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Thank you for approving my membership.

My condolences to all of you who have lost your beloved.

My husband, Gary, lived until just before our eighth wedding anniversary. He died two and a half years ago from esophageal cancer that spread to his brain and spinal column. His Stage IV diagnosis was a strong wind that blew away every marital problem.

He lived for seven months after his initial diagnosis. His final weeks were filled with agony. We went through a phase where I woke up every morning having to decide between one of the two seeming forms of torture he would be forced to endure for the day. It was my daily decision. I lived with him in hospice. But his final day was peaceful, and when his friends dropped what they were doing to come and tell him goodbye, it felt more like a reunion.

After the funeral, I dreamed about Gary every night for two months, and I began to dread falling asleep. I made our bedroom my own and transformed it into an oasis, but two and a half years later I still sleep on the living room couch. Going back to work has helped a lot although it was, and continues to be, a struggle. And I became such an angry person after his death. I thought I'd never overcome my overwhelming bitterness at having lost my bighearted, passionate, uncompromising, beautiful man.

Although I have a long way to go before I live up to my username, I chose "SpringLight" because I'm finally able to feel joy when I look at our photographs. And whenever I'm upset, focusing on one of them has an immediate calming effect. Our love is alive and gives me strength. Our love is the most precious of gifts that I'd forgotten I possess. I had to work through my anger to find my buried treasure. Cancer couldn't take it away from us. And neither has death.

Warm regards to everyone.

Allyson
Hi SpringLight, my heartfelt condolences on your loss. I can relate to once matters of life and death are suddenly our reality everything else takes a back seat. In the moment I knew my husband had kidney cancer my goal was for him to live and nothing else mattered.
I understand the anger and bitterness and overwhelming feelings of having been robbed of our your life partner. I'm glad that you can get comfort from pictures now, such as it is. I still can't do photos but it's only been a year and five months and one day they will be a comfort.
Your name choice is excellent and to be able to once again feel flashes of joy truly is a gift.
I understand not being able to look at your photographs, Dianthus.

I felt and to a certain degree still feel that way about my husband's music recordings. He was a musician, and when I asked him to make an album of flute recordings for me before he died, doing so became his single-minded passion. He struggled through cancer fatigue and kept making recordings until he was hospitalized for the final time.

After living in a home filled with his music every evening, the silence hurt my ears. But after watching the confusion of one of our pets who ran around the apartment desperately trying to find him while I played one of his recordings, I couldn't listen to them again for a very long time.

It's taken over two years for me to figure out how to collect all of his recordings from his device and to ask a friend to help me create an album I can share. We were supposed to get together around Christmas, but I couldn't face it. My goal is to work with him this summer. I'm not giving up.

I appreciate your compassion so much.
I understand exactly how you feel, and I appreciate your understanding too. We never know how these momentos will affect us before such a thing happens and I find myself surprised but eventually there should come a time where we can either listen, or look at the tangible things left behind. I say, there's no rush,grieving is a process and healing takes time...lots of time.
I understand the anger. It will be 8 weeks Thursday since I lost my husband and I have spent much of that time angry. I know that is a normal response in the short term and it is fading a bit. I know we are not promised tomorrow and I am really working on trying to replace the anger with gratitude for what we did have. But it certainly is difficult. Mostly now I go between numb and deep longing and sadness. I don't know who I am now that I am not 1/2 of us.

Averysmom, what you are feeling is totally normal (and of course terrible). My brother, who was also a widower, said it this way:  A couple is more than just two, there are the two but there is also a third entity, the relationship. What I felt, and still feel today, is that I lost 2/3 of me. Doesn't help the pain, but for me it helped to explain the depth of sorrow. Take care of yourself. 

IBelieveInYou that makes total sense.

Dear Listen,

It is good that you found us; bad that you had too. Your grief is very new and what you are feeling is totally normal and reasonable. I'm at 1.5 years since the passing of my young wife (she was 50). It still hurts and I still get down in the dumps about the future. Reach out to your friends and tell them what you need. Our culture doesn't know how to handle death well so you may need to be direct with them. If there is a mental fog, don't push it away. It is there to protect you. In time you will be able to see things more clearly but for now, just concentrate on putting one pant leg on at a time. 

You still have a future that you will have to walk through. It will be hard but you can do it. Know that we are here to listen to you and respond. Please take care of yourself and let us know how you are doing. You are in my thoughts today. 

Hi, I’m Mary,

My husband Rick died 9 months ago after struggling with Early Onset Alzheimer’s for at least 5 years.  Rick’s father was diagnosed with EAOD in 1993, 3 years after we were married and the year that our son was born.  EAOD was Rick’s biggest fear and the possibility that he would develop it weighed heavily on my mind.  He told me repeatedly through the years that if he were to be diagnosed, he would end his life.  His doctors spent 3 of those 5 years attempting to rule out every other possible cause for the loss of his memory and cognition.  By the time, we faced the fact and he was diagnosed, taking his life wasn’t a concern.  He passed just 17 months after diagnosis. He was 58.  We were married for 25 ½ years. 

Grieving the loss of Rick started long before his actual death.  Watching him progress through this horrific disease was gut wrenching.   The illness, I believe plays a big part in how I’m getting through grief now.  I had time to make sure paperwork was in order, time to make some pretty important decisions, time to tell myself I was prepared. For the most part, I think of Rick as he was before he became ill.  Somehow, the worst of times during his illness are buried pretty deep but I've learned, on the days when I'm aching for him the most and I don't think I can go on, I can pull up some of the worst memories and be grateful that he's now health and free.  Had Rick died a sudden death, it would have destroyed me.

Hugs to you, WV.

Thank you!   

Hello Mary xx
I'm so sorry for the loss of your husband Rick xx
What a terrible disease Alzheimer's is and for it to affect younger people too is just heartbreaking.
Your words caught my eye tonight. I lost my husband very suddenly and very recently to a brain haemorrhage and it has destroyed me as you mentioned here. It's just heartbreaking and soul destroying and I have no words tonight. I wish everyone here some kind of comfort in any way because this indescribable loss of our partners is the absolute worst pain imaginable xxx

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