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Surviving a Spouse or Partner

On your wedding day, you and your spouse made official the bond between you and began a new life as one. Whether you were together for 5 years or 50 years, loosing your partner can be like losing a part of yourself.

If you have experienced the death of a loved one prior to loosing your spouse, you are probably surprised or frightened by the intensity of your grief. Emotional responses like sorrow, anger and loneliness can feel overwhelming without your partner there to comfort you. You may find that you think about your spouse constantly, recreate the circumstances of their death over and over in your mind, or have dreams or nightmares.

As the reality of your partner’s death sinks in, you may find yourself trying to reinvent yourself and their life. Perhaps you have young children at home and now must handle raising them on your own. Or maybe the death of your spouse has left you in a tight spot financially.

Even relationships with mutual friends may change. If you were used to socializing with friends as a couple, those same friends may have a difficult time interacting with you as an individual.

Underlining all of the other changes is the need to accept being without your primary partner in life. You had grown accustom to living a certain lifestyle and spending your life together. Now your closest companion is gone, and you are left to rediscover your own life.

In time you will adjust to your new life and your grief will diminish. This does not mean you will forget your spouse. Even as you accept the death and begin your new life, you will keep in your heart the love and memories you shared during your time together.

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