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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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I was 69 when Don died and I know that is closer to the norm but we had been married 20 years and had just made our permanent move to the South having  made plans for our golden years together.  Pancreatic cancer and 18 months of horrific illness took care of that.  I know I am lucky not to have young children to care for - mine are from my first marriage and are wonderful adults.  When I began having serious health issues my youngest son moved closer and that is comforting.  I have no desire to have another man after 40 years of marriage and I don't want an ailing man who has lots of baggage from the past either.  I am resigned to living alone.  Couples have fallen off in terms of friendship and I spend  much more time with widowed friends which works out well - we understand each other and can do things on the weekends.  It is still a lonely life at the end of the day but I'm learning to deal with that too.
I, too, am 69.  My husband passed 10 weeks and 3 days ago.  He was also my second marriage, but my first REAL marriage.  We were married just shy of 27 years.  Today is his birthday; and, I do think of it in terms of "is."  Today has been a tough day.  I'm sorry about your health issues.  I hope you're getting better.  Thanks for sharing.  Gloria  [email protected] in case you'd like to contact me.  Gloria

When I was widowed the first time, I was 36 and had a son who was 12.  I definitely wanted to remarry again.  Three years later I remarried a man who was divorcing and getting custody of his son, who was 2 years younger than mine.  So we became a mini "Brady bunch".  After more than 27 years with my second husband, he died suddenly of cardiac arrest at the age of 64.  He never got to retire.  I am 3 years older than he was and retired.  I am 67 years old but everyone thinks I am at least 10 years younger.  Right now it is still way too early to know what I will want for the rest of my life because I am still in the early stages of grief.  I cant believe that I had the misfortune of being widowed twice and was so contented and comfortable in my marriage and never in a million years could I have imagined that I would again be widowed.  One thing I am pretty sure of is that if I ever do meet someone, I have no intention of spending the rest of my life with someone who would need constant care as I did that for 13 years with my first husband who had multiple sclerosis.  I would not be able to handle anything like that again.  If I have to be alone, I will just have to learn how to do it, but at some point in the future it might be nice to find a nice companion to share some time with.  Thank God that my second husband and I both loved to travel and did so to a great degree.  Life is so short and we really have so little control over what happens to us and when our loved ones will no longer be with us.  I just pray that I will get through my grieving and healing which is still very early and difficult for me.  May God grant all of us comfort and peace.  Ellen

Thank you. Glad you found your way here. It helps to have support from other widows. Plus you don't feel so crazy!

I can relate to you so much. I am 29 and my husband passed away 2 months ago. I am now a single mother to a 3 year old and 1,5 year old.  I don't know any other single mums my age. I go out and see happy families.. it breaks my heart.. the thought of my daughters growing up without a father.. They are still so small and all the big events in their lives are still ahead.. and their father isn't going to be there for him. I can't stop tears everytime I think about that.

I was widowed at 45 and my heart breaks for you. I just hit the 2 year anniversary and it still feels raw.  My girls (3) are older so I can step out of the house when I need to.  You have your hands full.  All you can do is keep loving them, and keep going on, one day at a time.  And at the end of the day, pat yourself on the back - you did it! Unfortunately, the events their Dad is missing will continue for the rest of their lives. Graduations, dances, proms, weddings...I can't imagine how much it hurts for my kids. We just went on vacation and felt like the oddball group - everyone else had the 'right' combination of family members.  I get it.  

I am 33 with two boys 5 and 6. My husband passed one month ago. I barely leave the house but when I do, seeing families together is already difficult. :(
I don't have any kids and can't imagine this journey with kids but I'm 26 and lost my husband 3 months ago. I feel as though my future and the family we were planning to start this summer were robbed from me.

Hi all,

I was 58 when my husband died after a two year fight with cancer. That was in 08. He was 66.  Our kids were grown with children of their own.  My daughter lives in another state, so I only see her a few times a year.  I was the first widow I had ever known.  The hardest part is, of course, the loneliness.  but also going out to eat alone and seeing couples together.  Him helping her with her chair.  The friendly chat they have during dinner.  It is now to the point that I just won't go eat alone.  I go through a drive-thru or just eat another frozen pizza. 

In some ways its harder when you are older because you have have not been alone for so many years.  On the other hand, I cannot imagine going through this with small children.  So, for all of the widows out there trying to work, take care of small children and grieve.... you are all super women and should give yourselves a huge pat on the back.




I was 29 when I was widowed and felt like my world ended, and thought I would never be with someone again.  It was devestating because here I was, only married 9 years and 280 days...and he dies.   And I was left with four kids under the age of 8 when he died.  It sucked ass.    I was the only single mom that i knew, the only widow, and everyone I knew was happily married, so i felt SO out of place.  i feel relieved to be in a realtionship again at 30, almost 31.  Seriously, knowing that i wont be alone for the rest of my life is such a huge relief and weight off my shoulders.

I was 36 when my husband died a little over a year ago.  I was divorced before that after a bad relationship.  We were married almost 10 years and had a really good relationship.  I do feel like the third wheel when with friends.  I do want to date, I am ready to move on.  After having a good marriage, I want to have that again.  I am raising 3 kids on my own and would like to have someone there - the youngest was 3 when he died and asks from time to time when she is going to get a new dad.It makes me laugh - but nervous about dating because I do not want to introduce anyone too soon to the kids.


I am surprised your friends did not want to talking about your dating.  When I was married I enjoyed living vicariously through a couple of my single friends - listening to their dating stories and hoping they would find something like what I had in a relationship!


I think there is someone out there for us - they just have big shoes to fill if your husband was like mine!

I was 25 when my loved died. I felt like my life had ended too...I never would have thought I'd been blessed with the love of my life so young...and conversely, I never thought he would be stolen from me so young, either. I couldn't imagine continuing on in my life as a 25-year-old widow and mother. Now, at 27, I still can't. I don't identify with ANY of my peers, I don't "fit in" with anyone in any age group. It's definitely difficult. No matter what age, it's never easy to find yourself widowed and alone. :/


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