really well, and then bounce the results you found off an appropriate director.

You need not tell your director members that they have an official position unless you want to, but just knowing you have a board of advisors you can trust is immensely comforting. It makes you feel a little less alone. Just like corporate boardrooms, your directors may change, and that's OK. It may take a while before you find the right players, but each one of them will have something to teach you (and vice versa) if only that you need to find someone better suited for that slot.

Without our closest intimate relationship, the world can seem a very lonely place. Your board of directors can't make that go away entirely, but they sure can help!



While you are here, be sure to take a look around the website at the many other blog posts with tips and strategies for all of us on the widowed path. If you enjoy them, be sure to subscribe to receive new posts directly into your email mailbox. It's free to sign up and we guard your information as if it were our own, never selling or sharing your information.

Sign up for free here  and never miss a new post. We even send you a free gift when you subscribe!  You can also find inspiration, prayers, and quotes about grief at Pinterest at






Disclaimer:  This blog post may contain affiliate links. I research all affiliates and am careful to select only those that I believe will serve my readers well, and I often have personal experience with them. I may earn a small commission from them to keep the Widowlution Online Magazine free to all subscribers if you use these links. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep the bills paid so I can keep writing. It’s a win for everyone, really. For my full affiliate policy, refer to the “Meet Mary Lee” page on this website.

© 2019 Widowlution, All rights reserved.






Article Images

About the Author

Mary Lee Robinson was widowed suddenly in 2013 and found herself totally unprepared for what was to come. In a new state for a mere 11 months when her husband died, there were few supportive friends or family around. She set about creating some, and started a social club for widows and widowers in her community. Within a year, it had grown to 170 members. That told her quite a lot about an unmet need. She gathered 25 widows and widowers to write a book to share their stories, and the surprises, good and bad, that they all encountered as members of the club nobody wants to join. It is her hope, and that of the other storytellers, that the books help prepare and educate.  Mary Lee lives in the Low Country of South Carolina, caring for her Mom and is a native of Towson, MD, just outside of Baltimore. Her constant companions are her dachshund and rottweiler dogs. Mary Lee Robinson is the author of The Widow or Widower Next Door and 5 of the Grief Diaries series books, all of which are available right here in The Grief Toolbox in her marketplace You can find more of her work on her Widowlution blog, practical tips for healing and living, at and on her Facebook page for widows at The Widow or Widower Next Door.