When the unexpected happens: husbands coping with the deaths of their wives

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Publication Type Book Chapter
School or College School of Medicine
Department Nursing
Creator Caserta, Michael; Lund, Dale A.
Title When the unexpected happens: husbands coping with the deaths of their wives
Date 2001
Description Most husbands do not outlive their wives. The 1990 Census of the United States reveals that while nearly 49 percent of women are widowed after age sixty-five only 14 percent of the men are widowed. After age eighty-five the rates of widowhood increase for both men and women. About 80 percent of these women are widows compared with 43 percent of the men [1]. Men may not know these exact statistics but their life experiences remind them that it would be unusual or unexpected if their wives were to die before them. Statistical odds do not operate like rules in our lives. No one can be guaranteed that death will occur at a particular time or in a specific way. A seventy-nine-year-old man in one of our research studies on spousal bereavement described the surprise he felt when his wife died unexpectedly. "I just can't believe this happened. My wife was healthy. She was strong. She took me to the emergency room three times in six months last year. I almost died twice. All of a sudden she has a heart attack and she's dead. I'm here and she's gone. This is crazy. Nobody thought I'd be the one to live the longest." The focus of this chapter is on the ways in which men, particularly those in mid and later life, cope with the deaths of their spouses. We have learned a great deal from research on bereavement over the past twenty years but we know much less about older adults, especially men. Widows are more available and we have assumed that they are more willing to participate in research because we also believe that they are quite willing to discuss the personal and sensitive issues.
Type Text
Publisher Baywood Publishing Co.
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Lund, D. A., & Caserta, M. S. (2001). When the unexpected happens: husbands coping with the deaths of their wives. In D.A. Lund (Ed.), Men Coping With Grief. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing, 147-67.
Rights Management (c)Baywood Publishing Company
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 1,177,928 bytes
Identifier ir-main,5077
ARK ark:/87278/s6fb5m61
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2012-06-13
Date Modified 2012-06-13
ID 703358
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6fb5m61
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