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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 35 when my husband took his own life. I am now 53 and I never remarried. I had two small children when he died and I just focused all of my energies

on raising them. I am now the mom of two grown up young ladies one in college and one married and expecting her first baby.  I am now looking at my life and I think  that now should be the time that I can slow down and enjoy life with my husband. I am going through my own pity party and I am mad that I am alone.

I still work full time and have a full life I just forgot about getting old and kids leaving home lol.

Hello!  I'm at the point where my son is almost done with school and seems to have a serious girlfriend...daughter is still in her first year, but the reality is that they'll be on their own soon enough.  I'm now 50, and have no idea what I will do totally by myself.  So I think I'll join your pity party :-)

My late wife's older bother (he's about 65) lived all his life (and now) about one to two blocks from my mother in law.  The other brother (and of course my late wife and I) both moved away to another state.  I have a feeling that both kids will move far away...maybe.  If one of them were two blocks away...then I'd be fine...

I'm sorry for everyone who has lost their dearest partners here.
I'm 57 i feel old with the heartbreaking grief but too young to be without my husband I lost him just 6 weeks ago he was and is my soul mate and best friend. My son and his partner have a baby girl due in 6 weeks but I'm so sad as I Have no steve to share this baby girl with. I'm finding it so hard that a terrible and shocking death is so close to a new life. I'm just lost and feel guilty that I can't look forward or enjoy the new baby preparations. I just miss Steve and want him back again. None of this feels real. But I can't cry properly I think my brain is protecting me from losing control.

You will get to the crying trust me.  It takes awhile for the reality to set in, you know their gone but still expect to see them.For me it was a few months before I Let loose and after 11 months I still cry daily.  I am so sorry for your loss. It is definitely heartbreaking.  When the new baby comes may be when you will let loose.  Try to be gentle with yourself, all of what you are feeling is normal for grief. Sandi

Thank you Sandi I'm so sorry for your terrible loss too I really am xx
It's strange but after I posted here earlier I lost it! I've had to try and cry quietly because my dogs worry and one of them is ill since Steve died. I actually sounded like a wounded animal. I shut myself in the bathroom. How awful is this!!!! I feel for each and everyone here who is suffering this torture. Let's all try and be gentle on ourselves xxxx
Alone I have had those same bouts of crying that sound almost like a wounded animal. And I too worry about my dog...who was my Steve's baby. It has taken him time to act normal again and bound with me. I am about 8 weeks out and some days the pain is so raw and heavy I don't think I can take another breath. It is much more difficult and painful than I could have ever imagined. I am at a loss and for now am simply trying to put one foot in front of the other and get through each day...sometimes each hour. I am so sorry for all of us here.
I got married "late" in life. When I was in my mid-40s, I didn't believe I'd ever get married. And I reconciled myself to the idea that I'd never know what it was like to be married, especially as I'm not a social person and my only friends are people at my job. I focused on developing my hobbies, and I unexpectedly met my husband as a result of one of them.

My sense of identity and my future were based on two people. And when Gary was alive, both of us were employed but I was the breadwinner, so my life had a definite purpose: I had someone who depended on me. We had shared dreams, so our future seemed defined.

My husband died when I was 55. I feel just as clueless about who I am as a person and as directionless now as I did in my 20s. But I feel like my life is like a spiral as opposed to a circle.

A circle implies that I've returned to the identical situation. This is impossible of course, which is why I conceive of my life as a spiral; It's arched back to a similar place: I'm single, directionless, and have no clear idea of what to do with the rest of my life.

But emotionally, I'm not 20 something. My loss feels like an amputation. The sense of incompleteness is different than the feeling of emptiness I experienced when I was in my 20s and wanted to be married. I have a career and an established reputation professionally, unlike my 20s. And financially, I can do things now that I couldn't in my 20s.

In the absence of clear cut goals for my own life, this year I find myself completing the goals my husband had set for himself, starting out with small manageable ones.

Hi SpringLight,

   I'm sorry about your situation... Although the word SORRY doesn't do much. ... I was 59 when Paul passed away. He had an aggressive brain cancer that we knew would be the end of his wonderful life.  ( The cancer is called Glioblastoma)  People have told me that I MIGHT not feel so SHELL SHOCKED when he passes, because I went trough 17 months of something called " Anticipatory  Grief " ..... I still feel alone. 

   I hope you find your life to be Full again. 

Susan

Hi, Sissy.

I'm very sorry for your loss.

Please don't worry. I don't get hung up by words. To me, it's the sentiment that counts.

Our first doctor told us Gary had 6 months to live. Our immediate response was denial and doing everything possible to prolong his life. (He lived an extra month.) Because Gary had esophageal cancer, when he started experiencing visual hallucinations and personality changes, all of our doctors were initially perplexed. Ironically, his cancer treatment worked so well that the cancer unknowingly escaped to his brain and spinal column.

I knew beforehand that how I would react to his death was a complete unknown. And it turned out that I was right.

It must have been painful to hear people talk about "anticipatory grief" as if foreknowledge could ever lessen the impact of the actual reality.

Hi SpringLight,

   We were told that Paul had 15 - 18 ... He lived for 17 mos. But "I" think he could have lived much longer if the Cancer hadn't spread to his spine. His Gliobastoma spread to the spine and left tumors in it's wake.  If only they knew this was happening.   I know, it's no use thinking " If Only " ...

Susan

Hi Sissy, My Steve was diagnosed with esophageal cancer last August. We thought everything was going well and he was scheduled for post treatment surgery January 5th. Unfortunately when they began the surgery they discovered spread to his peritoneum that hadn't shown up on the scans. I lost him March 2nd. At just two months out I am going back and forth from being numb and going through the motionss to earth shattering grief that brings me to my knees and renders me useless. At 60, I have no idea what the rest of my life is supposed to look like.

Hi Averysmom,

   I'm so sorry to hear that. Paul was only 62 when he passed. I slowly realized that I was a widow at 59.  Now 60. I too wonder what I'm to do now.  .... I can imagine your grief.

   So Steve's cancer spread just like Paul's did and they( Dr's )  didn't even know it. Or even look for it. Dr. McPherson, his first surgeon to remove a tumor, told us that his cancer would not spread to anywhere else. That it would stay contained in his head. WHY do they tell us things like that when it's not true.

   Paul had asked them once, " Will I see Christmas "... She said " Oh Yes " ... I have a recording of that Dr.s appointment. I recorded most of them. It hurts to listen to them. But I want to hear his voice.

Enough of my ranting... Again, I'm sorry for your pain. 

Regards,

Susan

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