Losing your life partner is a devastating time and it can feel hard to keep going. It’s something that many people face in their lifetimes but regardless, still makes you feel alone. You spend your entire life with somebody else to one day be left single. Between your grieving emotions, you have to learn to cope on your own and adapt to a new way of living.
Over time, this grief will subside and you can build a new life for yourself. In order to achieve this, here are our tips to help you cope.
No one expects you to feel fine straight away, allow yourself to experience the emotions you are going through. Often individuals feel shocked, numb, brokenhearted, worried and even guilty, as well as a whole host of other emotions. This is completely normal and you’re allowed to experience and present these feelings in any way you choose.
Grief takes a massive toll on your body and you may find you have no appetite, trouble sleeping or fatigue. This is the time when it’s important to look after yourself physically, by eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep. While you may find it hard to do these things, take small steps to improve your health by taking a walk around the block, eating small meals and going to bed early. The risk of death for a surviving spouse goes up in the first three months of bereavement, so it’s the most important time to look after yourself.
It can feel very lonely when you lose a spouse, but you don’t have to be alone during this time. It’s important to reach out to people or accept the help your friends and family are offering. Rather than turning inward, seek support from your family, community and healthcare professionals.
Without your spouse, you may find that your home is no longer as easy to navigate as it once was when you no longer have support from your partner. This may mean adding in certain adaptations to make it easier for you. These could include a stairlift, walk-in baths or a personal alarm service. This can help you feel more at ease being on your own knowing you have the relevant things to aid your independence.
Without your spouse, you may want to try and spend more time with other people. Being single can provide a welcome opportunity to seek new friends. If you and your spouse regularly socialised with other couples, it may be a great time to find new people to spend time with. This is not to say that your friends in couples will not enjoy spending time with you, but rather than having to attend ‘couples’ dinner parties and get-togethers, it may be more fun to find individuals in a similar place to you.