In Bottom Line Personal magazine, there was a great article entitled “How to Love Life Again After Losing a Spouse” by BeckyAikman.
“Becky Aikman was in her 40s when she lost her husband to cancer. She formed a group with five other widows. Their goal: To learn to live again after the worst thing that ever happened to them. In the process, they found that some of the traditional thinking about loss and recovery wasn’t helpful.
Here, advice for rebuilding your life–when you feel ready to do so–in the months or years after the death of your husband or wife…
Don’t put off rebuilding because you haven’t yet experienced the stages of grief
People who lose a spouse often experience waves of emotion separated by periods of feeling relatively normal. Over time, the waves become less extreme and less frequent until the widow or widower feels ready to reengage with humanity.
Be wary of support groups
If you feel supported by the group then continue, but be wary of focusing on feelings of grief. You may find that you are focusing on sadness. Attending the group in the beginning may feel like a great fit, but listen to yourself and know that it’s OK to stop attending once it no longer “fits”.
Make decisions based on what you want your life to look like in the future, not maintaining the life you had before
Plans made while a spouse was living may no longer fit your single lifestyle: vacation plans, home or retirement living, and more.
Be proactive about making plans with friends. They may be attentive relatively soon after the loss of a partner. As time goes on, they may be less inclined to call, especially if you have turned down meetings and outings in the past. Now that (ital)you are ready, call to schedule something well in advance of the date that you want to meet.
Construct a new circle of single friends
Get over any guilt about new romantic relationships
Researchers have found that it’s people who were very deeply in love with their departed spouses who are most likely to find love again.
New experiences can help to start new routines or highlight areas of interest and give you something to look forward to while building your confidence.
Cook well for yourself
Nurturing yourself through good tasting proper nutrition will go far in helping improve your outlook on life.
Travel with tour groups
Travel is an excellent way to have new and enjoyable experiences…If you travel with a tour group, you’ll have people with whom you can share the adventure.” Just double check that there are single people in the group so that you are not the only unpaired traveler.
Most importantly, and something that was not mentioned in the article is, be kind and gentle with yourself. Nurture yourself in ways that help you to heal, and be willing to ask for help.