Right now, you probably are feeling overwhelmed and wondering how on earth you are going to survive on your own. You may start to question yourself and wonder if you have the energy to even try, where on earth do you start?
Here are some practical suggestions to help you move toward healing.
1.Grieve in your own way. No one can tell you that they know how you feel, because they don’t, they only know how they felt when they experienced a loss. Your experience is influenced by your circumstances surrounding the death, or any other losses you may have experienced. So, do yourself a favor, and don’t compare your experience with that of others. You may feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself, acknowledge your feelings as it’s all part of the grieving process. Take it one day at a time and move at your own pace.
2.Feel and talk about your emotions. Healing truly starts when you can share your grief with others. Find a safe person who will listen and allow yourself to talk about the death and your feelings. Death affects you physically, mentally and emotionally. Fear, loneliness, confusion, relief, anger and guilt are just a few emotions that you may feel. Don’t worry if out of the blue you suddenly feel overwhelmed by your emotional pain, these feelings are normal and natural reactions to any significant loss. Don’t try to push them away, allow yourself to feel and try to learn from these emotions.
3.Give yourself a break. Self-care is so important for your emotional well-being, when you practice consciously taking care of yourself it’s something that you’ll never regret. Your body and mind react to grief and during periods of intense grief you may experience, appetite changes, feel emotionally drained, can’t sleep, have mood swings or loss of concentration. Be kind to yourself, grief is painful so treat yourself as you would a friend and allow yourself the time and space to feel your grief. Give yourself a break and lower your expectations for yourself, don’t expect to do as much as you did before your loss and know that it’s OK if you need to breakdown and cry, accept that sometimes you might have a bad day for what seems like no apparent reason and that’s OK too.
4.Connect and communicate. Find yourself a support system as it’s one of the most important things you can do for your well-being. Go for a walk with a trusted friend, find a non-judgmental listener with whom you feel comfortable talking about your grief. Communicate with family and friends so that they can help you Find a support group that you might want to attend, and if you need extra support don’t hesitate to find a professional, you have the right to express your grief and you also have the right not to share. You have to do what feels right for you.
5.Celebrate your memories. Memories are one of the best legacies a spouse leaves when they die and it’s important to remember that those fond memories do not live in the pain of grief… Your memories live in the stories you tell to you friends or the ones you share together with your family. They live in the things you used to love to do together, in the things you do to honor your loved ones memory. They live in the laughter you make, the food you loved to eat, the music you danced to and listened to on those long car ride, they live in the pictures you have, in your holidays and adventures you experienced together. Those memories live in you, deep within in your heart waiting for you to move on from your pain.