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How to Go on After Your Spouse Dies
Written By : Monna Ellithorpe 
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After the death of a spouse you of course are in shock, disbelief and numbness.  There is a "fog" that seems to set in which is natures way of protecting you from the pain you are suffering.  The fog lifts gradually over time and reality starts to set in.

It happens at different times for different people but eventually you wonder how you will go on without your spouse.  It doesn't matter if you were together for many, many years or only a short time; you are used to the two of you living together as one and now there is only "one" person; you that is left to go on to attempt to make and find a new life for yourself and how to do it.

Some people are self-sufficient and are quite able to manage things on their own such as paying bills, balancing the checkbook, and doing little odd jobs around the house.  But what if your spouse was the one who managed all of these tasks?  You now have to learn to manage the household, the finances and odd jobs yourself now without the support of your spouse.

In addition to the grieving process you are going through, this is an added stress on you.  Maybe the income that your spouse provided and you have now lost has caused you to have to make some major decisions such as selling some things, selling the house and moving to a smaller house or even moving in with relatives.  More stress that you do not need but you have to adapt and get through this experience the best way you can.

Seek the advice of a relative or trusted friend to help you with some of the decisions you have to make.  You are not thinking clearly and another opinion may make all the difference in your future down the road.

Once all of the household and financial matters are taken care of, then you begin to feel as though you no longer "have a place in the world." Who are you without your spouse?  What are you going to do with the rest of your life without your spouse?

As hard as it is, you cannot give up.  Your husband or wife would not have wanted that for you.  They would have wanted you to continue living your life, find peace and happiness.  They will always be with you in your heart.  That will never change.

When you have gone through the grieving process and you feel you are ready and only when YOU are ready then is the time to decide what you are going with the rest of your life; what to do and how to do it.

* If you have never worked or haven't worked in a while then you will need to find a job if finances are an issue.

* If finances are not an issue, then you may want to consider volunteering at a hospital, nursing home or a soup kitchen.  There are many worthy causes that need volunteers to help out all of the time.

* Even if you don't need the money, a part-time job will help you establish new friendships and get yourself in a routine of getting out of the house.

* Start a hobby such as scrapbooking, photography, quilting or sewing or making some kind of craft projects to occupy your mind.  If you had previous hobbies you had put aside for a while, start getting involved in those activities again.

* At one time or another, the issue of dating again may or may not cross your mind.  This is not something to feel guilty about.  Again, only do this when YOU are ready.  Don't let people try to push you into something you are not ready for.  If a new relationship is out of the question at this time or maybe never, that is your decision.  Many people live perfectly normal and happy lives without a partner, so it is up to you what you make of your life from now on.

Grieving the loss of a spouse is not an easy thing to accept or adjust to.  Remember the good times spent with each other in your lives.  Be proud of having had the good fortune and the wonderful experience of loving them and hold dear to your heart that they loved you.  Sadly, there are some people who never experience this wonderful feeling of true love.

  More from Monna Ellithorpe
This is Monna Ellithorpe's first article.

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