It’s difficult to consider life without your partner. However, one of the certain things in any relationship is that one partner will most almost certainly die before the other, leaving one widowed.
A difficult thing to consider is what you would want your partner to do if you should die first, in essence this is what this site is all about.
In some cases, where bereavement is due to illness, which may have lasted many years, couples are forced to contemplate the inevitability of one of them passing before the other and this in turn this may lead them to have these difficult conversations. Widows frequently say is of immense comfort in the months and years following the loss of a partner.
In the most general sense we are asking “What would you want your partner to do with their life if you were to die first”.
Of course there are many elements to consider, Should the widowed partner sell the family home and move, perhaps closer to children, or even abroad. If not moving house is it acceptable to change things, to redecorate or remodel, or change the garden. Perhaps take up new hobbies, join social groups, attend courses or even retrain for a new skill or career.
Perhaps the biggest question is should the widowed partner consider dating and even remarrying, if so how long should they wait before joining that particular social scene.
These decisions will not be immediate but at some point they will have to be faced and this can be made more difficult by the opinions of friends and family however well-meaning in their intentions. However, it can, certainly be made easier by having had the discussion with your loved one before their passing. The widow will then know what their partner would want them to do and whilst they may not necessarily choose to follow their partner’s wishes, knowing what their wishes were can be of great comfort.
Many widows whilst coming to terms with their grief continue to feel a sense of guilt. The guilt of simply surviving, of being alive. These feelings can be assuaged by the certainty of knowing what their partner wanted.
Surviving partners have found it helpful when confronted by these difficult decisions to ask themselves “What would my partner want for me if the situation were to be reversed”.
This quote is from Nora McInerny’s TED talk which can be found here. where she says
“A grieving person is going to laugh again and smile again. Yes they’re going to move forward, but that doesn’t mean they’ve moved on”