Losing a spouse is one of the most difficult life changing events a person will experience. It brings with it a huge amount of stress. We find ourselves dealing with issues we probably didn’t realize would be a factor. You might wonder if what you are feeling is normal and whether you will ever be happy again. Below are four things to remember about grief.

  1. Your heart will feel like it has been ripped apart. Losing a spouse is so very painful. You will feel as though your heart has been ripped to shreds. You will wonder how you can go another day with this much heartache. The answer is, you will go on another day and beyond. As painful as it is, you will get through the first day, and then the next, and so on. While there really is such a thing as dying from a broken heart, it is not all that common. Learn to take life a day at a time. Don’t think about next week or next month if that is too painful and causes more stress.  Concentrate on the present moment and work at getting through that. Continue doing that throughout the day. At night, be proud of yourself for having made it through the day. The days will be rough, but keep in mind you will get through this.
  1. Expect to have one or some of these physical changes to take place. You might find yourself having interrupted sleep patterns now. It may be difficult to even fall asleep. In addition, you may begin to have dreams of your beloved spouse. Some people are happy to have these dreams because they get to be with their partner again, even if it was just in a dream. Some feel frightened to have them enter their dreams and hesitant to fall asleep. There could even be nightmares. Some people suffer from anxiety or experience other physical ailments, such as hypertension, depression, and exhaustion to name a few. Seek help from your physician if they continue to be troubling.
  1. Healing will probably be slower than you would like. It stinks to feel this bad day after day. You will probably get discouraged because you don’t see much progress in your healing. The truth is, you probably are making progress, but you just won’t notice it at first. Remember, each time you lay your head on your pillow at night, you have made it through the day. That in itself is progress. It may not seem like it but it is. Remember when I mentioned earlier to be proud of yourself for having made it through the day? You deserve to be proud. What you are going through is very difficult, but you are getting through it. You deserve to give yourself a pat on the back for that.  
  1. Grief is an individual journey. Most often, when we think of a journey, we think of something joyful and exciting, like a trip we have been planning. However, this journey is quite the opposite. It isn’t joyful or exciting. Grief, however, is the price we pay for loving someone as much as we did. Your grief will not be identical to another person’s grief.  That’s because we all had our own individual relationships. While we may understand the heartache if we have experienced it first hand, the way a person chooses to grieve or the amount of time a person grieves is individual to them. Do not compare your grief to others and how they handle their own.

Be encouraged by the fact that your days will get better. You will find reason to smile and even laugh again. Also be encouraged by the fact that the dark valley of grief you may find yourself in right now is only temporary. You will come through it, and when you do, your days will be brighter and more colorful. You will begin to have hope in your heart. Maybe the best of all is you will be able to look back on the memories of your beloved, not with tears of sadness, but with gratitude for having had this person in your life. You will also be grateful for the opportunity you had to make those memories so you can now cherish them for your lifetime.

Peggy Bell

Peggy Bell is a retired educator with forty years of teaching experience, as well as an author and bestselling co-author. After retirement, Peggy wanted to do more with her life, while continuing to add value to the lives of others. She became a certified personal development coach. Having been a widow herself and knowing first-hand the pain of losing a spouse, she started an online support group for widows and wrote a book called, Life After Loss for Widows: Lifting the Veil of Grief. Peggy also empowers women who are overcome with self-doubt to discover their inner truths and thrive in life according to their terms. Peggy is a firm believer that it is never too late to go after your dreams. For more information visit www.peggymbell.com.

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