My Husband Died and I Want Him Back: Grief & Growth

“My husband died and I want him back. He was the love of my life, my best friend, my soul mate, my life partner, my companion.” 

It’s a highly personal, yet also very common response to the loss of a spouse.

After your husband’s passing, it’s only natural to want him back. But for some, the enormity of grief keeps the surviving spouse from growing, grieving, and living life in a healthy way.

If you’ve lost your husband, it’s important to be aware of the emotional roller coaster that is ahead of you. 

You can get through that sense of overwhelming despair a bit easier if you know what to expect and are willing to make the necessary adjustments that will ensure a healthy and productive future in this new life on your own.

Though it may be hard to see or believe it at the moment, there are good days ahead. And you have to know that your husband would want you to live the rest of your life with joy and love, and not with sorrow.

Cherish the special days before your husband’s death, but look forward to the future with hope. You can accomplish this all while holding on to the loving memories and good times you shared with your beloved.

My Husband Died and I Want Him Back

The death of a spouse leads to emotional pain unlike anything else in the human experience.

While you probably have an emotional support system in the form of family members, friends, church or religious groups, mental health professionals and more, there is a very real sense in which he was your support system.

So it hurts. 

You know that in the early stages of grief and dealing with this tragic loss, you will have a difficult time. You also know that over the course of the first year and beyond you will begin to adjust in different ways and do the hard work of facing real life, grieving, and healing. 

You know this.

But here is what it comes down to right now: You know your husband is gone, but you still want him back. He was the love of your life, and that love remains even though he is no longer there. 

So you miss him. 

You miss that sense of his presence, the feel of his arms, the sounds of his tinkering. You still remember his musky smell, his laugh, his quirky habits. You miss him. And you’ll continue to miss him for a long time.

You can rest assured that missing your husband and wanting him back is a normal, natural response to his loss. It’s simply what we call grief. 

The most important thing, though often the hardest thing, is how you handle that grief. 

Grieving the Loss of a Husband

Let’s talk a little about the grieving process and what that means for you in the coming days.


The most immediate and obvious feeling experienced in the early days after losing a loved one is sorrow. This is a normal response and should be considered a basic human condition. 

Luckily, the degree of sadness lessens as time passes (though it may be hard to believe in the moment), and one is removed from the tragic event. Oftentimes, you will find this feeling interspersed between periods of happiness. 

For instance, you may feel happy when surrounded by family and good friends, finding yourself laughing with them.

But then you suddenly feel sad again once their presence is gone and you’re alone. Expect your sorrow to come in waves. 


Loneliness is the result of the sadness one feels because of a person’s absence. This feeling can leave you exhausted, as it robs you of all energy and motivation. 

It is important to be cognizant of the effects of this condition. Be careful of acting irrationally in order to fill the void, such as overbuying, overusing social media, overeating, and surrounding yourself with negative or lonely people. 

Turn to your trusted support group or a grief counselor for help. It can be tempting to turn to people who will commiserate with you, but in the end it won’t help your heart to heal and will actually deepen the pain and negative feelings.

How to help: 50 Encouraging Sympathy Messages for Loss of Husband


Guilt is the result of feeling a sense of personal responsibility for not doing or saying enough when your loved one was alive. 

You try to make sense of the loss, but it can lead to irrational questions like, “Did I do enough?” You might find yourself replaying events and conversations in your head, considering the “What if’s” of the circumstance. 

This can lead to social isolation, avoidance of certain topics, and irrational or negative thoughts about yourself. 

These thoughts and feelings are often amplified due to lack of sleep, an unstable emotional state, and neglect for your own physical health. Be sure to take care of yourself, even though it’s difficult. 

Guard your mental health by dwelling on the positive, rather than the negative, and seek out grief counseling if necessary.


Anger is another common feeling experienced after the death of your spouse. Especially if it was an unexpected or sudden loss. One day he was there beside you, the next day he was gone.

Maybe you feel that the circumstance of the death simply isn’t fair. 

You may even begin to blame God for allowing the loss to happen to you. It’s also possible that you blame your husband for leaving you in such a way. As a result, you feel frustrated, impatient, and emotionally unstable. 

Anger is perhaps the hardest part of the grieving process, as it often leads you to question everything. Yourself, your faith, your spouse, even your own memories. 

Please remember that much of that anger springs from lies that our emotions feed us. Though emotions, even anger, can be (and usually are) good things, when left unchecked they can also distort truth and reality and keep you from joy. 

Related: Everything to Know About Distorted Grief


If you are not blaming others, then you might be blaming yourself and questioning your own actions surrounding the circumstance. 

You might find yourself asking, “What if I did something differently? Why didn’t I do more?” You may simply ask, “Why did this happen?” 

You aren’t alone in this questioning. Everyone must face these difficult questions, but cling to the love and relationship that you had with your husband. 

He wouldn’t want you to spend your days blaming yourself, but cherishing the time you spent together.


When memories hurt.

Recalling times shared with your husband is difficult to do because it makes you feel the pain of the loss fresh and anew. Though the memories are sweet, the realization that such times will never be experienced again can leave a bitterness behind. 

It’s hard to wrap your mind around the fact that your future happiness will no longer depend upon your relationship with your husband. Instead, you are left with only the memories of him to bring you a different level of happiness. 

Memories, though at first they can hurt, will always be a good thing. The fact that he lives on in your heart and mind will eventually give birth to a new kind of joy that will overshadow the bad days.


The challenges that result from losing a husband can vary from intense emotional pain and sorrow, to difficulties with accepting the loss and imagining a bright future. 

One of the most profound challenges is adjusting to changes in your daily life. As they say, it’s in the little things. 

Married couples generally have routines in place that get them through each day. Life together was made comfortable by such routines, so when a spouse is absent, it makes daily life more challenging. 

Formulating a new identity, with your husband being absent, is another profound challenge which may give you a hard time. In addition to having built routines together over the years, you created an identity as part of a couple. 

Now, you are tasked with the challenge of creating your own identity as a single person for the first time in a long time. 

Related: Complicated Grief- Things to Know When Grieving Goes Awry

Growing in the Midst of Grief

Initially, you may feel unable to grow because the grief is so powerful. You may have difficulty seeing beyond the present and recognizing a bright future ahead, feeling that the grief you feel today will remain with you forever. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that grief lessens over time. Undoubtedly, the sadness of his absence will reoccur whenever you think of your husband and the times you shared together, but, in time, these memories will become more pleasant than sorrowful. 

It’s important to allow yourself to grow despite the absence of your loved one, with whom you shared and created memories. It’s helpful to consider how much he would want you to grow in a healthy way rather than be stuck in sorrow. 

He would encourage you to set new routines and create a new identity in order to find happiness once again. As a result, you will find yourself emotionally stronger, having endured the pain but emerging more courageous and strong in the end.

Honoring the Life of Your Husband

Though your husband is gone, you can make a personal commitment to honor him in the years ahead. 

This is a good idea that will help you to grow more accustomed to his absence yet be at peace when remembering him. 

Personalized Service with Eulogy

The first opportunity to honor your husband is with a traditional funeral service or a unique celebration of life ceremony. 

Either way, including a eulogy in the service is a great opportunity to honor him now and in the years to come. Documenting his life, recalling the memories shared with him, and expressing all that he meant to you provides you and others with some closure as you say farewell. 

Not only will you be honoring him in the days and weeks following his passing, but you will be paying tribute to him each time you read it. Family members in the generations ahead will appreciate the tangible reminder that was left behind. 

Plant a Tree

Planting a tree that represents your husband’s memory is another tangible way to honor him. By doing so, you are leaving behind a living reminder of your husband. 

Again, future generations can visit the tree and be reminded of life being honored. If he had a favorite type of tree, you could also consider planting one in your backyard.

Stepping Stones

Consider painting a stone with his name and favorite Bible verse or original sentiment that can be displayed in the garden or walkway of your home. 

This is another great way to have a physical reminder of your husband nearby, especially if he loved being outdoors.

Continue His Favorite Activities

If your husband enjoyed a certain type of music or artist, consider attending a concert or festival that he would enjoy. 

Celebrating him by participating in his favorite activities or special occasions is a great way to honor his memory. 

Celebrate His Birthday

Celebrating his birthday doesn’t mean you have to blow out candles on a birthday cake. (Although you certainly can if you want!)

However, you can still honor him each year when his special day comes. 

Consider inviting family members and close friends to a dinner that honors his memory, visit his grave, or take a day off to do an activity you enjoyed together, such as hiking or a beach trip. 

Whichever way you choose to celebrate your husband’s life, it is an opportunity to keep his memory alive. Doing so will provide you with some needed comfort as you journey toward rebuilding your life in a new and healthy way.

Give Back in His Name

Did he have a passion for a particular mission or organization? A charity that was close to his heart? Or perhaps even a local hospital that he liked to volunteer at? 

Consider giving back to the things he loved by making a donation in his name. It’s a beautiful way to commemorate the giving soul he shared with the world.

Take Up One of His Hobbies

This one may take time, but it’s a wonderful way to keep him close to your heart and alive in your everyday life. 

Did he enjoy woodworking? How about gardening, pottery, chess, or building models? It could even be something small like collecting keychains, stickers, or patches.

Invest time to take up one of his favorite activities for yourself, and let his passions live on through you.

We hope this article has been of help to you, even if in the smallest way. 

Knowing that you aren’t alone in the things you are experiencing can help so much. As you step into this new journey and role in your own life, we pray you’ll find encouragement, hope, and comfort.

Related: Letting Go(?) How to Rebuild Your Life After the Loss of a Spouse

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Margaret McDonnell

Margaret spent seventeen years as an English and Writing teacher before venturing into the funeral industry as a writer. She has been writing articles for US Urns Online since the summer of 2022. Margaret loves tackling subjects that help others...

2 thoughts on “My Husband Died and I Want Him Back: Grief & Growth”

  1. Thanks for the nice piece,especially that one can do something he liked ,by giving back to the society in his honour to God’s glory.
    Infact this was my new year’s wish…
    Pray it will materialise

  2. Thanks for the nice piece,especially that one can do something he liked ,by giving back to the society in his honour to God’s glory.
    Infact this was my new year’s wish…
    Pray it will materialise

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