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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

Thank you so much!  Only those of us who have lost our partners can understand this level of grief. We've lost the person, the relationship and the hopes and dreams for the future. 

I made the choice, about 3 months ago that I do want to live, just as Rick would have wanted me to. I want honor him by going on, not by giving up.   As long as i don't think,  too much about that lays ahead... I'm ok. 

So Sorry Mary,

My sister was diagnosed with Dementia that leads to Alzheimers.  I noticed a difference in her at my husband's funeral. I had not seen her for sometime as I live out of state. I observed that she was not dressed as sharp as normal and could not  remember how to separate the recycling from the garbage even though I showed her several times. I also noted that she had pack odd side shoes to come to the funeral but I put it down to rushing. My sister had worked on wall street prior and had a newborn very late in life so she never returned to work. So she was a smart one who had suddenly changed.  Our family is going through grief of in anticipation of what is to come.  I feel for you but I also know that you will live again. Not the same Mary but a changed and very different person. Adversity does strange things to us.

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