At first blush, it looks as if we're dealing with two women so in love with their men that they simply can't imagine themselves even living if they die. The problem is that it isn't just that Elly would probably waste away from grief despite having two children who'll need her more than ever. The problem is that neither she nor Georgia had a plan to live their lives without their spouses because the possibility was too scary to contemplate. This need to blind themselves to a very real possibility seems to stem from that need to stay in a sort of comfort zone where nothing much happens.
About the only really good thing that comes out of this is that Elly ends up finally starting to realize that there's a great big world outside her window and her need to think of herself as a newlywed having too much shoved on her too soon is perhaps not consonant with reality. It's a pity John nearly died to get her to grow up and stop acting like a teenager but that's kind of what it probably had to take.