Here's some advice to consider:
- Be prepared to be alone. One of any couple will be alone someday - unless the Lord returns first. Prepare a will, know where the important papers are and what to do about them. One couple uses their anniversary each year to go over these important issues once again.
- Know that God has not forgotten you. Even though you have lost your love, He still has plans for you for your remaining days. He wants you to have peace, interaction with others, and joy in each day.
- Realize that the first of everything will be a painful experience. The first Christmas without your beloved, the first anniversary or birthday - anything special to you. A restaurant where you went frequently can be an awful experience the first time you return alone.
- Release the tears. Don't avoid crying over your loss. Memories and possessions can trigger tears that can help you sift through your emotions and bring you strength for the next decision or task at hand.
- Get up and try again. That's what you do you fall off a bicycle. Do what you used to do with your partner - it will get easier each time. Instead of waiting for people to invite you to do things, invite them.
- Have a family member stay with you for a few days. It helps to have loved ones close to help you make decisions. You don't have to do everything they say, but you can consider their advice. Don't make any major decisions for a least a year - such as selling a house, relocating, remarrying.
- Have fun. Be a fun person to be around. Take a course or get involved in a hobby. Meet new people.
- Try to live every day as if it might be your (or your husband's) last. Do and say what you would if you knew it was your last day together.
- Realize that being alone is not all bad. You have more time for Bible reading, prayer and praise, and church ministries. You can read late at night if you want, sleep late if you want, and eat when you desire.
- Take care of yourself physically. Get proper exercise and sleep; don't overeat and get sloppy. Eat nutritious, balanced meals. Bathe regularly, keep your clothes clean and neat, and wear makeup. The reflection you see when you look in the mirror has an impact on how you feel about yourself.
- Reach out to others. Offering yourself to help the healing of others has a restorative effect on your own healing.
From A Woman's Guide to Getting Through Tough Times by Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock, (c) 1998. Used by permission of Vine Books, an imprint of Servant Publications, P.O. Box 8617, Ann Arbor, MI, 48107, 1-800-458-8505.
Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock are co-authors of A Woman's Guide to Spiritual Warfare, A Woman's Guide to Breaking Bondages, Prayers Women Pray, and How to Pray for Your Family and Friends. They speak, write, and travel extensively, ministering to women around the world.