Life After Death When Your Spouse Dies
By Dave Pipitone
How can the belief in life after death help you when your husband or wife dies? The death of a spouse is the hardest thing you'll ever deal with in life. During and after the funeral, there seems to be an endless stream of tears, sleepless nights and sickness in the pit of your stomach. You wonder how you will ever go on without being able to touch, laugh with or talk to that person again.
The death of a loved one is devastating, but over time it can give meaning to our lives as it reminds us how precious life is. Through the painful planning of the funeral service and even long after, you will likely experience conflicting emotions, ranging from denial, disbelief, confusion and shock to anger, despair, guilt and yearning. These negative emotions can literally eat you alive if you don't find appropriate outlets for your feelings.
Your friends and family can create a tremendous support net for you following the death and funeral of a spouse. Some people instinctively withdraw from others in their time of loss. This can be hard for the comforters to understand, especially if you grieving the loss of your spouse. Your friends, family and church community genuinely want to comfort you, but they may wait for you to come to them for an embrace or to talk about your feelings.
The hardest part is feeling abandoned or betrayed. While it may not be the first thing on your mind or a natural tendency, when you're ready, accept the help of those around. Open up to them by trying to recall fond memories of the person who has died.
Sometimes there need not be any conversation at all, as the power of a hug is incredible at bolstering emotional strength. Even if you're not a "huggy" kind of person, receiving the embrace of another person is a gift of love.
Some people turn to family and friends in their grief following the death of a spouse. Others may turn to religion for comfort. The staff and community at churches and parishes can be incredibly sympathetic. Sometimes simply talking with a priest, chaplain or minister regularly can be the most cathartic kind of counseling.
It is uplifting to be reminded that out of all of this chaos, God will bring about new life. Life after death helps us have hope. We do not need to mourn the passing of the body forever. There is a whole other world awaiting us after death. One day we will be reunited with our deceased relatives and friends.
A simple hymn, quiet prayer or readings from the Old and New Testament can be like cool water rushing over our grief-stricken soul. Even if you weren't a religious person before, it could be helpful in your time of loss to attend services or speak to a clergymen about life and death.
After a wake, funeral and burial service, seek out a support system. Find others who are grieving as much as you - or even more than you - and bond together. Churches offer a connection to support groups of widows and widowers like Joyful Again.
It's comforting to know you are not alone in your grief. Make arrangements to meet for lunch. Take trips to the grave site together or flip through old photo albums.
The death of a beloved wife or husband can be traumatizing, more so than you initially realize, so it's important to deal with your feelings in a healthy manner. Make time to pray and ask for peace for your deceased spouse and ask for his or her prayers for you. Life after death connects you with God and your departed spouse.
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