During Circles of Hope gatherings, Clough likes to share what she calls her “toilet story.” “My husband could fix anything,” she recalls.
She asked a few questions and then went off to play.
“But he said that if he did, he knew we’d be OK.” Thanks to the support of a large extended family, “phenomenal” nanny and fellow members in the “Widows Wine Club” she formed, Thorp and her two daughters – Regan, 12 and Ryan, 4 – are adjusting to life without dad and making it a point to openly and regularly talk about the special guy they love and miss so dearly.
Judith Burdick, a psychotherapist in Bingham Farms, lost her husband Mark suddenly in 1991 when he was just 35, and she 31.
I had a Reader’s Digest book about fixing anything. I took my feelings out on this poor guy.” Gunnar Ross has seen so many of the seemingly simple, routine aspects of his life change since Kristen’s death – when he was faced with the new reality of managing a household and the busy schedules of young children solo.
It had diagrams and instructions for what was needed. The guy behind the counter said, ‘Now when you get home, have your husband do this … “I plan meals on Sunday for the rest of the week,” he says. If we miss a step, we won’t be able to recover until the weekend.” Even small changes can mean big headaches. That limits what we can do.” Having been widowed young with kids, and working with scores of others who have, both Burdick and Clough counsel grieving parents that they must seek help. “Get as much support as you can from the people around you.
“There’s no age range on what constitutes a young widow or widower,” Clough points out.