There is a scene in the movie The Notebook where an old, married couple – played by James Garner and Gena Rowlands – die at nearly the same time. Thus, both are spared the pain and anguish that comes with surviving a spouse that has passed away. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case in reality. One partner usually dies first and the other partner goes through one of the most gut-wrenching experiences in life. Hopefully, this article will provide some practical suggestions to help those of you who have gone through such an ordeal move toward healing.
- Talk with caring friends: Don’t isolate yourself out of fear that no one will understand your anguish. Reach out to others who may wish to share memories of your spouse. Accept offers of help from family and friends.
- Join a grief support group: Oftentimes when dealing with the death of a spouse help is needed that goes beyond immediate friends and family. At such times survivors should consider seeking out professional help such as that provided by hospitals, religious communities, and local agencies.
- Recognize that your grief is unique: Even though others may have experienced the loss of a spouse, everyone grieves in their own way. Your experience will be influenced by a number of factors that are unique to you. Know that there is no set time limit or particular manner for expressing your grief.
- Remember that your children are grieving, too: If you have children remember that they grieve in their own way. Be open and honest with your child and let them know that you are there for them.
- Don’t neglect your health: People who are grieving tend to develop bad habits such as drinking, smoking, etc. They can also experience loss of appetite and sleeplessness. Remember to take care of yourself after experiencing the loss of a loved one. Eat healthy food, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep.
Despite the fact that personalized vows have become popular over the last few decades, there is still one phrase that remains in most wedding ceremonies. These words are “till death do us part.” This phrase sums up the ephemeral nature of life even in the context of something as everlasting as love. We can provide you with a way to honor the passing of a spouse, parent, child or other loved one with one of our engraved dedication gifts. We can even create a custom tree tag for the loss of a pet.