How to Survive the First Year of Grieving a Loved One

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This article is based on the book, Hurricane of Love.

My two daughters were hugging my wife, Beth, and I was holding all three of them in my arms, when Beth took her last breath on October 30, 2015 at 2:40p.m. We had three years to consider the possibility that this day would come. Still, there was no way to totally prepare for it.

Even though I was relieved that Beth was finally out of her pain from battling stage 4 cancer, my heart ached from the realization that after spending 37 years with her, I would never see her again – this side of heaven. 

I had no idea that this was just the beginning of my grieving process. The year of firsts was coming.

For the next five weeks:

  • I had trouble getting out of bed in the morning. 
  • Taking a shower, shaving and getting dressed just seemed like too much work.
  • I didn’t want to leave my house.
  • I spent my days looking at photos and watching videos of my late wife. 
  • I didn’t really want to see anyone other than my daughters and my grandchildren.

Before long, Thanksgiving arrived. This was the first holiday without Beth. It was the “first” in my “year of firsts,” and I didn’t realize how gut-wrenching every first holiday, anniversary, and birthday was going to be without her.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock/grinvalds

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