We hear about it.
We think we understand it.
But, it’s completely different when you experience it.
When your spouse dies, it can be unbearable. Whether the death was expected from a long illness or unexpected from an accident, your life significantly changes.
Your life partner is no longer around to share your joy, sorrow, anger or laughter. It’s an empty feeling.
The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. While there are five stages, it’s not a linear progression.
You may skip stages or even repeat stages. Everyone’s reaction to grief is different.
The key is to be patient with yourself through the grieving process. Focus on healing.
Reminisce about the past but also think about the future. Unfortunately, life doesn’t stop until you’re ready. Life continues.
During your healing, give yourself permission to be selfish with your time. Here are three self-care ideas to help you during your time of grief.
1- Spend time by yourself.
During this time of healing, avoid cluttering your calendar with obligations. If you keep yourself busy all the time, your grief becomes bottled up inside you.
At some point, your emotions will explode. To avoid this breakdown, give yourself time to go through the grieving process.
Spend time by yourself as you cope with each stage. As part of self-care and healing, it’s okay to be selfish with your time.
2- Stay off social media.
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends. But during your grief, it can deepen sorrow and depression.
Post a comment that you’re taking time off from social media. Those who really care will respect your decision and find other ways to reach you.
3- Start defining your future.
This step will be very hard because your life partner will no longer be with you physically. You don’t need to make major decisions, just explore possibilities.
Take time to think about what you want to remain the same – for example, your home. If you’re working, your life at work will remain the same.
But more importantly, think about what you are willing to change – maybe it’s time to relocate. If you’re not working, you may consider working part-time or volunteering.
You don’t need to make major decisions. Just use the time to begin defining what your future life will look like.
As you grieve the loss of your spouse, focus on self-care to help you heal. If you find yourself stuck in one of the grieving stages, seek help.
Spend time by yourself to address and accept each stage of grief. As well as, start thinking about your new life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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.’”