This new Widow was helped in many ways by EFT

By Deborah Miller, PhD

Losing a loved one can be emotionally devastating and prevent normal functioning for weeks, months or even years.  In this case, EFT helped Elizabeth release her grief around the loss of her husband. In addition, it cleared the negative connotation associated with the word Widow.

Namaste, Deborah


Elizabeth contacted me three months after her husband’s death still feeling overwhelmed with grief. Her husband fought a long battle with cancer and Elizabeth was his principle caretaker the last months of his life.  It was draining emotionally and physically even though she had been preparing for 4 years.  She had periods of crying, sadness and grief as well as anxiety about going back to work.

The strongest emotion she was feeling was sadness.  Her level of intensity was 9 or 10 on a scale of 0 to 10.  I asked her to tell me something that happened that day that had made her feel sad. She is a teacher and it was her first week back at work.  She had to fill out an insurance form and for the first time she needed to check the box “Widow.”  It was very emotional for her, making her feel sad, so lonely and afraid. We tapped:

Even though I had to fill out an insurance form today that made me for the first time ever check that I’m a widow…

It made me so sad, so lonely, and so afraid. I don’t know where to turn.

I feel the intense sadness, the loneliness, the not knowing what the next step is, or which is the right way to turn. I still love myself.

I did the right thing by being at my husband’s side these past years.  He died in our home.

His last day was peaceful and sad.  I’m glad to know he was at peace when he left.  It makes me feel that he is at peace now. I’m glad he’s at peace, but I’m not. I’m confused and sad. I don’t know which way to turn.

I’m supposed to free again to do whatever I want.  I don’t know what I want but I don’t have to decide right now. I feel scared. Like a little girl all alone.

(I asked her to invite her inner child to work with us.) We tapped:

I’m scared. Little Elizabeth is scared too. We both feel alone but we’re not.

We have each other. I turn to her and give her a big hug. We are together in this.

Elizabeth felt better and when she asked her lonely inner child, she did too.  When she reviewed the story about filling out the insurance form she felt relief except when she thought of the word widow. We tapped the following:

Even though I feel relief I still dislike the word widow. It has such a negative connotation. It means someone left. It means someone was left behind. I don’t like that.

Even though I was the one left behind, I still have little Elizabeth with me.

I take the word widow and transform it. I paint it yellow. I change the word widow to yellow. It means someone wise and intelligent; it means a survivor, to live strong.

Even though I hated the word widow, now that it’s yellow, it’s not so bad.  It means I am going to carry on, I’m going find my way, and I live strong.

Elizabeth felt she would find her way because the word widow was transformed to mean someone wise and intelligent, a survivor, to live strong (something her husband taught her).  I had her check her feelings again about the word widow.  What was left was her dread of how others respond, usually shocked or sorry for her because they are uncomfortable.  We tapped:

Others don’t know what to say when they find out you are a widow.

They are uncomfortable, probably more than me.

In my choice to live strong, I find ways to help them realize it is OK.

It doesn’t have to be so sad or black. It was a moment in time. I live now in the present not in the past. I have good memories. I live each moment of my life.

Afterwards she was aware that she wants to be better and courageous like her husband, who would want her to be happy. She wanted to be able to take care of all of the emotions that come up, deal with them and feel good. We tapped:

I feel so many emotions I can’t even identify them. They are just gushing out of me.

I feel out of control. I feel out of control and I don’t know what to with it.

I would like bag up all these extra emotions and send them away.  They are interfering and not allowing me to feel good.  They prevent me from living my life.  I don’t want them to have control over me. I bag them up and send them away.

I organize my emotions. They each have their place in the file cabinet. I take out the ones I want, when I want and I put them back when I’m done with them.

Fear is the one that is still pretty unruly. I cut it down to size.

I cut it into pieces that are manageable. I manage the fear.

I reduce the fear. I see it shrinking right in front of my eyes. It isn’t so strong after all.

I put some light on it. I see that it isn’t very strong. I’m stronger than it.

Little Elizabeth and I transform it. We send it light and love and it turns into love.

It looks like white flower. It is peace. When you look deep inside of fear there is peace.

It has always been there like a white flower I admire because it represents peace, tranquility, love, softness, gentleness, kindness.

Afterwards, she felt very relaxed with everything was in order.  Elizabeth has continued to tap on a daily basis to continue releasing any grief that arises and to help her determine what to do next with her life. Her friends and co-workers have commented on how well she is going through this transition. EFT hasn’t taken away the memories but has reducing and/or released the strong emotions that are felt during such a loss making life manageable.  In the following sessions we focused on these and other topics:

  • Emotional issues at work – with coworkers, parents, and administration, and being able to stay present and focused while working with 30 youngsters
  • Seeing everyone/thing around her as signals to indicate where she should go next
  • Fear of cleaning out her husband’s things from the house
  • Making it safe to make changes in the house and her life
  • Not wanting to forget her husband by moving on with her life
  • An small emotional relapse and physical pain in shoulders and back
  • Incorporating EFT into her classes


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