Home » Blog » Til Death Do Us Part: Coping with Commitment after Death

Til Death Do Us Part: Coping with Commitment after Death

Marriage May Lower Risk of Heart Attack SS

Are we still married after the death of one partner? “Til death do us part” is a part of all traditional marriage ceremonies, but I can’t help but wonder if it is really true. Do our vows — and our relationships — really end at death? Do we really “part” from those we love the most?

I can understand that our faithful, monogamous obligation may come to a completion at death, but I am not so sure much else comes to a sudden halt.

If you ask someone who just lost their spouse if they are still married, indeed, they would say they are. This may be the case for years after the death of their spouse — it may feel true forever. The decision to take off one’s wedding ring after a death is often a long time in the making and not without intense emotion and consideration.

I had a coaching client who had lost her spouse and shared that she felt like she was cheating for years to come if she even considered dating another man.

My father-in-law lost his wife and the mother of his children 20 years into their marriage. He went on to marry, and love and live, but when he died, his desire was to be laid to rest with his first wife. And his wife of later years chose to be laid to rest next to her first husband who had died many years previous, as well.

My mom died after 55 years with my dad, and now, even 10 years later I am quite certain that he still considers himself married to her.

My sister-in-law lost her husband seven years ago, and it wasn’t until recently when she fell in love again that she appeared ready and able to consider that vow complete.

So that begs the question: is it “til death do us part” or “until we love another do us part”? Or perhaps, once bonded heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul — we do not part.

And then there are the signs that perhaps those on the other side of life are not quite so quick to let those vows go either. Of course, I am speaking of a reality for which I have no physical proof, so you will have to look at your own evidence. However, when you ask those who have lost a loved one if there have been messages or signs, they almost always let out a sigh of relief that they have found someone safe to share their amazing stories of life after death with (or perhaps that is more accurately stated love-after-death).

From this inquiry spurs story after story of pennies, feathers, stars, or hearts found repeatedly in amazing or unusual places or moments. Or they share what my family has nicknamed the “Tsu momm”, the wave of emotion that washes over you unexpectedly in a moment that feels like a visitation.

They talk about songs on the radio, license plate messages or bumper-sticker wisdom at just the right moment in response to a question or a thought. My laptop will periodically start to play music in the middle of the night — usually at 3:33 — even though the lid is tightly shut. Or my fire alarm will sound, just once, at 12:12.

Swuire Rushnell wrote a lovely book called When God Winks and in it he poses the question, “If God wanted to communicate with us but couldn’t use words, how would He do it?”

In an attempt to answer this question, we can easily see that our loved ones face the same predicament after death and find the exact same methods to get their message across. In addition to the passing of a perfectly timed T-shirt message and other physical forms of communication, their love may come to us in a splash of creativity, inspiration, intuition, serendipity or through the words of other people.

It is my personal belief — no, experience that true love never dies, nor does it stop being felt or expressed — from either side.

Take a moment to honor all the loves of your life — past, present and future. Take a moment to feel their love for you, too — “now and forevermore.”

This article courtesy of Spirituality and Health.

Til Death Do Us Part: Coping with Commitment after Death

Eve Hogan

Eve Eschner Hogan is a relationship specialist, and author of several books including The EROS Equation: A SOUL-ution for Relationships. In Real Love with Eve, she shares skills, principles, and tools for creating healthy, harmonious relationships—with friends, family, lovers, co-workers, and the world at large. Her uncommon approach to common sense will help you sail away from ego battles and into the calmer waters of real love. Learn more about Eve's Heart Path retreats at her website.

One comment: View Comments / Leave a Comment
APA Reference
Hogan, E. (2018). Til Death Do Us Part: Coping with Commitment after Death. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 17 Nov 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.