Your life partner passed away some months back and you’re in the process of stabilizing your new life. Whether you had time to accept an impending death or your partner died suddenly, the grieving process takes time.
Ups and Downs
You may find you still have up days and down days. You may feel you’re making progress toward living on your own only to regress to deep despair. How long will it take to feel normal again?
The answer will be unique to you. No one can hurry you through grief and there is no shame in experiencing the pain of losing a loved one even years after the event. In time you’ll find a new normal— a new, redefined way to proceed with your life.
There will be triggers to your grief. Birthdays, anniversaries, the first holiday season alone, all of these times will bring nostalgia and pain. Memories of times spent together, certain places, even sensory input such as certain fragrances or sounds may remind you of your loss.
You may feel overwhelmed by the “business” of life alone. All the decision-making is on your shoulders, all the shopping, banking, car repairs, and a myriad of other tasks are yours. It can feel like it’s too much. Doing all you can on your own and not being ashamed to ask for advice and help when you need to is wise.
And there’s no rush. Most tasks can wait and taking your time when big decisions need to be made is best. You’ll begin to gain confidence when you’re able to repair that leaky faucet or find the perfect car maintenance service on your own.
It may make sense to re-evaluate every part of your life. Do you want to get out of the house by taking on a new job? A new hobby? Do you need an exercise class to help you get on track with your health? Do you need the comfort of a new church or support group? What changes can you make to begin the process of feeling strong and capable on your own?
Many people look for new friends once they’ve been left alone. Who will you grab a bite to eat with or who may want to see a movie or play with you? While many adult activities are centered around couples, you may find a singles group to enjoy even though you’re not anywhere near wanting to find another partner yet.
Finding an active schedule that gets you out and about most days is an excellent way to begin to heal. Soon you’ll find there are more happy and relatively content days than sad ones. You’ll enjoy positive memories of your partner and be able to think of them with fondness rather than raw pain.
Think of a wound. It’s terribly painful and messy at first. Then it’s tended to and the healing process begins. But there is a period of time from the injury to the nicely-healed scar. Give yourself plenty of grace along this pathway to healing.
You’ll be fine.
For support see:
www.widow.com (for widowers too)