The Loss of a Spouse By Dr Bill Webster

对任何赌徒来说,50/50的概率都是一个不错的赌注. But did you ever stop to think that if you are in a significant relationship, there is a 50/50 chance that you will eventually grieve the loss of your partner.

Listen to some of the stories of people who experienced the loss of a spouse.

“I would go to work and it would seem that everything was the same as it had always been. But then I would come home. WOW! Just walking into that empty house. 没人跟我打招呼,也没人问我那天过得怎么样. No delicious aroma of supper in the oven. 我必须自己做饭……当我想做的时候……但大多数时候我都没有做……因为我想念我失去的东西……不仅仅是我的妻子, 也是曾经照顾过我的人. That was when it hit me hardest.”  Michael

“他死后的日子既充实又空虚……充满了活动,但却没有生命. 我睡觉的大部分时间都在思考我必须做的事情, so numb that I was often completely unaware of what was going on around me. 我觉得就像皮诺乔在鲸鱼肚子里一样,被切断与我认为是我生命的一切联系. 然后,一件事或几句话就会把我从黑暗中解救出来, only to find myself standing alone and confused on some strange and unfamiliar shore, full of feelings and memories, but also feeling utterly lost.”   Robyn

“She was not only my wife. She was also the one who would tell me if my socks matched; if my tie was straight, or if my hair was combed. She was able to tell me with one look if I was talking too much or saying something stupid. She was the one who would remember all the birthdays and special occasions, and all I had to do was sign cards. 她擅长所有我不擅长的事情. 所以她补充了我,让我变得更完整. God, I miss her so much. I feel like part of me is missing.”  Joe

在失去配偶的人群中,一个常见的主题是感到完全孤独和不完整会使人衰弱. 感觉你失去了自己的一个基本部分,这是痛苦和不安的. The world suddenly looks like a different place, often odd and distanced. 一般来说,你不确定如何应对生活, 有时你甚至会怀疑自己是否想尝试一下.

One 68 year old widow said, “There is no use trying because you can’t get anywhere anyway. I’m so tired all the time. Everything is too much effort.”

下列陈述反映了失去配偶后最常见的一些感受和关切:

          I felt like I had lost my best friend.

          I am angry.

          我为没有为他/她做得足够而感到内疚.

          I am afraid.

          我担心很多事情,尤其是钱.

          Suddenly I feel very old.

          I feel sick all the time.

          我更频繁地想到自己的死亡.

          我似乎正在经历一场身份危机.

          I feel relieved that his suffering is over, then immediately guilty for feeling that way.

每一种说法背后都有一种感觉. To fully understand the effects that the loss of that spouse has on that survivor, 皇冠体育App需要了解每一个反应背后的动力学. 这种感觉传达了人们所缺失的东西,并提供了一个检查缺陷的机会,并找到应对这些反应的方法,从而最终促进愈合.


First, 重要的是要认识到,除非你表达出你对失去的感觉和想法,否则愈合不会发生. 无法用言语表达的东西,就无法平息. This is where a support group can play such a vital role for grieving people. 有机会谈论这个人, their life as well as their death, what you miss about them, your feelings of loneliness, anger and many others, 回顾他们生命最后的日子和你们的关系.

Even when there is some ambivalence about certain aspects of the life shared, it is important to verbalize your anger or your regret about what you lost and never had, or about what could or should have been.

不表达感情会有一些非常真实的后果. 研究清楚地表明,那些不表达自己的悲伤的人死亡率更高, 这也可能解释了为什么男性在配偶去世一年内死亡的比率要高得多, due to the societal norms that make it more difficult for men to express emotions.

一些幸存者问,“我应该把这件事说多久?? What is normal?"引起这种关注的原因往往是在死亡后几周或几个月内, others seem reluctant to talk about it. 毕竟,他们的生活已经恢复正常. But the widow or widower needs to talk about it, because it just feels unbelievable. 生活将不再“正常”(即使最终会建立一个新的正常定义). 所以有些悲伤的人需要倾诉六个月,但有些人可能需要两年或更长时间. 每个人都需要也应该遵循自己的时间线.

Over the years, 我注意到四种情况,尤其是对悲伤的配偶来说,需要非凡的个人勇气:


          1. 应对持续的不愉快记忆.

          2. 避免在家里的某些房间或情况.

          3. 在看到或听到死去的配偶时产生幻觉.

          4. 处理配偶的私人物品(衣服、工具等).).

Unpleasant memories most often relate to the painful images surrounding the death, and the frustration of not being able to “do” anything to change the outcome. Often through a life-threatening illness, 一段感情会朝着这样或那样的方向达到顶峰,一段好的感情也会变得更好, a poor relationship will tend to get worse … although there are glorious exceptions. This intensity of the relationship prior to the death magnifies the loss, either by the person missing all the things done and shared through the illness, 或是后悔自己做得不够. 通常,幸存者无法“放手”当前的那个人的形象与这些因素中的一个或另一个有关.

如果这个人不愿睡在自己的床上, 或者避开房子的某些区域, 这种行为不应被认为是反常或病态的. 他们只是在保护自己免受压力. 每一种行为都有其原因,也许那个地点是对死亡过于痛苦的提醒, 或者表达对“我将如何管理”的担忧.

幻觉(或者皇冠体育App如何定义这些经历)有各种各样的“解释”. Is it a “visitation of the person’s spirit”, or is it a “product of sensory recall”. 我试着不去解释它可能是什么,也可能不是什么, 而是询问幸存者在经历之后的感受. 几乎总是,人们会感到安心,宽慰,安慰. If that is the effect, it hardly matters whether it is a dream, a hallucination or a visitation, 在我看来,这样争论似乎没有抓住要点.


Dealing with a spouse’s personal effects is something many survivors procrastinate over. Sometimes this has to do with an understandably low physical energy and emotional stamina. 因为这些都是“特殊的东西”,你可能不知道该把它们给谁或如何处理它们. That is OK.

Do nothing until you are SURE that you feel comfortable with what will happen, 即使这需要几个月甚至更长时间. But when you do decide, ask a friend or family member to assist, 或者只是陪在你身边,在你做的时候跟你说话. 也许会有一些东西你只是不想丢弃或放弃,所以保留它们. 记住,把你配偶的东西放在原处不会伤害任何人或任何事. 在你准备好、确定和舒适之前,不要让任何人强迫你处理事情.

So far we have looked at some of the unique challenges surrounding the loss of a spouse.  现在皇冠体育App来看看,在他们试图重建和重新组织自己感觉失去了一半的生活时,幸存的个体必须如何将哀悼过程转变为养育过程.


我认为失去配偶的一个经常被忽视的方面是 change in identity the survivor experiences. 皇冠体育App倾向于通过人际关系、工作、活动和参与来定义自己. 许多夫妻只把自己定义为夫妻. It is not ME, it is WE. Admittedly the degree of change will be determined by the complexity of the relationship. 但是,皇冠体育App真的无法理解任何一个人失去了什么,除非皇冠体育App了解曾经共享的关系,现在已经失去了. What is missing from that relationship is really what the person is grieving. 显然,每一种关系都是独特的,有着不同的动力和互动.  所以皇冠体育App可以合理地说,一个人对其配偶和丈夫或妻子的角色的依赖程度越高, 当这个角色不再存在时,空虚就越大.


In other words, 幸存的配偶不仅会为死去的人感到悲伤, they also grieve the role that is lost. They suddenly find themselves cast into the role of being a “widow” or a “widower”, a role they neither relish nor desire. The question becomes, “Who am I now?” I still feel like the same person, but my roles in the family, community have changed. This, by the way is often why a grieving spouse will find comfort in getting back to work, because at least THERE, 在这种熟悉的环境中,它们的作用多少保持“不变”.

Listen to the comments of one widow:

“For almost a year after Jim’s death, I thought of myself as only his husband. I had invested my whole self in him.
我不得不想,不,我没有把我所有的都给他,我只是把钱借给他. Now I needed to reclaim it, take it back, because I needed it for myself.”

Of course, reclaiming ones self is only possible when you know who your “self” IS. Before you are able to reclaim, you have to identify and redefine, “Who am I NOW” in the light of my loss. WE中的W必须变成ME中的M,但是把W变成M意味着一切都颠倒了, 而这正是寡妇的感受.

那么,一个悲伤的寡妇或鳏夫该如何重新定义自己呢? 我认为这与兴趣和经历密不可分. People who get involved, 无论是在像照顾孩子这样的必要任务中, family or work, or by involvements in the community, groups, activities, 发现这些事情增加了自尊和能量,因为它们增强了人的身份.

But let’s take a walk on the wild side. Although it is grossly unfair, the widower is often viewed as more “socially acceptable” than the widow. 因为寡妇的百分比远远超过鳏夫的百分比, males are regarded as “eligible” whereas females are regarded as a “threat”. Accordingly, hostesses more frequently extend social invitations to males than to females, 因此,寡妇的社交生活可能不会那么拥挤.

On the other hand, 因为许多男人依靠他们的妻子来安排社交活动, 她死后,没有她,外出可能会很困难, to develop social skills, 或者拿出他需要的努力去享受别人陪伴的乐趣. Again, social clubs or support groups can provide a good bridge to help the person develop skills, 或者至少在这种情况下感觉更舒服. 迈克尔在他妻子去世将近一年后说:

“I think the difference between a male’s grief and that of a female is a cultural thing. Men are not as social as women. I mean I have friends, 但是当皇冠体育App坐下来喝东西的时候,皇冠体育App会谈论商业、体育或活动. 没有人真正教过男人如何表达自己的感情, or emotions, and certainly not their vulnerabilities. So when my wife died, my friends didn’t know what to say, 好像他们不敢问我感觉如何.”

身体健康是许多人关心的另一个领域. 压抑的情绪会导致生理症状,这可能会导致严重的后果. Health doesn’t just happen! 它包括锻炼,良好的营养,避免摄入过量的咖啡因,酒精或药物. Some survivors live on coffee or snack foods and rarely eat a balanced meal.

“我最不想做的事就是吃饭. Everyone kept urging me to “eat something” so if someone was there or watching me, I would eat something to please them. But when I was alone, I ate nothing. 在我丈夫去世后的第一个月,我瘦了20磅. It wasn’t till I started walking daily with my neighbour that my normal appetite returned.”

Insomnia is one of the major symptoms resulting from conjugal bereavement. This can be aided by what we do and what we consume in the hours before going to bed. 但许多男性还会出现其他身体症状. Michael再次提出了一个重要的见解:

“I’ve noticed some changes in my health. Particularly in my stomach … pains, indigestion, 还有其他症状在礼貌的人面前我就不提了. My doctor put me through tests, which I think was a good thing to do, 但他指出,男性通常会对悲伤的情绪压力产生生理反应. That doesn’t minimize their importance. Maybe it’s easier for us to say “I have a pain in my stomach” than it is to say, “I have an ache in my heart.“但不管是什么,重要的是要关注信息.”

It may seem strange, 但有几个人向我报告说,改变他们的物理环境对他们的情绪状态有帮助. We should all from time to time look around our environment … at home, at work. 很多时候这能反映皇冠体育App的情绪状态. A cluttered, untidy or dismal environment can often reflect a state of mind. But the opposite is also true.

改变通常是由内而外发生的,而不是相反. 你在改善环境方面做得越多, making it cheerful and pleasant, 你的情绪健康就会受到越多的积极影响.

While everyone is different, I found after my own wife died, 我只能独自抚养两个年幼的儿子, that I had to carefully arrange the surroundings in my home in order to better cope. 我在厨房里放了很多五颜六色的快乐的东西, 因为那是她死后我最挣扎的地方. I put positive, 卧室里鼓舞人心的海报和物品, 因为那是我感到最孤独的地方. 我有一个房间,里面放着皇冠体育App一起生活的照片和手工艺品, and when I wanted to think about her, that is where I would go. When I left that room, I closed the door and focused on all the tasks I had to get on with.

Add colour, brighten the place, tidy up a space for yourself, 买一把新椅子……让你的日常生活更愉快的方法数不胜数,对你的情绪健康的积极影响将是切实可见的.

There is of course no definite point at which the grieving process is complete. Can we ever say, “I have completely healed from the loss of my spouse”? Who knows!


But as we redefine ourselves; as we relinquish old roles and establish new ones; as we develop increasing confidence in our social outlets that satisfy personal needs and coincide with our interests; as we become more able to talk about our loss with relative ease; as we become able to be involved in an activity without being plagued by painful memories and images, 因为皇冠体育App发现自己更有能力去接触他人, and not be afraid to have fun and even to laugh again; you will be reassured that healing is being reaffirmed.

But it does take time. As one lady put it:

“A year was a big event for me. 但一旦我熬过了那段时间,我就觉得我不必再回头了. 现在我可以期待我能用剩下的钱做些什么了. 于是我问自己:“我要如何度过我的余生呢??” I want to do something significant but I’m not exactly sure what just yet. For the first time in my life I can do whatever I want and I plan to make the most of it.”

And why not?