I have given more thought to the process my wife and I always went through on decision making - for things small and large.
One of the couple has a thought or an idea ... going to a movie, moving, taking a vacation, spending time with friends, jobs, whatever. The result you kinda know even before you start, but the two of you still have the conversation in an open and honest manner. No hard feelings. The process (depending on the complexity):
Finances; One may not like a destination; Time; Impact on family and friends; Change or getting out of comfort zone; Expectency of future; Sickness; Pain; Heartbreak; Happiness; Giving and Forgiving; Joy; Sorrow; Future; Previous experiences; Loss ... and on and on and on.
But when you have your life partner with you, you come to realize that this is the only way to find true love and happiness. The decisions always came. But the process was invaluable. I lost now my true love and my happiness and even though I can make decisions and pretty much know what my wife would say, the sorrow I still feel for not being able to engage the process with her is painful.
Every day I wish for her back. I just wanted to share with you all what you all probably already know and feel. A grief counselor cannot empathize unless he/she has lost their best friend and true love. This is why I am on this site - because you all can connect with my feelings. Warmest regards ...
As an example, shortly after my husband died, I noticed a swollen red spot on my dog's mouth. I would have asked my husband to come look at it and see if he thought we should call the vet, wait and see, whatever. That's what we did. We discussed everything. Figured it out together.
My son was here, so I asked him to take a look at the dog's mouth. He replied, "I don't know anything about dog's mouths. What do you want me to do?"
I thought, "I want you to be Gilbert. I want you to say, 'Let's take a look. Maybe something bit him.'"
That was when I realized I was going to have to make every decision - large and small - alone. It was devastating.
You're so right. Grief counselors have no idea what it's like to lose the love of your life that you were married to for such a long time. My best friend forever, my person I did everything with, shared everything with...just to end up with nothing and no future together. Just left alone with nobody to share anything with or help me with all these problems I now have. Who wants to waste time sitting there when the grief counselor will give you text book suggestions, because that's all they know..... join a book club, take long walks, have lunch with friends and family, go to church to meet new people, join a gym, read some grief books, meditate....on and on. Not one of those things will make me feel better. I did get invited and I'm going out to dinner once a month with other widows but it's not good. They all sit around talking about their vacations, their cruises, they order wine (I have ice water every time).....I basically order one of the cheapest things on the menu and pray to God my old car will make it home again....so no, it doesn't help going to these dinners. Guess I'm having another bad weekend and I just feel so bitter that my whole life went from happy and secure to lonely and poor.