Rebuilding Your Life after the Loss of a Spouse

Coralease RuffRN, PhD

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Contact Information: cruff@howard.edu +1 703 863 3164


The death of a spouse is common in all age groups, and the likelihood increases with age.  In 2008, nearly half of all individuals 65 and older, experienced widowhood. Nearly one million additional people lose their spouses each year, joining the existing 11 million widows.

When you experience a major loss such as the death of a spouse, you are likely to face a bewildering array of feelings; including sadness, anger, confusion, fear, or even relief, especially if the person had suffered a long illness.

The death of a spouse changes life in the most profound ways, including isolation, loneliness and a redefinition of roles.

The transition from wife to widow and husband to widower is a very real, painful and overwhelming phenomenon making it difficult to navigate the rough waters.

Additionally, the death of a spouse may raise financial issues that require the surviving spouse to seek outside employment.   Absent or outdated work skills and experience make it extremely difficult to reenter the work world, in the later years.

Life will never be the same again after this most stressful life event.  However, support, permission to grieve, and persistent effort and patience to work through the pain, will enable you to find your own satisfying path through grief, and rebuild your life.

In this webinar, we will discuss the following:

  • Common and difficult adjustments  in the death of a spouse
  • Individual responses to a spouse’s death
  • Important business matters requiring attention when a spouse dies
  • Strategies for rebuilding your life
    • Strategies for opening the mind and exciting the spirit
    • Staying healthy while grieving
    • Remembering with love
    • Expressing your final wishes
  • Where to turn:  human and material resources for widows


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