Tonight I had dinner with my 80 year old father and during dinner I asked him if it seemed like five years since Mom died, he shook his head and replied “No, not really, seems like it was much more recent.” There is a strange phenomenon that happens when you lose someone significant in your life, in this case grieving a spouse – its almost as if time stands still. We remember with great clarity how our life “used to be.” During dinner I teased Dad about eating all of his vegetables and that I bet Mom was looking down to make sure that he was! He laughed and agreed. He went on to say “I don’t eat as good as I should, Mom used to be sure I ate salads and the other vegetables”, I just nodded my head in agreement and knew that this strong, smart, articulate man who ran a successful business for 35 years didn’t know much about cooking let alone nutrition. The loss of a spouse is life changing regardless of age or gender, we simply have lost one half of who we were and are faced with the challenge of finding a new normal alone.
Here are a few things to consider if you have lost a spouse;
- The change of being alone will take time to get used to, you may struggle with redefining who you are now, who you are without your partner and give yourself time to re-develop and remember who you are and who you were before you met your spouse.
- Remember you can and will exist alone, just as my Dad has had to learn to live without my Mom preparing his meals and providing a balanced diet, he now relies on other sources.
- Allow your family to be there for you, accept their love and support
- Maybe it’s time to reconnect to and old friend or colleague and renew a friendship if you are seeking companionship
- Sometimes long after the death, something simple like a picture, a sound or smell reminds you of your spouse and it brings on what is called a “griefburst” – allow yourself those feelings without judgement no matter where it occurs.
- Losing a spouse can happen at any age, it is sometimes helpful to remember some childlike behaviors to lighten up a little. Remember how children live in the moment and in wonder, so do something childish once in awhile – I guarantee it will lighten your load.
Have you read “Heartache To Healing, My Journey Through The Grieving Process” – it’s a book of practical ideas to help you, give you comfort and inspire you to better days ahead. For more info CLICK HERE