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Coping with the death of a spouse.

Updated on September 11, 2011

They call us "survivors"...but, we are departed from the living into a world known only by us. We are forced to walk a lonely road of grief, and sorrow.

A Widow's Thoughts

The pain. The loneliness. The almost physical pain loneliness brings. A faded memory. Endless memories. I will forever remember. Your smile. Your touch. The special way you held me, your gentleness and caring. Things unspoken, unseen by others, were understood and cherished by me. The feeling and warmth of your love is forever, and always a part of me. I know within my heart the powerful love, and endless devotion and dedication that comes from within my soul. We are soul mates, you and I, a rare treasure which few people find.

Once in a lifetime two people meet and love as you and I.

How much I admired your ability to see the good in everything even when the bad was so much clearer.

Your patience and longsuffering are timeless.

We weathered many a stormy night, but none so bleak as this.

This too shall pass

I never dreamed I would lose my love, my best friend, my soul mate at age 42. The initial shock was overwhelming and I was devastated. I was taught from a small child that no matter how bad a situation was, "This too shall pass." Everything passes with time, and time heals all wounds, but this was a wound like no other I had ever dealt with, so how could any amount of time heal the sadness and the emptiness in my heart and soul?

Everyone grieves differently.

I have heard this statement all my life, and have found it to be so very true, for grief is personal and unique to each individual, but in our own time, we will learn to cope with the tremendous loss of our dearest partner in life.

The first step to the healing process for me was realizing an important and painful truth that death comes to all. In Hebrews 9:27 the Bible says, "And it is appointed unto men once to die....." So, regardless of age, race, or creed death will overtake everyone of us. From the smallest microscopic germ, to the largest mammal on earth, death is as certain as the air we breathe, yet, when it comes, we are never prepared for the roller coaster of emotions us "survivors" must endure.

These emotions take us through a grieving process; which, for me included helplessness, loneliness, abandonment, and sometimes even anger because he left me all alone. When the grief got so heavy the hopelessness took hold, and I wondered how I would "survive" the harrowing moments, hours, days and weeks ahead of me.

I say, "harrowing" because it is a word that sums up the grief we all must walk through when our spouse dies. Like the harrow, death comes and tears up our entire life's foundation. It plows through our souls and leaves clumps of our heart scattered much like the dirt and sod beneath the farmer's plow. Death digs deeply leaving bits and pieces of our lives tossed about similar to the harrowed field a farmer turns before planting his crops.

These harrowed fields have purpose.

In the harrowed fields, the farmer will plant his seed, and carefully tend his crop, just as my heavenly father planted his peace in my soul, and smoothed out all the rough spots, helping me grow into the strong, independent person I was before my long journey with grief began.

Even though our lives have been torn apart by death, we can still have purpose and meaning in our lives. If we work with God and listen to Him and His word, we can cope and survive the loss of our beloved partner.

How do we adjust to our new life without him/her?

Give yourself time to grieve. Don't put yourself on a time schedule. Do what you feel at the moment, and don't worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow take care of itself.

Involve yourself in the lives of your friends and family. Don't make the mistake of staying secluded from the outside world. Allow yourself to be happy. Your spouse does not want your grief to consume every moment of every day. Strive to be happy. God is in control and in His timing and our willingness, we will be OK. You will survive this nightmare.

It took me a lot of time to adjust to my husband's death, and even after 14 years I think sometimes I am still adjusting. There are moments it feels like yesterday I sat by his bedside in the hospital and said goodbye to him. There are other days I feel it has been years since I have talked with him.

My life has taken many ups and downs the past 14 years without him, but I came through my grief just as everyone has since the beginning of time.

Death isn't as final as it seems.

In I Corinthians 15:19 it states, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." If I had no hope of Christ in the hereafter, or of the heaven He has prepared for me, I would be miserable. But I know what I know, and I know that heaven is a real place where our loved ones are waiting for us.

Death is not an end, but a's just another phase of living.

We will see our loved ones again. We can cope with death knowing these facts, and we can learn to live and love again and be at peace in this knowledge.

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    • montanasummer profile image

      montanasummer 6 years ago from Knoxville, TN

      I am sorry for your loss, and thank you so much for your support. Losing a child would be the worst grief to live through.

    • profile image

      Eddie-Perkins 6 years ago

      Vote up and very useful. Thanks for writing. I've not lost my mate, but my son passed at age 17, 2 sisters, mom and dad and more Christian friends in church than I want to count, but God is still God. There is hope. There is more than just this life. Praise God and thank you.

    • manthy profile image

      Mark 6 years ago from Alabama,USA

      Wise words - Thanks for the post

    • potier profile image

      Joseph Potier 6 years ago from Arnaudville,La

      I surley agree with that with all my heart.More people just need to know the facts and pass it on as much as possible. Joseph Potier