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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    How do I cope with my partner's death or terminal illness?

    Facing the death or terminal illness of a partner is a difficult experience for anyone. Even people who have faced this type of loss before do not completely prepare for the emotions that come with it. Whether you are the one facing the health crisis yourself or dealing with it as a partner, family member, or friend, there are ways you can cope.

    The process of grieving for someone you love is long, complicated and likely to have many different moods, such as anger, sadness, guilt, or despair. It is essential to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to experience the emotions of grief. Keeping a journal or talking with a trusted individual can help you feel more connected with your feelings and experiences, and help to put them into perspective.

    Embrace support when it is offered, both from friends and family and in professional circles. Look into joining a bereavement group and speaking with a therapist or counselor who specializes in grief and loss, who can provide comfort in a challenging time. Utilize the resources at your disposal – hospice centers, religious organizations and funeral homes often offer services to support those who are grieving with pre-planning for the service, counseling and education about the specific illness or death that has occurred.

    It is okay to cry and talk about your partner or loved one, but try not to dwell on the tragedy or suffering from the illness or death. Allow yourself to remember the wonderful moments and enrich your life with reminders of this person’s love, accept that grief will come as it wishes, and make sure to take care of yourself. As time goes on, the pain may become a little easier to bear, but it never disappears completely. Build up positive moments such as creating a memory book of your partner or creating a special anniversary tradition in their name, to help keep their memory alive.

    No two people grieve in exactly the same way, but know that you are not alone in this, and your feelings are perfectly valid and apt. Reach out and seek solace when you need it, and give yourself all the self-care possible in order to handle this difficult transition.

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