Harvard Medical Gets Grief Right...And Some Things Wrong.


Grief can indeed lead to health problems and I'm very happy to see that Harvard is taking a close look at the connection between health and grief. They got a lot right. In my humble opinion, they missed the mark on a couple of important points. Most widows and widowers have trouble sleeping and it can last for years, not just weeks or months. Sleep deprivation is going to lead to health consequences. Where Harvard fails to connect the dots is when they talk about grief and the sluggishness and fatigue being depression. I don't know about you, but if I'm not getting enough sleep, I'm going to be sluggish and fatigued, not depressed. Lack of sleep for the widowed is often in fear and anxiety over concerns that are quite real. Widowed folk worry about having enough money, about managing repairs alone, about facing health problems by themselves, about personal safety alone in their homes at night for the first time. That's not depression, that's quite rational. How did they miss that at Harvard?

The other very important connection they missed is about socialization. The article talks about how grievers isolate themselves. While that may be true in some instances, Harvard completely missed that the isolation isn't always a choice. Our society tends to shun grievers. This is not mere speculation. I talk to thousands of widows. The experience of being shunned is quite real, and way too common. The invitations stop, the people around the griever move on and neglect to reach out and include us, often to events and occasions we were habitually part of in the pre-loss days. Yes, we sometimes cocoon ourselves, but often those alternatives are removed from us.

That said, I am ever so glad to see the medical community, beginning with the esteemed Harvard Medical School, taking a close look at the effects of grief on the human body. It's a good start. Please don't stop here!

While you are here, be sure to take a look around the website at the many other blog posts with tips and strategies for all of us on the widowed path. If you enjoy them, be sure to subscribe to receive new posts directly into your email mailbox. It's free to sign up and we guard your information as if it were our own, never selling or sharing your information.

Sign up for free here https://widowlution.com/subscribe/  and never miss a new post. We even send you a free gift when you subscribe!  You can also find inspiration, prayers, and quotes about grief at Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/mhoct6462/boards/



About the Author

Mary Lee Robinson was widowed suddenly in 2013 and found herself totally unprepared for what was to come. In a new state for a mere 11 months when her husband died, there were few supportive friends or family around. She set about creating some, and started a social club for widows and widowers in her community. Within a year, it had grown to 170 members. That told her quite a lot about an unmet need. She gathered 25 widows and widowers to write a book to share their stories, and the surprises, good and bad, that they all encountered as members of the club nobody wants to join. It is her hope, and that of the other storytellers, that the books help prepare and educate.  Mary Lee lives in the Low Country of South Carolina, caring for her Mom and is a native of Towson, MD, just outside of Baltimore. Her constant companions are her dachshund and rottweiler dogs. Mary Lee Robinson is the author of The Widow or Widower Next Door and 5 of the Grief Diaries series books, all of which are available right here in The Grief Toolbox in her marketplace https://shop.thegrieftoolbox.com/category/store/mary-lee-robinson. You can find more of her work on her Widowlution blog, practical tips for healing and living, at www.widowlution.com and on her Facebook page for widows at The Widow or Widower Next Door.