Coping With the Sudden Death of a Spouse
Losing a spouse through old age, after spending a lifetime together, can prove to be very challenging and difficult. However, coping with the sudden and unexpected death of a spouse carries with it challenges that are unplanned and often times can feel unnecessary. Here are some suggestions that may help you, or a loved one, get through the most difficult times.
Recognize Your Weakness
Many times spouses can recognize things in ourselves that we are unable to see. When we lose that anchor we can feel vulnerable and helpless. It is important to identify that this is a natural progression to our healing. There is no way for you to know how many times your spouse’s favorite song will be played on the radio or how many times a smell will signal a memory that the two of you shared together. It can even be difficult during the healing process to feel sad when others believe that enough “time” has passed. In moments like these it may be necessary to find a quit place alone where you can feel the way that you need to feel at the moment.
Don’t Forget Yourself
After the abrupt death of a spouse you can expect to feel “What’s the use anymore”. Find an activity or daily exercise and use it as a means to get out your emotions. This can be very therapeutic and provide a sense of normalcy through the difficult time. Remember to just take it one day at a time. Sometimes you may even need to take it a second at a time. It can be overwhelming to think of the coming week, month or year. Count every day as a victory and recognize what you have accomplished during the day regardless of how small it may be. Only focus on the priorities that need to be taken care of now. All other things can wait. It is your wellbeing that should be the main focus.
Release the Pain
Remember that no one is perfect and that includes you and your spouse. You may begin to feel some guilt or pain about things that were said or time that was not spent together. Journaling may prove to be a useful tool in channeling these feelings. Over time it is important to forgive yourself and your spouse for any negative feelings or actions.
Seek Spiritual Guidance
It is important to council with your spiritual leader or mentor such as your Pastor, Bishop or Minister. They can receive spiritual guidance and advice that can help you through this transition. Also, remember that personal meditation should not be overlooked. Spending time alone can help to channel your thoughts and help cope with the loss.
As difficult as it may be, find joy and gratitude in small things. Go for walks and recognize the beauty in nature. Be grateful for the good things that you have in your life. Remember to laugh and have fun. Enjoy yourself and most importantly enjoy life.
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