How to survive the death of a loved one

After Helen died, writing this column helped me through my grief. In this, my final offering, I’d like to help others by sharing what I’ve learned   “I open at the close,” says the message hidden in the Golden Snitch, revealed only as the threads of Harry’s story are woven together in the final Harry Potter book. Helen’s great love of these stories makes it an inspiring maxim for this, my final Widower of the Parish column. My writing has been cathartic and a witness to fact being more extreme, provocative and, frankly, funnier than fiction. I have learned too much about grief, but have discovered even more about myself. So while my column was never a generic guidebook, I can offer some sharp-elbowed nudges to help others who are grieving or who simply need to deal with change, welcome or not.   Love: You cannot love someone who is dead as you did when they were alive. Fail to understand this and you’ll end up like Miss Havisham. Your love kept evolving from the day you met your partner, and grief is just yet more change because true love prevails.   Children: If you are lucky enough to have them, they will pull you along in the early days. Over time, the better you are, the better they are. Involve kids in your grief and don’t put on a brave face for their sake. Children need permission to cry as much as encouragement to laugh. Thanks, Millie and Matt.   Time: Not really a great healer. The cliche is true – the first year is literally shocking, but the second is harder. Grief and loss will never diminish in size, so suck up that thought as early as you can. Use the passing of time to shape and enlarge the new world around your grief, so diminishing its dominance.   Excerpt from The Guardian, read the full article here

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