Se­nior cen­ter en­cour­ages wid­ows to find their voice

Ther­a­pist Teri Crane aims to help el­derly women rec­og­nize and not deny their past lives as wives

The Signal - - NEWS - By Gina En­der Sig­nal Staff Writer

The SCV Se­nior Cen­ter launched their Em­pow­er­ing Se­nior Women work­shop series on Thurs­day to equip Santa Clarita’s fe­male se­niors with sup­port and knowl­edge to live happy and healthy lives.

Funded by a com­mu­nity grant from the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Val­ley, the three-part series started with ses­sion to help women who are griev­ing en­ti­tled “Wid­ows: Find­ing Your Voice.”

“We’re here to sup­port you and you’re here to sup­port each other,” Se­nior Cen­ter Direc­tor of Vol­un­teers, Recre­ation and Ed­u­ca­tion Robin Clough said.

The pre­sen­ta­tion fo­cused on be­com­ing a widow, be­ing a widow and find­ing one’s voice, pre­sented by Dr. Teri Crane, a li­censed mar­riage and fam­ily ther­a­pist, writer and widow.

Crane em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of rec­og­niz­ing that there is more to be­ing a widow than her for­mer mar­i­tal sta­tus, but not to deny that part of her­self that used to be a wife.

As each of the women used to be joy­ful ba­bies or spunky teenagers, they also used to be lov­ing wives and that will al­ways be within them, she said.

“Be­com­ing a widow is a change in your iden­tity that you didn’t choose,” Crane said. “You were part of the iden­tity of wife.”

When she was mar­ried, Crane said she iden­ti­fied her­self as an in­di­vid­ual within a cou­ple as “Bruce and Teri.”

She still hon­ors her hus­band by telling sto­ries about him and fol­low­ing through with plans they made to­gether be­fore he died.

It is im­por­tant to iden­tify one­self in other ways, the women dis­cussed, such as mother, friend, pet owner, reader or movie­goer.

De­spite over­whelm­ing grief, it is crit­i­cal for women to know they are strong enough to be sad but still carry on, she said. It is pos­si­ble to be up­set and go to the mar­ket or feel lonely and go to Dis­ney­land, she cited as ex­am­ples.

The stages of grief are not lin­ear and are not a list to go through be­cause feel­ings of de­nial, anger, de­pres­sion and ac­cep­tance will re­oc­cur, ac­cord­ing to Crane.

Crane as­sured the women that they are not at fault for the death, the death will not af­fect ev­ery area of their life and the af­ter­shock will not last for­ever.

It is im­por­tant to find healthy ways to grieve, whether that be feel­ing sorry for one­self for a spe­cific amount of time each day, writ­ing in a jour­nal or join­ing a group, Crane said.

Though, she as­sured the at­ten­dees that ev­ery­one’s griev­ing process is unique and it is im­por­tant to re­spond to one­self with kind­ness as they would treat a friend hav­ing the same ex­pe­ri­ence.

Se­nior Cen­ter vol­un­teer Louise Pin­sky said at­tend­ing the event showed her she was on the right track since be­com­ing a widow.

“I got re­as­sur­ance that I’m okay,” Pin­sky said. “I’m go­ing to keep go­ing in the di­rec­tion I’m go­ing.”

The Se­nior Cen­ter will hold their next work­shops in the series called “Slow Down the Clock and Em­brace the Mo­ment: Se­crets to Ag­ing Well” on Nov. 9 and “Pur­pose and Pro­duc­tiv­ity as a Se­nior Woman” on Dec. 5, both from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Gina En­der/The Sig­nal

Dr. Teri Crane leads the dis­cus­sion at the SCV Se­nior Cen­ter’s “Wid­ows: Find­ing Your Voice” work­shop on Thurs­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.