Living Alone After the Death of a Spouse
Here are several practical tips and comfort on how to live alone after your husband dies. Living alone after the death of a spouse is one of the biggest transitions you’ll ever experience. You need a combination of practical support and warm hugs, don’t you?
In When Your Soul Aches: Hope and Help for Women Who Have Lost Their Husbands, Lois Mowday Rabey describes her firsthand experience of confusion and devastation after her husband’s death. This book is a thoughtful collection of inspirations and insights about the grieving process after the death of a spouse. In the weeks and months following the loss of your husband, you may be numb with shock. Or, you may feel overwhelmed by a wide range of heartrending, and at times conflicting, emotions. You can and will make it through this difficult time. No matter how you feel – even if you’re unhappy living alone – you can find companions for your journey.
The following tips for living alone after the death of a spouse are inspired by a reader on my article for grieving widows. “I miss my husband so much,” says Jan on Practical Tips and Prayers for Grieving Widows. “His death is the hardest thing that I have gone through. We were married 44 years. I miss his voice, his loving ways. I feel totally alone. I have two grown sons but nothing or no one can take the place of my husband. I cry almost every day and I don’t know how to live alone. He was my soul mate, my friend and so many other things to me. I feel if my whole world has fallen upside down. I get frightened when I think of the future without my husband.”
How to Live Alone After Your Husband Dies
What advice have you already received about living alone after your husband dies? I welcome your big and little thoughts in the comments section below.
Here are five thoughts on how to live alone after the death of a spouse. They may not meet your needs, but I hope they help you feel less alone. My tips range from finding practical support to leaning on God for spiritual and emotional comfort.
Get help with your finances and home maintenance
My husband and I divide the household chores, and he is primarily responsible for our financial situation. He takes care of the mortgage, bill payments, and investments. I have my own bank accounts and I earn a full-time living from my blogs, but he’s in charge of the finances.
This is a mistake on my part, and I will regret not knowing about our finances if I have to learn how to live alone one day. I know my husband is trustworthy and responsible to take care of our financial affairs, but I should at least know what’s going on!
If money is part of your problem living alone after the death of a spouse, read 6 Ways to Take Control of Your Finances.
Invite new life into your home
I bet you didn’t expect “get a pet dog or cat” to be one of the tips for living alone after your husband dies. Dogs and cats offer life and presence in an empty house, and are beloved companions for widows who aren’t used to living alone after the death of a spouse.
A dog will get you outside. Taking him on walks will force you to interact with neighbors and learn more about your community. The health benefits – both emotional and physical – of walking a dog are numerous. You’ll feel happier, your appetite will increase, and your brain will welcome the oxygen and stimulation.
If you’ve never had a dog, read Adopting a Dog – Tips for Women Over 60. I wrote it for a reader who lost her dog, and asked for help deciding if she should get another pet. She wasn’t dealing with the problem of living alone after the death of a spouse, but she was lonely.
You might also consider fostering a dog or cat for a short time. This will show you what it’s like to have a pet, and help you decide if you’d rather live alone or with an animal companion.
Consider getting a housemate or tenant
I wasn’t sure about including this tip on how to live alone when your husband dies. Why? Because the last thing I’d want is a roommate or tenant if I was living alone again! I’m a writer, I love my solitude, and I can’t imagine sharing my home with someone other than my husband. I’m an introvert and I’d choose to live alone after the death of my spouse because I’ve always been happiest alone.
Were you socially active before your husband died? Then you’ll find living alone much more difficult. You need conversation and stimulation from other people. Consider sharing your home with a short-term roommate or tenant. Just like fostering a pet, a short-term rental situation can ease the loneliness and help you cope with living alone after the death of a spouse.
A List of Tips for Living Alone After the Death of a Spouse
Here are a few quick ideas on how to live alone when your husband dies…
- Declutter your home; give yourself space to breathe
- Rearrange the furniture in your living room and bedroom
- Add light to the dark areas of your house; white twinkle lights are a beautiful way to lighten up a home
- Foster a dog or adopt a cat
- Think about sharing your home with a housemate or tenant
- Play uplifting music that makes you feel happy
- Avoid watching news programs that are more than 10 minutes long
What other practical tips for living alone after the death of a spouse have I missed? Please do share your experiences and ideas.
A blessing for widows living alone
May you find comfort, peace, and hope in your new life. The previous stage of your life is over, and it is time to let go of the past. I pray for strength and courage, and for the blessing of good companions and fulfilling experiences to fill your life. I pray that your grief subsides, and that the healing process begins to take root in your soul. May you turn to God for guidance, comfort, love, and joy. May peace be yours.
“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.” – Thomas Edison.
A Question for You About How to Live Alone
What is one word that describes how you feel about living alone after the death of a spouse? Tell me below. You can write more than a word if you’d like. Sometimes it’s helpful to bundle all your feelings into a word and share how you feel.
To learn more about living alone, read Starting Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband Dies. Pay special attention to the comments section, which will show you you’re not alone.
My next article is about how to have more energy. Grief depletes our resources, doesn’t it? Make sure you sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of this post to receive new articles.
While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience of living alone after the death of a spouse. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings of grief and loneliness.