How to Live After Death ? - A Life-Changing Answer by Shri AasaanJi !
How to Live After the Death of a Spouse
Losing a spouse is one of the most painful experiences one can be put through. You may feel completely numb, or like you are in shock; the world may pause around you.Losing a loved one changes your entire life, especially when the loved one was also your best friend. You may feel lost and stuck, uncomfortable making even the most minor of decisions. Know that like a cut heals over time, emotional pain heals eventually, too. This is not to say that you won't have scars, but you can certainly live on. Many people experience great loss and, after a time, still find a way to live rich, full, and meaningful lives — and so can you.
Understand that there are stages you may go through.Although not everyone experiences each of these stages and not everyone experiences stages in the same order, you may experience some combination of denial, anger, resentment, yearning, suffering, sadness, and eventually, acceptance.In addition to possibly not experiencing these in order you may experience these stages repeatedly over the course of your grief journey.
- Let yourself feel grief and allow yourself to work through these stages. Do not try to mask your emotions.
Fulfill any request that your late partner explicitly made before passing away.If your spouse died suddenly and there were no final requests, explore ideas to honor the memory of your late partner. This may give you a peace of mind, and will ensure that you will not have any mental obstacles in your new life. You can make this a recurring practice, or you may wish to honor your spouse once and then do your best to move on. To honor your spouse you might:
- Light a candle in their honor.
- Take flowers to their grave and talk to them. Let them know what's on your mind.
- Do an activity that you loved to do together, while remembering everything that was great about your spouse.
Know that it will take time before you can begin to feel a sense of normalcy again.Your pain will not just disappear, and it will not heal itself. Be patient with yourself as you work through the process of grief. Grief is a journey that lasts as long as it takes to reconcile all issues pertaining to death, your loved one, yourself, and the good and bad parts of your relationship.
Know the difference between grief and depression.Grief and depression can look very similar, but they are quite different.It is important to know the distinction so that if your grief turns to depression, you can seek help from a therapist.
- When grieving, you may experience the following: Sadness, despair, mourning, fatigue or low energy, tears, loss of appetite, poor sleep, poor concentration, happy and sad memories, and/or mild feelings of guilt.
- If depressed, you may experience symptoms of grief, but also the following: feelings of worthlessness or emptiness, helplessness, extreme guilt, suicidal thoughts, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, extreme fatigue, and/or severe weight loss.
- Pay attention to how good memories of your spouse make you feel. Do warm memories of your spouse give you some comfort or joy? Or do you feel emptiness and loss that even good memories cannot relieve? If you experience the latter, it may be a sign that you are depressed.
Ignore those who tell you that you are not grieving properly.What matters is how you feel you are grieving. The loss of your spouse is between you and your spouse. There is no right or wrong answer for the right amount of time to move on.
- If someone is telling you that you aren't grieving properly, thank her for her concern and tell her that everyone grieves differently.
- You may run into someone who thinks that you are either healing "too fast" or who thinks you are healing "too slow" and have become stuck in your grief. If this happens, be sure to keep in mind that while this person's intentions are probably good and that he wants to see you healed, it is up for you to decide when you are ready to move on.
Realize that you have choices.There is a time when you need to cry and go through the suffering to get to the other side. There will come a time when you are ready to actively participate in grief work to bring healing to have a new life. Although you had no choice in the loss of your spouse, you can choose how you respond to the situation and how you aim to move on with your life.
- That said, in the loss of your spouse, you have faced a drastic change. It is best not to make any other drastic changes right away while you are still navigating your loss.
Do not worry that you will forget your spouse.You loved this person enough to be with him until the end. You will remember him. Take comfort in knowing that memories of him will always be in your mind to recall whenever you want to. Let yourself become busy with life; it may do you good in your journey toward emotional healing.
- Don't think that if you become busy you will forget or that you are disrespecting your spouse. Life requires your attention and hard work. It is normal to be busy with life and it is not a sign that you are forgetting him.
Taking Care of Yourself
Adopt a pet.Studies show that having a pet is associated with increased well-being, decreased loneliness, and with being less preoccupied with one's thoughts than among non-pet owners.If you don't have the energy to give a great amount of attention to a pet, consider a cat. They make great companions. They are clean and do not have to be walked. They give you love and affection. They give you someone to care for and care about. They will greet you when you come home, and lie on your lap while you watch TV. If you are not a cat person, get a dog, or whatever pet makes you happiest or provides you with a sense of well-being or worth.
- Understand that the pet will not replace your love, nor is she meant to, but animals can make you smile and listen to you when you feel like talking to fill a lonely day.
Volunteer when you are ready or have energy.Volunteer your time to a cause or something that you feel strongly about. Helping others can have a wonderful effect on ourselves. In fact, studies show that helping out others make us happier.
- Take it slow; start out just once a week for an hour and see how it goes for you, then build up from there as you are ready.
Preempt your grief triggers.When things like your spouse's birthday, or some holidays come to pass, you may experience especially strong feelings of sadness. Also be aware that certain locations, smells, or sounds that are associated with your spouse can trigger feelings of sadness. Although this is normal, there are some steps you can take to mitigate the emotional pain you experience.
- For example, if you and your spouse went shopping together at a particular store, you might consider changing where you get your groceries to avoid being overcome by sadness.
- Or, you might be flooded by emotional pain when you drive by your spouse's favorite dessert place. You could plan for this by taking a different route to get to where you are going. If you can't take a different route, you might build some time into your day to let yourself experience the painful feelings that might arise in response to this cue. For example, you might leave a few minutes earlier than normal so you can air your grief in the comfort of your vehicle.
- You may not know what your triggers are until you experience them. Once you figure out something that brings about grief, take note so that you can create a plan for navigating subsequent encounters with this trigger.
Care for your physical health.Grief can take a toll on the body. To counteract its effects and ward off depression, be sure to get regular exercise, eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, take your prescription medications, and get plenty of sleep each night so that you feel rested and alert the next day.
- You should aim to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day.
- Try to eat a balanced diet of lean meats, nuts, whole grains, fruits and veggies. Avoid eating too much fat or sugar.
- Although the amount of water you should drink a day varies depending on many factors, aim to drink around eight glasses of water a day, but don't beat yourself up if you're a bit short of that mark as it isn't a magical number.
- Aim to get around seven to eight hours a sleep each night, adjust as needed so that you feel rested in the morning.
Avoid using alcohol or other drugs to cope.Although it may be tempting, if you drink or do other drugs in an attempt to get over your loss, you may just find yourself more anxious and depressed than before. This is because, at least in the case of alcohol (but certainly for at many other drugs, too), the effects of drinking can lead to symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Be especially wary of abusing alcohol if you are a man, as there is evidence that men are more likely to drink to cope with loss than are women.
Become active in your community.One way to help get over a loss is to become closer to other people. One way of increasing your social closeness is by becoming an active participant in your community. Studies in fact show that helping others out can reduce stress and increase feelings of social closeness.
- To join in, look for flyers around your neighborhood, ask your neighbors, or search the internet for upcoming events you might take part in.
Talk to a therapist or counselor.Look for someone who specializes in grief counseling if you can. In some cases, experienced counselors or therapists can help you overcome your grief and process the emotions you are dealing with.
- To find a psychologist near you, try .
Consider joining a support group.You may find it comforting to talk to others who have also experience loss.These individuals might be able to provide you with a perspective only gleaned from personal experience with loss.
- You can search for support groups by going online, asking your grief counselor or therapist, or by looking in your local newspaper.
Do what you've always dreamed of doing.After enough time has passed and you have moved on, allow yourself a major change to provide yourself with some excitement about life again. Now is the time to do it! Be anything you want to be. Become an artist, a pilot, or a scuba diver. Take a ride in a hot air balloon.
- Most of all, strive to be happy and fulfilled. Your dreams can become a reality and help fill the void in your life. You will meet new people and realize that life can be satisfying and exciting even if you are alone.
QuestionIs it ever too late to send thank you notes to people that were kind to me after my spouse died?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's never too late, people will be thankful that they had helped you at that difficult time.Thanks!
QuestionMy partner passed on the 28th of January. I am so lost. All my family live in Perth, and I am elderly. Should I move back to Perth, or stay here where he's is buried?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you feel more at peace going home, then by all means do so. Your partner is in your heart, and will always be with you.Thanks!
QuestionI still have periods of intense grief/crying seven months after my husband's death. Is it possible this is my way of grieving?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. Everyone grieves differently.Thanks!
QuestionMy husband died suddenly and my sorrow is increasing day by day. How do I live with this?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI lost my gorgeous husband 4 weeks ago. I write a letter to him every night before I go to sleep or sometimes during the day when I feel lonely and sad. I do this in the form of a journal saying "Hi Sweetheart" while looking at his photo about how my day has been, how the puppies are, how I cleaned out his workshop, etc. It really keeps him with me and pour my heart put to him. It keeps me close to him.Thanks!
QuestionSince the death of my wife two months ago, I have donated a lot of her personal belongings. I found it easier to do at the outset, but now it has gotten more difficult. Do you think it's wise to "cool it" with donations for a while?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAbsolutely. Unless there's some financial need, don't be rushed in this. In fact, it's perfectly fine to take the first year to grieve and deal with donations later. If it's difficult to see certain things, you can always store them out of sight until you're ready to sort through them again.Thanks!
QuestionI broke up with my girlfriend - we lived together for over 24 years; we remain good friends, but she has been diagnosed with a terminal cancer and I don't know what to do or how to handle it - I am a sick man myself, fighting prostate cancer and recently diagnosed with emphysema. I want to be there for her. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHelp each other and lean on each other. You love her and she loves you, you have been together longer than most marriages. It's possible you both could live much much longer than the doctors say. You don't have to get back together with her, just be in each others' lives. Be a shoulder for her, and she will likely do the same for you. Despite your illness, you might be able to help her out here and there with errands, or even just send her flowers to say you're thinking of her. Don't let whatever once came between you be a lingering issue. Forgive, forget, and move on together while you still can.Thanks!
QuestionIs it possible that the grief becomes heavier after 6 months since the death if a loved one?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, anything is possible with grief, which has no defined pathway of what is "normal". For example, with the death of a beloved partner, for the first few months your family and friends are there and being supportive, but after a time they go back to their lives, leaving you with your thoughts and an empty house. Grief can well up and weigh heavily as you face life without your spouse. It can be helpful to think of grief as in the same way beach glass (or sea glass) is formed. First it is sharp and difficult to handle, slowly the rough edges get worn away by the sands of time, sometimes breaking in half again on the rocks, forming a new sharp edge till that wears away and over time becomes soft and comforting, leaving you with beautiful memories of your loved one.Thanks!
QuestionMy husband passed four weeks ago after 45 years of marriage, we had no children, and I feel so empty inside - I get through the day, but hate the evenings and nights, and I also hate not having anyone to talk to. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJoin a meetup group. Get out of the house. Join a bereavement group. Join a group of your choosing near you. It's awful to be widowed and you need to find joy again. It's early for you but there is joy in the future - hold the thought.Thanks!
QuestionMy wife was everything to me my best friend. I've never been a big talker. After 36 years, how do you start over again?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou don't start again as such, for the reality is that your best friend and confidante will always remain an important part of your life, living on in your memories. You can only start again if you can let go of the person who has gone and that is something most of us find so hard to do. However, you can move ahead without losing her memory, and find things to fill your time. You mention you're not a big talker and that's okay, involve yourself something you care about and the discussion will revolve around that, making it easier to talk to others. Also, don't assume you want a new spouse; in many cases, finding new friends and supportive people can give you back a sense of belonging and purpose.Thanks!
QuestionMy husband died three months ago. How do I stop the feeling of loss?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYour grief is normal, and cannot be rushed. However, you can help feel a little less lonely by having friends over for dinner or going to their houses, and finding people who are happy to listen, who won't criticize your feelings. Think about doing things you had both dreamed doing together, by way of a tribute to your husband. Get out, do exercise and go on drives to new places that don't have memories. Life is precious, so remember to live yours and honor his memory by not forgetting him.Thanks!
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- Know that you are not alone.
- Consider seeing a grief counselor, therapist or join a support group.
- If you are thinking of suicide, there are better alternatives. Talk about the pain you are experiencing now that makes you believe suicide is your only way to relieve your pain. Be willing to talk about the problem for a few minutes.
- Once you are no longer part of a couple, your married friends may drift away. It's sad, but sometimes it happens. Be open to making new friends.
- Use the needs of younger family members, children, or grandchildren, to help focus on what is truly important in your life and to help form a new plan of active living.
- Rearrange mementos and photos so that you are not faced with reminders when you walk in the door. Buy new things that bring joy to your home, gradually making it your home.
- Make a poster with positive quotes from grief books and put it on a visible place.
- Friends/family will avoid talking about your spouse because they don't want you to be sad, let them know you are sad all the time but acting like they never exist makes you sad and angry.
- Suicide isnotthe way out. If you are thinking of suicide, call a hotline, a friend, or get yourself to a therapist as soon as possible! The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Committing suicide isn't a good thing, and you should not do it due to loved ones etc.
Sources and Citations
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