Connecting with others through a widows’ support group as you grieve the passing of your ex-partner or ex-spouse can significantly reduce the burden of loss and mourning.
Can You Join a Widows Support Group?
Losing a beloved ex-partner or ex-spouse is one of life’s most difficult experiences. Dealing with such a deep bereavement can be even harder if you’re alone. However, joining a widows’ support group may provide comfort and help you cope during a time of intense grief and mourning.
It’s important to remember that the grief and loss you are experiencing is valid. The grief I experienced as I went through my divorce and the grief and heartache I went through when my ex husband passed away brought up two very different feelings and emotions that were important to work through.
Understanding the Benefits of Joining a Support Group
Joining a support group can provide you with emotional and physical benefits. Not only will you benefit from simply talking and listening to others, but you’ll also have the chance to share stories, struggles, advice, and experiences. Doing so can lessen feelings of isolation or confusion that often accompany grief. Support groups may even offer helpful coping strategies for dealing with stress and anxiety when trying to manage life without your partner or ex-spouse.
Locate Groups at Community Centers or Churches in Your Area
Many towns and cities have groups specifically for widows. You can look for them by searching online or asking friends, family members, or your clergy. Sometimes, local hospitals, hospice centers, community centers, churches and other places may offer help and resources to assist grieving spouses and those mourning the death of an ex-spouse. Even if they don’t have a support group in place already, they may be able to provide you with referrals to one.
Online Widows Support Groups
Online support groups are also available for people who have lost an ex-spouse or partner. These groups can provide a sense of community and allow you to connect with others who are going through a similar experience. Some online support groups are facilitated by trained professionals, while others are peer-led.
It is important to find a support group that feels comfortable and safe for you. It may be helpful to try out a few different groups to find the one that feels the best fit for you.
- Widowed(er) Step Parents (Facebook)
- Heartbroken Widows and Widowers (Facebook)
- Coping with the Loss of an Ex Partner or Ex Spouse (Facebook)
Ask for Recommendations and Reviews from Other Widows or Friends Who Have Used a Support Group
It can be challenging to know where to start when looking for a group. Ask other widows who have found a support group or healers they’ve used in the past. Find out what their experiences were like and whether they would recommend others to join that same support group. Friends, family members, faith-based organizations, and members of your community may also be able to suggest reputable support groups. Finally, many online forums are filled with reviews from other people who have experienced the same type of loss. Use these reviews to assess which support groups might be right for you.
Attend Meetings Regularly and Participate in Group Activities Whenever Possible
Attending support group meetings on a regular basis and participating in group activities is a great way to benefit fully from being part of the group. Research suggests that active participation can help provide greater relief from symptoms of distress and aid with emotional regulation. Whether it’s attending face-to-face meetings or virtual ones, get involved in as many discussions and activities as possible. Share experiences, ask questions, offer advice when possible, and support other members however you can. This can make the grieving process easier to manage.