For me, having been a part of Butch's life (and vice versa) for 25 years, after he passed I felt as if I lost the main piece of me. In fact I felt like a jigsaw puzzle with all the easy bits missing and the ones I held in my hand seemed to be the wrong size or for a different puzzle altogether. I didn't know who I was, the person I was while Butch was alive ceased to exist on 21 September 2008. I felt lost and broken and unable to find any direction. The trauma of loss is a difficult enough an experience to cope with, without losing myself as well.
For a while I was content to allow others to tell me how they portrayed me, to fit in the role they had chosen I should play in my new script. It was never going to be permanent, after all, I had never completely shown anyone, apart from Butch, who I truly was, so this person they created just didn't resonate with me at all. As I gradually began to emerge and show a little of the spark that is Cherie, some found it difficult to cope with. They didn't like this new me, the person who knew what she wanted and didn't want to be anyone ele's imaginary creature (well, some of the time - I'm still working on that!), but fortunately for me there were others who suppported me and were able to change their perception of me as I transformed.
My advice is to be nice to yourself, expect to feel lost, afraid and broken, but also expect you will eventually and gradually pick up the pieces of you and create a jigsaw where all the pieces sorta fit. It takes time (don't you just hate that platitude!) It won't necessarily be better than the jigsaw with the pieces you lost, it will be just 'different'. Remember, just because the jigsaw has changed and the pieces fit, it doesn't mean the former jigsaw doesn't matter anymore. This new jigsaw doesn't replace who/what you had or who/what you are, it is merely an extension of the you you are becoming because of those other jigsaws you were once a part of. All other jigsaws you had before any form of loss all help to create the person you are now.