Grief and Healing in Young and Middle Age: A Widower’s Journey

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Abstract

The experience of grief is both uniquely personal and universal. Our personality, our relationship with the deceased, the manner in which the deceased died, our life stage, and many other contextual factors matter and impact grief, and yet there are many experiences, phases, stages of grief that are universal. Those who are grieving deeply or who are farther along in their healing are often trying to understand grief and its realities. It has been said that people die but relationships do not. As a widower twice, once at age 25 and then again nearly 30 years later, I agree with that sentiment, and it is the profound relationships with my wives Becky and Susan that propelled me to share my experiences and reflections on grief and healing. As a clinical psychologist and gerontologist I examined the grief and gerontology literature, learning new things that were useful and not as useful.

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