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Understanding the Impact of Spousal Loss

By Ashley Lynn

This blog is in recognition of Bereaved Spouse Awareness Month.

The loss of a spouse is traumatic for any surviving partner and the impact of any form of loss is different for each person. After all, every relationship is unique and as such, no two individuals can be expected to grieve the same way.
Of course, this also means that there is no right amount of time to spend alone before moving on, just as the social and financial complications that accompany a loss are different as well. And while you may understand this, understanding the true impact of spousal loss can be more of a challenge.

In light of Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month, we’re going to spend this article discussing what the loss of a spouse means and how it can impact not only a surviving spouse, but a family at large.

Common Health-Related Effects of Spousal Loss

One of the most pressing problems following spousal loss is the health-related aftermath of the loss. Symptoms can manifest both physically and psychologically, making it important to consider health from a holistic perspective.

Some of the most common health challenges include:

Exhaustion – Exhaustion often results from insomnia or even depression.
Digestive Complications – While a loss of appetite is a common side effect for those who have experienced a loss, digestive issues shouldn’t be. However, a nervous stomach, ulcers, vomiting, and other symptoms can surface.
Emotional Complications – Emotional numbness, anger, sadness, and loneliness are just some of the emotional complications associated with loss. In fact, one study reports that while widows experience fewer financial problems and greater social counterparts than their counterparts decades ago, loneliness still prevails as a problem.

The Idea of Moving On Suits Some, But Not All

The journey following loss is highly personal and as such, there is no right amount of time that universally works for those who need to move on. And while there are new studies that find men as more willing to seek out a new relationship than women, this experience will be different for all.

During this time, it’s important to support a spouse as they explore their own grief and work through the difficult time. By doing so, you can encourage healing and allow emotions to run their course rather than complicating the process.

Plaza Jewish Community Chapel is one organization here to help

Community owned and operated, Plaza Jewish Community Chapel provides educational programs and bereavement conferences that can result in transformation of a surviving spouse’s experience as they go through the grieving process.

Stephanie Garry, our Chief Administrative Officer and Community Relations Liaison says it best when she says “We are proud of the ongoing support we provide to bereaved spouses through our educational programs and Bereavement conferences and we especially wanted to acknowledge spousal loss during ‘Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month’ this April.”

In fact, Plaza is the proud sponsor of annual Bereavement conferences, and ongoing educational programs, to ensure that all spouses receive the resources they need.

The Impact of Spousal Loss is Immeasurable for Most

Spousal loss is a deep, penetrating pain that simply cannot be described.

But through the proper educational programs, and other resources available through organizations like Plaza Jewish Community Chapel and others, professionals and family members will be empowered to help the grieving spouse with the support they need to help them live a fulfilling, life following the loss of their spouse.

Categories: General


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