Remembrance & Legacies Month: Life After Losing a Loved One


They say the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. The other certainty is many people have no idea how to handle them when they occur. Losing a loved one is arguably one of the biggest challenges a person can face in their lifetime. In the article below, we explore the effects of grief and ways in which you can continue to remember your loved one.

Losing a Spouse

For many people, the process of losing a spouse can feel like a roller coaster of ‘ups-and-downs’. Grief has many faces and can be different for everyone; you may feel empty, depressed, helpless, resentful, angry; or even guilt-ridden because you’re not. There is no correct way to process the passing of a spouse. For some, time may bring some form of acceptance but for many, even though their life continues, the hole that has developed at the loss of that person will never be filled.

Self-Care & Recognising Triggers

Grief can often feel unavoidable: whether it’s hearing your loved one’s favourite song, smelling their signature scent, or pictures of happier times in your home. Noticing what evokes emotion, and how it makes you feel can help you in the grieving process. Coping mechanisms such as journaling, making a scrapbook, a memory box or simply putting the kettle on and taking a moment for yourself can help ease triggers. Big anniversaries such as birthdays, Christmas, or the anniversary of their death can be particularly challenging and may remain times of grieving for you forever and that this is ok. They may indeed become the occasions you chose to set aside time to remember.


Of course, grief doesn’t just affect the spouse of the person who has passed away. For their friends, siblings, children and extended family, a significant lost can be devastating. The grieving process can also feel isolating and consuming, so finding ways to remember your loved one in unique and personal ways can bring your remaining friends and family together. Planting a tree in memory, lighting candles, decorating their place of rest or scattering ashes in a special place could all be positive steps in moving on while honouring your loved one.

Getting Married?

For our Marriage Prep. clients, planning a wedding without a loved one can be a challenging time. However, there are many beautiful ways you can honour absent friends on your special day. Check out our Pinterest page for ideas.

Remember, if you are struggling to cope with a loss, talking to someone can help:

Marriage Care Counselling
Cruse Bereavement Care

Written by Frankie Freeman (Marriage Prep.) and Rachael O’Brien (Counselling)
National Support Administrators