The Widowhood Effect: What it’s like to lose a spouse in your 30s

[pullquote] …it appears that people are more uncomfortable being around someone who is grieving than
someone who is dying… [/pullquote]

This piece by Christina Frangou is certainly one for you to read. This memoir of widowhood at age 36 details her loving relationship with her late husband, Spencer, and the 42 days (from cancer diagnosis to death) they had to say goodbye. The “Widowhood Effect” refers to the impact of grief on the human body that can be devastating.

Christina explains her grieving process and her longing for antiquated mourning traditions, like wearing only black clothing, to signify her pain to others. One of the most difficult aspects of her experience was her young age. It was difficult for her to feel so isolated in her peer group as a 36-year- old widow while other people were getting married and having children. This piece shares a brave perspective on loss that will encourage empathy for the grieving.

From my own experience, after my husband died 4 ½ years ago, it appears that people are more uncomfortable being around someone who is grieving than someone who is dying. I highly recommend an article by Megan Devine called “How To Help a Grieving Friend: 11 Things To Do When You Are Not Sure What To Do.” The article originally appeared in the Huffington Post on 10/24/14. For more useful information on grieving, go to Refuge in Grief. This article is in the appendix of my book, “Choosing To Die,” A Personal Story.