The one aspect of life that no amount of therapy can possibly fix is experiencing the death of a loved one.
When you lose a parent—even though it can be absolutely heartbreaking, and in the case of someone who loses their mom or dad as a child or young adult, even life-affirmingly negative—it still fits into the natural order of the world and the circle of life.
When a husband or wife loses their other half, however, especially if the death comes suddenly and without any warning, the ramifications to both the widowed partner’s emotional wellbeing and their physical health can be horrific.
So, whether it is your friend who has recently lost their partner, or else a family member, then continue reading to learn how to help your loved one after the death of their spouse.
Don’t Tell Them You Understand What They Are Going Through
Even if you are incredibly close to one another and even if, unfortunately, you found yourself in a position in the past when you were incredibly low and even clinically depressed due to the death of a family member or a close friend, you still simply do not understand how they are feeling.
The problem with grief is that, because most people have experienced it in some form or another, we tend to attribute the same behaviors and standard, generalized and cliched “process” of grief to be applicable to every situation and every individual.
Instead of telling your loved one that you understand their situation and that this feeling will pass, listen to what they have to say, and most of all, let them cry.
Don’t Tell Them Time Will Heal Them
There are hundreds and thousands of people up and down this country alone that have lost their husband or wife to illness, disease, or an accident years and years ago; but trust that they still feel that loss as palpably and directly as they did in the first few days.
The one way in which time may help, however, is to make the feelings of grief slightly more manageable and provide people with a tool with which to detach from their feelings, even for an hour or so.
Do Let Them Talk
Even if discussing such matters upsets you, or makes you feel awkward and as though there is nothing you can possibly say that will help, it is still far better to sit back and listen—talking therapy is a type of therapy
Do Remind Them of Their Options
When a loved one has just suffered the unexpected death of their husband or wife —or indeed they suffered from a painfully drawn-out illness—the main point to remember is to make them see that this is not the end.
Just as bunny rabbits can die from a broken heart when their bonded mate passes away before them, human beings who have been bonded for many, many years can start to give up on the aspects of life in which they used to find shared joy and pleasure.
If your loved one appears to be not coping, both in a physical sense and indeed in an emotional one, then there are plenty of options, from moving to assisted living Mattoon, IL, to booking two or more sessions with a qualified psychiatrist.
Encourage Talking Therapy
It has been said by many people, from all walks of life and of all ages, that there is absolutely no way that they could possibly discuss and dissect their innermost feelings about the loss of their spouse to a stranger.
This feeling is entirely normal; however, in time, when life (for everyone else at least) goes back to some semblance of normal, this is the period where your loved one will feel most vulnerable and more than likely, at their lowest.
There is a wide plethora of incredible benefits to talking therapy, including the treatment (or at least the decline) of the physical signs and symptoms of grief, such as stress-induced skin conditions, loss of appetite, and high blood pressure.
Naturally, attending therapy sessions will also greatly benefit and serve to strengthen their emotional wellbeing, by avoiding the otherwise inevitable resurgence of buried feelings further down the line, providing tools to cope in the next few weeks and months, and helping avoid the need for medication.
Moreover, encouraging your loved one (if not right now, then in the future) to book at least a couple of sessions to talk about what is happening and how they are feeling with a qualified medical professional, will mean that they do not feel as isolated and alone—even in a room full of people.