How much time should you wait before enjoying life again after your spouse dies?

It’s a question many ponder. Those who loss a spouse ponder this question. They sometimes feel guilty for enjoying their life without their spouse.

And those who know someone who is a widow/widower also ponder this question. Unfortunately, many family and friends voice their unwelcome opinion.

The correct answer varies. It can only be answered by the surviving spouse.

If you survived your spouse, you’ve probably ventured on a long and challenging journey. You had to deal with financial matters and take care of all household chores.

Your family and friends may have helped you along the way. They’ve been supportive and dependable.

But now you’re ready to move forward. However, your support group seems to hold you back.

Instead of becoming frustrated with them, give yourself permission to expand your circle of friends. Seek new friends that will give you a fresh start instead of reminding you of your deceased spouse and your life as it was in the past.

Here are four ways to expand your circle of friends. You don’t have to ditch your current support group. They’ve helped you in many ways.

These suggestions are ways for you to add to your connections. It takes time to build new friendships, especially when you’re older.

Many people already have established routines and don’t have time for new friendships. However, if you engage in something that is a common interest, you’ll meet new people.

1- Volunteer

Look for a cause you’re passionate about supporting. Through volunteer events, you’ll meet others who share the same passion. It’s a great way to give back while building new relationships.

2 – Work part-time

Whether or not you need money, a part-time job will help you meet new people. You’ll gradually build relationships with your coworkers while keeping busy with your time.

3- Join a group

Find an activity you enjoy and join a group. Larger cities have more options for a ski club, photography group, or age-specific activity group. Use to find groups near your location. If those groups are not available in your area, then check with your community center or religious organizations.

4- Take a class

A class will require you to commit to a schedule. With regular attendance, you’ll get to know your classmates. It’s an easy way to become social again without having to engage in long conversations.

If you’re ready to live life again after mourning the loss of your spouse, you may need to expand your circle of friends if your current support group is holding you back.  Volunteer, work part-time, join a group or take a class to meet new people with a shared interest.

As you find new interests and expand your connections, your support group will recognize how you are healing and moving forward with life. They will eventually come around to help you live life again.


Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, RICP®, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing spending plans, comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”

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