Mourning the Death of a Spouse or Loved One
When your spouse or someone you love dearly passes away, your entire world changes. Grief is complicated, and there’s no right or wrong way to mourn. You might feel scared, shocked, numb, angry or guilty.
In the midst of your grief, you also need to put the puzzle of your own life back together. Taking care of yourself is incredibly important, even if daily tasks and obligations feel monumentally difficult.
Taking care of yourself when a spouse passes away
As you face the changes in your life, there are several key things to remember:
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If grief has made it hard for you to carry on with daily life, don’t hesitate to reach out to a family and friends, or even a therapist. Support can make a world of difference during this difficult time.
- Join a grief support group. On the topic of support, you may also want to consider joining a support group for people who are grieving. You can even find forums and other online support groups full of people who understand what it feels like to lose a loved one.
- Discover new hobbies and interests. After many years with a partner, being alone can be unsettling. Cultivating hobbies and interests is one of the best gifts you can give yourself, especially while coping with loss. For some more guidance, read this article about creating a robust social life: Social Well-Being as You Grow Older (and Wiser).
- Focus on eating well. It’s easy to forget about healthy eating while mourning, but keep tabs on your diet. If eating alone is too much to bear, try making regular lunch or dinner plans with someone.
- Keep up with doctor’s appointments. Taking care of yourself means taking charge of your health. If it’s been a while since your last appointment, schedule a physical with your doctor. If you’ve had trouble handling daily activities, like getting dressed or cooking, be sure to mention any recent changes.
- Take care of legal and financial affairs. You may need to write a new will, put joint property in your name, make changes to your various insurance policies and figure out which bills need to be paid next. This can take some time, so try splitting tasks up into more manageable chunks if you feel overwhelmed.
Above all else, give yourself time to mourn. If you can, avoid making any big life changes immediately following a spouse or loved one’s passing. Creating a new rhythm for your life won’t be easy, but focusing on taking care of yourself is a wonderful place to start.
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