Tragically this situation is one which occurs on a more frequent basis than most people imagine. It is hard enough to adjust to a new “Retirement Lifestyle” but to then have your life partner unexpectedly leave this earth really rocks your foundation. It also is a place where FEAR reemerges as grief, abandonment and depression. You jointly worked your whole lives to prepare for this wonderful new life and then your partner is no longer there to enjoy the life you mutually planned.
At first your family and friends smother you with love and support. You are in the state of shock. You know they are there but it is all kind of a slow motion dream. Is this really happening? Over time your family stays close but retreats back into living their lives. Your friends show up on the short term but slowly they begin to fade away. Why? Because you plight scares them and they say to themselves how often can I say sorry for your loss? Soon those alienated feelings I spoke of earlier really take hold and can have a devastating effect on you.
But wait there is an alternative! You can seek counseling from a therapeutic professional. You can begin to reconstruct your life sans a partnership and become a sole survivor practiconer. You did not plan nor want this to happen but it has. So be good to yourself. Adjust your plan with a shift towards you reaching out to those family and friends that are scared. Reassure them that life does go on and you would prefer that it goes on with you and them together. Turn sadness into solidarity!
Once that’s accomplished reinforce your desire to turn sadness into solidarity by organizing social times to get with both family and friends. Engage them. Build a new relationship upon the foundation of the old. Dwell on the future, not the past, with them and find ways to show them how important staying connected is.
Next, get out there and form new relationships. Network your way into new social activities where you enlarge your circle of friends and acquaintances. Seek out trips specially organized for singles. Change up your routine and try new things as that will also open up a whole new cast of characters to hang out with.
The more you engage and connect will lead to places that you never considered. It may even lead to falling in love again if you stay open to it.