A widower finds it hard to cope with the death of his wife. He could remain in bed in the morning seeing nothing but emptiness ahead. He might get up, have a cup of coffee or tea, and settle in his easy chair – for the day- to watch the soaps, game shows or the health channels.
Life for a widower seems gloomy. He finds it hard to cope with the death of his wife. Unlike their wives, he usually did not partake in the housework, wash the clothes, shop or cook or bake. In a depressed state of mind, the widower might remain in their pajamas for most of the day, unless he must get out to see a doctor, buy more food, or take the dog for a walk, if he has one.
Widowers usually remarry shortly after the death of a wife. Those who do not, become hermits. Their adult children might seldom call. They lose patience with their dad who refuses to take the advice they give him.
My close cousin was married at the age of 18. Her husband was in the army and and made it his career. He ultimately became a Major. She followed him when he was transferred from one state to another. They were the same age and spent their life traveling and making new friends.
At the age of 60 she got cancer. He took care of her for almost five years. His life revolved around driving her from doctor to doctor in her attempt to survive. She died just short of the five year survival rate.
Two weeks after her burial, he phoned me. He was besides himself and said he cannot live alone. He joined an Internet Dating site and within a few months he remarried.
Depression for a widower is worse than it is for a widow. The first step he should take is to make an appointment with his doctor to make sure a health problem is not the cause of the depression.
Medications prescribed for after death depression might work for a while. However, they can become habit forming, and turn into a drug dependency. The death of his wife might lead to suicide unless the widower gets help.
Many times widowers tend to feel the loss of their mates more than a widow. Elderly widowers grew up in a generation where wives stayed home, cleaned, cooked, shopped and cared for their children.
Men, on the other hand, left the house each day, worked, and earned the money to feed and clothe their family. Their life is shattered, and their outlook gloomy, if their wife dies and leaves them to care for themselves.
Widowers should adapt to living alone by learning how to cope with the death of a wife, or to make sure they take proper care of themselves. This is a list of what they should do.
1. Shower, dress and get out of the house each day. Go for a walk, ride your bike, have lunch out or take in a movie.
2. Sign up for cooking lessons or learn new cooking tricks. This is a must for widowers who do not know how to cook.
3. Buy an easy-to-make recipe book along with the ingredients needed to cook the meal.
4. Use a mop, vacuum and a feather duster to clean the house. Put used dishes into the dishwasher immediately after eating, instead of letting then sit in the sink.
5. Keep the refrigerator stocked with the food basics; juice, milk, bread, eggs and cheese. Keep a magnetic pad on the refrigerator door and keep a shopping list.
6. Learn how to use the crock-pot and cook meals for a week. Freeze them and use as needed. This way there will always be a hot meal for dinner.
7. Join a Senior Center and make friends. Play cards, board games, take computer or dance lessons if you do not know how.
8. Take bus trips with the seniors and/or attend dinner shows. You might meet a widow that attracts your attention and end up getting married and starting a new life.
Sitting at home, feeling sad and lonely, is not healthy. You will never meet friends this way. Get out of the house and have fun. Your wife would have wanted it this way.
My own life experiences and knowledge.