Grieving the death of a partner or spouse

Grief is a natural response to loss. It can be felt in many ways. Grief’s impact can be emotional, social, spiritual, physical and financial. It is as individual as the person you loved and lost. Grieving while living away from family and friends can be especially difficult. This is a place where you can share your thoughts, and get ideas on how to cope. It is here for you to get support and validation.

Grieving the death of a partner or spouse

Postby dscowan » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:12 am

After your spouse or partner dies, you transition from being a couple to being alone. This loss can bring significant changes to your life. If can be difficult to function in a world that has suddenly become so different. Please use this discussion group to learn what from others and to share you have found helpful.
dscowan
 
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Re: Grieving the death of a partner or spouse

Postby dscowan » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:13 am

When you find yourself alone after being a couple, you may find it difficult to adjust to all the changes. Here are some things to consider:

• You may find that you continue to turn to your loved one to share a story or ask a question. That is natural and many people find it helpful to continue to speak with their deceased partner or spouse.
• You may be struggling with what to do with your partner’s personal possessions. Others may offer you advice. Trust your instincts about when it’s the right time for you to go through these items. This is different for each person.
• Communicate with friends and family about what is helpful and what is not helpful to you. You may feel shy about expressing how you feel but know that others will appreciate knowing best how to support you.
• It may be painful to talk about your deceased love one. Continue to include them in your thoughts and conversation through your tears and honor the importance he or she played in your life.

If you feel like you are on a roller coaster of emotions, know that you are not alone. It really is okay to laugh and to cry. Don’t feel as if you need to hold onto only negative emotions. All of your emotions are a tribute to the life you shared together.
dscowan
 
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Re: Grieving the death of a partner or spouse

Postby d_butler » Tue May 13, 2014 2:03 pm

In a recent article featured in the Wall Street Journal many shared that getting out and trying something new after the death of their partner or spouse aided in their grief process. Whether it is simply reconnecting with old friends, joining a support group, spending time with family, exploring a new interest in the arts or music or taking a vacation, many have found that focusing on the present or future has helped them move forward with life. Grief comes in waves and you are embarking on a new journey without your partner. Be patient with yourself it is okay if your feel overwhelmed by the absence of your spouse and spending time with others is not enjoyable right now. Remember to follow your own pace and explore what's best for you at this time.
d_butler
 
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Re: Grieving the death of a partner or spouse

Postby slakin » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:16 pm

In her book, Saturday Night Widows, author Becky Aikman chronicles a support group she formed four years after she lost her husband. She randomly finds several widows with dissimilar looses and histories. The purpose of the group is in contrast to a traditional support group in that they would focus on creating their futures, not hashing over their loss. In the course of learning what it means to move forward, all the women find that they do need to talk about the past and their experience of loss. Perhaps most surprised in the author who has remarried but finds that she still needs to talk about her grief, that the process is ongoing and often has to be revisited as one grows and changes. Two important lessons emerge from the book. Despite the totally different circumstances and lifestyles of the participants, there are common grief responses of most widows and finding a way to connect with other widows through a group or blog is validating. The second lesson is to be patient and expect that grief will take on new forms over time but always be a piece of who you are and how you interact with the world.
slakin
 
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Re: Grieving the death of a partner or spouse

Postby lee1986 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:41 pm

One of the first bereavement groups I facilitated was a small group of men and women who were grieving the death of their spouse. One of the women named the group "The New Normal". Everyone else embraced the name because it described exactly what they were trying to do - find a new normal.

There are many issues (legal, monetary, and sometimes health) that need attention after a spouse or partner dies, and it can be difficult to make decisions about yourself and the future. Some people find the more they are able to talk about these issues and their grief, the more natural it feels to move forward and look ahead to the future.
Please reply if you have any thoughts about how you are finding your "new normal".
lee1986
 
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Re: Grieving the death of a partner or spouse

Postby lee1986 » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:09 pm

As a bereavement coordinator, a frequently asked question by a grieving spouse/partner has been, "When is the right time to go through my loved ones belongings?" There really isn't a "pat" answer for that question. Everyone is very different as to what time frame is comfortable for them. Going through your loved ones belongings can be a very difficult and emotional event. Some individuals ask for help from others during this process and other individuals would rather tackle it alone. The important thing to remember is that one has to be ready to make that decision themselves, not because others "think it's time". What has your experience been?
lee1986
 
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