There are no set rules, when the death of a spouse occurs. Individuals that have relied on others are suddenly alone. According to the Social Security Administration, among people over the age of 65, widows account for 42 percent of the population in 2008. They estimate that about one million Americans lose a spouse each year to join about eleven million currently without a spouse.
Many of these individuals are thrust into a new lifestyle, that of loneliness. With a souse now gone, they have to learn to adapt to this lifestyle. Instead of being a wife or husband, they are now a widow or widower. It is something they didn’t want. Some adapt easily and some struggle. One thing remains, they all have to go through this. They must work to control grieving or it could control them.
Almost immediately, they have to start making decisions they use to share. At first, they are kept occupied with making these decisions. Friends and family members help out. Widowers and widows are kept busy. Domestic shores, once shared are now their sole responsibility. This helps them keep their mind off the immediate loss. A person can easily distract their thoughts, from grieving, because of matters to attend to. The grieving process can be a short period of time or years to get over it. Eventually, they are left to contemplate how this will shape their social life.
Do they consider dating, not dating, remarrying, or just developing platonic friendships? Can they financially manage to survive by themselves? How do they maintain the same social relationships they had as a couple? Basically, there are no written rules for what to do. Each person has to do what is best for them.
Support groups from churches and other organizations can help. Many of these groups, have individuals going through the same thing. They work with each other to help them through this process. Some mistake this group, as a dating group. They are not used for that. They are there for support. If a relationship blooms, it is by chance.
Many individuals decide to remain single. Some like the idea of being uncommitted to another. Some do not want to go through another death. Going through it once, is enough for most individuals. To go through it two or more times can be very depressing.
The best advice for anyone is to get on with your life. The sooner you can make the adjustment and do this, the better off you will be. The worst thing in life is loneliness. If you can’t or don’t want to develop a new relationship, consider strengthening the ones that you have. This could be with brothers, sisters, sons,daughters or grandchildren. Maybe a good friend could become a great friend.
sources; Anita Creamer, www.nashuatelegraph.com