For many who have lost a spouse, the new life as a widow or widower can be difficult to navigate.
Depending on the same person, often for decades, to create meals and do laundry or pay bills and keep up with home maintenance can leave a gap — not to mention the loss of the conversationalist, companion and friend.
According to the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, losing a spouse is considered the most stressful event someone can experience.
The upside is that today there are many resources to support and equip widows and widowers through the new chapter of their life. Fitting neatly into these suddenly single designations is not as typical as it may have once been.
While women are more likely to seek support after a loss, men today are creating and finding places to share their grief and support one another.
The National Widowers’ Organization provides a virtual toolkit for men and a place to meet others in the same stage of life.
Because people are living longer and what is viewed as “old” is shifting, moving on after grief is not only acceptable, but often encouraged. With the availability of online resources there are websites for older adults to meet others their age and pursue relationships, though it can be a whole new “dating” world for those who have been out of that world for so long. For those not interested in finding another companion, there are other ways to move on, including getting to know themselves in this new stage of life and exploring interests they may not have had when their spouse was alive.
Finding someone to talk to or getting support from others who have had similar experiences is often key in the grieving process, according to the Relationship Counseling Center, an online counseling resource. It can help people feel less alone, as well as enable them to hear from others further on their journey about what might be helpful or what to try.
One way to find resources and networks is through funeral directors. Many are in touch with churches and organizations in their communities and can help point people toward some local options.
The family and staff at Friedrich-Jones and Overman-Jones funeral homes in Naperville and Plainfield are familiar with the immense grief caused by the loss of a spouse and can help create a memorable service as well as get the widow or widower connected to resources in the community.
For more information, visit friedrichjones.com or call Friedrich-Jones Naperville at 630-355-0213 or Plainfield at 815-436-9221.
As we get ready to celebrate President’s Day in the United States, it is an opportune time to examine the funeral process for our fallen leaders.
When a president dies in office, it captures the attention of a nation, and can result in an intensely emotional experience.
Formal ceremonies with symbolism suitable to the dignity of the state have helped Americans cope with this experience since the death of William Henry Harrison in 1841. The White House was draped in black for the event, while a private ceremony was hosted in the East Room.
The White House Historical Association has a more in depth account of the events.
Since then, presidential funerals have become a significant part in the coping process. They help members of a sad and shocked nation grieve the loss of a leader.
Abraham Lincoln’s death was marked by a viewing in the East Room, and immediately following the funeral was a procession down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. Immense crowds lined the streets, catching glimpses of the procession.
Nearly a century later, many of the rituals remained the same. After John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the body was brought back to Washington and placed in the East Room for a viewing.
On the Sunday following the assassination, his flag-draped coffin was brought to the Capitol to lie in state. This process is the tradition in which the body of a dead official is placed in a state building for the public to pay their respects. Hundreds of thousands of people lined up to view the casket.
Representatives from over 90 countries attended the state funeral, and the president was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Kennedy is the last U.S. president to die while in office.
For more information on our funeral services, contact Friedrich Jones. You can visit our website or contact our Naperville location at (630) 355-0213 or Plainfield at (815) 436-9221.