The death of a husband is difficult no matter what age you are. Whether your husband died after a long illness or was killed in a tragic accident, you now have to piece your life back together. This may be an extremely tough and possibly lengthy process. However, it's possible to move on and live the rest of your life with happiness and contentment while honoring the memories you shared with your husband.
Grief Is Unique
Putting pressure on yourself to move on after your husband's death won't help you work through your grief. Don't set deadlines for yourself. Mourning is an essential stage of a healthy healing process, according to the article "Coping With the Death of a Spouse" for "O, The Oprah Magazine." Take it one day at a time and avoid comparing yourself to others. Your relationship with your husband and the circumstances that led to his death are completely unique to you. It's natural to experience a wide range of emotions following the loss of a loved one. You may feel denial, anger, confusion and sadness. When you feel ready, a bereavement support group may help you come to terms with your loss.
Support Is Crucial
Support from loved ones is important after your husband dies. Your instinct may be to withdraw from the world and immerse yourself in your grief. Give yourself permission to do this, but don't stop the people in your life from caring for you. Both emotional and practical support may help you get through the difficult initial grieving period, says Melissa Christensen, a member of the associate board of Our House Grief Support Center whose boyfriend died when she was 25, in the "Huffington Post" article "When 'We' Changes to 'Me' -- Finding the Strength to Move Forward After the Death of a Partner or Spouse." Take people up on their offers to cook for you, do your housework or provide a shoulder to cry on.
Permission to Enjoy Life
Don't feel guilty about getting on with your life following the death of your husband. Spend time doing things you enjoy and pursuing your goals. This gives you something to focus your energy on, says Christensen. If your social life revolved around your husband when he was alive, you may need to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Try something new that you have always liked the look of, such as meditation, a cooking class or a sporting activity. Take advantage of any chance you are given to boost your social life, such as an invitation to a wedding or charity event.
A New Romance
When you feel ready, be open to the possibility of falling in love again. Follow your own rules. Internet dating websites and matchmaking friends may help you take your first steps back into the dating scene, but take it at your own pace. Your deceased husband will always be a part of your heart, but there's no reason why you can't share that heart with another man, says writer and widow Rosie Schaap in the "Marie Claire" article "Second Time Around."
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C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."