Losing a spouse is one of the most painful experiences a person can go through.
You feel completely paralyzed, in shock: it is as if the world has stopped. Losing
your loved one changes your life entirely, especially when she was also your best
friend. You feel lost and trapped, struggling to make even the smallest decisions.
But you have to remember one thing: just as a wound heals over time, the pain will
also go away. This does not mean that you will not have scars, but that it is
certainly possible to continue living. Many people suffer great losses, but after some
time they still manage to find a way to have a rich, full and meaningful life – you can
do it too.

PART 1

Say goodbye

1. Remember that you will probably go through phases.
Not everyone experiences each of these stages and not everyone goes through
them in the same order, but you can experience a combination of denial, anger,
resentment, longing, suffering, sadness and, ultimately, acceptance. In addition to
not experiencing them in order, it is possible to cross them repeatedly while facing
mourning.
Allow yourself to feel the pain and work through these steps to overcome them.
Don’t try to mask your emotions.
2. Fulfil any requests your loved one explicitly made before you leave.
If she died suddenly and made no requests, think of some ideas to honor her
memory. This could give you greater peace of mind and guarantees you to start a
new life without any mental obstacles. You can make it a recurring practice or honor
your wife just once and then commit to moving on. Here’s what you could do:
Light a candle.
Bring flowers to his grave and talk to him. Share your thoughts.
Dedicate yourself to an activity you loved doing together, while remembering all the
strengths of your loved one.
3. Remember that it will take some time before you can start feeling
normal again.
The pain will not vanish into thin air and it will not go away by itself. Mourning is a
journey. It lasts as long as you need to reconcile with every single issue regarding
the sphere of death, your loved one, yourself, the positive and negative parts of the
relationship.
4. Learn to tell the difference between pain and depression.
They may look quite similar, but they are definitely different. It is important to know
the difference, so that if the pain turns into depression, you can seek help from a
therapist.
During the bereavement phase, you may face the following: sadness, despair, deep
pain, fatigue or low energy, tears, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, poor
concentration, happy and sad memories, mild guilt.
If you are depressed, you can experience the classic symptoms of pain, but also
feelings of worthlessness or emptiness, helplessness, extreme guilt, suicidal
thoughts, lack of interest in pleasant activities, great fatigue and / or severe weight
loss.
Observe how the good memories associated with your wife make you feel. Do they
give you comfort or joy? Or do you feel so empty and lost that even good memories
can’t lift you? If this is the case, you may be depressed.
5. Ignore anyone who tells you you’re not coping well with grief.
What matters is how you feel. Losing a loved one is a private experience. There is
no right or wrong answer, there is no universally suitable time to turn the page.
If someone tells you that you are not dealing with grief properly, thank them for
their concern and tell them that everyone experiences pain differently.
Some may be of the opinion that you are recovering “too fast” or “too slowly” (and
therefore you are sinking into pain). If that happens, keep in mind that it’s up to you
to decide when you’re ready to move on, even if this person’s intentions are good
and he wants you to be okay.
6. Remember that you have a choice.
There are times when you need to cry and sink into suffering to be able to
overcome it. There will come a time when you are ready to take over the reins to heal and start living again. You had no choice in the face of losing your loved one,
but you can decide how to react and how you intend to move forward with your life.
That said, with the loss of your loved one, your life has undergone radical changes.
It is best not to make other drastic changes right away, while you are still grieving.
7. Don’t be afraid to forget your loved one.
Your love was so great that you stayed close to her until the end. It will always be
with you. Take comfort in knowing that his memory will remain eternally within you
and you will be able to find it whenever you want. Try to have a life full of things to
do: this will help you on the path to healing.
Don’t think that having commitments means forgetting her or disrespecting her. To
live, you have to focus and work hard. It is normal to be busy, this is not a sign of
abandonment.