Jane E. Brody brings up an interesting question in her article, “The Pain of Losing a Spouse is Singular”, when she asks: “when we marry till death do us part, do we really expect to be parted by death?”

Most spouses don’t think about the actual “death” part of their vows because it is difficult to talk about; it’s scary and it’s not something couples want to think about. It’s especially difficult to talk about when both spouses are young, seemingly healthy, and just starting their lives together.

Losing a spouse at a young age is one of the most difficult things a person can face, regardless of how the spouse passed. The circumstances surrounding the loss can determine the surviving partner’s reactions to the death:

  • Was the death sudden?
  • Had the spouse been battling cancer?
  • Did he/she die as part of an accident, suicide, or murder?
  • Did the spouse die at home or far from home?
  • Was death a welcome relief from grave illness, grievous harm after an accident, or a debilitating illness or cancer?

For instance, if you watched your wife struggle with cancer for a long time, you might have done much of your grieving before her death. However, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be tears, sadness, and adjustments to a new life.

Everyone grieves differently and a therapist will be able to help you find the best way to cope through your loss. It can be especially difficult to adjust to parenting alone. Instead of trying to handle it all on your own, find support and take the help that others offer. That’s what friends and family are for.

The important thing is for you to grieve where you feel comfortable and find people who will support you while you are trying to put your life back together. Go where you feel comfortable.

Find a support group in or around your town. Also, keep in mind that there are support groups online if you’d rather not go to one in your area. There are many blogs devoted to people who are going through similar situations. Seek out a therapist who you feel comfortable with, who will help you grieve, and who will help you make adjustments.

Last summer, we did a three-part series on how to deal with grief. It might be beneficial for you look back on those posts (click for the first, second, and third).

If you’d like to set up a time to meet up with Reka, you can contact her by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at reka@omaha-counseling.com, or via Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: via photopin (license)