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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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I was 22 when my husband was killed in a truck accident. I actually stumbled upon the accident and honestly I feel that my husband brought me there. I called his family and they met me at the scene of the accident. we had been together almost 6 years but just recently married for 9 months. The accident actually happened in front of the barn we had our wedding reception at and right next door to the property where I will build our dream home. I was 7 months pregnant with our beautiful baby girl and he had a 6 year old son from his previous marriage who I love as my own. so of course I had to live through many special moments without my best friend. I had our daughter "on my own". I mean my mom, his mom and our sisters were there but all I wanted was him. I "celebrated" our 1st anniversary with our family and don't get me wrong Im thankful that they supported me but that is something we should have been able to celebrate on our own. since I'm young everyone assumes its all easy for me and that ill find someone else but they are wrong. my life was completely turned upside down and I try my best to hold it together for the kids. 

Left.in.love I am so very sorry for your loss. Of course it is not easy for you. The challenges we all face may be different due to age....each age group presents it's own set of problems and issues....but easy?... never! You are basically doing the job of both mother and father while grieving the love of your life and I can not tell you the amount of respect I have for you and anyone who is faced with your task. Please remember to try and take of yourself while you are caring for the children. You have been through a horrific trauma and it takes much more time to heal and anyone who hasn't been there realize. God you and your children.

I was 55 last summer when my husband died from early onset Alzheimer's at the age of 58.  Our ages set us apart from most couple's dealing with an Alzheimer's diagnosis and it continues to make me feel like I don't fit in with anyone around me. Rick attended a respite day care program two days a week where he was 10-15 years younger than all the other program participants.  I wanted to join the Alzheimer's support group but I was told I wouldn't be a good fit there because, like Rick, I would be 15-20 years younger other caregivers.Instead, arrangements were made for me to start individual counseling through Hospice.  After Rick passed, I joined both the group for widows and the mixed group.  Again... I was the youngest attending both groups and the only participate who wasn't retired.   

Thankfully, none of my family and friend have lost their spouses so no one knows how it feels to losing your best friend, your lover, your hopes, dreams and your future. All include me in social activities but given the experiences that I've been through in the past 5 years caring for Rick and now adjusting to life alone, again... I don't fit.  My parents have friends who have lost a spouse. They are in their 80s. Losing a spouse in your 80s is very different from when you are in your 50s.  

 

I agree to what you are saying.  I was 49 when Doug died, & joined a bereavement group everyone was 15 - 20 years older.  I thought if one more person says "You are too young to be a widow"  I would smack them.  All I can say is yes I agree.  But I felt as if they were saying I had no right to be there, or they were making it clear I wouldn't fit.

I went to a new widow group last week at a local church, the very first words said to me were:  "you're too young to be a widow".  

I would happily not be one if possible.  

I don't fit in with married people., I joined a single group & I don't fit in there as they are divorced & very bitter.  It's hard to sit there & listen to how awful men are, he's such a loser blah blah.  I can't relate.

I feel like I am in no where land.  I just belong no where.

Imogene,
When people say you're too young to be a widow, I think they mean not to upset you. It is similar to when people say "gone too soon" or "a life cut too short". Something we all have to face is the older we get, widowhood is inevitable for a lot of us. When you are in your 20's, 30's and 40's you should still be enjoying life. When I hear of someone younger passing, I find it sadder than when someone who has lived a lot longer dies. Anyway, I hope you can understand that.

I can appreciate your feelings of not fitting in. I often felt that way. I sat in on a couple groups--one where they were older and one with a younger group in which I was one of the older ones. Different age groups have different challenges and relate better to one another. It's important to find one that feels right. And no, divorce is so not the same--their issues are quite different. They part because they don't get along. We were separated by death which neither of us wanted!

We don't always have to fit in, what we have to be is comfortable in our own skin. We can find things we have in common with people and when it comes to grief, it probably makes no difference how old we are. Our situations are often unalike but that pain has to be quite similar. You should feel like you belong on this site, there are a lot of people here with that one thing in commmon, which sadly, brings us together.
Callie2, your words to be comfortable in our own skin really hit home with me. I guess I am able to adjust to my pain by accepting my reality. I miss Bob everyday, but I rarely cry now. Bob is gone almost 4 years, and I have worked very hard to create a new life for myself going to new activities and meeting new people. I read this site frequently and I feel I have learned a lot. Peace to all.
My wife passed at age 52, I am 58. I feel like my life is over. I dont for in anywhere. I feel like a third wheel.

Same age difference between me and Janet. She was 54, I was 60. So far what I have discovered (at least in my case), time does not heal. Hopefully I am one of just a few of the exceptions.

I feel like I am suffering from survivors guilt. Does anyone else feel that way?

Yep.  I'm 42 and my husband died in a mountain accident last June (can't believe it's almost been a year).  He was 40.  We'd been married 14.5 years, together for 20 and have 2 daughters 11 and 9.  I don't know what to do -- I can't imagine living with someone else, but I also can't imagine being alone for the rest of my life.  How to find someone who wants to take on a widow with 2 kids, but do I want to take on someone new who has their own baggage?  Change what we know?  How does all this work?  IT's not like being single, in your 20s, no kids, no house, etc.

My husband was 60 and I was 55.  We were in our first year of ‘retirement’ together.  However, our ‘retirement’ was to be much bigger than our careers.  We had formed a business and signed a book deal just 10 days before he suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.  I remain so lost.....This. Is. So. Hard.

My husband died a week before his 47th birthday in January 2016. I am almost three years older than him, and was 50 in March 2016. Kids are grown up and independent. Last year I felt quite untethered; I've never lived alone before so it was strange to do what I wanted without asking or saying, or checking in. Just so much freedom? I am lonely for him, but don't necessarily mind being alone as I think of that as my balancing time, being with him as my antidote to the going to work, going out with friends stuff. Both are necessary. I went on holiday on my own for the first time to Greece in September and it was beautiful but I was surrounded by loving couples all of my age and thats when it really hit and hurt. Still feel quite untethered to be honest. Just feel like I'm waiting but no idea what for.

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