Coping With the Loss of a Spouse
- Lynda Carter recently appeared on the TODAY show to talk about her new song, new movie and how she’s coping with the death of her husband.
- Robert Altman died earlier this year, in February, at the age of 73 after a hard-fought battle with myelofibrosis, a rare blood cancer.
- Dealing with the grief of losing a loved one, especially a partner or spouse, and recovering from that experience is a highly personal process, and everyone goes through it differently.
“I think that it’s OK to struggle,” Carter tells TODAY show hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager. “That is my number one thing — that I allow myself to cry. Sometimes I do (cry) several times a day, and I allow it … because I loved him (my husband) and he deserves every tear.”Read More
“I am getting to the point now where more of the wonderful memories bubble up (rather) than his death, or the months leading up to it,” she adds. “It’s a process, and one that I am not through. And I’m just trying to figure out really who I am without my partner.”
Carter tells of how her new song entitled Human and Divine, as well as music in general, has been “so healing” for her during the process of grieving her husband’s death.
(Myelofibrosis is a rare disorder in which abnormal blood cells and fibers build up in the bone marrow, according to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This rare blood cancer is one of a related group of blood cancers known as myeloproliferative neoplasms, or MPNs, in which bone marrow cells that produce blood cells develop and function abnormally.)
Carter also spoke about her new role in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie; although she is no longer playing Wonder Woman, she says she is excited to play new character Asteria.
“It’s a chance to do what I did with Wonder Woman, and that is to create what kind of a being she (Asteria) is and the kindness and the heart and the soul of what this Asteria (character) is,” she adds.
Lynda Carter & Robert Altman’s Love Story
Their love affair spanned nearly four decades; the couple spent 37 years together.
It all began in 1982 when Lynda Carter, who played Diana Prince (a.k.a Wonder Woman) in the hit 1970s television series Wonder Woman, met Robert Altman, a lawyer in Washington, D.C. The two met at a dinner hosted by Maybelline; Carter at the time was the face of the makeup company and Altman was the attorney for Maybelline’s parent company.
Carter was in the process of divorcing her first husband, Hollywood manager Ron Samuels. But that didn’t matter. She and Altman instantly hit it off, and the rest is history, as they say. “I was not prepared to meet anyone new,” she previously told People. “I was going to do it on my own.”
The couple wed in 1984 and had two children together: James Altman, 33, and Jessica Carter Altman, 31. Both Altman-Carter kids are attorneys, just like their father. Jessica is also a singer-songwriter, taking after her mother.
Coping With the Loss of a Spouse
Recovering after losing a loved one to cancer, especially a partner, isn’t a “one-and-done” process, many members of the SurvivorNet community have told us; one widower even told us that the idea of “moving on” isn’t realistic, or even desired.
“I don’t even think I want to move on,” Doug Wendt, who lost his wife of 25 years to ovarian cancer, said during a previous interview with SurvivorNet. “But I do want to move forward, and that’s an important distinction. I encourage anyone who goes through this journey as a caregiver who then has to face loss to think very carefully about how to move forward.”
The point is that moving on and dealing with grief is different for everyone; Carter’s experience moving on has been different than Wendt’s experience, and that’s OK.
Since Altman’s passing, Carter has decided to cope by turning to her first love — music. She did this to also honor her late husband’s memory. Her song Human and Divine is a tribute to the couple’s love story: “I was really trying to define love and loss and make sure it was about the human-ness of love,” she told People.
Dealing with the grief of losing a loved one, especially a partner or spouse, and recovering from that experience is a highly personal process, and everyone goes through it differently.