A widow is a woman who has lost her spouse and is yet to re-marry.
A widower is a man who has lost his spouse and is yet to re-marry.
It can seem like the anguish of missing a loved one will never leave us, but there comes a time when we have to face the day-to-day demands of life! There will be many things we relied upon our spouse to fix or fulfil, and suddenly we find ourselves ‘the sole fixer’ with little or no knowledge of changing a plug or making a meat pie.
For some, facing a challenge is the stuff of life, but for others, inspiration is sorely lacking. Minor and major tasks around the house remain undone and the proverbial ‘take-away’ becomes the norm for those who don’t like to cook. These short-comings only serve to increase our sense of loss, and friends and family will become concerned about your lack of motivation. This is far more normal than you might think and with gentle encouragement from those around you there will come a time when you feel able to cope.
Having some photographs of your loved one around the home are important and although they will make you sad, sometimes, they will also serve to remind you of how lucky you were to have had this person in your life.
Losing someone you love does not mean they will be forgotten. Nothing can ever take away your memories of cherished moments together and these moments can be shared with friends and family who will no doubt want to share memories of their own.
There will be the constant reminders like their favourite chair, the garden they tended, the pet who adored him/her and the children who bare his resemblance.
Also, you will have your own special memorial where you can go and remember him/her with a significant epitaph that encapsulates his/her life and your loss. Some prefer to plant a tree and others have a memorial seat in a much-loved space, like a park or garden.
In spite of the rush of life, there is little chance you will forget the one who once shared your life. Their face will come to mind at unexpected moments and things they said will resonate within, when you’re least expecting it.
The feelings experienced immediately after losing someone you love can be intense. Moments filled with pain, sorrow and loneliness can also be accompanied with unanswered questions and remorse at words left unspoken.
How you go about dealing with losing someone you love can depend upon a range of factors. These could include the length of time you had known each other, the shared history and emotional ties you had, as well as children and any other extended family, which united you in some way.
While this can all be quite overwhelming, it’s important to take one step at a time and allow yourself to express the emotions you’re feeling naturally and spontaneously. Giving in to these emotions will ensure any pain you’re experiencing is soothed rather than suppressed and any pent-up frustrations have an outlet and can be released.
Surrounding yourself with people who care about your well-being is essential; especially those who may have been connected to the person as well. Keeping things which remind you of your loved one can also be a source of help, whether they are photos or mementos – anything that can act as a quick reminder of their life and your shared relationship.
As time goes on, remembering the happy times you spent together, as well as writing down any thoughts or feelings these memories evoke, will help you gain some perspective and move forward with a renewed appreciation of what their life gave to you.
Ultimately, giving yourself as much time as you need to heal is vital. Time is a great healer and you will eventually know when you feel able to move forward again with your life.
Losing a loved one is an unfortunate fact of life. Sometimes people pass away unexpectedly whilst still young, at other times, naturally, after a long illness, or old age.
While we can remain attached to the memory of the bereaved person’s life, we miss the more intimate aspects too. Regular interactions, conversations and shared activities and interests may all be sadly missed, and a source of pain as we come to accept our loved one is no longer with us.
Coping with the bereavement of a husband or wife is an experience many have to go through at some point in their life. Whether the death was expected or unforeseen, the experience can lead to feelings of numbness, shock and a sense of uncertainty about the future. The initial stages of grief will naturally change the usual pattern and flow of a person’s life, while they come to terms with the change and adapt to their new set of circumstances.
Having close family and friends nearby during the initial period can help while the bereaved mourn and come to terms with their new life state. In time they will need to make their own adjustments and gradually become used to living life without their partner.
Taking this period slowly is crucial, ensuring that no important decisions are made too quickly. Being part of a grief support group can be helpful, as is maintaining a healthy diet and daily routine.