Losing a Partner
Losing a partner is a traumatic and upsetting experience and it can feel like you will never get over it. However give yourself time to grieve and come to terms with your loss and eventually you will be able to move on and be happy again.
Time to GrieveWhether your partner died of a long illness or you lost them suddenly, the onslaught of emotions can be overwhelming. You will be in shock for a while, unable to accept that they have gone. Once you can realise that they have you will feel anger towards then for leaving you. This stage can also make you feel guilty for thinking this way but it is OK. Work through your emotions slowly and give yourself time to grieve. The more you try to push them to one side the more they will creep up on you and the longer it will take to get over it. Don’t feel that you need to be strong but indulge your grief and if you need to cry, cry. It is a good idea to seek counselling to help you process your feelings. Even if you have close friends and family members, having someone impartial to talk to can be a great relief.
Remembering the Good TimesMoving forward with your life doesn’t need to mean forgetting your partner. It can help you deal with your pain to remember the good times you shared together. Go through their belongings and pick out things that mean a lot to you. Find photos you love and reminders of great times. Put them all together in a keepsake box and discard everything else. Hanging onto to all their things isn’t healthy and won’t help you to heal. Put up photos or make a montage to make you smile. Sit down with family or friends and talk about your favourite memories. Laugh about something silly your partner used to do and smile at their best moments. Your partner will always play an important part in your life even though they are gone. You don’t need to stop thinking about them to move on, but you do need to accept that they won’t be coming back.
Moving OnEven though you have lost your partner, you deserve to be happy. Don’t feel guilty about moving on or think that you are betraying your partner in any way. They would want you be happy. Take small steps that you feel comfortable with and move on at your own pace. Trying to date again can be difficult and emotional so don’t push yourself. Any new partner that you meet is not going to be the same as your partner so try not to compare them. You have probably built up an idealised image of what your partner was like, rather than remembering the reality. Enjoy spending time with new people and accept them for who they are. If feelings develop don’t be scared but ask your new partner to be patient with you and explain what has happened in your past.
You may feel that you will never get over losing your partner but with time you will. Work through your emotions, be patient with yourself and understand that moving on doesn’t mean forgetting your partner, it’s just giving yourself a chance to be happy again.