Father dating after mothers death
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“Nothing was out there at the time that was specific to young widows and widowers,” she recalls.
Judith Burdick, a psychotherapist in Bingham Farms, lost her husband Mark suddenly in 1991 when he was just 35, and she 31.
“I’m still not much good at it,” Ross says of his braiding skills.
When Ross assumed the role of only parent after Kristen’s months-long battle with multiple myeloma took her life way too soon, so many things Kristen customarily took care of fell into his lap. She took care of the girls from a medical standpoint.” For Ross, Kristen’s absence has meant adjusting everything from morning hairdos to after-school activities to deciding what’s best for his daughters – all on his own.
It was absolutely a manifestation of the grief process.
It lands in the body and will express wherever you have a weakness.” And to grieving parents, minor problems can seem major when overwhelmed with their own grief, their kids’ grief and myriad life changes happening around them.
“There’s no age range on what constitutes a young widow or widower,” Clough points out.
“We define it by those still raising children at home. “It’s not as common for people to lose their spouse in their 20s, 30s or 40s,” she continues.
Cathy Clough, founder of the New Hope Center for Grief Support in Northville, also was widowed young.
In 1983, her husband died, leaving her to parent 5- and 9-year-old boys and a teen stepson.
His death left Burdick to raise their two young kids, Laura and Andrew, alone.
“I went to a couple of support groups, but they weren’t right for me,” Burdick recalls.
But the lack of resources for young widows and widowers compelled her to pursue a career in psychotherapy.