Whether the relationship was measured in months or in decades, the death of your life mate is a loss for which you are never completely prepared. Well-meaning friends and family members sometimes encourage you to “move on” and even remind you that your mate “wouldn’t want you to be sad.” But that’s just not how grief works.

The death of your life mate is not something you just “get over.” Your lives became intertwined through your time together. The holidays shared, vacations taken, and occasions celebrated knitted your lives together. In such a relationship, grief is not a bad “bruise;” it feels more like a complete amputation.

Some people try to compare losses. “Oh, I know just how you feel,” he or she might say. But because every relationship is unique, every experience with grief is also unique. You and your life mate shared experiences of which only the two of you know, so in many ways, no one understands all the dimensions of your loss.

Sadly, death sometimes comes as a relationship is just budding. You had so many hopes and dreams and simply did not have the time to complete many of them. But even after forty, fifty, or sixty years of marriage, newly-widowed people wish for more time together.

The pledge of commitment, “until death do us part” is uttered somewhat glibly; now, the “parting” is filled with undeniable sorrow. You will find specific ideas for managing your grief at Finding Yourself in Grief.