Navigating Grief After Losing a Spouse

July 17, 2023 / Senior Living Community
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Mature seniors on a beach comforting one another and navigating grief after the loss of a spouse.

Navigating the loss of your significant other is one of life's hardest journeys. No matter the number of years you had together, it never quite feels like enough. 

As an older adult, it can be difficult, or even scary, to imagine life without your partner. Losing a loved one is never easy, and the sadness can be overwhelming. While everyone copes with grief differently, the long road ahead is universal. 

Start by taking it one day at a time. This is one of the most important aspects in navigating loss. Each day is going to look and feel very different. Remind yourself of that and give yourself grace during this heartbreaking time. 

While grief never truly goes away, it's important to find a purpose to continue. At first, it may just be finding a new routine to make it through the day. Hopefully overtime, you can find small moments of joy that makes each day a little easier. Finding your purpose could look like:

  1. Pursuing a passion: Try a new hobby, such as painting or playing an instrument. This is a healthy outlet that provides you with something to look forward to. 
  2. Surround yourself with loved ones: A support system is crucial when you're going through a difficult time. Connecting with others can also help avoid feelings of isolation. Whether it's family, friends or a support group, finding a community can aid in easing the pain. 
  3. Stay active: Exercise may be the last thing on your mind, but research shows the emotional, physical, and mental benefits that staying active has on the body. Start slow by going for a walk with a loved one. Then, try resuming exercise that you enjoy participating in, such as yoga or water aerobics. 
  4. Volunteer in your community: During a time that you feel most alone, putting yourself out there and surrounding yourself with like-minded people can be the best thing for you. 
  5. Get outdoors:  Whether you take up gardening or visit your local park, there are so many benefits to being in nature. 

The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone in what you're going through. While it may take you awhile to find your purpose or resume a new normal, the grief will get easier to manage.


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