Make It Go Away: Imagining Life as a Widow Beyond the Pain- Audrey Pellicano R.N.,M.S.

  • I don’t want this pain
  • I don’t want this responsibility
  • I don’t want to face people
  • I don’t want to be single
  • I don’t want this kind of life!


These are just a few of the statements I hear from the widows I work with and I said these words myself 21 years ago! We didn’t make the choice to be widowed and now we don’t have the choice whether or not to take on the pain and everything else that the world and society present to us. It is overwhelming and pulling the covers over our heads may at times seem a better choice for survival. For the short term!


I remember so vividly turning to my counselor at the time (who was not a widow), and telling her that I could feel, actually FEEL and visualize my heart breaking in half.  That was the first time in my life that I actually knew what it was to have a broken heart.


If I could see and feel this broken heart, what else could I see? Could I see my life happy again? Could I see myself strong once again? It was time to “SEE” for myself.

In my early morning meditation, before the children woke, I would sit down, breathing deeply, releasing (or trying to) any tension.  Now came the real work in this process:  how to get beyond the hurt and actually see myself happy with a whole heart? The saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it could take years to actualize but if we turn it around and say instead “I’ll see it when I believe it,” the results are something we can actually produce.  Here we do have control, a choice. So I sit, using my skills of Imagery and ask myself what does living without the pain and loss look like?  What do I see? I see the strong woman that I am, have been and choose to be.  I’m physically strong, headstrong at times and determined.  Yes, underlying is the widow, still with loss and sadness, but the image of strength feels so much better. I spend time with this image, embracing it, noticing the more I focus on it the more it grows so that over time the image becomes who I actually am.


  • I can live through the pain
  • I can handle the responsibilities one at a time
  • I can face people on my own terms
  • I can be content with being single
  • I can love life





About the Author
Audrey is a Health Counselor to widowed women, working with them to create a new role for themselves and face the world again without pain. Having been widowed at the age of 38 with 4 young children, Audrey initially sought out the assistance of those professionals she thought might be able to help, but who in fact had no experience in working with a young widow with years of raising children ahead of her. Experience the absence of support in the traditional medical system, Audrey pursued complimentary therapies and earned certification in Guided Imagery, Yoga and Meditation. She used these skills along with her Masters Degree in Health Science and 37 years in the health care industry as a Registered Nurse and Case Manager, to successfully find her own way through the pain and anxiety, create a new vibrant life for herself, and is now committed to helping other widowed women do the same. Her goal as a Health Counselor is to be a guide through the journey of widowhood, provide an empathetic and safe place to grow through the grief, create a complete wellness plan, to connect her clients with other related professionals familiar with the challenges of a widowed woman, and ultimately to support them as they create a new role for themselves and step out confidently into the world.
Helping The Bereaved