Studies have shown that losing a spouse can cause both physical and mental suffering for the bereaved. This qualitative study aimed to gather knowledge about how men and women in the Faroe Islands, a small-scale society in the North Atlantic Ocean, managed the transition to widowhood. Five women and three men were interviewed, their age varying from 67 to 74 years. A hermeneutic analytic method was applied. Our findings showed that managing the transition to widowhood followed two tracks, namely the process of loss and the process of restoration. For participants locked in either process, the transition caused severe disruption in daily living, while participants who managed to oscillate between the two processes appeared to manage the transition to widowhood and get on with their lives. Our findings, and those from other studies, point to the need to offer structured individual support for people who have lost their life partner.
- coping with bereavement
- transition to widowhood