Dealing with the death of a spouse

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It’s hard to imagine being without your spouse, the person who’s been an integral part of your life for so long. But as you get older, it’s inevitable that eventually you or your significant other will pass away first. The grief that comes from losing your partner is devastating and it takes time to come to terms with the loss.

If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to give yourself the space to grieve. Also remember that there are coping mechanisms that can help you during this difficult time. Here are three to bear in mind.

Lean on those closest to you
Chances are, your friends and family are waiting for the opportunity to be there for you in this time when you need their support the most. Reach out to them when you need to – if you’re feeling sad or lonely, call a friend or ask a family member to come over. If you need help, even if it’s for something small, don’t be afraid to ask. And if you just need to talk, open up to someone you love and trust.

Try to maintain a healthy routine
It might be the last thing you feel like doing, but it’s important to continue to take care of yourself. That means eating healthily and regularly, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and getting some exercise – even if it’s just to take the dog for a walk. All of these things will positively impact your physical and mental wellbeing and are particularly important in periods of emotional distress.

Seek help if you need it
If you’re finding it difficult to cope, consider speaking to a therapist or counsellor. It can be very helpful to talk through your feelings in a safe and confidential space with someone trained to help you deal with your grief. You could also consider joining a support group, where you can talk to others going through the same situation, and offer them your support, too.