Monday, August 19, 2013

Dealing with the Death of a Spouse

Dealing with the Death of a Spouse

The death of a spouse is one of the most difficult events in any person's life. Here are some of the things I learned when my husband died.
Don't leave the house too soon. I went out within a couple of weeks after my husband's death, once to eat, secondly to church a few days later. Both were in part because my mother wanted to go, but both were too soon. Don't go out just to make someone else happy, no matter how good your intentions might be. Crying in public (or even just trying not to) is never fun.
Read accounts of near death experiences online. There are lots of wonderful stories about Heaven written by people who have been there and back. I lived and breathed these stories for months after my husband died. It was one of the best things I could have done.
Reading nde's convinced me that my husband, in his current existence, is much more alive now than he ever was. My dreams continue to affirm this, even now, a year and a half later. This life is just a dream. Heaven is the reality.
Don't place blame, on yourself or anyone else. I had a tendency to blame myself, feeling that I should have somehow been able to save my husband.
But no one could have saved him. His death wasn't anyone's fault. He belonged to God, as we all do, and God took him home. When I could manage it, I let him go. I still miss him so much that it makes my heart hurt, but I have released him to God. I know beyond any doubt that he continues to exist, that he is happy and whole, and that he is never more than just a heartbeat away from me.
Write your feelings down. I've been writing all of my life, so writing it all down was natural for me. This was also one of the best things I could have done, as it helped to bring my feelings out in the open where I could deal with them. Two days after my husband's funeral, I started writing to him, and to God.
Work through your feelings by using your own experience to help others. Trying to find a way to channel one's own feelings into helping others is also a good way to deal with them. Helping to counsel others going through the same experience would be a good choice.
Relax. One of the things I learned was how to get my priorities straight. Life really isn't about things, money, jobs, houses, cars, how I look, who I know, or what other people think of me. Life is about helping, giving to, and loving other people, living in the moment, being grateful for every single day that God gives me. Life is about spirit.
If you're reading this article, and you've lost a spouse, remember that you still have things to do. That's why you're still here. The pain will get easier to bear, even if it doesn't seem like it could. Go ahead and live your life to the best of your ability. When you have the strength to do so, spread as much happiness as you can find to spread.
And remember not to sweat the small stuff. None of it is important.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nancy,

    If you are the Nancy Jo who is the daughter of John Millikin & Claire, I would love to hear from you because we are first cousins. My dad was John's youngest brother Robert. Please send me an email at I met your sister Kay when she came with our grandparents to visit us in California.
    I still have my husband, but I appreciated your insight about losing a husband as I have many friends who are in your shoes. Terry Jenson