See You On The Other Side

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 My wife and I have a saying when we are getting ready to be apart for a little while, whether it be going to bed or running an errand: “See You On The Other Side!” Nowhere is this separation more keenly felt than when losing a spouse to death. 

The Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory lists the death of a spouse as THE number one stressor in life. Divorce is number two. 

In 2018, there were 68.5 million married men and 69.25 million married women in the United States. This is compared to 3.47 million widowed men and 11.41 million widowed women. That’s a ratio of widows to widowers of about 4 to 1. Men, make your spouse a full partner in every aspect of life and preparation for your death!

(1) Often newly widowed persons feel like no one cares. They suddenly don’t fit in a world of mostly couples and may even be perceived as a threat to friend’s marriages without wanting to be. 

(2) The feeling of loss that a widow or widower may feel after the loss of their loved one will vary with the personality and preparation the survivor enjoyed with their missing mate.

(3) Emotions are often exaggerated upon the death of a spouse. Guilt, anger, blaming others, and frustration at being left to wander the maze of paperwork in legal and financial matters must be dealt with. Especially that first year.

(4) Some widows and widowers are anxious because of their treatment by friends. Some old friends may pull back, but some will stay with you. One thing is sure: We will survive or even thrive as determined by the quality of our support system.

(5) Widowers are a rare bird. Men are often told by society to take their losses “like a man” and bottle those feelings up inside. The death rate among widowers is about three times that of widows. Widowers tend to make faster social recoveries than widows, but slower emotional recoveries.

(6) All things being equal, wives can expect to outlive their husbands. Who will do for you what your partner always did? Make a list of roles and functions that will have to be assumed by yourself or someone else.


I live alone, dear Lord, stay by my side,
In all my daily needs be my guide.
Grant me good health, for that I pray,
To carry on my work from day to day.
Keep pure my mind, my thoughts, my every deed,
Let me be kind and unselfish in my neighbor’s need.
Spare me from fire, from flood and
Malicious tongues,
From thieves, from fear, and evil ones.
If sickness or an accident befall,
Then humbly, Lord, I pray, hear my call.
And when I’m feeling low, or in despair,
Lift up my heart, and help me in my prayer.
I live alone, dear Lord, yet have no fear,
Because I feel Your presence ever near. Amen.

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Doug Greenway

These blog articles are written by the retired minister and former educator and counselor, Doug Greenway. He'd love to hear from you with your comments, questions, or suggestions for future topics. You may reach Doug at

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