While there is nothing pleasant about losing someone you love, especially a spouse, once the active mourning has lessened to the point where you can think a tiny bit more clearly than the previous day, week, or month of overwhelming pain, you have begun your journey toward healing.
No one escapes the pain of losing a loved one. While your grief and how you mourn is unique to you, it is also universal. Customs may differ, expectations of how long you are "supposed" to be in active mourning may vary, but the pain that losing a loved one brings is inescapable.
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This doesn't mean that you are doomed to mourn for the rest of your life, however. I lost my beloved husband in 2007 to kidney cancer. It was such a shock to me, since we both believed that he would recover after the kidney with a tumor the size of a grapefruit was removed. From diagnosis to death, four short months later, we lived in a frantically hopeful nightmare, wrapped in a blanket of denial.
Yet, my husband did die and I became part of the one percent of widows in America under the age of 49. I mourned heavily and at the end of year one, I was not done with the grief. Some see grief as something people "do" for a year, and then they are supposed to be "over it."
If you have lost a loved one, you know that a year is not sufficient for you to feel "normal" again. I want you to understand that you will never "get over" the loss of a loved one, but you can learn to live again, despite the loss.
I still celebrate and honor important dates that connect me to my late husband. I still feel connected to him and I still talk about him often. I am living my life again after the pain of loss. Sorrow no longer defines me, though when I was a new widow, I felt it always would. I could not see beyond the pain of loss during that time.
If you have lost someone dear to you and you are new to the grieving journey, give yourself time to feel the pain. Take it easy on yourself. If you throw yourself into doing so much that you do not have time to think, you will only postpone your mourning time. Give yourself the gift of allowing others to help you, allowing yourself time to feel, and allowing yourself to heal.
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Surround yourself with people who understand you, whether that be a support group, friends and family who stand by you, a therapist, a religious affiliation, or whatever/whomever helps you through your grief journey.
I want to offer you my free audio, From Loss to Love Again: 7 Steps to prepare to love again after loss at http://findloveafterwidowhood.com/. Even if you aren't ready to find a romantic partner, you can find love in your heart in whatever way that means to you after losing someone dear to you.