Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Guest Post by Wendy Bailey

Wendy Bailey, who posts as Henando Pagan at http://depression symptoms.net is guest-posting this week. Hope you'll check out her other posts and leave your thoughts.
The link to depression symptoms didn't underline but you can point to it with your mouse, click and it will take you there. TZ


Dealing with depression as a widow

Though no one like to think of it, death is a part of life. When it comes at the end of a long, full life well-lived, it is bittersweet. One knows that it was inevitable, and is grateful for the life lived, yet the sadness at the loss of a beloved partner can be overwhelming. There are several ways to deal with depression as a widow.

Recognize that it is going to take time to adjust, and one should allow themselves the space to do that. Often, putting grief on a timetable can contribute to depression, as one tries to adjust to the expectations of others or themselves, without allowing themselves to genuinely mourn their loss. The grieving process is different for everyone, and one should not compare themselves to others. While someone may seem to adapt to widowhood surprisingly quickly, the reality may be different. Regardless, everyone is entitled to their own experience, and judgement by oneself or others should be avoided.

Consider finding a grief support group that allows one to connect with others who are going through a similar process. This will allow one to know that what they are going through is normal. One of the hardest things about losing a spouse is that others may not understand, having not yet experienced it themselves. By connecting directly with those who have, there is a chance for commiseration and healing. If one finds oneself sinking further into depression, seek professional help.

As time passes, begin to think of the future. This may lead to putting away the spouse's possessions, and turning the home to reflect one's individual interests, or perhaps moving to a smaller home. Find some way to honor the deceased by keeping, and displaying some of their favorite things in a creative way, or sharing cherished items with children or grandchildren.

Begin to discover new interests by participating in activities, choosing something that one has always wanted to try, or by picking something at random. This may be difficult for someone who has devoted their life to spouse and family, but it can be a fulfilling experience. And one should not think that activities need to be designed for singles, or widows, or seniors. One can choose experiences that truly reflect their interests.

Facing the end of life for a beloved spouse is a distressing, and unsettling experience. Losing a partner is difficult, and that should not be denied. But, with time, and a determination to live life to the fullest, it is a transition that will be survived successfully.

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