We often hear stories about couples who passed away close to each other, probably within a few weeks or months of the other partner. Such stories attract us and make us believe in the power of love. The concept of soulmates feels more real and faithful. But is that really the case or is it just a big coincidence?
However much we may want to look at it through the emotional aspect our world only believes in science. And it turns out that the reason for these stories is something that has been researched about and concluded. As per the “widowhood effect,” there is an increased probability that a person may die briefly after the demise of their long term spouse. The basis of this effect is that grief of loss increases the vulnerability to mental and physical illnesses.
After the demise of one of the partners, the first few months are the most crucial in deciding the fate of the other. Due to grief, the spouse may go into a “given up” attitude, which may affect them severely. The implications can include depression, anxiety, and feelings of guilt. Mental illnesses usually have a direct impact on the physical aspects as the affected may not eat correctly, won’t exercise, and overall stop practicing healthy behaviors.
Another engaging thing to know about this effect is its impact varies depending on many factors. People with long term relationships are observed to be more affected by it, probably because they are also elderly. The old-age body is more prone to such symptoms as compared to a youthful one. Another factor that impacts this effect is gender. Men are more vulnerable to the widowhood effect because they tend to isolate themselves. Women, on the other hand, try to get support from social relationships and friendships after the demise of their spouse.
Religion, urban, rural, and race variations are also considered important factors in this effect. The reason for this that these factors form the beliefs and values of people. Depending on the thought process, the spouse may react differently to the demise of the partner. Also, the family and community may provide support in different ways, depending on their cultures and traditions.
To avoid the effects of the widowhood effect, it is important to create more awareness about it. Being aware of the effect, acknowledging your feelings and grieving can prevent you from a lot of emotional and physical illnesses. Try to establish social bonds as it may help you grieve and get some support through the process. Involving oneself in new hobbies and participating in social events can also help in lifting spirits. In case you are still not able to cope up, taking up counseling services may be the best option as professionals are more experienced in handling these situations.