Contributed by: Sandra Adams, CFP®
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 24% of the U.S. population over the age of 65 is widowed. But widowhood impacts people of all ages, and the effects are often more painful and long lasting when the loss happens earlier in life. At The Center, we have worked with clients of all ages that have, expectedly or unexpectedly, been impacted by the loss of a spouse. Each person goes through a different grief process and has his or her own individual experience with grief and loss. The transition is one that is difficult and can take years — but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
On December 12th, Dr. Peter Lichtenberg joined us to present a webinar on Grief and Healing. Dr. Lichtenberg, who was twice widowed by the age of 55, shared his own personal experience with grief and loss — twice. While each experience was different in its own right, he was able to learn about himself while learning to honor and keep with him the spirit of two women that he has loved so deeply in his life. Dr. Lichtenberg provided information about patterns of grief, feelings to be aware of when experiencing loss, and advice on how to get through the hard times to get to a point of acceptance and rebuilding of a new life.
Dr. Lichtenberg’s Lessons Learned from his Grief and Loss experiences:
- Don’t underestimate the power of loss early on.
- Have the right person stay with you after the death.
- Plan and be prepared (estate planning documents, etc.)
- Arrange the funeral or memorial service the way you want it, and let others help you with the final details.
- If you have children, find a way to keep the same routine, and keep them in their routine.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate — especially during the first month.
- Find a professional skilled in dealing with death and dying who can listen and help you on your journey.
- Think about how you want to talk about your loved one.
- The journey of grief will bring you in touch with your frailties; try to view this as a journey of growth and exploration.
- Revisit notes, letters and pictures from your loved one. These affirmations are a powerful force in healing.
- Experience as much gratitude as you can. Gratitude is a powerful healing force that allows you to live in the present.
- Know what depression is, and how it differs from grief.
If you were unable to listen to the webinar on December 12th, we encourage to listen to the replay. And if you or someone you know has experienced the loss of a loved one and needs assistance or resources, please feel free to reach out to us at The Center. We are here to help!
Sandra Adams, CFP® is a Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® Sandy specializes in Elder Care Financial Planning and is a frequent speaker on related topics. In addition to her frequent contributions to Money Centered, she is regularly quoted in national media publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Research Magazine and Journal of Financial Planning.
The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Dr. Litchenberg is not affiliated with Raymond James.