When You've Lost the Love of Your Life

Posted on July 7th, 2012

If you've just lost a spouse or significant other, you probably feel like life is over, and wonder if you'll ever be able to function normally again. You eat breakfast alone. There is no one to annoy by reading newspaper articles out loud, or for leaving your dirty socks on the floor. These seem like insignificant things, but they are big when you're grieving.

Grief affects every thing you do, everything you touch, everything you hear, everything you smell. Nothing is ever the same.  Your status changes from couple to single. Some of your friends may distance themselves. Your family's  disrupted and may appear to be falling apart. Losing someone this close is like open heart surgery without anaesthetic. You must find ways to comfort yourself. No one can do it for you.

Some things to consider are: the companionship of grief counseling, taking a short 3-day trip alone with your thoughts, start a walking or exercise routine no matter how short; taking up meditation or yoga, writing letters to your loved ones or starting a journal, or going for regular massages.

I often tell clients to make appointments with their grief. This sounds silly but it can be helpful. Most businesses only allow 3-days off for the loss of a family member/significant other. 3-days isn't enough time to get your mind around the reality of the loss! And, there you are back at work and expected to perform as if nothing has happened. This is where a grief appointment is helpful.

When you feel that undeniable wave of emotion overtaking you, and it will come in unexpected waves--some 20' high, take a deep breath and tell yourself, "I'm going to postpone these feelings until 3 o'clock, (or whenever) then I'm going to close my office door, take a walk, or sit in my car and have a good cry. I'll deal with this wave in a little while. Right now, I have to function or I won't get through the day." It's strange how this can assuage the interruption of grief. Postponing it, isn't denying it. We're just taking control of our emotions which is a healthy action.

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