Moving past a relationship can be difficult, but with effort, you can recover and survive. The recovery may be especially challenging if death occurs later. With effort and time, you can grieve the losses of the relationship and your loved one and hold onto positive memories.
Expect a range of emotions as you process the death. These emotions may include shock, denial, panic, anger, sadness, depression, guilt, regret and remorse. You may vacillate back and forth between emotions from day to day or hour to hour.
Allow yourself to feel the emotions you feel without denying or restricting them. Just because the relationship ended, does not mean you should not feel intense sadness and pain at your ex-boyfriend's death. When you experience the emotions, accepting them and working through them, you can eventually heal the raw, intense pain. Cry when you need to cry, talk when you want to talk, sit quietly when you need silence and smile and laugh when it feels right.
Anticipate old feelings about the relationship to resurface. These feelings may be a combination of positive and negative feelings, depending on how the relationship ended. The strength of these emotions will depend on how much time elapsed between the break-up and the death and how much healing occurred during that time. If you very recently broke up or you have bad feelings associated with the break-up, your feelings will probably be stronger and more difficult to work through.
Talk about your feelings with friends and family. Seek support from loved-ones who will let you express your emotions and thoughts. Call friends, chat online or visit in-person to spend time talking about your feelings.
Find professional support if you cannot work through the grieving process. If you feel unbearable grief that immobilizes you or if you have thoughts about violence or self-harm, get help immediately. Call a crisis hotline or a local social services office to find assistance.
Create a memorial that helps you move past the sadness. Plant a tree in your ex-boyfriend's honor or make a contribution to a charity in his name.