Widowed Too Young

Dear Marie:

I’m 28 years old and my husband died 3 months ago from leukemia. It was such a hard battle for both of us. He was only 30 years old and neither of us was prepared for this. Or lives together had just begun. We were married 5 years and were beginning to talk about having kids. I feel so cheated out of happiness and I'm very angry.

My family is suggesting that I go to a support group. I have checked into it and the hospital in my area offers a support group. Should I attend?

 -- Young, Angry and Lost in Pittsburg

Dear Young, Angry and Lost:

I offer you my deepest condolences for your loss. It's so hard to lose a mate at any age. Being so young makes it that much harder. Your family is right. It would be of great benefit to have someone help you get through the pain. Going to a support group might be just what you need. Give it a try and see if it helps. You can always stop going if you don't like it. However, if you go and decide to quit, look for another group or a therapist. Don’t quit without some other place to go for help.


Here are a couple suggestions to help you decide on the group to attend. In most cases, attending a support group offered by a hospital or hospice is beneficial. However, before attending any support group, or any group for that matter, you want to determine the qualifications of the person facilitating the group. You also want to talk to the facilitator before signing up.

It’s a good idea to have a friend or family member present for support at these talks. You also might want to ask someone to go with you to your first group session. This will help your comfort level.

Talk to the group leader about their style of facilitating groups. Ask them questions about their history. You want to find out as much as possible to help you bond with them. You also want to share your story with the facilitator to help her or him get to know you.

Find out how many people are already in the group and what is the maximum number of people allowed in the group. How long does the group meet? Who are some of the people in the group? How long has the group been going or is it a new group? After you have talked to the group leader, if you feel comfortable, go ahead and attend the group.

Give your full attention and listen with an open heart to everything that transpires when you attend a group. You will be amazed by the benefits of being in a group setting. It usually takes a few sessions to get to know the other members and then a few more to feel really comfortable.