When people have been asked to name the life events they believe are the most undesirable or which require the most readjustment, the death of a family member has headed the list (Arbuckle and de Vries 1995; Tausig 1986). In a study that has come to serve as the benchmark for research on life events (Holmes and Rahe 1967), independent raters assigned the maximum score of 100 points to spouse’s death, reflecting raters’ views that this event requires tremendous readjustment. In contrast, only 47 points was assigned to retirement from paid labor. The following chapters will show that spousal bereavement is in fact more consequential for most people’s health and well-being than retirement