Death often wreaks havoc for survivors, regardless of the relationship. The loss of a parent, a sibling, a child, a close relative or even a friend can be a horrendous loss leaving the survivor suffering from vertigo-like effects of grief. In one chilling moment, life as we’ve known it heretofore changes forever.
Our experience here at Arlington in working with and assisting those who have lost a loved one informs us that while all grief is unique, there are some commonalities – but having said that, perhaps the foremost commonality is that every loss is painful and distinctively different. Yet, losing a spouse (or significant other) can be and frequently is profoundly disorienting and that is why we are hosting two Loss of a Spouse seminars, one at 10 AM and one at 2 PM, on Saturday, October 19th in our Community Room facilitated by Life Celebrant, Sue Slusher.
I remember my mother telling me in the aftermath of my father’s passing that the grief she was experiencing was the worst of her life. My grandparents had both predeceased my father and several of my mother’s best friends had also passed away. So, the loss of someone close was not entirely unfamiliar territory. Yet, my mother suffered intensely from grief that seemed like a shape-shifter; one minute she was inconsolable and the next she was gathered and composed. One day she was rational and the next, well…not so much.
There are viable, multi-layered reasons that explain why the shock and grief that accompanies losing a spouse is so intense. The loss creates some really difficult hurdles for those who are mourning the death to process and navigate. The following is an abbreviated list to consider:
- Your spouse may have also been your best friend – a double whammy
- Your spouse may have been the only person who truly “knew you.” This includes your hopes, your dreams and your fears.
- Your spouse looked out for your happiness, your needs and your well-being.
- Your spouse provided unconditional love and loyalty.
- They were your partner in parenting and now it’s up to you to hold it all together.
- You are the keeper of your spouse’s memory, family history and the link that connects everyone.
- You mourn the things you’ll miss out on AND you mourn all of the things your spouse will miss also.
- You and your spouse had an identity. Now it has to change.
- You miss the thoughtful things your spouse did for you.
- You miss those things your spouse did that drove you crazy.
- You have to live the rest of your life without your spouse and you worry about being alone.
While this list is certainly not all inclusive and it certainly does not apply to everyone across the board, you can start to understand just how complicated and distressing it is to lose a spouse. Attending one of our seminars on October 19th might not solve all of the problems you’ve encountered; in fact, it may not solve any. But it will help to shed some light on the process and path to recovery. Author Andrea Raynor, wrote the following in her book The Alphabet of Grief: “Grief is both personal and universal. Your loss is as unique as the person you are grieving – and yet everyone who dares to love will know loss. For many people, bereavement will not come to an end, but the sharp edges will grow smooth with time. When this happens, grief itself will become a familiar friend, one who will walk beside you as a guardian of love.”
You can find help at our seminars but we ask that you register in advance. Please call (513) 521-7003 to reserve your seat or register online by clicking the link below.