Surviving Spouse Corner: Navigating the First Year After Loss

Surviving Spouse Corner: Navigating the First Year After Loss
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You have become a surviving spouse. Intense agony comes with grief. People grieve in different ways. There is no right or wrong way, you just need to find your way. Grief is private and personal. It’s OK to cry. It’s OK not to cry. It’s OK to laugh.

 

The first year after losing your spouse will be extremely difficult. You will have birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays without your loved one. Lifetime events become very painful. There will be days when you feel heartbroken.

 

Reach out to family, friends, whoever brings you comfort, and don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and fears with them. Love from those around you and that are close to you can be very healing. Don’t be afraid to seek counseling if you need to or see your doctor. 

 

This is also a good time to pursue a hobby, volunteer, travel, read, write, take an exercise class or dance lessons, sign up for a cooking class, or become more active in your church, etcetera. You don’t get over the loss of your loved one; you learn to live with it. Nothing you do in the future will change your love for the person who died.

 

My hope for you is that you will find the strength to get through this. I hope you find a little happiness in each day and that remembering your spouse brings a smile to your face. 

 

Read past Surviving Spouse Corners. 

About the Author

Barbara Smith
Barbara Smith

Barbara Smith is a member of MOAA's Surviving Spouse Advisory Council.