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DD,

Just so you will know this group has a support group that meets twice a year.  One of the meetings is in California and the other is in Florida.  I think they normally have been 250 and 300 people there.  I think it is a Friday through Sunday get together.  It is called Camp Widow.  You should be able to find information about it in the material about the group.  I am so sorry that you are eight years into this situation and still feel like you need assistance.  I  met a lady at the Grief Share meeting that was 7 years in and was still struggling mightily.  One thing I have learned about all of this is that timelines means nothing.  For each individual it is going to take what amount of time it takes. 

Yes, the two ladies that I met as part of this group have been so important to me.  The lady that I met as part of the Grief Share group is so eat up with bitterness and the lack of forgiveness that I think it is going to take her a really long time.  She has just crossed over the 8 month mark but because of the way she feels about things I feel like she is behind all of us in progress. 

Larry

Thanks Larry.  I appreciate the info about Camp Widow and plan on attending.  I think had I received support over the years, I would be back "in life" personally more, but I didn't.  I am in no way bitter, or have any blame.  I simply need to have some time with people that understand so I can get that validation to move forward.  It still seems unreal to me at times.  I can have a good time, in fact in December when the picture was taken (profile pic) at Six Flags, a co-worker said that was a perfect pic of me that showed my smile.  I thought to myself, that day with my nephews was so much fun, and I caught myself thinking I wish Greg could have been with us, but then I said, He is....  So, I'm hanging in, just need some communication with people on this journey and was sad and validated at the same time that there are a lot of people out there in the same boat several years later.  I'm active, career person (at least for another year), that loves things, but I am missing something.  Answers and support.  I feel that is what support is, getting help from listening to others journey.  Take care and know prayers are being lifted up for you and your friends during each of your journey's.    :)  (((Larry)))

DD,

I know ever though you are not bitter and hold no one to blame, it had to be so horrible for you to have no support except for your work as you have gone through this for the past 8 years.  You have reached out to the right place now as people here know exactly what you are going through and together we can all share so much.  What seems to be so hard is how quickly people expect us to just get over this and to move on with life.  Except for the groups I too have had no one to talk who has been through this.  I had one friend of mine that tried to set me up with a friend of hers that lost her husband 5 years ago.  She simply couldn't understand why I didn't want to find someone to fill my life.  Sorry, but most just does not understand this.

Larry

Thanks Larry. I know people don't understand why I'm here after so many years, but I it was hard, now I'm here, and you know, you said it best when you said, you didn't want to find someone to fill your life. Truth is, people don't understand that we don't ever want nor could anyone take our loved ones place. If someday some have a special person in there life, they don't replace your loved one, they are an added blessing or love. People have told me over the years, you need to date, find someone and move on. Well, I still love and who knows, what I really want. I'm 58, still young yes, but, I have been alone so long now, I'm just still not sure what I want. I miss taking care of him (cooking, special things he loved, traveling) but those are things I could do with a special friend. So right now I just need this site, some people that understand and find out what the rest of the journey is. We don't get over this, it isn't an illness, it's a journey. You move through it. Thanks and you said in one of your first correspondance with me, you haven't had much opportunity to help others. I say you are helping a lot. Blessing to you.

DD,

I so much agree with what you have to say.  I am 62 and I retired in December to be Sandra's caregiver.  At that point I thought this could be long process and she needed me here to help her so I came home.  I honestly could see myself where you are when I reach 8 years.  Sandra was an all encompassing wife.  She did everything for me.  She cooked for me, she kept the house cleaned whatever I needed inside the house she did for me.  Then one morning I woke up and realized I am not equipped to do these things.  I only know how to cook the basic things and I can keep the house basically clean but I learned early on just how much she used to do for me.  Had we known that I was going to be pressed into the role then she could have taught me many things but we assumed me were going to grow old together.  We thought at some point we would be in our 90's sitting in wheelchairs side by side still holding hands.  Although this wasn't my first time around Sandra was the absolute love of my life.  All I could ever envision for my self going forward would be a friend to share things with.  I struggle greatly.  At this point everything in this house is just as Sandra left it.  I have no idea when I will ever do anything with Sandra's clothes and personal belongings.  We have a 4 bedroom house and I don't need the closet space and furniture drawers and at this point all I can do is on occasion look at her things but I have not touched any of them.  Years ago she told me that because she knew that I did not like being alone that I would be with another.  She was half right.  I don't like being alone but I will never be with another.  I fully intend to leave this up to God.  If he wants me to have a friend in my life, I know that he will arrange that just like he did with Sandra and I.  I truly hope that I can say words that will be of encouragement to you and I know you will be able to help me just from the amount of time that you have been dealing with this.

Larry

Hi

My husband died this year on March 3. We were married for almost 6 years. Two years after our marriage, he was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. It was a complete shock! He'd never drank alcohol which is the first thing you think of with liver damage. The cause was never found. Most likely it was non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. He was on the liver transplant list and had just been in for his checkup.

I've been struggling lately and looking for support when I stumbled on this forum.

We didn't have kids but adopted a dog last year. She's been a great help to me. Forcing me to take her for walks!

So very sorry for your loss. My husband passed February 2 due to injuries suffered after he was hit by a car a week earlier while walking our dog. I too stumbled upon this forum and have decided to go to the camp next month. Local community grief meetings have also helped me immensely as does my dog also. The daily walks and trips to the dog park are a great distraction. I have also joined the local gym. I tried to do some pen pal activity with contacts given from this site, but it has not been very successful. 

Lions fan,

I can only imagine how you are feeling having to deal with such a tragic and sudden accident.  I understand that the camp you are going to can be very uplifting and from reading your words you seem to be dealing well with what you now face.  I am only a couple of weeks ahead of you having lost my wife on January 20th.  If in any way I can be of any assistance to you please feel free to write to me at any time. 

Larry

Hi Larry,

Thank you so much for reaching out. My husband and I were married for 30 years - we were high school sweethearts. There has never been a "me" without a "him", so I am in newly chartered waters. I am trying to maintain a positive mindset and take one day at at time. It is lonely and sad, but I know he would want me to move forward and live my life to the fullest. We have two daughters ages 25 and 27, so I try to be strong for them also. Right after his death, I sold our house and moved across country to live near my oldest daughter. I actually got a teaching job shortly after, so I am just trying to find the new normal. My husband also ultimately died from infection (sepsis) which led to low blood pressure and cardiac arrest. It all happened so quickly for we thought he would make a full recovery also. I don't want to live the rest of my life second guessing myself with would haves, should haves, could haves, etc. But this just sucks and it is hard.

Lions fan,

My wife and I met later in life.  Next month would have been our 20th anniversary.  Although I was married prior to her she was by far the love of my life.  I am sure you are finding comfort being close to your daughter.  I admire your desire to live life to its fullest.  So far you are the first person I have come across that lost their spouse with the same thing that took my wife.  I agree with you that second guessing accomplishes little at this point.  When my wife first felt that she didn't feel right the first report from the doctor was that she had a gall stone which would require her to have her gall bladder removed at some point.  That was discovered at the beginning of last fall.  We had planned to vacation at the beach for the month of October and the doctor said go ahead with your plans and we will deal with this when you return.  That month with no treatment may have costs us dearly.  She did not really start to have problems until December arrived.  Had the infection been treated early there would have been an excellent chance of survival but once this reaches the stage of septic shock there is only about a 7% chance of survival.  By far this is the hardest time in my life that I have ever gone through and the only real support that I have comes from this group and a friend I developed as I went through the Grief Share program.

Larry

Hi again Larry,

My husband had four fractured ribs from being hit by the car on a Wednesday. He started with fever and chills by Saturday. On Monday, he was diagnosed with pneumonia and put on antibiotics, but late Tuesday night, he woke up unable to breath. Sepsis had caused ARDS (adult respiratory distress syndrome). Once the paramedics came and put him on oxygen, his heart went into arrest while in the ambulance. It took them a long time to get him back, but by then, he had been deprived of oxygen too long. I had no idea this had happened until I made it to the hospital. He was on life support until family could make it to town. His organs were failing and it was a grave diagnosis so we took him off of life support the following day. Brain damage was a reality and he would not want to be a burden if he ever woke (but this was highly unlikely) In hindsight, I wonder if maybe his colon was not punctured by a fractured rib and it was not detectable. Like I said, I could second guess like crazy, but it will not bring him back. I am currently involved in two grief groups and it helps to talk with others in the same situation. I do have support from my girls, my parents, and some close friends, but I am still lonely at times. I am choosing to look at this as an opportunity to find more out about myself because the alternative of hanging out in bed with the covers over my head won't bring him back. Yes, I have had to learn to do things he always did (computer stuff, drilling stuff, etc.), and it isn't always easy being strong and independent. He and I discussed a few years ago that if something should happen to one of us, we would want the other to choose to love again if the occasion presented itself. Once I find myself, I will be open to that as well. But this time is all for me:  figuring out who I am without him and grieving my loss. He is such a part of who I am and I will hold on to all that is good and beautiful of him. Yes, grief is a process to learn to live with, not to overcome. I feel his strength everyday and I know he is with me in spirit. By the way, my name is Kelly. (My husband was a diehard Detroit Lions fan). 

Kelly,

The morning I hear of your story the more we have in common.  Except for not getting hit by a car a lot is the same.  It could be that Sandra got sepsis from the number of cat scans that she had.  It is fairly common for people to develop an infection from being treated at the hospital.  I watched Sandra take her last breath and I saw every bit of color go out of her face.  I had 911 on the phone with me when that happened.  They told me I would have to start CPR until the paramedics go here.  Once they got here it took them 15 minutes to get her heart restarted.  So brain damage could have been a problem for her too.  Once we got to the hospital they had her on 3 IV's to attempt to raise her blood pressure plus she was on life support.  She remained like that over night and her heart stopped for the second time while at the hospital the next morning.  At that point I told them to stop and within 5 minutes it was all over.  I have no support except for this group and a friend from Grief Share. 

Larry

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