I just feel maybe it’s time to talk about setbacks. I spoke about ‘triggers’ a while ago.
It’s when something, anything, can cause us to take a step back and feel we are not moving forward. We so often make the mistake of believing that we will never move forward again. Setbacks will occur. It’s inevitable.
But I do believe we should try and keep the momentum going. This recovery is so so slow and heartbreaking at times.
I often equate it with stepping stones across a river. We take one step at a time, pause, then move on. OK, so we may fall in and may often do so, but we can climb back on the stones and continue, or we can be swept away by the current of circumstances. All this takes a lot of courage and will.
To some the river may be a raging torrent, others may see it as a slow moving flow.
The other shore is there. Faint perhaps in a thick mist, and often completely obscured, but we know it’s there.
When we do reach it there is no forgetting on the other side. But it may be that we can see a road ahead with that light in the distance. Walking towards it may be easier now.
People who have anxiety know about ‘setbacks’. But recovery is not a straight line, more a spiral with ups and downs but always moving upward. Slowly, so slowly.
There are many who find moving forward impossible. But may I suggest that you don’t measure yourself as you are now. Things can change almost overnight. ‘Never’ is a word that implies impossibility. It can set up negative emotions in the mind until we convince ourselves that it is impossible.
I am sorry if I seem to be minimizing the pain so many feel. I’m not. No way!
But as many say, there is a possibility if not of recovery but an easing of the pain.
This kind of pain can never be forgotten, but I have found just a little sight of that elusive light can lift the spirits. A little, a bit, but bits add up to big bits. Take care.

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Hi Jonathan, I remember in my early days on this site, somebody described our grief journey like a game of snakes and ladders. Some days we’re able to climb a ladder towards that distant light but others times we slip down those damn snakes and we’re almost back to where we started. So long as we climb more ladders than slide down slippery snakes we will get nearer that elusive light. I’m usually near the top of the board these days but can’t quite make it as there’s often another tiny snake just waiting for me. But I’m ok with that. Maybe that’s how it’s meant to be.

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Thank you again Jonathan, all so very true.
Some people seem to be crossing that river a bit quicker than others. Some people are perhaps afraid to even attempt to cross the river, afraid of sinking and drowning. They need extra support to help them get across. But if we don’t try to cross the river what are the other options, not good I’m afraid. So an effort to get across the river no matter how hard it is will be well worth the effort.
That light is precious and certainly does lift the spirits.


Tell me about setbacks! anything does it for me since last November. But t thought ok, I may be moving slowly. Then! The anniversaries started. 5 weeks ago my darling
would have been 61! Six days ago it was exactly 9 months since my husband’s departure. Date and events going round…(Nov 18 same days/dates as August19). Today, would have been our 31st wedding anniversary!
I feel i am back to the first numbed days. how was i left to go through this on my own ? Where is my husband to share the good and the bad days?
I went half way the river and suddenly I remember…“I can’t swim” Help!
Same months Jonathan, different speed

Shame you cannot edit to make corrections. Apologies…

Hi Johnathan and all thank you for your words they are so true. I thought I was doing ok . He passed November I was climbing up ladder they a massive snake appeared his birthday 19 August I have slid so fast backwards I am scared.but with your words are encouraging

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