Going It Alone

People who have had a happy marriage may find it easier to move on after the death of their spouse

John and Maxine Cail had been happily married for 53 years when Maxine died after a stroke earlier this year. "Her death wasn't a surprise, and I handled everything right after the funeral with ease," says John, 74, a retired health-care worker in Nashville, Tenn. But five weeks later, he woke up one morning and began to sob. "My world had caved in, and I wanted to die," he says.  As the tears flowed, he wondered how he could go on without his best friend and the love of his life.

It is almost always an anguishing experience to lose a...

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