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
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
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
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
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.