How to Survive the Death of a Spouse – 8 Tips
Discussing death and loss is difficult; however, both are facts of life that haunt us all. When a spouse passes away, the pain can be more excruciating because something inside you also dies. So the struggle to survive and eventually thrive again becomes a daily battle. It’s like peeling an onion. You work through layers of things to get back to some sense of normalcy. Eventually the bread sinks.
This article shares several of my discoveries. I hope it sheds some light to help you deal with a dark season.
1. Do it your way.
Do you remember I did it my way by Frank Sinatra? Well, I think the song applies because you have to do what works for you. For example, when I feel crowded and pressured, my stress level goes up. At first, I knew that this situation would force me to be surrounded by many people who inadvertently say the wrong things and ask many questions, some of them inappropriate. So, I broke tradition. The day of my husband’s funeral I did not get on the hearses. And I got to the church just in time to line up at the front of the procession.
As usual, later that day people came to the house. Again, when I started to feel hemmed in, I left the scene. I changed my clothes, retired to the backyard and played basketball until the wee hours of the morning. Observers kept saying, “She thinks this is the NBA.” In addition to having fun, I released a lot of tension and slept well. The next day I felt like a million bucks.
Between the pastor, my father, and the funeral director, I don’t know who said to let her do this her way. Emotions run high and even though people care and try to help, you end up being pulled in different directions.
So understand your stages for handling complaints and know your limitations. The death of a spouse is emotionally draining. Also, when services are over and everyone goes home, you have to face this alone. Have it your way to embrace self-care.
two. Remember the good.
Like any relationship, a marriage experiences good times and bad times. However, focus on the trainer. They will make you smile and feel better. What you choose to meditate on will decrease the pain or increase it.
3. Lean on.
Contrary to what many believe, time does not heal; God heals. When the tragedy happened, I knew who would not abandon me. I saturated myself in the Word; going to church on Sunday was not enough. Even in the mornings I listened to sermons and teaching tapes instead of music. Also, pray. Make it the first thing you do, not the last.
Four. Remove it.
Shout it out. cry. speak it. Stepping Out. Work it out. Choose your method but take it out. It’s better outside than inside. Emotions build up inside you and form like a volcano about to erupt.
5. Laughter is medicine.
Laughter really is medicine, and you can never get too much of it. Laughter makes you feel better and takes your mind off your problems. Therefore, gather all your favorite comedies. When you need a lift, pop one into the DVD.
6. Don’t get stuck.
If you keep revisiting the past, you are bound to get stuck. Everyone knows that I like music. However, for a long time I stopped listening to jazz. Why? During that time, the music conjured harrowing trips down memory lane.
7. Watch what you say.
As I recall, if someone asked me how I was doing, the answer was short. It boiled down to two words, “still standing.” Another favorite was “I’m getting out of this.” I would mention the heavy feeling, how uncomfortable it was, and how I wouldn’t wish it on my enemy. However, the resonant theme was always De esta salgo.
What is the point? The way you speak seems to affect how long you stay in the rut. Now, at the time, I didn’t realize what I was doing. You connect the dots looking backwards. Today I realize that I was speaking faith.
During one of my tantrums, I told God to take the pain away because it was too much for me. Something happened and discovered the most important revelation. I was throwing the weight or worry of my situation on Him, and He took it! After I let go, the load continued to lighten. Then one day the heaviness disappeared.
8. Avoid alcohol and drugs.
Lastly, avoid alcohol and drugs. Once you go down, you’re right back where you started: depressed. Also, you shouldn’t make it a habit every time you hit a rough patch. Seek professional help if necessary.