Long-term grief and sharing courses among military widows who remarried

Orit Nuttman-Shwartz, Shai Shorer, Rachel Dekel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: The long-term consequences of military spousal grief have not been adequately studied. Although the literature emphasizes the widow's connection with the deceased as part of the grief process, the importance of the sharing patterns of such grief has been overlooked. This study aimed to add to the understanding of remarried military widows' long-term grief, via 2 main processes: The first was to explore their grief processes, and the second was to reveal whether and how their grief processes were shared with others. Method: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 29 Israeli remarried military widows, more than 3 decades after their husbands' deaths. Data were analyzed by using thematic content analysis. Results: Findings revealed 2 continuums, 1 for each process. The first continuum was the grief process timeline, which covered a spectrum going from time- and emotionally limited processes to prolonged mourning processes. The second continuum was the sharing process, which covered a spectrum ranging from solitary grief to shared grief. Consequently, we suggest that widows can be viewed as occupying shifting points, over the years, on these intersecting continuums. Conclusions: The findings illuminate varied courses of coping and sharing of grief among older remarried military widows. Implications: An integration of loss, aging, and family relations theories for clinical work is suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-836
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We express our gratitude to the social worker team at the central district of the Department of Families and Commemoration of the Israeli Ministry of Defense for conducting the interviews comprised in this research. The study was funded by the Department of Families and Commemoration of the Israeli Ministry of Defense.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Psychological Association.


  • Bereavement
  • Continuous grief
  • Military widows
  • Remarried widows
  • Shared grief


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