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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 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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Wow, I relate to everything being said here!.  I'm 49, 47 when I lost my husband who was 50.  Two kids, 18 and 21 at the time.  We were starting to be a couple again and looking forward to our "new life".  Now I have no idea what my life should be.  This was definitely not the way I thought we would end.  And its that weird place, like our family will stay broken or "not whole".  If I ever (EVER) found someone else, the kids are too old - he would always be an "other" to our family - it sucks...

This is the most accurate statement I have ever heard:  "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."  

I dont want another wife or girl friend.  I can barely talk to the friends I have.  I was finally happy and now in my late 40s I feel like I am 70.

From C.S. Lewis' "A Grief Observed":  "One flesh.  Or, if your prefer, one ship.  The starboard engine has gone.  I, the port engine, must chug along somehow till we make harbor."  I have a wonderful life- two beautiful granddaughters, a supportive church community, plenty of outside interests- but I read that and it hit me between the eyes.  Yes, I do feel as if I'm chugging along but missing my starboard engine.

I feel the same way and I am 27.

I was 59 when my husband died last fall. We were looking forward to retirement, putting our workaholic lives behind us and enjoying time together doing things we enjoyed.

All of our friends are still long-married couples - well, that is the ones who stuck around for the 4-1/2 year cancer battle; many disappeared. I haven't yet done any 'couple' things; just not up to feeling the loss in that situation. Although I did a quick stop-by at a restaurant this week when some old friends from Michigan were in Vegas. It was ok, but I felt I had to put on an act of how well I'm doing. Some days I am ... often, I'm not ... but I try not to show that in these situations.

Our single son was 33 when his Dad died and had moved back in when he lost his job to help me care for him. There are some big issues there; hoping we'll get them resolved by the end of the year.

I don't see me ever wanting to date, so I don't have those issues. I miss Vern and the wonderful connection we had; I don't miss having a man in my life (but if I could find a trustworthy, reliable handyman - that's a man I wouldn't mind having move in next door).  I went from living at home with my parents to being married at 18, so I guess I'll have my 'alone' time at the end of my life instead of between high school and marriage. I'm not afraid of spending the next 20+ years alone. I'm hoping I'll feel up to trying some new things, to do some traveling on my own, to figure out who I am now that I'm no longer "Vern & Dianne". It's not easy after 41 years, and I can't say I've been real successful these first 8 months, but there are days when I can tell I'm making progress and I know I will get there.

Dianne, your story is very close to ours.  I was 59 when the love of my life, my dear Bobby, passed away suddenly last year, July 24, 2010.  We were high school sweethearts and thought this little piece of heaven would go on for many years, to see us celebrate our 50th and probably our 60th anniversaries.  We were married 41.5 years.  The day my precious Bob passed away was the worst day of my life---the second was his memorial on July 29.  I can't see myself ever wanting another partner.  I miss Bob too much and had him on such a pedestal in life that now, in d---- (can't say or write the "d" word yet), he's practically a saint.  He was so gentle and kind to me, all of our many years together.  He was loving, funny, supportive, protective.  I thought he was perfect----he'd always laugh at that.


I thought I was doing a bit better but it's all hit me again so hard.  We're just a little less than a month from the 1rst anniversary and I'm dreading it so much.



I am just like you - I will turn 60 this August and my husband passed away at 63 this past January.  We were married for 34 years, which flew by - I could have taken another 34 without any problem.  I've had the love of my life and don't have the time or energy to invest in another relationship.  I had the best,  I have never lived alone till now.  Went right from my parents home to being with my husband.  This past Easter, Memorial Day and the 4th of July made me realize I had never in my life spent a holiday alone till now.  It's not a good feeling.  At my husband's funeral, I felt compelled to make a little speech, which I could barely do, to let people know what kind of man he was, because a lot of the people there only knew my husband by the phrase "Don-and-me", they didnt know what a great guyhe was who never complained even though he was in pain, how he loved me so much that I was able to go out in the world every day and face all the crap knowing he was at home waiting for me.  I can never relate to anyone what a wonderful man he was.  I try to take living one day at a time because I am a bit afraid to think to far in the future.  I think that I was there for him but who will be there for me when my time comes?


Don will be there for you when it comes time, just like my wife Janet will be there for me when my time comes. I hope to hear her say " You have done good, I love you"


I am right there. with you - I was. 63 when. Art passed away -  after 41 years of being married to my personal handyman  all I need now is a handyman to fix things around   the house. But not ever planning on  anything  more than that. Maybe a buddy to take in a movie  now and then.

MargoAlone, I was 63 also when Don passed away in August 2012, two weeks shy of our 43rd anniversary.  He was my personal handyman, the neighborhood go-to fix-it guy as we stated in the obit.  I miss him terribly, I miss not being part of a couple, although I'm not sure I want to be the other half with some other man.  I miss not having a man to talk to on a consistent basis, have a male opinion.  I miss not having somebody to gossip with after an evening out with friends, I miss not having somebody who loves our son as much as I do.  But if widowhood was to be in my future, having it happen at this age I think is a lot easier to take.  I have a lot more confidence in my ability to be alone, a lot of my girlfriends are widowed, finances are easier.  I could not imagine being a widow with small children to raise. 

Dianne, you are right about getting to know you again, and this does take time. I have had my share of failures too but think of the things you've accomplished successfully! I think the most important thing is we keep trying! I can relate to the handyman issue. At first, I didn't know how I would make it alone, but I have learned to lower my standards and not worry so much! Have to say that I am getting used to being alone now and on some levels, think I prefer it. I wish I didn't feel that way and maybe it changes sometime, who knows?

Grieving is a process with a lot of ups and downs. We can't and shouldn't try to compare ourselves to others, there is no gauge. I believe it is really important to allow the emotions to flow so that we can begin to heal. One step at a time, even baby steps count!
I am 36. I lost my husband 7 months ago. We have 2 small children. It has been difficult for me. I don't know anyone that is even close to my age that is widowed. I feel like everywhere I go there are happy families with the dad playing with his kids. I'm so mad that my kids don't get that anymore. It's just not fair. My friends have been wonderful. They come to visit me often and invite me to dinner, movies, etc which I enjoy doing but I really want to be with my husband whose no longer here. The school events have been the hardest. My oldest just graduated preschool. I was the ONLY single mom there. None of the parents were even divorced. I know there will be more of these events in the future.
I really hope to remarry someday. My husband told me too. But it's hard thinking of someone else raising his kids. He was such a proud daddy. My kids are missing so much. I think thats what hurts me the most.


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