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    Buzz 46: How To Get Over The Loss Of A Spouse

    When you get married, you promise each other that you will be there ‘through sickness and in health.’ You are committed to each other, and your bond is strengthened more than ever. Some say that marriage is like having a best friend for life! But in certain circumstances, you lose your best friend before you thought you would. Maybe it was a sudden cause or an illness that took over. With the ongoing pandemic, many have lost their loved ones to the deadly virus. They have developed a feeling known as the ‘survivors guilt.’ Click here to read more.

    On 30th June 2021, Mandira Bedi lost her spouse, Raj Kaushal, at the age of 49 due to a sudden cardiac arrest. Mandira took to Twitter to share a throwback picture of her along with Raj and wrote, “Rip, my Raji,” along with a broken heart emoticon. Sudden cardiac death occurs most frequently in adults in their mid-30s to mid-40s. Read more about heart risk factors one needs to pay attention to here

    The “Tragedy King” and “The First Khan” of Bollywood Dilip Kumar passed away on 7th July 2021 at the age of 98. His 55 years of marriage with the actress Saira Banu is a love story that withstood the test of time. Banu’s devotion, care and love for her husband over the years will remain inspirational for generations to come.

    Life takes twists and turns and you don’t expect it. And in a blink of an eye, you lose your spouse, your best friend. At times like this, how do you get over the loss? Of course, it is not something that you can sleep over, or ignore till you forget. Losing a spouse is heartbreaking. Between the intense emotions, the lifestyle changes, and the many practical considerations that accompany the death of your spouse, you probably feel overwhelmed and anxious about your future too. Here is how you can handle those varied emotions and deal with the loss of your spouse. 

    5 Ways To Process The Loss And Grief

    It won’t happen overnight, but with time the pain will subside and you will be able to move on in life. In the meanwhile, here are some tips to help you cope. 

    1. Go Easy On Yourself 

    It goes without saying that right after the loss you will be feeling a range of emotions. From anger, sadness, numbness, and anxiety. There is no right emotion to feel at times like this. You might even feel angry at your spouse for leaving you. You may cry a lot, or you may not. How you grieve is unique to you. And you are allowed to grieve in your own way. But it is crucial to not blame yourself in any way. Give yourself time and be patient. 

    2. Take Care Of Your Health

    Grieving and getting over the loss of a loved one is easier said than done. A lot of people do not realise that it takes a toll on your physical health as well as mental health. You may lose your appetite or have trouble sleeping. But it is crucial to try to take care of yourself by eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Although you may not be hungry, you must try to eat a little to avoid falling sick. Trying to drown your sorrows by drinking excessively is a strict no-no, as that can actually exacerbate your pain.

    3. Seek Support & Help

    Coping with the loss of a loved one is a long and painful journey. And it is also quite lonely. While grieving is normal, the aftermath of a loss can result in depression or various other psychological disorders. One way to avoid this is by seeking a little support. Connect and seek help from your friends, family or therapist. You can also join support groups to help you navigate through the pain. 

    4. Go Easy On Others 

    No one really knows how to react and what to say when it comes to death. Most people will give you the awkward, “It’s ok. He is in a better place now.” But sometimes the response is very uncomfortable, but it doesn’t mean they don’t mean well. In situations like such, it is better to say that you are uncomfortable hearing that. If you can, tell those close to you what you need (or don’t need). But also keep in mind that your friends and family are also grieving and may find it comforting to share memories of your spouse.

    5. Adjust Your Social Life 

    Step back into society. The last stage of grieving is acceptance, and once you have accepted the loss you need to regain your life again. We don’t mean that you must start dating again, that is something you must do when you are comfortable. But start visiting friends and family, attend parties and brunches, and take weekend trips. You can opt-out of couples dinners if you want, just let your friends know. You must also consider volunteering or taking a class to motivate you to get out of the house and pursue something meaningful.

    Expert Advice From A Mental Health Professional 

    TC46 connected with counselling psychologist, Ms Hirak Patel, to share some guidance on how to deal with and overcome the loss. Here she explains how the loss can affect one’s mental health and how to overcome it, in a healthy manner. 

    1. The death of a spouse affect one’s mental, emotional and physical health

    The death of a loved one can certainly bring a lot of changes and difficulties to a person’s life. Grieving brings along with it old memories, flashbacks, and several difficulties, making it difficult for the person to go through the phase. Death affects a person not only mentally but also emotionally and physically. It can affect in terms interfering with the person’s ability to function in his or her daily life. Sadness, anger, guilt, blame, irritability, insomnia, loss of interest in anything, social withdrawal, feeling like there is no worth living now, helplessness, are the sole of the ways that a person gets affected while dealing with loss.

    2. Cope with the loss in a healthy manner

    Everyone has their own way on how to deal with death and grieving, and there is no fixed time period for the same. There is no right or wrong way to deal with it, but one can always try and adopt healthy coping ways. Time plays an important role, however one should also focus on other domains. Understand that feeling sad and crying are all-natural reactions and one need not hide them. 

    Here are a few things to keep in mind: 

    • Express and share whatever you feel rather than bottling up and dealing with it alone
    • Grieving takes a toll on one’s physical health. Take proper care of yourself in terms of eating healthy, exercising, practising mindfulness, and getting proper sleep
    • Try to involve yourself in a little social activity instead of isolation
    • Don’t always try and push away the situation, one must acknowledge the pain in order to move ahead 
    • Seek support whenever required

    Mental Health Helplines You Can Connect With 

    1. Fortis: +91-8376804102

    2. Vandrevala Foundation: 9999 666 555,  +1(256)6662142 (text) 

    3. Parivarthan: +91-7676602602

    4. Sumaitri: 011-23389090, +91-9315767849

    5. Samaritans Mumbai: +91-8422984528, +91-8422984529, +91-8422984530

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