The Emotional Roller Coaster After the Death of a Spouse

After the death of a spouse, the surviving spouse’s emotions may be all over the place.

A pure Emotional Roller Coaster. Some may even have guilt and regret up the Ying Yang. They may experience anger at their spouse for leaving them at a time they feel wasn’t the right time to die.

What is the right time to die? Our time was chosen by God and is written in our Book of Life!  When our time comes, there’s no turning back.

What is more, many grief-stricken mourners report not feeling angry at all. Nevertheless, there are times in our grief journey when we’re frustrated and hurting, and it’s only natural to lash out and look for someone to blame. Being angry is a way of funneling and/or transporting energy, of making some sense of the pain. Emotions aren’t always rational or even logical. Our feelings are neither right nor wrong. Good or bad. They are what they are. And for many of us, being angry may be a better way of feeling the hurt, pain & sorrow of loss and the underlying guilt of being the one who survived.

I clearly remember a session with my Grief Counselor. She asked me how I was feeling, and I said “Lonely, depressed, it feels like I wandered onto a battlefield and was shot in the chest point-blank by a cannon with no Shield,” and then I blurted out something I didn’t even realize I’d been feeling, “And I’m so angry at him for leaving me!”

I know that it isn’t logical to be mad at my husband, he didn’t choose to die. He just died when we were so happy in our marriage, loving, laughing & traveling and seeing so much of the world that I had never before seen. Such happy lives back then; much like a fairy tale.

“This is too much to take on by myself, I told my counselor sobbing into the tissues she had given me.

And I miss him so much! Everything, (even listening to our favorite Sirius XM Radio channels are overwhelming right now. I’ve watched our wedding reception video a hundred times and it seems and it still isn’t enough.)

Even when I would walk out to our garage and stand to look at his tools and boxes of wires that he loved tinkering with I would get emotional.

Right now I have the urge to hide away at home and never come out, but I’m so lonely that I know I need to get out and do things, see family and friends and play with my sweet grandchildren. They bring so much joy into my life. But I don’t want to be invited to events that include couples. I just can’t be around couples right now. It hurts too badly!

Not only was I hiding a secret feeling from her, but at that time, I was hiding it from myself.

I was JEALOUS & ENVIOUS of, my husband because he had made it out of this horrible, cruel world and I felt I was left behind. He would be talking to Jesus in that big, beautiful and utterly indescribable place called Heaven and I would be still down here on earth beating myself up.  I knew jealousy & envy were wrong, but that’s how I felt regardless.

I finally spilled the beans and forced myself to tell her what I was hiding. I had to, that was what I was there for, to get help. It would be a waste of time and money to go through each session with her and play games, so I told her.

She glanced over her glasses and stated that this was a normal emotion that many feel when they lose a spouse or any one whom they loved so dearly.  The death doesn’t have to be a sudden one as was with my husband, heartache & pain is still  what it is and to many it is unbearable. Emotions run wild, your mind is all over the place, you don’t know if you want to cry, shout, throw things, pray, or just sit and be silent as I did many days. She went on explaining different techniques for me to try that would help me cope. She continued asking me how I felt and comforted me as I cried uncontrollably.

That is when she offered to refer me to a Grief Therapy Group.

I immediately accepted and am so happy I did.

Thankfully, I was able to enter into group therapy which surrounded me with people who were suffering just as I was. People who had experienced the loss of loved ones at many different levels.

I was able to capture the full extent of reaching out to others hurting as they reached out to me and we comforted one another, talked about our loved ones, showed photos of our loved ones and became a close-knit family. Through God & the power of prayer, I was able to open up, talk and get over the feelings I had inside and ask God to forgive me for being angry knowing all along that my husband was God’s first and God was so loving and generous that he gave him to me for a beautiful season and for that, I am truly grateful.

“Till Death Do Us Part!”

roses and candle