Losing a loved one is an experience we must all go through at some time or another. As a spouse, it is particularly difficult to have to watch your partner muddle through the stages of grief after the loss of someone they love. You may feel the urge to want to take away all of their pain. While this is not possible, there are ways in which you can support your spouse through their grief.
Grief is different for everyone, but as your partner’s spouse, you have a unique insight into how they handle pain and loss. As the person who spends the most time with your spouse, you know the most about how they may react to the emotions grief brings forth.
The best thing you can do for your partner is to support them through their grief. As you watch your spouse grieve, you may be wondering what you can do to help. This article will explore different ways in which you can support your partner through their pain. The list is as follows:
This article will also explore how Trust & Will can help you prepare for the grief your spouse will one day face.
5 Ways to Support Your Partner/Spouse During Grief
Loss and grief are some of the most difficult and painful stages of life someone may ever experience. Trust & Will wants to assist you in helping your spouse through the grieving process. Below are five ways that you can support your spouse.
Grief is a complex and emotional process that does not adhere to any specific timeline or convenience schedule. There will be times when your spouse will seem closed off and will not want to discuss what they are feeling. At other times, they may act like they are past their pain and moving forward. Then suddenly, they may retreat or show other signs of pain and sadness once again.
Your spouse’s grief may seem confusing and sporadic, but your job is to be ready to listen when they are ready to talk. Even if your spouse does not seem capable of speaking yet, make sure that they know you will be there when they want to.
Once they are ready, be sure to give them your full attention and let them do the talking. As much as we may wish otherwise, there are no magic words that you can say that will make everything better, and this may make you feel helpless. However, making sure your spouse knows you are a safe space to express their grief is more helpful than we may realize.
Watching someone else grieve can leave us feeling powerless and make us want to shy away from another’s pain out of fear of feeling useless and unhelpful. However, your spouse needs you more than they may be willing to admit during this time. Shying away from them and letting them go through the pain of grief alone is not the answer.
Ensure that your spouse knows you are present and not trying to take a step away from them. Grief will make them feel disconnected enough from everyone else, do your best not add their spouse to that list.
Give Them Space When Needed
As important as it is to not shy away from your spouse’s grieving process, it can be just as important to give them space to grieve on their own if they ask for it. As a spouse, it can often be difficult to get a moment alone, as you are constantly sharing your space with your partner and often with your children as well. This can make it difficult for you to have the chance to take time for yourself to process your own emotions, and it gives you little time to decompress at the end of the day.
When your partner is grieving, they may need a break to be alone with their thoughts in order to figure out their own feelings. Try to give them that space if they ask for it. Let them have time alone to nap or cry or to handle the many legal arrangements that follow the death of a loved one. Take your children’s care off their plate so your spouse can concentrate on the deluge of emotions and estate issues that they will be faced with.
Offer Concrete Assistance
Often when people are experiencing grief and loss, we have the tendency to suggest that they let us know if/when there is anything we can do, with no actual promises to do anything. This can often feel like an empty gesture to those who are suffering.
As your partner’s spouse, you will want to anticipate their needs and make sure that you are offering them concrete examples of how you can assist them through the grieving process. Let them know that you would love to be able to cook for them if they are feeling tired or mentally drained. If they want to go visit the grave site of their loved one, offer to go with them for support. If they need to talk, be the shoulder for them to lean or cry on. Be concrete in your assistance instead of giving them empty promises.
Tailor Your Support
As your partner’s spouse, you know more about them and how they act than most people ever will. In this way, make sure to give them the specific support that only you would know your spouse needs. You will be the one who knows best how they deal with their emotions, whether that be needing space for themselves, needing extra comfort, a hug, or helping them to laugh again. Be there to support them in the way that they personally need it. Grief is not a one size fits all, and your spouse will need their own unique form of support from you.
The grieving process will be challenging, unpredictable and time consuming enough. That is why Trust & Will is here to make your plans for the future faster and easier, so that when the inevitable happens there is not added stress and worry. At Trust & Will, we offer a variety of online estate planning services to support you in your planning process, from helping you plan your Will to creating legal documents for nominating a guardian for your children. Start planning for your future today!