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It was a year in March that I lost my husband after having him in my life for close to fifty years. I have grasped the reality that he will not be walking through the door, but I can not get a grip on the immense sadness I feel all the time. I know there is a fine line of grieving to get through it and living in it. I feel that I am walking that fine line with on foot in each side. I don't dare tell my family how consumed I am with sadness, they would worry and begin to suffocate me and I don't want that. I feel him around me daily with different signs that just the two of us know about and that helps me to smile and step out of the sadness for a short time. In the meantime, I feel like I'm living the life of the great pretender to friends and family. Actually, I may even playing great pretender to myself, but I'll continue to until it stops giving me some contentment in my life. I secretly hope that the good Lord sends him back to me in a different packaging, but I'll recognize him by his aura surrounding him. Til then I guess that the signs he gives will continue to be my life jacket from drowning in the constant sadness. 

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Hi Sis,

Welcome to our club...The one no one wanted to belong to.  The sadness is, of course, normal.  Were you to mention it to your family, without a doubt they would circle the wagons in an effort to reassure you, encourage you, and cure you.  It is, as you have stated something that you have to go through.  It need not be alone as we are all going through the same thing. Some are ahead of you, some are with you, and others are just joining.  Should you tell your family, before they suffocate you, you could set limits..  For instance, you could visit them one at a time on say, Sundays.  Limit the amount of foodstuffs they bring around, etc.

You are playing the great pretender.  Most all of us do.  "How are you doing"... Oh I'm fine thank you", etc.  Playing the great pretender to yourself may not be the best thing to do.  At some point you need to wade right into the tragedy and talk about it, write about it, include your feelings, and as much detail as you can.  Join us here as you have posting your questions,  read everything you can that is here and might apply to you and your situation and then ask more questions and comment on others writings.  Loneliness can become almost unbearable, but it is part of the path of Grief.  You have lost half of yourself and what made you. You will be off balance for quite some time.  Eventually, things will change.  You may not notice at first, but eventually, you will be able to look back on those first days, weeks, and months, and remember how terrible things were, and realize that while its not perfect, you can see a difference between then and now.  

When I suddenly lost my wife of 35 years, I screamed, and cried, and could barely catch my breath to scream, cry some more.  Between WV here, and participating in a Grief Group, I made it through the first couple of years.. Then at the group when I was down again, someone asked me to describe those first weeks.  I did, and they said are you doing that now?  I said "no"  They pointed out that things actually had changed, and that I was improving.

I would not hang your hat on a different package.  I think many of us do, but I also think we have to rebuild ourselves to where we can stand on our own two feet, and become comfortable that way.  If we latch onto that different package, I suspect we might bring some unwanted baggage with us to the new twosome.

You are still young in your tragedy.  Get up, get dressed, eat, go out, find something to do, come home, shower (whatever) eat watch TV or a movie, go to bed. Get up in the morning and do it all again.  Get into the routine, and then, after a while start playing with it.



Thank you, Frank. Yes, my boys would want to "cure" me. One thinks I just need to go out more, and the other thinks I just need to eat more. I feel I need to reflect more to know who I am now and what I want for my life. I do read a lot of postings and they are very helpful. It helps me realize that I am not the only person going through this, and I was far more fortunate than some that it was quick for him and I don't have the memories of watching him go through lots of rough situations. I have read a lot of your postings and always find them to give me "thought bubbles" that cause me to expand my thinking on whatever the subject may be. My husband was an engineer and looked at the mi-nute while I looked at the bigger picture. Ex: After the boys were gone from the house, I continued shopping every week. One day he says, "I know you go shopping every monday " I said "Yes" He said "Who's eating the food?" The "thought bubble" he gave me made me take a closer look at when I actually had to go shopping. Thank you for the thought bubbles you have given me. God Bless, Sis

It has been six and half months since I lost my Dan. Just the passing of time seems a bit unreal considering that I met him when I was 20 and was married to him for 42 years. The two shall become one it is said and half of me is no longer here with me.  I do not sense him here with me or anything like that. The sadness can come in waves and the evening loneliness is the most difficult.  I cannot sleep in our bedroom but rather across the hall in a small bedroom.  Have only slept through the night a couple of time since his passing. Even now when I drive up our driveway and see his vehicle in the carport I have the briefest thought, "Oh, Dan is home".  I have been busy as now in the springtime, there is much to do about the house. I have a repairman here today in fact.  My husband was very handy but me, not at all. And I have been working on cultivating female friendships. Everything went to the wayside during Dan's illness and he couldn't eat or was in pain or we had the countless appointments that filled our days. I do have some volunteer work and also joined the local rec club and workout twice a week. All those things help. But I never cooked for one before; I miss my husband's ideas for supper, his grilling expertise, and the times he liked to make supper. Oh oh, writing all this is making my eyes wet so I will close.  We all grieve differently and you are entitled to your own way.

Today was not a good day. Cold and rainy. I was busy in the morning. But the thought of coming home to a cold empty house really bothered me a lot. Luckily I have a little project to work on this afternoon but still I cried.  I kept wanting to see my husband in his easy chair.  And the roof is leaking. I have tried to Flex Seal it and that seemed to hold for a while.  So very many things have broken or have needed to be repaired. Had the external faucet repaired yesterday and the fence is to be repaired next week. I dread the thought of the cost of roofing. It is only over one part of the house but I can see that much of the ceiling is damp now and it leaks through a crack.   I know I should not go up on the roof if no one is here; one time my husband fell off the roof when the ladder slipped and broke his back. Golly, I hate being alone!  It is a weepy day.

[[[Sis]]] ...
The spiritual bond w/my husband was what I drew on for daily strength & comfort ...

A faith in whatever type of belief is an excellent tool ...

I read long ago that people w/a specified religion healed faster. I'm not so sure about that, however, I do know from personal experience my spiritual beliefs derived from Catholism, holistics & "synchronicties" - psychology (Jung) was one major key to my recovery ...

Supernatural beliefs can be kept private ...

There is no need to share them even though the grief compels everyone to talk about every aspect of their life. Talk therapy works well w/those who understand ... Balance is an absolute necessity to prevent going overboard in a belief that takes you away from reality into fanaticism ...

As I began to build self esteem, my grip on spiritualism loosened. At 12 years out, the kids & I continue, as always, to have a healthy belief in "synchronicities" as well as receive them almost daily w/gratitude, joy & happiness. We always know it's Dad/Bob-O!

Whatever helps you!

Focus on taking care of your needs, others will have to wait as the grief process continues to work in restoring you to normal living ...

Thank you SweetMelissa. Yes, I hold on to my faith strongly. I have always handed my worries over to the good Lord, but my problem right now is I tend to want to keep taking them back. I know he understands my heart and my pain, so I have to remind myself not to take it back. I also identify with music on just about everything in my life, so one of the songs I play often is "Hold Me While I Cry" by Karen Peck & New River. It seems to give me some release of my emotions. I have learned not to share my deepest feelings with most others. It's not something they are really wanting to hear, so most of the time all I talk to is my husband and the good Lord. This site has been a blessing for me. Just being able to put my feelings in words is so helpful as I ride this combination of a rollercoaster and merry-go-round.

For me, I didn't define it as "taking them back" - it is what God naturally programmed us to do to process grief ...

I found the grief process cycles the same stuff over & over till ready to let it go for another time, then another & another cycle till the issue is resolved, followed by a test to insure complete closure. Being newly widowed, this will be intense & maddening for a time - it will slow down ...

There are many therapies: talking, writing, *listening to music*, etc. Each one allows you to express yourself & discharge grief/negative energy simultaneously. You are on the right track ... ;-)

I spent the first 3 years reading/studying spirituality to remember all I had forgotten as well as re-newing my faith. It was a major help in getting me through those horrific times. I gained a greater understanding of those lessons from the depths of actively experiencing them ...

What you are feeling is understandable and I must say normal for us. My soulmate died on April 29,2018 and we too had been together close to fifty years. Some days I am overwhelmed by the loneliness and sadness. At first I shared my feelings with a few close relatives and friends. However, it became apparent to me that they just could not relate to how I was feeling. They still are waiting for me to get back to my old self. So I have become an expert at smiling and pretending that I'm ok. What has helped is my attending Griefshare meetings and this site. Just knowing that I'm not the only one on this journey helps me to keep moving forward. I also have two friends who continue to be supportive. One lost her husband a number of years ago so she has been a godsend. The other one is just there when I need to vent. I have started attending church more frequently and there's a young couple there who I've become close to. They love sports and so do I so just laughing and talking with them has given me some moments of relief from the heavy sadness I feel. When you've been with someone more than half your life we have to realize that it's going to take awhile before we feel anywhere near whole. another widow said just pretend until the day comes when you no longer have to pretend....when you can say you are ok and mean it. Until then take it one day at a time and take care of your health. God bless!

Yes, DIVA70, I , too, have become the expert with the smile and telling people "I'm fine". Like you, I'm in my second year, and most think I should have gotten through it by now. I've often wondered why it feels so worse now than it did last year, but I figure that the reality has really set in now and I can't get away from it. Fortunately, my health is good but I know I can see that changed if I allow myself to live in a stress state all the time. I am working on that, but it seems in baby steps. I, too, have a dear friend that lost her husband years ago, and I can openly discuss anything with her and get an honest answer. I cherish that relationship! It differs with some other friends and even my sisters that both lost their spouse many years ago. At least I get the feeling they would prefer to change the subject. I respect that and save the deepest questions for those that I feel are open to an honest answer. God Bless.


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