When I was suddenly widowed, some friends and family listened and provided loving support. This was invaluable. Others provided advice - lots of it - some good, some bad, some really bad. After a year and a half, I would say the best pieces of advice I got were these.


  • Everyone grieves in their own way, in their own time. Do what works for you.
  • Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself time. There is no rush. Take things one day at a time. Don't expect too much too soon.
    • Early on, trying to think longer term was overwhelming.
    • I'm glad I did not rush to get rid of Doug's things. I was in no shape to do it, and I think I would have given away or thrown out some things that I'm glad to have now.
  • Don't make any big decisions (move, quit your job, re-marry, jump off a cliff, etc.) in the first year.
    • For example, while I am thinking of moving now, it would have been a mistake for me to move too soon. I wasn't ready, it would have been stressful, and I would have disconnected from the invaluable support of my neighborhood.
  • Get help (e.g., go to a Bereavement Support Group, counselor, or books, hire a handyman.)
  • Exercise and eat healthy food.
    • Exercise helped me tremendously, by providing endorphins and a positive outlet. Eating right and exercising also provided energy.
  • Sign up / do the paperwork right away for benefits (pensions, health insurance, life insurance, etc.)
  • Write (e.g., in a journal)
  • Don't become a living monument to your lost spouse. They would hate that.


I'm sure the following were said with good intentions, but this advice would not have worked for me. (Yes, people really did say these things.)






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