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Psychological adjustment to widowhood

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There are two ways to enter widowhood, suddenly, or slowly. Sudden widowhood occurs with an unanticipated death of the spouse, leaving a void that stuns. Slow death, with a prolonged illness, plenty of time to talk and adjust, laugh, and carry on with life does not stun all at once. If you were the primary care giver for a prolonged, muli-year decline, with work, shopping, cooking, and a will to make things better for the future deceased spouse, you carry a burden of stress that inhibits any true grief. In fact, after death, after sitting by their side for weeks and months, after the last goodbye, post traumatic stress disorder is likely. Asocial behavior, erratic behavior, uncharacteristic behavior, selfish, or just who cares attitudes, all play out in the following months. Change is everything, and the feeling of freedom overrides most controlled thought. Freedom scares, and the need for connection starts overriding any wild behavior. The survivor may get a dog, even marrying again right away. Eventually, 2 or 3 months later, things slow down, and the dog loving survivor enters widowhood, with the stunning realization that they are not connected anymore. The internet plays a role in re-connecting, but to what. Most internet dating sites are for the divorced, and for widowhood, divorce because of whatever reason, leaves a scar that carries into the next relationhsip. The widowed on the sites are overly cautious, or just too jittery, but so they discover, are they. Enter the 5-6 month phase of stunned. The 5-6 month stunned widohoodd state is a transition from the life they knew to the life they want. Not the life the deceased would want, but truly the life the living want. Life is for the living and now the stunned is stunned to realize they have no idea what life is without someone to care for, or something to fix. Where is the learned reward system, of giving, and getting? I'll let you know how it turns out.

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