Life After The Death of A Much Loved Partner

September 16, 2015 | By Colin | Filed in: Musings and Ideas for Discussion.

When someone Dies

I, unfortunately, attended a funeral the other day of a chap I have known for about 30 years or so.

It was a sad affair as these always are, but for me the hardest part was watching the widow shrivel into herself; beginning the process that so often follows these events. and is in my opinion, a huge waste; and even more importantly - avoidable.

Waste

“What is he talking about”, I hear you say.

The answer is simple. Not easy. I didn't say that. But simple just the same.

We often hear of partners dying after the loss of a loved one. Why is this so?

Here is a question we often hear.

What can I do to overcome the sadness that has overtaken me since the death of my husband? How do I step forward into the next phase of my life? He battled a number of challenging health problems during the last few years of his life. As a result, my entire identity became wrapped up in caring for him and meeting his needs. Now that the struggle is over, I feel empty and lost as well as sad. I don't know where to turn or what to do next. Can you help me?

Tasks

In the first instance, according to “The Complete Guide to Caring for Aging Loved Ones, A Focus on the Family.” Tyndale House Publishing. 2002. we need to be sure to address the following 4 tasks.

  1. Accept the reality of the loss. (Talk with others about the deceased person or the circumstances surrounding the death.)
  2. Experience grief freely (and painfully if necessary) - A grief recovery program run by your local church or community is a grand idea.
  3. Adjust to the NEW environment. (Assume some of the responsibilities and social roles formally fulfilled by your partner)
  4. Take the emotional energy you would have spent on the one who is no longer there and reinvest it. Refocus. (Don't forget - but give yourself permission to carry on with your own life.)

Spousal Death

A study has found that when a husband or wife dies, the remaining spouse's risk of dying is 66% higher than might normally be expected in the three months immediately after their partner's death. Younger people often fare worse than older ones in this case.

But it is preventable. Particularly if the above tasks are taken seriously and some help is sought to find a way to realise the potential just waiting to be unleashed. The Power is within. Freedom is within.

Support

Initial support from family, friends, the community (both spiritual and secular), colleagues and others with whom we are in contact is extremely important, and can't be over-emphasised, but it is not a panacea by and of itself. The bereaved person MUST take control of his / her own life and learn how to make it all worthwhile again. It is worthwhile, of course.

Every human being has a unique set of skills, knowledge and experiences that can and should be made available to the wider population.

A Lonely Match

A match which lights a fire dies, but the flame it spawns grows and becomes a new life. A whole new beingness if you will. It can be bigger and better than its humble beginnings.

A bereaved partner has the opportunity to reignite the fires that existed in his / her spouse. Fires that may have been almost extinguished by sickness, infirmity or any other reason. Now that the person has gone don't let their life be spluttering into the abyss. Don't dive in after them. Pick it all up and let it fly. Be the you that you can and should be.

Why?

If you add to the past life all the natural and huge resources we alluded to earlier, that the still living person possesses; we have what might amount to a Juggernaut waiting for release upon the world. Why should this magnificent force for good be allowed to shrivel? #careerchangestrategies


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