Can you actually use emotions as a buffer against facing life?

It occurs to me that widows might use their process of grief and prolong it as a form of buffering. It’s emotionally very painful to look to a future that no longer includes your spouse. Grieving includes a huge snarl of emotions. Certainly there are widows who buffer their grief with overeating, overdrinking, mindless TV. But it hit me that many widows I’ve coached are actually keeping their emotional pain wrapped around them as a way of not having to look at what their life is now that their spouse has passed away. Do you think a widow might want to continue on with all those emotions as a buffer against facing a life without their spouse?