Young widows are often under tougher scrutiny from loved ones than those who lose their spouse in the later stages of life, she says, particularly in regard to how quickly they "move on" with their lives. They're trying to find a new normal and this is often aggravated by friends or family telling them they are still young and can find someone new. But they don't want that — at this stage, they want their old life back. In many cases, young children are also involved, forcing widows to push their own grief aside in order to help their children navigate a range of complex emotions.
Be kind to yourself and do what works for you. It may take some time to find out what that is. Both teachers, the pair had dreams to start a family and travel the world. But they were forced to put their travel dreams on hold when their second son, Noah, was born with a severe disability. But in , year-old Noah died, and just three months later, Lisa also lost her husband. He was On the second night, Aaron suffered a massive heart attack and died in front of Lisa and two of their children.
Though she had always imagined grief to involve sobbing day and night, she instead simply felt numb. It felt so strange that the world was going on around me like normal, but my life was falling apart. They were 12, seven and three when Aaron died, and all had different challenges with grief.
Lisa sought professional help for herself and her boys and the family also relocated to Tasmania permanently. We visited the graves a lot and sometimes we would cry. We still miss Aaron and Noah every day but when we talk about them now, we aren't overwhelmed with sadness. Back in the workforce, Lisa has found a career she loves — teaching English as an additional language to children from refugee backgrounds.
However, she doesn't see a new partner in her future. Nothing could ever match the relationship Aaron and I had. Though I'm lonely, I'm only lonely for him. Opposites attracted for Deb and Stuart Rae when they met during their last year of high school — he was loud and extroverted, she was more subdued — and five years later they were married. After finding out at 34 that Deb couldn't have children, the couple embarked on a global travel adventure, teaching English.
After a few months in Poland, Stuart, 36, went on a rare night out with friends, the first time the pair had been apart since their arrival. That night in late , Stuart was hit and killed by a car on a pedestrian crossing. Though she was in shock, Deb had to focus on the immediate tasks.
The Friends Who All Cosplay the Same Character
I thought all I needed to do was to survive until the funeral then I'd start rebuilding my own life, but I was so wrong. For months after her husband's funeral, Deb says she simply existed. People had expectations of my meeting someone else, but that just seemed abhorrent, like adultery. Deb had to learn how to take over chores Stuart used to do that she "absolutely hated", like cooking, fixing leaky taps and doing tax returns. I couldn't see how my grief would ever end, and I didn't want it to — it was the final connection I had to Stuart.
Connecting with other young widows was the turning point. She wrote Stuart letters, went back to university and penned a book about dealing with grief. Twelve years later, she now knows how to turn grief into gratitude. My husband recognises that my past with Stu made me who I am today.
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