What It Is Like When Your Spouse Dies.

No matter how much you expected it, it will still come as a shock.

There is nothing more agonizing that seeing someone you adore scared, uncomfortable, and in pain when they are dying.

It is hard to get that image out of your mind.

At one of the worst crises of your life, you will come home to an empty and silent house after being with another person constantly for years.

No matter how much you did for the dying person, it will not seem like enough.

No matter how much you wanted it to be perfect, it will not be perfect.

No matter how sure you were that nothing was unresolved in the relationship, and that you had the most wonderful relationship possible, you will immediately think of things that might not have been resolved, and things that, obviously, you could have done better.

Funeral rituals seem unnecessary, and sometimes dumb, but they do help you realize that you are not alone.

The endless preparation, two periods of receiving family and relatives at the funeral home, the funeral, burial and luncheon after, will seem like about a week and be just as exhausting, and it will seem undoable.

It is hard to sleep in a silent, empty house when you are extremely upset and depressed.

This is a ticket to insanity, though you have no intention of going there, and will not go there.

Financially, everything will have to be reworked, re-established, and it takes a lot of time and effort to get there. Your life will be in limbo until you do.

There is a tsunami of paperwork associated with a death.

If your whole routine was taking care of a sick spouse, you now have nothing to do but endless paperwork and straightening out your life. That is not what you need to do at the moment.

You realize that this life is worthless if a beloved person can disappear forever in a minute. That this earth is not your permanent home, and that eternal truths and a higher power are all that really matter.

The love and support of family, relatives and neighbors really does help.

In every tragedy and crisis, there is considerable fresh opportunity.

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