Losing a spouse is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. Whether they passed recently or quite some time ago, dealing with the pain of loss can leave a lasting scar on your emotions.
Grief is normal when you lose a spouse, but the loneliness that comes with it can be crippling.
It might feel as though you’ll never get past your loss. But that doesn’t have to be the case. While you may continue to feel sadness when you think about that loss, you can still move through it and find peace and happiness once again.
With that in mind, let’s look at four key ways you can start to overcome the loneliness caused by the loss of your spouse.
1. Be Proactive About Change
If you feel yourself sinking into deep grief, it’s ultimately up to you to be proactive about changing. Commit yourself to make positive changes in your life. There should be an underlying willingness to move on. It doesn’t have to be today or tomorrow. But you have to commit yourself to eventually getting through this.
When you have that commitment set in your heart and mind, it will fuel everything else you do to combat loneliness.
2. Find Hobbies You Enjoy
One of the most effective ways to deal with loneliness is to fill your time with other things. Take up hobbies again you used to enjoy. Or find something new to take up your time. There are activities available for people of all ages and with all different types of interests.
It’s a good idea to choose activities that will allow you to connect with other people, rather than solitary ones. Meeting new people and eventually opening up to them can be therapeutic.
If you want to occupy your time in a positive way and feel better while doing it, volunteer. Spreading joy and doing something good for others is a great way to combat grief and loneliness.
Helping someone else can really put things in perspective when it comes to your own personal struggles. Choose an organization or group you’re passionate about. It could be a local homeless shelter or an animal shelter, etc. This is another great way to meet new people and feel better about yourself.
4. Find Support
Surrounding yourself with a support system after your spouse has died is one of the most important aspects of getting through grief and loneliness.
The good news? A support system doesn’t just have to be family and/or friends. While they can be a big help, don’t be afraid to look for an extended support system too. There are many different groups for people dealing with loneliness and grief that meet regularly. Sharing your story with others who have gone through something similar can start to provide healing.
Some people even find it beneficial to start dating after a certain period of time. This varies from person to person, of course. Don’t feel as though you have to jump back into the dating world to find some kind of fulfillment. That's not the point. But, for some, it helps to have a companion to share things with.
Grief therapy can also make a big difference if you feel like you’re lacking support and you don’t know where else to turn. Therapy can help you when going through different stages of grief, and it can provide you with the resources needed to cope with your loss.
Moreover, you may even be feeling guilty about losing your spouse and having to “survive” without them. If that’s the case, grief counseling can help you to process those thoughts and feelings as well.