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How old were you when your spouse died? How does your age affect your self-concept now that you're on your own?

I'm interested in hearing from widows and widowers of all ages to know what it's like to be a certain age when you have your loss. We have widows and widowers of all ages here on Widowed Village and we all must have some different viewpoints depending on our age.

 

So I was 44 when my husband died in '06. I felt surrounded by intact families with moms and dads..and I was out of place and out of sync with my friends who were no longer single but also had never experienced being widowed. I felt so different from everyone else. I felt like a lonely loser at times. I hated going to my children's school events alone or to social activities.

 

I also felt too young to want to be without a partner, so I wanted to date and to be part of a couple again. But I felt like being in my mid-40s was a terrible age to be single because there would be no one to date who wasn't either divorced after only being married briefly or a little old to still be single. Also, it was hard to talk to my friends about dating. They were mostly in mid-life marriages and didn't really want to hear about my dating...so that felt a little lonely too. No one to compare notes with. I felt like I wished I didn't have to date again, yet I think it made some of my friends a little jealous to think of me getting to do that again. Again, I felt very out of sync with my peers.

 

I also felt like it was terrible to lose my husband after we had done the hard work of raising young children and then they were just at an age where travelling and doing stuff with them would be so much easier now that they weren't really little anymore.

 

I felt like it was unlikely I would ever find someone else again.

 

 

 

 

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OH Jill for me being widowed at 39 I felt so many of the similar feelings you shared!  Being left with two small kids (3 and under) also added to my sense of feeling "out of sync" as you shared too. 

 

As I first thought about dating it was hard to think who would want to come share this burden as the early years are a lot of work that also made it weird. 

 

Its easier now for me after 19 months and after being willing to face my hurts and anger and understand what was behind it.  But I still often feel like a fish out of water too ;-) 

 

I now have a lot more hope of finding another and have been able to come to peace that no matter if its soon or later its ok.  When its the right time things will happen.    I think I still felt "young" enough that I knew I wanted to marry again.  I think if one is older they might feel more comfort in not marrying again but I'm sure there are no hard and fast rules.

 

Its amazing how no matter what age one get's here that we probably all feel  "out of sync" or feel like we might never find someone again or might even feel "shattered" so much that no one might ever want us.  I'm glad that healing can come again and life can one day be found again even if its still a big unknown to me at this point.  thanks for posting this topic...

Pat-NMWidower

Jill, I can relate to much of your post.  I was 53 when my husband died in 2009.  My children were from a former marriage and in their 30's.  My friends were married or divorced.  No one knew what it was like to be a widow except my mom, who has been widowed three times and is now 74.  I felt then and still feel like I was the trailblazer for my friends.  They look at me and wonder if their lives will parallel mine in the future.  Being in my 50s had some benefits, I guess.  No worry over paying for children's college was a plus.  The down side for me was like yours - dating was and is difficult.  Men are either married, divorced, or long-term bachelors.  The well-adjusted middle aged man without baggage?  If he's out there, I'm clueless as to how to find him!  I'm way too young to want to spend the rest of my life alone, but I'm too old to given in and settle for mediocrity in a partner.  I was left with a lot of debt and I'm too young for the Widow's Soc. Sec. benefit.  I'm tired and would like to quit working, but that is impossible.  Instead, I am looking to add a part time job to my regular job.  It's rough out there for all of us - we just have different circumstances.  As a whole, I'm doing well almost two years into this phase.     

HI , MY NAME IS LAREINA57, I WAS 55 WHEN I LOST MY HUSBAND IN AUGUST OF 2011. HE HAS FOUR

GROWN CHILDREN WHO I REFER TO EVIL-MINDED PEOPLE, I HAVE TWO GROWN KIDS FROM A

PREVIOUS RELATIONSHIP. IN MY OPINION , BEING A WIDOW ABSOLUTELY SUCKS AND HAVING

NASTY , SPITEFUL STEPKIDS MADE IT WORSE. I'M NOT SINGLE, I'M NOT MARRIED ANYMORE, AND

I DON'T WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH ANOTHER RELATIONSHIP EITHER BECAUSE IT'S TOO PAIN-

FUL, NOBODY FROM HIS SIDE OF THE FAMILY SPEAKS TO ME AND HIS KIDS (BRATS!) BLAME ME

FOR HIS DEATH BECAUSE I WASN'T AT HOME WITH HIM WHEN HE PASSED AWAY. I'M BEING

PUNISHED BECAUSE I FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM AND MARRIED HIM, AND THEY PRACTICALLY

IGNORED HIM AFTER WE GOT MARRIED, WHICH THEY DIDN'T SHOW UP FOR!!!! I'M STUCK

GOING THROUGH THIS JOURNEY AND I DON'T LIKE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was 26. I still feel completely out life.
I was 26 also, It's something i never saw coming or thought possible. I wonder if we get to be happy again?

Hi greyeyes,

I just lost my fiance after being together over 4.5 years three weeks before our son's first birthday.  I am 26 as well.  I know exactly how you feel...

Jill,  Thank you for posting this topic.Boy can I relate!!  At 48 and the only widow that I know of I am totally "out of sync"  I am 11 months out and still trying to figure out how I fit. Most of my friends are married and I have had to deal with being the 3rd wheel, even if they try really hard to include me.   In some ways I feel like I have lived a lifetime and in others I still feel "young". I can't imagine getting into the dating scene. How does someone do that after not dating for about 29 years?  I am a person who likes to connect so I don't think I can live the rest of my life alone. It is all so strange and big.  My boys are all young men and mostly on their own so that does free me up to pursue things but sometimes I don't even know how to start.  Right now I am trying to keep ahead of all of  the things my husband took care of. I to have hope that things will change and life will be good again some day. It is hard to plough through the stuff each and every moment of every day to get to that goal eventually. Wishing all of  us peace and calmness as we put our lives together again.

Lisa 

this is where I am also. I was 49 when my husband passed but I have a 14yr old daughter so I still have a child / teen to take care of. I know no other widow or widower  around my age and no single friends. I feel out of sic with life.

 

I feel like I am in the same boat.  I am 52 and my son & daughter are grown and we were just starting to enjoy the empty nest before my husband died 4 months ago.  All of our friends were couples and it's just awkward going out when everyone is paired up and I am alone, and as nice and kind as they are, it's painful to see them so happy with each other and they have any idea what it's like to have that happiness just ripped away.  I never could have imagined how all-consuming the pain and feelings of loss could be until it actually happened to me.  And I guess I took things for granted that John took care of, because I am overwhelmed by my job and taking care of the house, the car, the yard, the dog, etc.  It seems like there is always a hundred things to do, and I can only muster up the energy to take care of a few.  I feel like I have done everything---got married, raised kids, went to college, had a career---and then I lost my husband, which I didn't expect to do for a few decades.  It's like the end stage of my life got fast forwarded and happened too soon.  I am struggling to figure out what I am supposed to do for the next 20 or 30 years, like I've already lived my whole life but I still have to go through the motions of living every day.  I am sorry to hear of everyone's losses, and I hope it gives us all some comfort knowing we are not alone on this journey.  May you all have a peaceful night.

Your words certainly echo the way most of us here are feeling.  There is no doubt about that.  I guess the only thing we can all do is just take things one day at a time, and not project too far ahead into the future.  I find when I do that, it all seems too overwhelming.  We have to just take things in small doses, at least for now.  Somehow, someway, we will find the path to healing because we really don't have much choice in the matter.  We can be thankful for the wonderful years we spent with our beloved spouses and although we wanted and expected more, there are many out there who have never experienced the joys that we have shared with our beloved spouses.  May each day bring us more peace and comfort as only we know what this grief journey feels like.

Wow, this really hit me.  "The end stage of my life got fast forwarded and happened too soon - what will I do for the next 20 or 30 years, I've already lived my whole life but I still have to go through the motions of living every day."  You put into words exactly what I have been feeling.

Agree. It's like the only big things left to look forward to our watching my daughters grow and have their experiences.  Falling in love, getting married, buying a home, starting a family....I can check those all off of my list. So...what's left?  It sort of feels like the future is a big, black hole...that I can't see into.

   

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