It is not uncommon for a person to be married at one point, and the next year become single and grieving. Coping with demise of a spouse can be extremely difficult, whether the spouse departs in mid-age or old-age. The surviving spouse is often left with many challenges as they try to come to terms with living without a friend and partner.
Nevertheless, it is important for the surviving spouse to know how to deal with the loneliness, shock, fear, confusion, depression, a broken heart and how to make important decisions. Different people deal with loss differently, but it is unacceptable for a person to feel bad because they cannot figure a way of making themselves feel better. The best ways to deal with the passing of your spouse include:
1. Accept your feelings
Grief can produce many different feelings, with some very intense. It is advisable to accept your feelings by allowing yourself to go through the process of grieving: shock (denial), bargain, anger, depression and acceptance. However, these stages do not follow a particular order. Therefore, it is common for a person to experience a stage they figured they had conquered.
Do not hold in sadness, longing or anger because these are essential feelings which help with the process of healing, once they are expressed. The time of grieving varies among different people. Hence, do not get frustrated when it seems like your grieving has gone on for much too long.
2. Express your grief
Grief should not be allowed to remain hidden within you. Expressing your grief is perhaps one of the best ways of working through grief. It allows you to be honest with your feelings and to start the healing process. You can cry, yell and scream if you need to. You could express your feelings using art, poetry, music or journalism. Expression of grief can performed in complete privacy or with a person you trust. Tears have a way of offering relief and providing healing. Tears contain leucine-enkephaline, the brains’ pain reliever
3. Avoid hasty decisions
Accept your grief and avoid hiding from your grief. Experience the sorrow and pain in order to get over it and advance towards healing. It is advisable to avoid paying bills that you are not sure about until you have verified their authenticity. Furthermore, pay the medical bills after they have all been provided.
During this time, avoid making hasty decisions, such as selling a house, relocating or making major decisions. Although it is essential to let go and move on, give yourself some time, by waiting for at least one year before making major decisions. Furthermore, wait until you are ready to deal with personal items, such as purses and wallets. This way, you will avoid emptying the closets and drawers too soon.
4. Dealing with others
Travelling this path alone can prove extremely challenging. Therefore, it is important to seek and/or accept support from trusted friends, family members, professional councilors or church clergy. The right people will provide you with the right advice you need to get started. If you like, you can find role models who have travelled this road of grief and discover how they coped with their loss. You will be reminded you are not alone and have some useful advice to base your healing.
Moreover, reading books about dealing with grief can serve as a useful resource that will help you work out your grief. Nevertheless, you may encounter a few people who are extremely uncomfortable with death. Therefore, they may not know what to say or do and may even have a problem looking you in your eyes, giving you a hug or mentioning your spouse’s name. The best way to deal with such people is to bear with them.
5. Be active
Getting involved in an activity you enjoy can offer an important distraction from grief and keep you focused. If that activity is meaningful to others, it will raise your spirit. Exercise regularly and get out of the home when necessary. Nevertheless, taking the time to sit and write a personal journal can help with the healing process. Answering condolence letters can also help with the healing process. Make sure to eat right and avoid taking drugs, tobacco, alcohol, sugars or caffeine to numb your feelings.