Thursday, October 12, 2006


READER’S QUESTION: I lost my husband at the end of June. We had been together for almost 5 years but did not marry until April of this year. We built a new house together and was married in it. It was a second marriage for both of us and we looked forward to many years together. My husband went into the hospital for a knee replacement and passed away due to a blood clot. I was devastated. I miss him so much and feel so alone. I have joined a widows group but it only meets twice a month. I just don't know how I will get through this. Any words of wisdom?

ANSWER: We are sorry for your loss. When we get attached after the loss of a first spouse, even if the loss was because of a divorce and not death, there is always the hidden concern about loss again. The second loss frequently revives the feelings from the first loss. It is a devastating time for you and if you could find a weekly support group instead of a by-monthly group, it would probably help. For now, try to go through it one minute at a time and later, one day at a time. Indeed, it feels very overwhelming at first.

Seek out support from loving friends and family who can comfort you; journal, reach out, accept invitations and try to keep busy with meaningful activities -- but not so busy as to avoid mourning. All of these things ease the pain of loneliness. It is hard to focus at this time because you are overwhelmed with feelings.

The unexpected trauma also adds to the difficulty of your adjustment. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to express your feelings, recognizing they are not right or wrong, they are just feelings. You might consider seeking support from one-on-one counseling as well. The BILL OF RIGHTS FOR THE BEREAVED within this Blog will be helpful.

Sending you understanding and healing. Gloria Lintermans & Marilyn Stolzman, Ph.D., L.M.F.T., co-authors of THE HEALING POWER OF GRIEF: The Journey Through Loss to Life and Laughter (ISBN 1-932783-48-2) and THE HEALING POWER OF LOVE: Transcending the Loss of a Spouse to New Love (ISBN 1-932783-51-2), Champion Press, 2006 / Amazon.com: The Healing Power of Grief The Healing Power of Love


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