Good grief, how those widows bounce back

Marketers may assume the typical elderly widow is too bereft over her husband’s death to be in the mood for much shopping. They should guess again. “Six months after the death of their spouses, nearly half of older widows had few symptoms of grief,” according to a University of Michigan study. Just 16 percent of the widows studied by the researchers were categorized as “chronic grievers,” still depressed 18 months after the death of the spouse. At the other end of the spectrum are the 10 percent who were depressed before their spouse’s death but “much less depressed afterwards.” Meanwhile, the researchers “found no empirical evidence for the widely accepted concept of ‘delayed grief.’ Virtually no one in the study showed more intense grief 18 months after their loss than they did six months afterward.” One can only regret that the study didn’t come out last year, in time for the centenary of a much-loved operetta.

—Posted by Mark Dolliver