Today’s post is by, Nat Juchems, who is the Marketing Director at Green Meadow Memorials, helping those grieving the loss of a loved find the right memorial to cherish. Nat enjoys spending time with his family and training for triathlons.
The team at Green Meadows Memorial came across Happy Living while researching for positive stories that uplift the spirit of those who are grieving. They know people can find happiness again, after a loss, with the right guidance and inspiration.
No one can prepare for loss. Even if the warning signs are there, most of us can’t fully accept that we will lose the people we love. Even if you tell yourself you’ll be ready, you never are.
Loss is especially difficult when you lose your partner. He or she is most likely the closest person to you, the one you shared your life with—and coping with this profound loss irrevocably changes the course of your life while leaving you with aching loneliness.
Though not a long-term solution, laying flowers by their grave or keeping a cremation urn as a memento offers some reprieve during the process.
Coping with the hollowness and debilitating feelings associated with your loss is a difficult and often lengthy process, but that isn’t to say you won’t get through it. Here are five ways to survive the loss of your partner.
1. Take Your Time
When you lose someone you shared a special bond with, it’s natural to feel lost. Having to sit through their funeral is hard enough, let alone having to consider how to continue with your life. For a while, you may lack the motivation to do anything. The thought of recommencing the life you once lived, putting one foot in front of the other, can feel unbearable.
That said, allowing yourself to experience the grief is of vital importance. Give yourself permission to feel the full extent—and range—of emotions because in order to heal you must come to terms with your pain.
When a person was in your life for a long period of time, their sudden departure can throw you into a loop, the loss sure to take its toll on your mind and your body. It’s essential that you focus on taking care of yourself, especially early on. Make sure you continue to follow some sort of schedule; even if your tasks are as simple as ‘get out of bed’ or ‘eat breakfast’, having something to do will give reason to push forward. Over time, when you feel stronger, you can build up your tasks to ‘go see a movie’ or ‘make dinner plans with a friend’.
Your grieving process is not a race, so don’t feel the need to push yourself past your limits. You are the only one who can decide what you can handle, so don’t rush to prove yourself to anyone. Giving yourself time to reflect and download your grief will ease this process and cushion the pain, ultimately providing you with the strength to return to the world around you.
2. Seek Help from Your Loved Ones
Grief is a personal experience and, therefore, inherently isolating. As you’re dealing with the loss of your partner, it’s natural to feel alone in your emotions. But keeping your emotions locked inside can be harmful, as there is no release. Even though your loved ones cannot fully understand the extent of your grief, they are there as an outlet where you can openly express yourself. Your friends and family will understand if you don’t want to talk and most times are happy to just be there for you.
So, don’t be afraid to lean on your loved ones, as they are there to support and assist you in any way you need—even if that just means simply having them sit beside you. Presence alone can provide comfort, easing feelings of loneliness or despair.
3. Take Up A Hobby
Undeniably, one of the worst elements of grief is being alone with your thoughts. Even if just for a short while, it’s good to remove yourself from that state of mind. Consider taking up a sport, an art class, or cooking workshop to give yourself something to take your mind off everything. Having a hobby to focus on will help distract you from the painful feelings that are associated with grief. Plus, activities often help surround you with people and may help to remind you that you are not alone in the world—and that you eventually will feel joy again.
If you can’t commit to a hobby, perhaps simply set a goal to leave the house a few times a week. Being outside and getting exercise will help to clear your mind and give you some clarity.
4. Join A Support Group
It is often difficult to express ourselves, especially if you feel that our loved ones won’t understand us. That’s why seeking out a support group to help connect you with others in a similar situation can be beneficial. A grief support group will give space to openly share your experience, without having to worry about the unnecessary small talk that comes with other social interactions. The people in these groups can sympathize with your situation, so this dynamic will help ease your feelings of isolation.
5. Seek Professional Help
Of course, if you are feeling that you can’t cope or that your feelings are completely unbearable, you should seek the help of a mental health professional. Undertaking grief counseling will help provide you with strategies to manage your grief. Speaking with a professional can help you work through and overcome your grieving obstacles.
Your grief is a process that only you can experience. But that doesn’t mean you’re alone in this situation. There are people who will be there to help you when you need. Don’t push yourself too hard, and take the experience one step at a time.
Maya Angelou said, “All great achievements require time,” a notion in which to seek solace. Moving through the grief of losing a partner is one of life’s greatest challenges, and emerging out the other side is one of life’s greatest achievements.
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