Death is a concept that feels distanced to most of us; something that seems far away and avoidable. But, the reality is that death happens without warning. No matter how old or young you are, you will never be able to truly prepare for loss.
The thought that one day the people we share our lives with will no longer be there is impossibly deliberating. Of course, any loss is difficult to process, but the loss of your significant other is uniquely painful.
Most of the time, your partner is not only your closest confidant but also the person you share your life with. So, when they pass, you will feel like something is inexplicably missing. Their loss will leave with a hole that may never be filled. Although you can always visit their gravesite or keep a cremation urn as a memento, nothing will ever replace the memory of this person.
While you will always feel the loss of this person, that doesn’t mean you won’t survive. Here are 5 ways to help manage the loneliness associated with this troubling time.
1. Join A Grief Support Group
Grief is a particularly isolating experience, leaving you feeling disconnected from the world. And if your closest friends and family haven’t experienced the unique pain which comes with the loss of a partner, you can start to feel alone in your pain.
Seeking out a grief support group will provide you with a space to express your feelings with people who not only sympathize but can relate. The people within these groups can understand your pain because they have most likely experienced a similar situation. Feeling empowered to openly share your experience without fear of discomfort or judgment can be extremely comforting. Having a space where you can be honest and open will help alleviate the crippling feeling of isolation.
2. Help Others
Sometimes, the best way to cope with trauma is to help others. There are plenty of charities and organizations out there who are on the lookout for volunteers. Volunteering a couple hours a day or a week, will give you purpose and a reason to leave the house. Not only this, knowing that you are making a positive impact will restore some light into your life.
A famous Maya Angelou quote goes, ‘be the rainbow in someone’s cloud.’ This is a nice reminder that out of your pain can come positivity; consider how your assistance can help bring happiness to others. Sharing happiness with others will help lessen the heavy burden of grief on your heart and give you a break from your pain.
3. Find A Creative Outlet
Even under normal circumstances, expressing your feelings can be difficult. Finding the words to articulate a thought or an emotion can feel overwhelming and so escaping into a world of creativity will provide you with a space to openly express yourself. A hobby such as journaling, drawing or painting will allow you to both process and explore your grief in a healthy way.
Signing up for a class will also offer you an opportunity to be social. Even if you’re not completely up to talking with others, being in a room with other people will help remind you that you are not alone.
4. Practice Self-Care
The death of your partner will irrevocably alter your life in both an emotional and physical sense. Even though grief is an insufferably draining process, it’s important to continue to take care of yourself. At first, focus on getting yourself out of bed and eating well. Without pushing yourself, slowly begin to continue with your everyday routine to reintroduce some sense of normality into your life.
Take the time to heal and give yourself space to recuperate and rebuild your self-confidence. Although this process may feel never-ending, over time, you will feel ready to tackle the outer world again.
5. Seek Professional Help
At times, grief will feel like an impossible and unbearable process. If you are drowning in your grief, you should seek out help from a professional. Visiting a grief counselor will equip you with strategies to not only manage your grief but also navigate through your everyday tasks.
It’s important to remember that the only way out is through. This means that your grief is a process you must experience in order to come to terms with it. Allow yourself to feel the full extent of your emotions and don’t set any expectations that will affect your progress. Take your time, and eventually, you will return to a place of light and comfort.