How Can I Recover From the Death of My Spouse?

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“My wife died a few months ago after a long illness. She was suffering a lot, so I’m glad she’s out of the pain, but I still miss her SO much. My friends want me to start dating again, but I can’t let go. How do I recover?”  ~ Nikhil, Arcata, CA

Dear Nikhil,

I am so sorry about your wife. Traumatic events sometimes feel impossible to recover from. I myself have lost a friend and fellow Marine to the war in Iraq. I recovered from that tragedy when I embraced it.

Accept the grief of losing your wife; don’t try and get over it. Keep focusing on how fortunate you are to have experienced her presence. Most importantly, create an empowering meaning to her passing.

As hard as that may sound, it is possible. In the bestselling book Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl discusses how even in a concentration camp, he found an empowering meaning to the hellish experience.

Perhaps your wife passed for you to discover your inner strength. I don’t know what the meaning is. Only you get to say. But whatever meaning you choose, make it one that empowers you and then condition it in your mind over time.

Akshay Nanavati

Akshay Nanavati

I am a Marine Corps Veteran, a speaker, an explorer, an entrepreneur and a success coach. After recovering from a life of drugs in high school, I enlisted in the US Marines despite being told by two separate doctors that I would not be able to survive boot camp because of a debilitating medical condition called Thallasemia. During my six years in the Marines, I earned a bachelors degree in history and philosophy, a masters degree in journalism from the prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and I spent 7 months fighting the war in Iraq as a non-commissioned officer. In my spare time, I pushed the limits of my fears in the outdoors. I have climbed mountains in the Himalayas, Africa, Bolivia, Alaska and the Cascades. I have been skydiving, scuba diving, caving, rock climbing, ice climbing, ice diving and mountain biking. In May of this year, I spent one month skiing across the second largest icecap in the world in Greenland. In temperatures as low as -40 degrees, I dragged a sled weighing 190 pounds across 350 miles. Since then I have started two businesses: an adventure company and Human Potential Development LLC, where I help others live every day with passion and purpose through coaching, public speaking and transformational workshops. I am also a trained success coach by the ICF accredited coach training program. While running my two businesses, I continue to explore the most hostile environments on the planet and share the wisdom I have gained from a life on the edge with others so that they too can cross their icecaps and reach their summits.

For more information, please visit existing2living.com.

View all posts by Akshay Nanavati.

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