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Widows Support Group

By: Diane Wallace

As a veteran widow of ten years, I have been proactive in providing support for widows of all ages, all over the United States. Unfortunately, the growth of widows has substantially increased yearly.

In pursuit of finding "myself", healing, and moving forward, I found and have been active in many internet organizations which provide sound, valid, and positive counselWhile online interaction is all well and good, meeting and interacting with others in person has been far more beneficial.

Regardless of how strong your current network starts out, at some point, others will grow weary of hearing about your pain, your memories, and strugglesThe goal of this group is to share the grief and the struggles which go along with itTalk about whatever you need to talk about through this journey of reclaiming your life and identityIn a group setting, we can share how obstacles are overcome and provide advice and counsel to each other, even for situations such as who do I call if my hot water heater leaks?

Some of the questions many ask are, How do you adjust to the new status of "widow"? When your world for however long you were married circulated on the needs of another? Will the pain ever go away? When should I stop grieving? Should I cry whenever I need to? Because I am afraid I cannot stop? Together, we will tackle the answers to these questions.

These statistics are astounding but very true:
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau 800,000 people are widowed each year in the United States. "Nearly 700,000 women lose their husbands each year and will be widows for an average of 14 years"-U.S. Bureau of the Census (1999)
  • There are 13.6 million widows in the United States. Over 11 million of the widowed, in the US, are women. (American Association of Retired Persons 2001)
  • UNITED NATIONS (AP) 6/23/2010 -- At least 245 million women around the world have been widowed and more than 115 million of them live in devastating poverty.
  • Death of a spouse is ranked as the #1 Stressor: Holmes and Rahe stress scaleLosing a spouse is ranked number one on the stress index scale; making this one of life's most devastating events.
  • Sleep can be severely impacted with the loss of a spouseDisrupted sleep makes it harder to handle our grief, our lives, and even the day-to-day duties of making the bed or paying the bills.
  • Widowhood increases survivors' risk of dyingAccording to the American Public Health JournalWidowhood increases survivors' risk of dying from almost all causes, including cancer, but it increases the risk for some causes more than for others. The converse also holds: widowhood increases survivors' all-cause mortality in response to almost all causes of death of the predecedent spouse, but the actual cause of death of the predecedent spouse makes a difference. The death of a spouse, for whatever reason, is a significant threat to health and poses a substantial risk of death by whatever cause.
  • On average 75% of the survivor's support base is lost following the loss of a spouse or significant other; this includes loss of support from family and friends. There are a multitude of reasons for losing friends and family including; loss of couples friends. Those widowed can isolate, we can be sad and unpleasant to be aroundFamily members are grieving and they go through the unpleasant stages of griefWe take on more responsibility (taking care of a house and/or children). Life changes in huge ways and we need to build new friendships and support systems.
  • People who feel consistently lonely have a 14% higher risk of premature death than those who don't. The impact of loneliness on early death is almost as strong as being poor, which increased the chances of dying early by 19% the research found. "Loneliness is a risk factor for early death beyond what can be explained by poor health behaviors," says psychologist John Cacioppo, Director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. Source: USA Today
To all widows of any age let's pull together!

If you are interested in being part of a widow's support group, please contact Diane Wallace via email or leave a voice message or text, (270)-250-4554.

This story was posted on 2015-04-30 09:25:10
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