How to rebuild a life after the death of a partner

Losing someone you love dearly is devastating, but the bond couples shared in life is vital to those who live on

The threat of death is more present in our national unconscious than it has been for decades. A killer virus and a sudden violent invasion in Europe have shaken our sense of safety. A safety that many of us took for granted. The horrific scale of deaths in Ukraine is only just beginning to emerge. Our own mortality and fragility continue to alarm us at profound psychic and physical levels – even if we do not have to hide in bomb shelters.

The pandemic left behind a shared sense of trauma, which the invasion reignited in many people’s minds. Trauma overwhelms the sufferer, leaving them powerless and shocked. While the two situations cannot be compared, they share certain aspects. Both represent deadly incursions into people’s lives. We may be far from the conflict in Ukraine, but most of us identify closely with the families being separated, women and children going west, men staying to fight. Some of those fleeing already know they will never meet again. The images of people at railway stations about to be forced apart are among the most heart-breaking I have ever seen.

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