Crissy, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It is so raw and new, and completely unexpected! Of course you are having a hard time managing! I'm glad you found this site! People here understand...we all had too short a time with our loved ones, whether we had 2 years or 40. Please feel free to join us in chat, in a group, or on any questions in the forum that you find interesting. Or just read and get advice that way. I also clicked on your profile and noticed you're in Colorado. So am I! I live in Denver! Would be glad to direct you to some in-person supports or to meet in person for coffee some day. The best I know of is the HeartLight Center (heartlightcenter.org) Check it out.
So sorry Chrissy. We are all here for you and know what it is like as we have all had similar experiences.Feel free to say anything you like to help you on the path to healing.
Crystal, (MsCrissy67) I am so sorry for your loss. Here we know, as best anyone, the pain and anguish of what you feel. My husband of 47 years, Marty, died unexpectedly: 8/28/2017. We were planning a return from the hospital exploring rehabs with the discharge social worker. Then suddenly, he went back to intensive cardiac care unit. Everything escalated. Doctors still gave us hope until that last day. I'll never know why.
My mother died 2 weeks after him. She was in late stage alzheimers which progressed quickly. In 9 months my dad, my husband and my mom, all died. I've been thanking mom lately, because knowing her, I believe she tried to distract me from what would be enormous anguish. I still find myself in pain every morning, though out the day, and when I go to bed.
I continue with a grief counselor for 6 months. I've been through 3 grief/bereavement groups, one through our local hospice where he never even spent time. I've become a little active in the extensions of those groups with activities such as group walks, lunches, dinners, etc
I hope you'll check in your community for the support you need.
My name is Susan. I lost my John in July, 2013. I am sorry to say that it doesn't get easier, just different. Valentine's Day is hard, as is his birthday in March, our anniversary in May, my birthday and the holidays. I finally decided to move, so here I am on my 8-1/2 acres in Republic, WA. I sold my childhood home to a developer; it has since been torn down and I am trying to start a new life. If I had had family, I would have tried to stay, but it didn't work out. John and I had always been loners. Unfortunately, we never had friends, just each other.
I am sorry for your loss Susan. And I am sorry to hear that it doesn't get any easier. :(
So here we go. My husband passed away in June 2017. We were married for 34 years and have two children ages 31 and 29. My husband passed away on a business trip in Chicago. He had a heart attack in a hotel room, found by a chamber maid doing a room check when he failed to check out. He was due home the day they found him. He was packed, dressed and ready to go the airport to catch his flight. He never made the flight and he never made it home. He was 60 years old. My daughter who lives 3000 miles away was 5 months pregnant with twin boys at the time of his death. These are our first grandchildren, who he never go to see.
My husband planned on working 4 more years and then retiring. We had plans and both worked very hard to be ready for retirement. He will never see the fruits of all his hard work.
I am at month 9 of widowhood. I see a grief counselor and according to her the fact that I am finding it worse as the months go on is very typical. All the hub bub of finances, housing etc is over and this new reality is really settling in.
I do not have any family in my area. My son lives 2 hours away and again, by daughter and the grandchildren are across the country. I do try to keep connected with friends, but most of my friends have local family. The weekends are the worst. Some people reach out to me but for the most part I could sit alone for many days in a row, if I don't reach out the them. Which I find is fine really. I don't mind being alone, as my husband was always a business traveler, and not coming home every night expecting dinner on the table. But this is different. A different kind of loneliness. Sometimes I am afraid I will die of loneliness and I have to snap myself out of it.
I don't know what I can expect of my children moving forward. I am comfortable in my own home. It's manageable, but the taxes are extremely high. Its a nice home, in a nice safe neighborhood in a area where I do have a support system. I can take walks and am close to services, so it isn't horrible or remote. I have friends who are around, but they are friends and I do have my own share of health issues so I sometimes feel like I am walking a tightrope. The weather is warm half the year. The winters (like this one) can be long and arduous.
So thank you for adding me. I have yet to navigate this site and see what everything is all about. Today isn't a great day. I really miss my husband and my life with him.
EllenJ - My condolences. Although your reason for joining is terrible, know that this is a good forum for expressing yourself and for finding an online community of people who are on very similar paths. My wife died suddenly about 2.5 years ago. Your sentiments that you miss him and your life with him resonate with me. My wife and I had raised our children to young adulthood and had weathered ups and downs in a long marriage. The next chapter was right there. Then she died. I hope you are able to find some peace by participating here.
Thank you. I hope so too. I never ever thought I would find myself in this position, and honestly I still can't believe it in many ways.
Hello, EllenJ. I am sorry you have to be here, but welcome. That you are finding it worse 9 months in is normal. If your timetable is at all like mine, you have about 15 months of feeling rotten to go. Then it gets better. After nearly four-and-a-half years and a relocation, I am finally in "this is my life" mode. That sometimes has its own baggage that goes with it, like 30 years of my life seeming like it was someone else's life, or feeling badly that I don't think about and talk to my husband constantly anymore. But overall it is better.
I do not have children so I had no one to expect to make a life for me. I moved closer to my sister, but I made my own way and did not attach myself to her life. I will say that some of the widows I've met who have the toughest time are those who expected their children to be their life or to make a life for them...or to expect that friendships don't change. "Couple friends" do tend to fall by the wayside. If you had women friends, it then becomes a question of character -- can they get over the feeling of "OMG if it happened to her it could happen to me." Even if you build a new social life (and I have), you are going to have hours and days where you are alone, and that can be difficult after having someone Right There for so long. I am still navigating that, and I lived alone for five years in my 20s before I met my husband. You WILL need to meet new friends -- widows, divorcees, other single women. If you have Meetups (meetup.com) in your area, that is a tremendous help. I happened to luck into a local Facebook group that grew out of an online group for people aging alone, and I now have a circle of friends from that group. I honestly don't see my sister that much.
It sounds like you are considering relocation at some point. Don't rush into that. I had known for a decade that I wanted to retire to where I now live, and it was still two years before I actually did it. If you don't know where you could go, it might be time to just start exploring your options. With health issues you would want to be in an area with good medical care.
It gets better. It does. It's a different kind of OK, but it does get better.
Thank you for your insight. I am sure I have so much ahead of me. Some days I just stay home and "be". I find that after I try to be with people either at my home or out, the next day I am exhausted. I am fortunate that i do have some widowed or divorced friends. And a couple of married friends that are still hanging on. I know that will probably change.
What I find as one of the most challenging issues is being used as the poster child for exactly what you said. ....."it could happen to them".....suddenly people are booking cruises and safari's and retiring early. And they have even said, after what happened to your husband, we decided we better make these things happen while we can...."
Thanks, glad to have been of service.
I will tell you it just sucks. The only thing that will make it better is time and having a social network and perhaps if you still work at a job you like. My husband has been gone close to 5 years now. He died of brain cancer.
I have moved, have made a few friends and have a nice home where I can garden a bit. The only reason I don't suffer too badly with loneliness is that my SIL lives with me. We have our own separate lives and friends, but get along real well and do spend some time together. I realize this would not be for everyone, but it works for me. And otherwise the loneliness would probably kill me. I still wake up every morning thinking how much I wish I had my old life back even with the "warts" and all. It's something that never goes away. In addition to all that, I have absolutely no interest in finding another man. So this is my lot in life now and you just have to make do as best as you can. There is no other choice.
Unfortunately, and I'm sure this isn't news to you, people say dumb, thoughtless, and hurtful things. And "We did this because of you" is one of them, though a new one. I was lucky; no one said that to me. But it's a valid point. A friend of mine who had up to then lived a pretty much charmed life lost her husband in a tragic freak accident last year. So they're right -- you never know.
Envy/jealousy is the most toxic thing against which we have to guard ourselves. When my husband died, I kept hearing widows saying "I hate couples". The fact is that there are couples in this world, and we have to find a way to live amongst them. Want to know what I did? I started watching "Say Yes to the Dress". This served two purposes -- it was something mindless and silly, and it got me used to seeing happy people, especially happy couples. I'm not perfect, though. My sister and her husband travel a lot, and they are always posting happy photos of their travels on Facebook. I can tell by some of the comments that some of their friends with less financial resources feel the little green monster sometimes, but for me it is about missing my own travel companion. Not that we traveled all that much, but unless you are one of those brave souls who can enjoy going alone (and I haven't ruled it out, though I don't much enjoy travel because flying is such a hassle), travel becomes more logistically difficult without a spouse.