People who have lost loved ones after many years of marriage or shared lives find it very difficult to cope. It’s like losing a limb or a whole way of life. They have also lost the warmth of physical intimacy. Many people feel that they have lost their identity or their purpose in life. You may have spent many years committed to providing for or caring for your husband, wife or partner and possibly their family. There may be many worries, how will I cope, mentally, physically, financially? Will I have to move? These are just some of the challenges you may have to face and which I address briefly in this article.
The first thing is to start saying, “I am fine, I can cope, it is my time now”. This will make a difference to you moving forward when you start accepting the circumstances. You are learning to cope without your loved one, this is an essential task for you. No-one else can do it for you. Yes, you must ask for support from friends and families during difficult periods, but in the end it’s all up to you.
Remember you are still important. You may have lived quite happily for 20 years or more before meeting your partner. That person is still you. The fact that you might have chosen to spend a lot of your life feeding, clothing and financing the family means you should be very proud and now able to spoil yourself. Do all the things you put off doing for the family’s needs. Go back to some of your early dreams and fulfil them. There are many mature university students who are back getting the degree they missed in their early years.
What were your dreams? There will be setbacks, there will be many challenges. You can cope, you can be positive. Give yourself permission to laugh with friends and enjoy a night out at the movies. It’s your time now. Make the most of it. Enjoy your children and grandchildren.
It hurts doesn’t it, nobody knows the how much the loss is affecting you and no one will, do not rush to stop the feeling, embrace it for a time, however there comes that time when you will know it is time to let it go and move on.
Dedicated to my friends, Silton & Lorna Townsend