Some reminders from WPS for the newly-widowed
Keep in close touch with Social Security authorities. Benefits change frequently. Do not overlook benefits for dependents and death benefits.
Many banks offer free service in financial planning.
Beware of people who will press you to put your house on the market. Experts agree it is wise to wait as least a year before making major changes in your life.
Check community services and recreational programs when you, begin to feel ready. You might find others with similar problems.
The Hannah Harrison Career School, 4470 MarArthur Dr. (333-3500) has an endowed program to prepare widowed persons for new careers in keeping, and entry-level accounting bookkeeping. Tuition free to those in economic need. Each case judged separetely.
Both the Legal Council for the Elderly, 234-0970 (you must be 62), and Protection for Elderly People, 265-4900 (you must be 55), offer probonum legal help based on income.
WPS does not recommend tranquilizers. Busy doctors often will prescribe them to help get you through a difficult time. They are bad in combination with alcohol and they keep you from facing life as it is. One widow developed such a dependency on them that she had to be institutionalized.
Remember that you are not psychotic because you are depressed. You are dealing with a real problem of enormous impact. Keep in mind the depression affects the body as well as the mind.
Change your patterns. Go out and buy some delicacy the deceased wouldn't eat. Sit in a different chair at the table.
Understand that anger at being left along is common.
If there are young children, don't make a saint out of their dead father. They'll never be able to find anybody to measure up. And tell young children the truth about why he isn't home anymore.
If you're over 60 and finances are tight, ask for the directory of Senior Citizen discounts. Iona House has the District books for distribution. For Montgomery County, call 279-1487; for Prince George's, 350-0650, and for Fairfax County, 691-2185.