Grieving the death of a soulmate

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Dear Franny,

How do you get over the death of someone who you thought was your soulmate?


First of all, please know that you have my sincerest condolences. Death is a part of life, but that is the coldest of comforts and it doesn’t stop any of us from feeling blindsided and devastated when someone you love dies. It just sucks. There’s no way around it.

I’m going to break down my answer for you in 2 parts:

#1 Grief

I’ve never lost a romantic partner, but I have lost people near and dear to me, including my father and my brother. If those experiences have taught me anything, it’s that there is no shortcut through grief.

I repeat: there is no shortcut through grief.

I have also learned that there is no one way to grieve. If some days you want to cry all day, other days you want to be distracted and try to do something fun and the next day you feel consumed with anger, those are all normal reactions.

Please please please be gentle with yourself. Be self-compassionate and know that what you are feeling is all part of the grieving process. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed and please – get some support. Whether it’s a grief counselor, a support group, or friends and family who are able to consistently be present to support you - or all of the above!

I urge you to be honest with yourself about what you need to get through this time, and as long as it is safe and not self-destructive – go for it. Without apology.

Lastly, there are a lot of resources out there that might provide you with comfort and also some tactics for dealing with your pain. The book I’m Grieving As Fast As I Can by Linda Feinberg comes highly recommended (though I haven’t read it myself), as does the podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking.

(If anyone reading this has any other suggestions of resources for our friend here, please leave them in the comments below.)

#2 Soulmates

You asked how to get over the death of someone you “thought” was your soulmate. I don’t know why you’re questioning that, but in case it’s your confusion as to how they could die and “leave” you, that is an unanswerable question. I can say that I don’t believe death diminishes or negates a soulmate connection.

I know with all of my heart that soulmates exist, and I know with all of my heart that we all have more than one. I don’t mean that to say “go find another soulmate to replace your departed one”, but I do hope that in time you will find comfort in the other soulmates and loved ones you will inevitably encounter.

Not all soulmates are romantic, so be on the lookout for whatever form yours might take.

Hand-in-hand with believing in soulmates is the belief that our souls stretch far beyond the physical bodies we happen to inhabit. I hope that you are able to feel and stay connected to your soulmate, knowing that the bond you shared is stronger than death and that they will always be with you.

I hate when people say “it gets easier” but it does.

The first year after my dad died was a misery. Then I came to a turning point - I had a beautiful dream where he came to me and while I knew he was dead, it was still joyful because I could feel the love he had for me, and I knew that he knew how much I loved him.

You will reach a turning point too, even though it might take you awhile to get there.

For now, my advice to you is to take it step by step, one day at a time. You’ll get to a more peaceful place and you will experience love and joy - hopefully lots of it.

I really hope that helps, even if just the tiniest bit. I’m sending you lots of love.

F


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