Death Of A Spouse: 12 Valuable Lessons You Need To Know

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The process is complex and extremely painful when dealing with the death of a spouse, loved one, or family member. But moreover, in its complexity, you can learn valuable lessons to help you move forward. After all, moving forward is all you’ll have to help you through your grief and ensure you can face each day with some level of peace and contentment. Through the power of living in the now, you can begin healing and live your life fully.

Death Of A Spouse

The Loss Of My Husband – Coping With The Death Of A Spouse

When my husband of 47 years passed away almost two years ago, I never thought I would be able to carry on and live life without him. Yet, the daily lessons I learned and continue to learn are invaluable, both strengthening and debilitating. The death of a spouse means losing half of yourself regardless of the circumstances.

After all, even during hardships, sharing a life with someone means surrendering part of yourself to them. As a result, you’ll find yourself experiencing a plethora of emotions during your time of grief, and below, you’ll discover some of them. Eckhart Tolle said, When you become fully present and accepting of what is, you open yourself to the transforming experience of The Power of Now (affiliate link).

By understanding and embracing living in the now moment, your healing can begin, and you can discover how to move forward in your time of grief. You can enter the spirit of peace and acceptance with self-love and find out who you are without your loved one.

This article is the first time I’m sharing my thoughts publicly, and I hope to bring you more insights and words of hope to help you through your journey. Of course, this road is not easy to travel, but there is hope and the promise of new beginnings.

Below, you’ll discover 12 valuable lessons when grieving the death of a spouse. I hope they give you some insight, strength, and hope to move forward and live the life you deserve.

Death Of A Spouse

1 – Discovering You Can Do More Than You Previously Thought

You’ll find you can do more independently than you previously thought. Typically, we share home and family responsibilities with our spouses or partners. With the death of a spouse, it’s all on you, and you’ll often wonder how you’ll do it all. Surprisingly, you’ll find you can do it all and then some.

Whether taking care of home repairs, chores, or more, you will tap from your inner strength and take care of it all yourself. Although you might not like it, feel anger, despair, hopelessness, and sadness, you’ll realize you can do it all.

2 – Dealing With The Consuming Pain Of Loss And The Death Of A Spouse

While it’s true that everyone’s pain levels and suffering varies, you’ll find the pain of the death of a spouse is always with you. Moreover, in my experience, it never goes away but instead embeds itself deep in your soul so you can function. With every reminder of them, it surfaces like a fire-breathing dragon and then retreats in submission.

After some time, I found this necessary to be able to function and move forward. At times, I sometimes welcome the pain as it wraps itself around the memories. Together, they allow me to function daily and learn how to live without him.

3 – You Are Truly Alone In Your Loss, Even With The Support Of Friends And Family

Regardless of the number of people in your life, at times, you can still experience debilitating loneliness after the death of a spouse. Even with the continued support of friends and family, the loneliness can become crippling. Yet, in many ways, allowing yourself to experience this aloneness can be a tool for strength.

Let’s face it. This person was a massive part of your life; for the most part, nothing can replace them or comfort you during your grief. Yet, during this time of aloneness, you’ll discover an inner strength you never knew you had. You’ll also find once your loved ones go home and leave you to yourself and your grief, you’ll be able to process your loneliness and become one with it.

4 – Memories, Even The Good Ones, Are Painful – Dealing With Memories And The Death Of A Spouse

At times, you might wonder how even good memories can cause pain. But the truth is, they can and most likely will. For example, I still can’t watch videos of my late husband as I find them far too painful. Of course, I’m hoping in time, this passes, and I can watch videos of him and feel the joy and love we shared. I believe this connects to my continued inability to accept his passing fully.  

Moreover, this varies, of course, from each individual, but in my experience, I found this to be very real and a challenge to face. All memories can and will cause pain, and it’s essential to know this is a common occurrence. In addition, the range of emotions can feel expansive, from anger to sadness and beyond. If something triggers your grief, you can process it or move past it and distract yourself not to deal with it.

5 – Get A Grief Counselor And Talk To Them As Often As You Need

When dealing with the death of a spouse, it’s a good idea to find a reliable grief counselor to help you through. Having a subjective voice to talk to and listen to your concerns helped me immensely. During grief counseling, you’ll find an opening and release of many painful areas of your life. It’s like therapy on steroids and can be very beneficial when coping with the death of a spouse.

6 – You Can Pull From Your Inner Strength Even When Most Tired

Even on your weakest days, you’ll find you can pull from your inner strength and do what needs doing, whether around your home or work. For example, since losing my husband, I found that I could do all his chores and more when needed. My spouse was a great help around the house, especially when I had work. It’s easy to take for granted all the things your partner does until they are gone.

More importantly, you might discover a surging anger building when it’s time to do the tasks they were once responsible for. At this point, take a deep cleansing breath and know this too shall pass. Eventually, the anger turns into acceptance, and you’ll find every task easier to complete.

Never doubt your strength, especially when you need it most. Within you, there’s the lion’s share of untapped resources, and all you need to do is pull from it.

7 – Never Expect Anyone To Know Your Pain. It’s Yours And Yours Alone

When dealing with the death of a spouse, we want everyone in our inner circle to know how deep your pain runs. At least, that’s what I found. But moreover, I also discovered that our pain is ours alone. Yes, our network of friends and family can empathize with you, but no one can truly know your pain. Nor would you want them to. Therefore, I believe it’s essential to share your pain and express it openly but never expect anyone to know it as you do.

It’s essential to remember that our loved ones suffer along with us, and it’s difficult for them to process. Many choose to join grief-sharing groups, and they can work and help, but they are not for everyone. Of course, you can try them out and see if they help relieve your suffering.

8- Learning Self-Love: If Everything Is On You, Deal With It As Best You Can

Above, we discussed pulling from your inner strength to ensure you can handle life without your partner. But you’ll discover taking care of everything is extremely taxing, and you’ll sometimes feel like giving up. So during these times, do the best you can and save what you need for another day. Don’t be so hard on yourself when you can’t do all the chores, pay all the bills, and work your job effectively.

Self-love is more important than you realize. I found taking the time to love myself helped me ride the storm and allowed me to be easy on myself. Try not to neglect yourself during your grief. Instead, take the time to treat yourself to things that bring you joy.

Death Of A Spouse

9 – Bargaining Your Way Out Of Grief

During the first year, it’s common to live in disbelief and try and bargain our way out of accepting our loved one’s passing. But, typically, we are familiar with the stages of grief, and this one held me tightly for quite some time. You might discover these stages sway back and forth like waves, and typically they do. Like anger, denial, and depression, bargaining can become a crutch we lean on daily.

Instead, when you find yourself with these “what if” statements or prayers, try and keep busy and distract yourself the best you can. Keeping busy and distracted is a saving grace for me, especially when it comes to bargaining. Remember, no amount of negotiating with yourself will change what is or help you heal.

10 – During The First Year, You’ll Forget How You Made It Through Each Day, And That’s OK

The first year might seem like a blur, and you’ll wonder how you made it through, but you will. When facing the death of a spouse, every day will seem almost impossible to face. But, looking back, it’s all a blur, and thankfully so, since they were some of the worst days of my life.

So instead, I’m glad they mainly became blurry with only moments of clarity. It’s almost like a protective mechanism built into us for self-protection. However, the painful memories that leak through still burn a hole in my soul, and I feel best left in the past. When I have flashes of these memories, I try my best to move past them knowing I gained strength and the fortitude to move forward.

11 – Every Day, You’ll Feel A Deep Sadness That Comes And Goes In Waves

After a year and a half, I can finally start living again and striving for a whole, content life. But, of course, I don’t strive for “happiness,” but rather, I live in the now moment every day. And I try to bring the beautiful memories of my husband into almost everything I do. When experiencing these waves of sadness, you’ll ride them the best you can daily and be able to live a whole and productive life.

12 – Prayer Will Help You Through Your Darkest Days When Coping With The Death Of A Spouse

Prayer can help you through your darkest days. Reach out to your creator daily and pray for strength every day, and remember that you are never alone in your aloneness. Daily prayer will give you the strength you need to move forward and know your loved ones are safe in the light of God.

Conversely, If you don’t believe in a higher force and by practice, don’t pray but rather tap into your inner strength and connect to your belief system, whatever it may be. Prayer has been a saving grace for me. And I don’t know how I would have made it through each day without Jesus close to my heart.

In closing, I hope some of these grief lessons will help you move forward, begin discovering who you are, and live a peaceful and content life. Grieving is a process, and by living in the now moment, dealing with your pain constructively, and relying on therapy and the support of loved ones, you can make it through.

For those of you who would like to connect with me for questions or comments, please email me at carolann@sassytownhouselivng.com.

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Death Of A Spouse 12 Valuable Lessons You Need To Know - Sassy Townhouse Living
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I recently interviewed George H. Lewis and had a fascinating conversation about several topics, including our global ascension into 5D consciousness. George H. Lewis is an artist, author, lightworker, astrologer, sound and vibrational healer, and international speaker.

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