Death of husband can be a cruel blow to a wife. The suddenness and unexpected nature of death makes it a hard-hitting and threatening incident. The fact that the person will no longer be present in the household makes the incident an inconsolable and disheartening one.
To a wife, a husband plays many roles, like, a companion, lover, protector, comforter, provider of emotional and physical needs, providing for the family and children, taking responsibility for the household and so on. The demise of husband creates a wide void in the life of a woman.
The sense of loneliness, the absence of emotional support, the threat of many responsibilities, fear of having to deal with difficulties alone, not having anyone to share intimacy with can be very difficult feelings to come to terms with.
A wife who has the support of children, relatives and near and dear ones can cope with the loss in a better way. Women who are not completely dependent upon the husband for running the house may be able to deal with the situation better.
Working women also bounce back to normalcy sooner, though the scar of death of husband may not have healed. However, due to their independence, diversion of mind due to work pressures, change of atmosphere, having a sense of self and individuality, having the confidence to manage on her own, helps her to deal with it in a better way.
To overcome the feeling of loss, allowing the woman to grieve is important. She should not be discouraged, and expression of fear should not be blocked by asking her to be brave and courageous so that she can support the children.
Allow her the time and space to decide her own course of action. Every person has her/his own coping mechanism. Do not hasten the healing process. With passage of time, she will get back on her feet and move on with life.