International Widows Day

International Women's Day is an opportunity to recognise the impact of death for women and find better ways to manage grief.


New research reveals that almost half (49%) of young women do not have the support they needed after losing a loved one.

Meet, marry and live happily ever after is the life plan for most Australians. Sadly, life often fails to deliver this fairy tale, with almost half a million (464,849) Australian women losing their husbands between 2007 and 2014[1].

In fact, women are twice as likely (47%) to lose their spouse than men and the unexpected loss of a loved one can come at any time with almost 1 in 3 deaths being premature[2].

Startling new research shows that many young women are not getting the support that they need when grieving the loss of a loved one. The research carried out by Deb Rae Solutions has revealed that young women struggle more in the face of loss than any other age group, with those aged under 34 much more likely to encounter feelings of loss, anger and isolation during their grief. 

Sadly, almost half of young women (49%) felt that they did not have the support they needed during their grief with 1 in 4 women feeling mostly alone from the start. The research also revealed that although 82% of young women felt friends and relatives helped them through their loss, 1 in 10 felt that support had disappeared after the funeral and there was an expectation to 'move on'.

Commenting on the research findings, Deb Rae, Bereavement Expert and Author of Getting There says “The statistics show that an overwhelming number of people feel alone through their grief, with such a large number of the bereaved feeling that they are lacking the support that they need to get through their loss. Although these numbers seem high, it’s not particularly surprising given that when someone is going through a loss, their world is turned upside down and it’s very difficult to understand what support you need, let alone where to find it.”

“The best support we can give someone who is grieving is the understanding that grief is a very personal and individual journey.  It doesn’t follow a specific timeline or a pre-determined linear pattern. People often have the impression that you need to be strong, however being vulnerable actually takes much more courage and being able to express your emotions is what grief is all about.”