The lived experience of untimely spousal bereavement
Lowe, Marilee E.
The death of a spouse is one of the most profound and life-altering events adults will ever experience. While the experience of spousal bereavement is traumatic at any time, there is evidence to support the fact that young women who are widowed experience unique challenges. The purpose of studying young widows was to understand the meaning of spousal bereavement for individual participants. The research tradition of phenomenology was chosen to inform the study, and the guiding question became “what is the lived experience of spousal bereavement for young women?” The study participants were five women who were under the age of 45 at the time of their husband’s death. The experiences of these young widows were illuminated through stories and reflections on the journey of a young widow. Five themes emerged from their experiences. Young widows grieve both the loss of a companion and the death of their dreams. Accompanying these losses can be the challenges of single parenthood, the need for career, financial and lifestyle changes, and the readjustment to life as a single adult. Increased understanding from the perspective of the bereaved widow, along with strategies and interventions for nurses working with this group of women, will provide nurses and health care professionals with skills to better assist this client population.
DegreeMaster of Nursing (M.N.)
DepartmentCollege of Nursing
ProgramCollege of Nursing
CommitteeMontbriand, Muriel; Duggleby, Wendy; Berenbaum, Shawna
Copyright DateJune 2005
challenges of widowhood