"Life moves on and so should we" .. Spencer Johnson
The differences between women and men can be remarkable at times, even in things unknown. I refer to that stage of our lives that we rarely consider at any length until it happens: the direction your life takes after the death of your spouse.
Many things have to be considered in how researchers come to these conclusions, but some current trends make for an interesting comparison between widows and widowers. Here is a little look at ourselves, for many some day:
For the most part, widows do not remarry, as a full 80% will spend the rest of their lives as singles. Widowers, on the other hand, will likely remarry and a full 80% will do so within two years. The reason is simple, men are happier with a mate to share their lives with, whereas women can and do find purpose and value in their new role as a widow.
In terms of their faith community, widowers absolutely fall away from attending church, whereas widows become even more a part of their church.
Widows become even more engaged in the productive use of their time and relationships with other widows, such as did Ruth and Naomi did in the book of Ruth from the Bible. Not a case of "misery loves company", but rather one of supporting each another in overcoming grief and then again in meeting challenges. Widowers tend not to do this.
The list of differences is long and diverse, with each case being unique, but one thing is clear: it is a sad and lonely path forward for each one until they move on from those many years of love and traditional marriage.
If one prayer could be offered for each one, may it be that they go forward with the love and guidance of Christ in their hearts.