The death of a spouse is one of the most difficult things you will ever have to accept in life.
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- Be good to yourself.
- Eat right and avoid too much alcohol, drugs, caffeine, sugars or tobacco.
- Exercise regularly, but take time to just sit and to breathe deeply.
- Maintain a regular schedule and get out of the house now and then.
- Answer the mail and condolence letters. It's part of the healing process.
- Start a personal journal.
- Join a support group.
- Ask the funeral home for 6-8 copies of the death certificate.
- Keep Social Security, bank account and insurance numbers handy.
- Set up a file for copies of everything that has to do with the estate, including notes from telephone conversations.
- Deal with emptying drawers and closets. Don't let someone else do this for you. It is a necessary part of the grieving process. It may be helpful to have someone with you who is understanding and can share your memories and stories.
- Change bank accounts. File insurance claims. Check on mortgage, credit or work-related policies, as well.
- Notify Social Security, business associates, employees, organizations, banks, auto registration, credit cards, bond and stock titles, real estate titles and review auto, home and personal insurance needs.
- Stay in charge of your own life. Don't let the kids take over.
- Avoid hasty decisions ... wait a year before selling the house, moving, or making any major purchases. It is important to let go and move on with your life, but give yourself time.
- Allow yourself time to get some of these things done. If it is hard to do, or a decision is difficult to make, then wait. You will know when the time is right.
- Don't pay any bills you are unsure of until you verify their authenticity. Hold off on paying medical bills until they are all in.
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