Spousal or Partner Loss “YOU CAN DO IT”



The steps to move forward with grief and loss are different for everyone.  The important fact is to move forward after a loss and realize there may be 5 steps forward and 3 steps backwards.  Progress is not always in leaps and bounds or in a straight line.  Sometimes, it looks like scribbles on a page, but “YOU CAN DO IT”.

It takes strength and courage to go beyond the sadness and heaviness of grief and create a new life.  The empty chair, sleeping alone, making important decisions on your own, and for that matter making any decision may be difficult.

Do not worry that you will forget your partner.  How do you think your partner would want you to be now that he/she/they are gone?  If the situation were reversed, how would you want your partner to live the rest of their life?

Going through the motions of living may be difficult but doable.  The song “I Did it My Way” can be your new motto. Okay, I just dated myself with this one.   Decide on something new to do each day as a way of moving forward.

Perhaps make a list of new things you can do and gradually do them. This can be as simple as going for a walk, change your routine around a bit, take a different route when coming and going from home—make it an adventure.

Now can be a time to dream and do things you haven’t been able to do before.  Get out of the house.  Do something different.  If invited out by friends and you don’t feel like going do it anyway.  Be and do anything you want to do; LIVE LIFE!  Meet new people.

Other ideas; adopt a pet (cats are easy, dogs want to be walked), volunteer, join a group, create a group, write a book, try a new hobby, paint a picture, visit others in a similar situation and GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.  This might get them out and about too. 

“ACT AS IF” is a saying many have used.

Act as if you have done something several times and eventually it gets easier.

When you have to do something alone for the first time tell yourself


Recently, I met a woman whose spouse had died ten years ago. She stated, “I love my life now”.  Keep in mind she was a mess when she came to see me after his death.  She did it, created a new life when she didn’t believe it could happen.


All my best,

Barbara Gillett Saunders

Grief Counsellor/Thanatologist