If your spouse has passed, can you still truly forgive them for something they did while they were alive?
The answer is yes, you can.
Whether it’s something you knew about while they were alive or something you found out about after they had passed.
Forgiving a dead spouse is important to your grieving process, and your mental health and well-being in the long term.
4 Reasons Why Forgiving a Dead Spouse Is so Important
Forgiveness is always powerful and has a number of positive benefits, but it’s often difficult when someone you love has passed and they can’t answer for their actions.
Still, it’s something that I strongly recommend you do.
Here are 4 reasons why forgiveness is so important and how it will help free you mentally and spiritually:
1. You’ll Get Closure
If you’re holding onto anger and resentment towards your late spouse, you’ll never be able to move on.
Forgiving them will help you get the closure you need so that you can start living your life again – or at least get past whatever it is they did.
You will never get an apology from them, but forgiving them is a way of giving yourself one.
It’s a way of saying, “I wish this hadn’t happened, but I’m not going to let it control my life anymore.”
And that’s incredibly empowering.
Related – My thoughts on if our spouses can see us from heaven.
2. It’s Good for Your Own Wellbeing
Forgiving someone who has wronged you is always going to be good for your well-being.
It’s been proven time and time again that holding onto anger and resentment is bad for your mental and physical health.
So, if you want to improve your well-being, start with forgiveness.
It will lower your stress levels, improve your sleep, and just make you feel better overall.
And again, all of this is even more important when you’re grieving the loss of a spouse.
So, don’t be afraid to forgive them – for your own sake.
3. It Will Help With the Grieving Process
Speaking of grief, holding onto anger towards your late spouse will only make the grieving process more difficult.
It’s hard enough to deal with the pain of losing someone you love, but it’s even harder when you’re also carrying around a lot of anger and resentment.
Forgiving them will help you grieve in a healthier way and will allow you to focus on the good memories instead of the bad.
4. You’ll Be Able to Remember Them for the Good They Did
Finally, forgiving your late spouse will allow you to remember them for the good they did.
It’s easy to focus on the one thing they did wrong, but that’s not fair to them or to you.
Forgiving them will help you see the whole picture and remember all the good times you had together.
And that’s how you should want to remember them.
4 Ways You Can Find Forgiveness for a Dead Spouse
Forgiving someone who has passed is not the same as forgiving someone who is still here.
You’re not able to speak with them, hear their side of things, and work on rebuilding your relationship.
This doesn’t mean you cannot find complete forgiveness, however.
Here are 4 ways you can forgive someone who has passed:
1. Write Them a Letter
One of the best ways to forgive someone who is no longer with us is to write them a letter – even if you never do anything with it.
This gives you a chance to work through everything you want to say and get it down on paper instead of having it scrambled in your head.
Some people find this incredibly therapeutic and it helps them work through their emotions as they’re writing.
Related – Signs a loved one still loves you after they’ve left this world.
2. Talk to Them
This may sound like a strange suggestion, but talking to your late spouse can actually be very helpful.
I know it sounds weird, but just pretend they’re sitting across from you and have a conversation with them.
Tell them everything you want to say – the things you wish you could’ve said when they were alive.
If you close your eyes and enter an almost meditative state, you might be able to hear them talking back, too.
3. Speak With Their Close Friends and Family
Sometimes forgiveness and closure after a loved one has passed come from speaking to some of the people that knew them best.
This can give you a different perspective on things and help you see them in a new light.
You never know, you might speak to someone who they confided in about whatever it is you want to forgive them for, too.
It can also help to know that other people are going through the same thing as you and that you’re not alone.
Talking to your late spouse’s close friends and family can be a very healing experience, whatever kind of answer or closure you’re looking for.
4. Meditation and Affirmations
Last but not least, meditation and affirmations can be a powerful way to find forgiveness for a dead spouse.
This is because it allows you to work through your emotions in a safe and healthy way while helping you work on your mental health.
If you’re new to meditating, all you need to do is sit down, close your eyes, and breathe deeply.
As you’re doing this, say some positive affirmations to yourself like “I forgive you” or “I’m ready to move on.”
Doing this for just a few minutes a day will help change the way you think about your spouse’s actions subconsciously while guiding your thoughts into a more peaceful and accepting place.
Image credits – Photo by James Kovin on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.