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Worldwide Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month – April 2023

Worldwide Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month is observed every year in April to promote support for those who have lost their beloved spouses. It is held to raise awareness about the grief and torment a person goes through after their significant other dies, whether it’s an untimely death from an accident or a terminal illness, or natural causes. Regardless of the cause, it can be extremely painful and stressful for the spouse who must soldier on. During these hard times, remember to have more compassion for those dealing with the aftermath of a tragic incident like this.

History of Worldwide Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month

While bereavement largely means to be robbed or deprived of something valuable, in our society it usually refers to the death of a significant person. People have been experiencing this kind of loss throughout history. Many wars, diseases, and accidents have claimed the lives of young people who have left behind a grieving spouse and a family. Even though life expectancy has improved and several technological advancements have been made since, the death of a spouse is a cruel reality that refuses to go away.

Losing one’s husband or wife can be the ultimate blow for people. When two people get married, they do so with the hope of building their future together and spending the rest of their lives with each other. But when the person passes away before their time, it’s not just the loss of the spouse that hurts but also the idea of having to let go of the life you had envisioned for yourself with your partner. This kind of event can leave a huge mark on people, with many never recovering from the grief.

At times like this, they need to know that they are not alone. They need the kind of love and support that can only come from their closest family and friends. Worldwide Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month was thus formed to promote awareness and support by offering resources to help people cope. Every person suffering through the death of their beloved will experience grief and agony, but they don’t have to suffer through it alone.

Worldwide Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month timeline

1800s
Comfort in Religion

Christianity gives families a model of acceptance of death and bereavement as the will of God and offers some hope of immortality and family reunion in heaven.

Early 1917
Sigmund Freud’s Views

Popular psychologist Sigmund Freud writes that grieving is a natural process that should not be tampered with.

1969
The Five Stages of Grief

Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross suggests people go through five distinct stages of grief after losing a loved one: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

2007
Complicated Grief

Complicated grief is the kind of grief that gets worse over time and is commonly caused by a complicated relationship with the deceased person is first explored.

Worldwide Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month FAQs

What does grief do to your brain?

Grief is connected to different brain functions, according to researchers, and can seriously alter who we are. It can lead to troubles with memory, change in perspective, regulation of heart rate, and of course, experiencing intense pain and suffering.

How long does grieving a spouse last?

The grief can last anywhere from a few months to several years, with many widowed spouses feeling the effects of their loss for the rest of their lives. You may never fully overcome the incident, but in time, you’ll learn to live without their physical presence.

Is it normal to cry every day after someone dies?

It is completely normal to feel profoundly sad for one or many years after a person you love has passed away. There is no pressure to feel better or move on just because other people think it’s been enough time. Be kind to yourself; take all the time you need to grieve.

How to Observe Worldwide Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month

  1. Offer your support

    Call, write to, or visit someone you know who has lost their spouse. Even if it has been a while since the tragedy struck, many people take a long time to recover and there’s no doubt that they will feel comforted by your presence and support. Even if you’re unsure of what to say, simply being there for them and listening to them will be enough.

  2. Going through is the only way out

    Diving head first into your emotions and going face-to-face with the trauma may seem hard, but it is the best and the only way to weather through the myriad of negative emotions and painful memories you have right now. Allow yourself to have the space and time to heal without repressing your feelings.

  3. Seek help

    Lean on your family, friends, and communities for support and be willing to accept it. Look for professional therapists and take care of your physical health. Seeking help, or even talking about the tragedy, can be hard at first but it’s an important step toward healing.

5 Disturbing Facts About Grief

  1. People are left behind

    Each death leaves behind an average of four to five mourners.

  2. Grief and bereavement are different

    Grief is how we react to loss of any kind, and bereavement is the state we are in when we lose something or someone.

  3. Widowhood is the most stressful life event

    The Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory suggests that the death of a spouse is the most stressful life event one can experience.

  4. Time heals grief

    For most people, extreme feelings of grief begin to go away after six months of the tragedy.

  5. Widowhood happens earlier than we think

    There are over 13 million widows in the United States, with the median age at which widowhood occurs being 59.4 years.

Why Worldwide Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month is Important

  1. It encourages people to seek help

    You may think that your friends cannot help as they haven’t gone through the same trauma as you. However, that doesn’t mean their concern is any less genuine. Open yourself up to your friends and family and let them take care of you.

  2. It can wreck your finances

    Some government agencies state that the rate of poverty among elderly widows is much higher than that of married couples. Many spouses begin to depend on each other when it comes to their finances and if the primary breadwinner of the house has passed away, it can lead to some serious financial struggles for the spouse left behind.

  3. It’s an extremely stressful event

    It’s safe to say that losing a spouse is everybody’s biggest nightmare. Such an event can have harmful effects on the person and lead to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even premature death.

Worldwide Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month dates

YearDateDay
2023April 1Saturday
2024April 1Monday
2025April 1Tuesday
2026April 1Wednesday
2027April 1Thursday
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