A Sudden Truth: Living After the Death of Your Spouse

Losing a spouse is one of the most emotionally grueling experiences an adult can go through. The deafening emptiness of your home without your partner, the realization of dependency on your spouse, and the loss of everything that you once shared with—companionship, a friend, a person to turn to for advice—these are hard pills to swallow. For women, especially mothers, this is an unbelievably difficult change in their lives. Being suddenly left to raise the children alone and having to be the sole breadwinner for her now incomplete family is a hurdle many cannot fathom.

As you grieve, however, you realize that this time in your life will not be forever. Things can be done to improve your life and to move you forward out of your grief. Allow yourself time to grieve and mourn the loss of your loved one, but once the tears start to become less, acknowledge the fact that it is time to move forward.

According to my book, Life is What You Make It, this devastating tragedy can be the key and gateway to rebuilding an entirely new life, though it may not seem like it in the beginning. The power of positive thinking can do wonders in helping you to get out of your hole and can push you forward to begin your brand new life alone. Here are some ways to get you off the ground:

* Understand that the pain will not easily go away. Do not be frustrated or fall into a deeper depression if you feel as if your grief is taking a long time. The loss of a spouse is a heavy burden and it will take time before you start to feel normal again. Think positively and know that this time will pass as well and eventually, you will feel better about life.

* Acknowledge the power of choice. Do not feel guilty about realizing that you want to begin your new life. This means your time of grief is over. Think of the good things to come.

* Do not think that you are forgetting your spouse. Just because your pain is slowly fading and you are starting to feel better, it doesn’t mean you are forgetting your spouse. Believe that they would have wanted you to be happy and fulfilled even when they are gone.

* Channel your love and affection in other ways. Think positively and realize that you still have a lot of love to give. If you are looking for someone to care for, focus more attention on the children, or get a pet to take you through those solitary rough moments. Pets are great joy bringers, delivering comfort and happiness with just their mere presence. Not only that, believe that you can still find love, and that this is not the end of life for you as we know it.

* Realize that death is just the beginning. Death is inevitable and by thinking positively, you’ll see what the good side of death is. It isn’t the end of life but a mere beginning.

Employ some positive thinking to help get your through your situation. See the brighter side of things and not just what’s depressing and heartbreaking. There’s always a flipside and that is what you must realize.


Carl Mathis

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Carl Mathis' wife passed in December of 2005. He was suddenly left with the pain of losing a loved one, the burden of raising three boys on his own, and the challenge of filling both motherly and fatherly roles. Depression set in. He wanted to quit. But in the midst crying out to God for a way to overcome the pain, it was revealed to him that in the process of helping others overcome, he too would triumph and overcome the obstacles of life. If he would have thrown in the towel in 2005, Mathis would have never published his debut novel, "Life is What You Make It: Build a Better Life for You and Your Family," or his upcoming book, "Life is What You Make It: Seven Steps to Moving Forward." In addition to his most recently published works, he also writes feature stories for The Royal Chronicle, his church’s monthly newsletter. Currently serving as a minister and elder at Holy Ghost Tabernacle Ministries in Goulds, FL, Mathis is no stranger to work in the ministry. Besides teaching bible classes, he spends a significant amount of time volunteering with Shepherds Care, an outreach program designed to help those in need and the homeless. Mathis is also furthering his theological studies through the National Alliances of Progressive Churches. Together with his charisma and determination to see people prosper worldwide, he is certainly one of the chosen vessels for a time such as this—a time where people see no hope and give up on dreams. Carl Mathis seeks to not only give people hope and encouragement for a season, but for a lifetime.


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  • steve says:

    The death of your spouse never goes away, in fact, I have considered joining her many times. When you are lucky enough or should I say blessed to meet your soul mate; then, your life is complete. I lost my best friend, soul mate, and wife on May 28, 2011 from cancer and my life will never be the same. I wake up each day and go through life trying to find those moments that make me feel better but they are few and far between. May God give me strength each day to get up, breath, and continue my life until we meet again.


  • Wendy says:

    My soulmate died in an accident on April 2, 2011 – I too wish that I would just die and go join him. I know he would want me to “go on” and be happy. That seems impossible right now. I know it is cliche – but taking it one day or one hour at a time has helped me to this point. Do something you love – take a walk maybe? go to a ballgame? For me – it is time in nature. You will be with your soulmate again one day – until then – you are alive. Someday we both will get to the point where we will smile again – although it does not seem possible, I know it will happen.
    My deepest sympathy to you and my prayers are with you.

  • Sue says:

    I lost my husband to leukemia 2 years ago on Valentines day. Empty and lost is the only words to describe it. My daughters, grandchildren, my father and God have been my strength. You see, I lost my mother on Valentines day 2015 also. Siblings try to help but its an emptiness that cant be explained. I have even explained it to my daughters, understanding they lost their father and they also are hurting, that he was my life, my lover, my best friend, the one that spent endless hours talking to me. Oh how I miss him coming through the door to talk about our evening at work. Running for late night coffee at Tim Hortons. Just hearing his voice and snuggling with him. Having him here to watch a movie, holding hand sitting quietly. The little things that all turned out to be the biggest memories of life. My sympathies are with Steve and Wendy. I never dreamed in a million years at 57 I would be traveling alone this road after 36 years of marriage. As we journey on this path together, may God give us all the strength we need to face the days and give us some comfort to help us on this new path ahead of us.