Sometimes after losing our spouse, it is difficult to find things to be happy about. In the early stages of our grief, finding anything good in our life requires coming out of the dark protective cocoon we have built around ourselves and looking for something other than sadness. We just don’t want to do that yet.
With the holidays upon us and beside the spiritual aspect of the season, let us look at five reasons we should still celebrate, despite the grief we are experiencing.
- You had love in your life. The reason your grief is so painful is because you were married to someone you truly loved. It is often said that the deeper the love the deeper the grief. I believe this to be true. Instead of concentrating on the loss, focus your thoughts on how blessed you were to have found that person and to have shared the number of years you had together. Some people never find that type of love. Celebrate the love you had.
- You have memories to cherish. Your spouse left you with memories which live on in your heart. You can speak of them often and keep those memories alive. No one can take those memories away from you. They are yours and yours alone to keep and to cherish. Celebrate the memories.
- You still have people in your life who loved them as well. It is likely that there are people around you who also loved your spouse and miss him/her. They miss this person also as a friend, relative, co-worker, etc. You can talk to those people about your spouse and hear stories they share or memories they themselves hold dear. That can give you a sense of joy, knowing your spouse lives on in them too. Celebrate that they were loved my others and are still remembered.
- Find a closeness between the two of you. Was there a place the two of you enjoyed spending time together, away from everyone else? You can still visit that place and spend time in stillness speaking out loud or from your heart. It’s still your special place. Even though your spouse is no longer here physically, doesn’t mean you can’t feel the closeness. It doesn’t have to be a faraway place. It can be a special room in your house, your backyard, or your favorite local café. Celebrate the feeling of closeness and connection.
- You are still alive. Although you may not feel very alive right now, the fact is that you truly are. I don’t think any loved one who passes before us would want us to be miserable and to stop living because they passed on. You can honor your spouse and the love you two shared by living for both of you. Honor his/her memory as you move forward in life. As you well know, we all have only a certain amount of time on this earth. We don’t know when that time will come. In the meantime, move on for both of you, and make the most of your life for both of you. Celebrate honoring him by moving forward for both of you.
Peggy Bell is a retired educator with forty years of teaching experience, as well as a best-selling author and speaker. 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. Her business, Live Your Purpose, encompasses all that she does, including writing, professional speaking, coaching, and developing online courses. For more information email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.peggymbell.com.