When a Spouse Dies
After cremations as part of the cremation services offered in Rockford, IL, the death of a spouse can be very taxing on the spouse that survives. For younger spouses, all the dreams not yet realized, all the futures that still laid ahead on the horizon, and all the life left to live together has been cut short, never to be fulfilled.
For older spouses, a lifelong partnership has come to an end, leaving nothing but memories of spent yesterdays and cancelled tomorrows. For every surviving spouse, however, an intense state of grief, loneliness, and even continual depression settles in during the days, weeks, months and years (depression is very common for up to three years after the death of spouse) after the death of their spouse.
One of the pieces of common-sense wisdom that surviving spouses are sometimes given is that they should not make any major decisions – such as selling homes, changing jobs, remarrying (or even dating), or making a major move from one location to another – until the one-year anniversary of their spouses’ deaths. This is sound advice, because the first year is such an emotionally-charged time that decision-making will be adversely affected.
Healing comes in bits and pieces over time. But the surviving spouse never stops loving, missing, and thinking about the spouse who has died. Even if a surviving spouse eventually remarries in the future, the place in their heart for their deceased spouse remains and can never be filled by anyone else.
A healing step in handling the death of a spouse is to acknowledge grief. After the immediate tasks that need to be done after a death have been finished and family members return to their own lives, grief must be faced. The surviving spouse has to be cognizant of and accept that life is different. Mourning that loss of what was and the loss of a spouse begins the process of moving forward.
Taking care of oneself after the death of a spouse is very important. Extreme fatigue and a mental fog are very common symptoms experienced by surviving spouses. A lot of stress hormones are produced after a loved one dies. With the death of a spouse, this hormone production can be even greater and can lead to “broken heart syndrome,” which is characterized by severe chest pain that can lead to other serious health problems. It’s also important to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep.
Another way to facilitate the healing process when a spouse dies is to decide what to do with their personal belongings. This will no doubt be painful, because these things represent memories, but the surviving spouses must do it in order to move forward in their own lives. However, surviving spouses don’t have to rush into doing this. If they start too soon, they may find that six months or a year down the road, they got rid of something they should have or wanted to keep.
Creating a memorial for the deceased spouse can help with the healing process. Memorials can be as simple as a custom-made box or chest filled with items that were special to both spouses or a large engraved stone to mark the deceased spouse’s favorite place in the yard. Whatever type of lasting memorial the surviving spouse makes, it will create a way to remember good memories, shared memories, and it will offer them solace and comfort.
If you’d like to learn more about grief resources and cremation services provided in Rockford, IL, our compassionate and experienced team at Collins & Stone Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit us at our funeral home at 128 S 5th Street, Rockford, IL 61104, or you can call us today at (815) 965-1515.