Life After the Loss of a Spouse
Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

The death of a spouse may be the most heartbreaking experience an individual will ever face.  Shock and anguish, mixed with an uncertainty about the future, can understandably paralyze one’s ability to take control of their own life.  However, the only way to deal with death, no matter how painful it might be, is to accept it.   You must continue living your life with the realization that your spouse would have wanted you to be happy and productive, with or without them.

joysadness_sm blogPerhaps the most difficult aspect of life as a widow, is the newfound feeling of loneliness.  Indeed, the quiet in a home of two people is much different than the quiet found when you are left alone.  However, in addition to family and friends, there are a number of other resources available to help new widows deal with their grief.  Public libraries have entire sections of books and guides devoted to widows, many of which are aimed at answering the difficult questions and issues that arise from the burdens that often accompany such an unexpected life change.  Also, most churches and synagogues have outreach programs that help connect those in need to the very support groups that were created with them in mind.  Finally, you might consider joining a club or taking a class that interests you.  By becoming part of a group that holds the same interests and desires, you are taking one of the first steps in creating a new life on your own.


In reaching out to new people, you might find someone whose company you especially enjoy.  In that event, you might begin to wonder how long you should wait before dating again.  While there is no single answer that will work for everyone, the best strategy is simply to do what feels comfortable.  That could be several months, or it could be years, but only you can decide when you are ready to begin that new chapter in your life. 


Finally, for many people widowhood brings a number of new financial responsibilities.  Indeed, if your former spouse always handled the banking, taxes, and investments, then whether you like it or not, you have some important work to do.  Also, you might also have questions about your financial future.  How will the death of your spouse affect both your own lifestyle, and that of their loved ones?  If you were not the primary source of income for the family, will you need to take on a more demanding job?  These are all important questions, and finding the answers is a necessary step as you begin your new life.


Life cannot be the same again after you lose a spouse, but it can be enjoyed and treasured. With time and friendship, you may carve out a new and comforting path not only of contentment, but happiness as well.

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