Dear Therapist: My wife passed away three years ago. I still miss her.

By Annette Schonder

Published: Thu 25 Feb 2021, 5:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Feb 2021, 7:04 PM

I am a retiree who visits my daughter in Dubai every now and then. My wife passed away three years ago and that has left a void. I feel alone back home in India and disconnected when I am here with my daughter’s family. What can I do? — Name Withheld

Dear Writer, I am very sorry to hear that you have lost your wife. I can only imagine the pain and emptiness you feel and how you must have looked forward to retirement, having your loved ones by your side to enjoy each other’s company.

Women, often in an almost unnoticed way, play a vital role in facilitating connectedness within the family, among friends, and society. Family and social integration play a critical role in our emotional and physical well-being. With your wife passing away, you not only miss her, but you might also not be socialising and connecting in the way you did before her demise.

I would encourage you to talk to your daughter about how you feel. Together, you will find a way to reconnect with her and her family. Sit down together and explore how to spend some meaningful time with them. I would also suggest that you participate in community events, in Dubai and India, to volunteer for a good cause, for socialising, or even just for learning. You will meet people with whom you will form friendships and fill your life with purpose and meaning.

As a last thought, I would like you to consider if you might have fallen into depression due to feeling disconnected and lonely, as these could be some symptoms. Should this be the case, I suggest you talk to a therapist to do a proper assessment.

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