When studying the ability of widowed people to build a new life of meaning after the death of their spouse or partner, researchers often refer to assessment scales designed to address a large variety of traumatic life experiences. The generality of these assessments limits their value when dealing with the widowed population due to the unique nuances associated with partner loss.
General questions regarding trauma recovery which suggest that building resilience requires the ability to replace all losses or that how things in life turn out depends largely on our own actions hinders widowed people’s belief in their ability to recover from the trauma they’ve experienced. While general trauma assessments are valuable for assessing trauma recovery in a large variety of populations, language implying the need to replace people after their death or to make choices that create a positive life experience as a necessary part of trauma recovery suggests that a widowed person must do what feels both wrong and impossible in order to build resilience.
The Soaring Spirits Widowed Resilience Scale was developed to address the disparities evident in trauma-focused assessments and to demonstrate a definition of resilience specific to conjugal loss that would encourage and support widowed people as the rebuild their lives post-loss.