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Women Need to Allow Themselves to Grieve

Mental Health

July 26, 2021

The price of living longer

It is true that in most countries, life expectancy increases every year.

In 2020 the life expectancy for a male was 70 years, and a woman is 73

years. Across the globe, women are expected to live about 3 years

longer than men. It is up for great debate the reason for this. Modern

medicine in our society is designed to prolong human life at almost all

costs. The practice of medicine has been improving due to lots of

practice. Therefore people are living longer, healthier lives, and we

have the ability to extend the lives of those that are unhealthy.

The fact is that people are living a better quality of life today, and

women often outlive their husbands or partners. This is no more

apparent than at a healthcare facility or home for the elderly. In these

facilities, there are far more women, and the few men seem to have

suffered more from the ravages of time.

Couples lucky enough to still have a loving partner late in life have

been given a gift. The luxury of time spent with the one they love.

But like most luxuries in life, they have earned it. Staying in a loving,

committed relationship involves love, sacrifice, and patience. It is not

for the faint of heart, and one needs to be able to withstand and

endure the hard times.

Facing the golden years alone

The later part of life should be a time of relaxation, revelation, and

retirement. The children are up and grown with children of their own,

a career is a thing of the past, and there is ample time to reminisce

and relax. This is the final chapter of the American Dream. You’ve

worked hard your whole life, educated and launched your grown

children into the world, and you’ve planned and saved enough money

to live out your final days, ideally, with your spouse or partner by your

side.

Women later in life are often faced with the death of their loved one.

This is not an easier life-altering transition to go through at 85 than it

is at 45. The pain and loss are the same, and perhaps the additional

time together makes it even harder to bear. For older women, in

some ways, the loss is more alienating due to a lack of friends. Women

don’t have friends to turn to due to having moved or because their

friends have passed, too. In the global world we live in today, more

and more people don’t live near their grown children and

grandchildren. This can leave a Widow feeling alone, scared, and

depressed.

The necessary five stages of grief

There are five stages of grief. They are denial, anger, bargaining,

depression, and acceptance. Not everyone goes through every stage

, and some take longer than others. People experience these stages

in many different ways, and there is no right or wrong way to go about

it.

My concern is that women today need to fully go through this

process. It’s imperative that they do. Society today moves at a fast

pace, and older people are swept up in this too. I highly recommend

for women living in senior housing or communities seek out other

widows or support groups. These two suggestions can provide a

safe, loving environment for women going through the same thing.

Healing occurs when we engage with people who can truly

understand. Expressing your feelings to people that understand and

acknowledge them will be incredibly healing. Having a safe place to

share with each other our thoughts lets us know that we are not

alone.

Accepting loss

Life, in many ways, feels like a long journey made up of seasons.

Some seasons are long, and some are short. I am sure that there is a

divine purpose for all of them. People come and go in our lives,

some stay for a lifetime, some only for a season. Nowhere is it

harder to accept a loss than with a special someone whose mere

presence made your lifetime or season worth living. When they are

gone, we are left with memories, perhaps children, and the absence of

what made life worth living. Through grief and acceptance, we finally

get the courage to start a new season, either alone or with someone

new. Thus the cycle of life continues. Although it might be a

bittersweet one, it’s the best we can do.

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Aging gracefully

relationships

spirituality

mental health

Categories

Reading suggestions

Embracing Our Age

 Spiritual Practices

Healing From Within