Florence Isaacs's Blog (54)

Complicated Grief and Widows

Q. I’ve heard that some widows experience “complicated grief.” How does it differ from ordinary grief, and who’s at risk? I’m a widow myself.

Grief is the emotional and physical response to the death of a loved one, featuring symptoms such as sadness, anxiety, panic, numbness, fatigue, shock. After my own husband…


Added by Florence Isaacs on October 5, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

Widows' Aid To Coping? Coloring Books

Q. I’ve read about coloring books for adults that somehow help reduce stress. Are any of them for widows?

I haven’t found any that focus specifically on widows, but "Colors of Loss and Healing: An Adult Coloring Book for Getting Through Tough Times" by Deborah H. Derman, Ph.D., targets readers who have had…


Added by Florence Isaacs on August 2, 2016 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

How To Handle Children's Objections to a Widow's Remarriage

Q. My husband died over a year ago, and I’ve just started to date. I find myself wondering how my grown children will react if I actually meet someone and want to marry again. What are the possible snags, and what can I do to smooth the way?

A new man is welcomed in most…


Added by Florence Isaacs on May 31, 2016 at 2:00pm — No Comments

A Widow's 'All Girls' Trip Is Worth the Try

Q. I’ve been asked to join some women acquaintances on a long weekend excursion. The participants are widows (like me) or divorced. What do you think?

I’m all for it. In fact, I’ve been doing something similar for several years. The “all girls” trip has become an annual highlight. In my case, the idea took hold after my husband, an attorney, died. One of his biggest clients was a business trade organization, which held…


Added by Florence Isaacs on April 29, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

Wide Circle of Friends a Lifesaver for Widows

Q. I’m doing OK since my husband died, except for the loneliness. It’s so hard to deal with. I wonder how others manage, and what seems to work best. Your advice?

My dictionary defines “lonely” as “without companions” or “solitary,” and notes that the first recorded use of the word…


Added by Florence Isaacs on March 18, 2016 at 11:00am — No Comments

Widows for a Second Time

Q. I met someone who remarried after her husband died. Recently, her second husband also died. How common is it to be widowed twice? How do people survive this?

I personally know of four widows who lost two husbands each. It's becoming a trend of sorts as we live longer and there's more time to start over again. The number of Americans 100 years old or older increased 43.6 percent between 2000 and 2014, according to…


Added by Florence Isaacs on February 10, 2016 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Online Dating for Widows: 10 Tips To Avoid Being Scammed

Q. I'm a widow about to start online dating. I'm a bit nervous, and also worried about how I can avoid online scams. A close friend just got burned. What do you suggest?

Over 41.2 million people in the U.S. tried an online dating site in 2014, according to the Better Business…


Added by Florence Isaacs on January 12, 2016 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Getting Through the Holidays: Tips for Widows

Q. It’s been a few years since my husband died, yet I still dread the December holiday doldrums. I feel like a weight is pulling me down, even though I have an active life. Any words of wisdom?


The month of December, bringing Christmas and the New Year can…


Added by Florence Isaacs on December 8, 2015 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

Wise Tips for Widows on Meeting Mixed Singles

Q. I’m a widow who is blessed with the support of a small group of friends and relatives. I also do volunteer work. I’m slim and healthy at 65. But I have no children, and I often feel isolated and lonely. I’d love to meet a nice man, start out with a friendship, and see where it goes. Do you have any suggestions, besides Internet…


Added by Florence Isaacs on October 13, 2015 at 7:00am — No Comments

What To Do When Your Travel Companion Must Cancel a Trip

Q. I planned a vacation in Europe with a widow friend, who lives in another state. Five days before departure, she was hospitalized for a sudden, serious health problem and had to drop out. I was able to cancel everything but the nonrefundable air fare. The latter…

Added by Florence Isaacs on September 16, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments

Comparing Widowhood and Divorce

Flickr Creative Commons | Nicholas Copernicus

Q. In the last year or so, a divorced acquaintance told me, "Divorce is just as devastating as the death of your husband." Another said, "Divorce is worse." The remarks came from out of the blue. I felt…


Added by Florence Isaacs on September 11, 2015 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

Widows and Siblings

Wikimedia Commons | LJP assistant

Q. My sister and I have had a rocky relationship for much of our lives, yet we seem to be drawing closer now that my husband has died. Is this unusual?

According to family therapist Karen…


Added by Florence Isaacs on August 14, 2015 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Displaying Photographs of Your Late Husband

(Flickr Creative Commons | Reviving Memories)

Q. In my bedroom I display an 8x10 photo of my late husband at his best. Smaller photos that include him (shots of happy family events and our many trips) are scattered…


Added by Florence Isaacs on June 22, 2015 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Burial Issues Confront Widows in New Relationships

Q. I am happily remarried after six years as a widow. My first husband is buried in a family plot I purchased when he died. My own plot is right next to his. The graves of my parents and other relatives are in the same cemetery. However, my second husband talks about me being buried with him in another state, close to his children.…


Added by Florence Isaacs on April 6, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

Why More Widowers Date, Remarry Than Widows

Q. I lost my husband about a year ago, and still am not ready for dating. Yet widowers I know (or have heard about) seem to be interested in a new relationship almost right away. How come?

Both research and demographics confirm your observations. In a 1996 Annals of Clinical Psychiatry study of…


Added by Florence Isaacs on March 18, 2015 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Facing Valentine's Day: 5 Tips for Widows

Q. I'm facing my first Valentine's Day since my husband died. We used to exchange fun gifts and go out to dinner to celebrate, and I dread spending it without him this year. How do others handle it?

Valentine's Day without your spouse can be hard, especially for the first time. It's one of those…


Added by Florence Isaacs on February 9, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments

A Guide for Widows on Acknowledging Condolences

Q. My husband died a few months ago, and I've got a pile of sympathy cards and notes to respond to, not to mention messages posted on the funeral home website and elsewhere online. He knew a lot of people. Do I have to write to everyone, and how much time do I have to do it? I feel overwhelmed.

Responding to expressions of sympathy has always been a monumental task for widows. It's hard enough to put one foot in…


Added by Florence Isaacs on January 15, 2015 at 11:30am — No Comments

Give a Little, Get a Lot: What Volunteering Offers to Widows

Q. A friend of mine, a widow like myself, volunteers at a soup kitchen every year at holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m thinking of joining her, but I’ve never volunteered before. What do you think?

A Chinese proverb advises, “If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.” I’ve found that to be true and I know many other widows who have added meaning to their lives through volunteer work at…


Added by Florence Isaacs on December 19, 2014 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Remembering When Your Husband Died

Flickr Creative Commons | Ares Nguyen

Q. Why don’t people remember the anniversary of my husband’s death? Even my husband’s sister and brother don’t seem to be aware of it or mark it in any way. It bothers me that he’s forgotten.…


Added by Florence Isaacs on November 19, 2014 at 2:30pm — No Comments

When Couples Who Are Friends Disappear After Your Husband Dies

Q: I find that my relationships with some couple friends have changed dramatically since I’ve been widowed. In some cases, I’ve been dropped entirely from their social calendar; in others the wife is available for lunch or dinner only during the week and only alone. Is there anything I can do about…


Added by Florence Isaacs on October 21, 2014 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

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