Connecting with other young widows was the turning point. She wrote Stuart letters, went back to university and penned a book about dealing with grief. Twelve years later, she now knows how to turn grief into gratitude. My husband recognises that my past with Stu made me who I am today. There was nothing out of the ordinary when Jo Langford left her husband David at home while she collected their three children from school.
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When they arrived home an hour later, David was dead. Jo administered CPR until the paramedics arrived, but she knew it was too late. I didn't sleep for more than two hours a night and ate nothing for weeks after, losing more than 20 kilograms in that first month. Having young children helped her navigate through the initial shock. I think if I didn't have them I would have done nothing," she says.
Channelling her grief into something positive enabled Jo to move on with her life, and spending time with others who had experienced similar grief helped.
Under 50 and widowed: How these five women are getting through their grief
I didn't know what that was going to look like but I knew I had to make something good come out of something so tragic. She met up with a group of other young women and men from the Young Widows and Widowers support group in Brisbane, and drew so much strength from her first meeting that she knew she would be able to survive. She describes her life now as chaotic but full of joy. At the time I thought I could never find a gift in something so tragic, but now I see many.
Jo, now 49, says it's important that widows grieve at their own pace. Maria Carr was 12 weeks pregnant when her husband Dan died suddenly at the aged of Dan was driving to work when he suffered a seizure. He was put into an induced coma.
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Tests showed that he had a blocked artery in his neck, which had caused a stroke. Two days later, he was pronounced clinically brain dead.
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I was booked in for my week baby scan, which showed that the baby was OK. After about six weeks, exhaustion took hold. I would control my grief, allow myself to feel the emotions but not allow myself to go into a dark place.
This baby was all I had left of Dan. In the early days I would put on a brave mask, keeping my grief and emotions to myself and releasing them when I was alone.
After about 12 months, Maria decided she needed to put more effort into self-care, both for herself and her son. She joined the support group, Ever After Widowed, run by Aisling Pont, who had lost her husband Nick at about the same time. He was also The pair forged a strong friendship and launched a website for the support group everafterwidowed. It has a forum where people can post relevant topics, discuss their feelings and exchange information in a safe, confidential environment.
They've also written a book, Forever Loved. We will never 'get over' our husbands' deaths but we have learnt to accept and live with our loss. Our husbands' lives ended far too soon, so the best tribute we can make them is to live full and happy lives for us and our children. Under 50 and widowed: They view the loss of their spouse as a problem that needs to be fixed and see dating and relationships as the best way to mend their broken hearts. Most get their lives and hearts in order before testing the dating waters. They tend to experience similar issues and emotions and make the same mistakes.
I was widowed in my 20s and I see widowers in their 30s, 40s, 50s and older making the same mistakes I did. That is, we just start dating because we want companionship, not a relationship.
H ow common is it to get feelings of guilt or second thoughts when going on a first date? I went on my first date about four months after my late wife died. We went out to lunch and the entire time I felt like I was cheating on her.
Those thoughts and feelings were less on the second date and almost gone by the third time I went out. After a couple of months of dating they went away entirely. E veryone grieves differently, but is there a time frame for grief? People will grieve as long as they want to or have a reason to. Most stop once they have a reason to stop. For others they want to experience life again and realise that grief is holding them back from doing that. I enjoyed my first marriage and wanted something just as wonderful again. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future.
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Home News Sport Business. Telegraph Lifestyle Men Relationships. Why did you start writing about dating for widowers? A re there any age differences? Feelings of guilt and second thoughts are very normal.