Mourning the Loss of a Spouse
Grieving the loss of anyone can be difficult, but losing a spouse can be one of the most difficult times in someone’s life. If your spouse is facing an end of life situation or has recently passed, here are guidelines to help you mourn your loss.
- There is No Right Way to Grieve
First, it is important to remember there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Each person’s process is unique to them and their situation. So don’t feel like you “should” be feeling any certain way at any certain time.Some people’s grief may look very sad, while others’ might look angry, while still others’ may look quiet and withdrawn. Some people even experience all these feelings at once. Whatever you are feeling in the wake of your loss, it’s all part of the process of mourning your loved one.
- Take Care of Yourself
In some couples, the partner left behind may have been the primary caregiver for the family. Other times, the partner left behind may have very little experience caring primarily for themselves or for their household or estate.Many assume that grief is merely an emotional process, but it can be very physical as well, so take time to care for yourself. You might find that you don’t feel like eating, can’t sleep or experience real aches and pains while you grieve. Try to eat healthfully when you can and take time to rest. You can also ask for help from a trusted friend or family member who can assist you the first few weeks after your loss.
- Get Support
Join a grief support group for partners and spouses. Ask for prayer from your church group or clergy member. Invite a family member or friend to stay with you for a week or two. No matter how you seek support, remember that you don’t have to grieve alone.
- Celebrate Your Memories
While you may feel as though you must be somber during your time of grief, it is normal and healthy to celebrate memories of your spouse. Share happy stories of your time together, hang pictures of the two of you or make a scrap book.It is also important to let friends and family know it is okay to talk about your spouse with you and to tell favorite memories after he or she has passed. Many times people may feel that sharing these things may make you sadder, but these times of celebration can greatly help you during your grieving process.
- Avoid Major Changes
Many professionals make the general recommendation to wait at least one year before making any big changes after the passing of a spouse. While you may need to quickly decide what to do with your home or other possessions, avoid the temptation to make a complete overhaul in your life. It’s okay for you to just take time to grieve; most decisions can wait a few months while you do.
At Cypress Hospice, we want each of our patients and their loved ones to know that no matter what happens during an end of life situation, they are not alone and they have a hand to hold. That’s why we provide grief support and services both during a patient’s time with us, as well as for one year after a patient passes.
Learn more about Cypress Hospice and the grief and loss support we provide.