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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 42 when my husband died suddenly in an accident last year (June '16).  We had been married 14.5 years, and together for nearly 20.  I have had the same thoughts as you -- who is out there?  I hear so many horror stories about ex-spouses, and what little I hear about dating these days sounds exhausting, (my friends and I had been talking prior to all this mess about how glad we were to be out of the dating phase) but I feel I'm too young to be a widow and alone for the rest of my life.  We, too, had done all the work in the beginning, raised 2 girls  past the challenging infant/toddler stages (the girls are now 9 & 11 and have different challenges, but they're certainly "easier" than babies).  I also feel that it's gonna take some amazing human to want to be with a widow, esp a widow with kids.  Know what I mean?  

I also have a hard time with other couple's anniversaries - anyone else?  I mean, I'm happy for them, but it hurts.

Don't give up hope, MPMom.  I was divorced at age 43 with a 12-year old son who was floundering in middle school and a an alcoholic ex-husband.  I met my second husband, Ron, in a theology class.  I was looking for companionship for myself but he turned out to be a spectacular stepfather.  We were together almost 20 years before he died last November.  Before he died I told him that my two granddaughters, even though they aren't blood relatives of his, are his granddaughters because without his influence, my son never would have straightened out and gotten into a healthy marriage.

I'm 64 and I'm actually hoping that that part of my life isn't over yet.  I don't want to remarry (too many legal/financial entanglements) and I'm not sure I even want to cohabitate, but I wouldn't mind having another good man in my life.

I just lost my husband Dan 4 weeks ago. I am 34 and he was 50, we were together for 5 and a half years and only married for a year and a half. We had no children together but he had 2 adult children from his previous marriage that I love. He was my everything and we were head over heals for each other, oh I love him so much and we had so much fun together. I do not know anyone my age that is a widow and it is very hard for me because I really wish I knew someone my age that could relate. I have some amazing friends but they have not been through this and that makes it hard. I am seeing a counselor but she has not been through this either so I feel all she can do for me is listen, not that, that is a bad thing, she is a very good listener so far it just sometimes doesn't feel like enough. I just joined this site so I am hopping to connect with people that have went though this to get some insight on how do I get through this. 

Hi Athena53, I am 64 and my husband passed away 21/2 years ago.  I totally agree on your last paragraph. I do not feel I even want to cohabitate but I am hoping I find a good man and perhaps that will change my mind. I would like companionship to watch TV, go for walks, travel, to dine, see a movie, to laugh, to cry, etc.

Holiday is very tough, thanks for this website and support of you all who understand what I am going through.

Hi. I too am 64, and even if I say so my self still fit and young in my head.

my bereavement is different in so much as my dear sole mate of 44 years, walked out one day and never came back, 4 hours later the police came to tell me he had been found and had taken his own life, leaving a note saying his disability had gotten worse and he did not want to be a burden.

im still struggling with the shock and trauma of it all 3 years on.

so lost without  my life time partner to share and care with.

people say I will be fine and meet someone else ... No way !

yes it is nice to have a man around to go out to dinner, walk, talk, holidays etc, no one could never fill the huge hole my dear husband has left.

And the thought of another man in my home and all it brings...never.

so how do we carry on ?

i fill my life with as many things and people as possible, but it is exhausting trying to be … fine.

life isn’t fair !

We all know one day one of us will pass, but it never comes the way we think.

i try to say at least my wonderful husband is pain free and at peace.

This is what I I need too. but how long if ever does that take.

All the best

Bibby

I was 59

So was I! My name is Susan as well.

My husband became ill at age 37. He had ideopathic cardiomyopathy, a heart failure disease. There was no cure but a heart transplant. He had a pacemaker, but in 1990 there were no implantable defibulators. He died in 1997 a day before he turned 48. I was 47. It was 20 years ago this past September. Our lives and our son’s life were changed forever upon his diagnosis. After he died, my liife was a mess. I don’t drive due to a brain bleed and craniotomy when I was 8. I lost more than 1/2 my vision. Norm taught me to backpack, camp, hike, cross country ski with no fear. I was lost without him. Our son was 16 when his dad died. He left for college a year later. Then I was totally alone. I stayed there in the house we helped build for ten years, then sold and moved to FL. Ten years later,I am alone. I never wanted to be with anyone but him. Ilost lots of friends, grew apart from siblings (all 6 still married). I feel odd with couples, so I figured out that I like me, and am ok now. Not great, but ok. beans

It has been only 2 months since I lost my husband. I am only 53 and I feel like there is no one who really knows me anymore. There are people who know the daughter, sister, and friend, but no one who truly knows the real me. After 33 years being with someone, they know your true self, your dreams, fears, likes, dislikes. You can tell at a glance how they are feeling. You have an unspoken language that only the two of you share. There are thoughts and feelings you would only share with your spouse.  There really is no place in life for "the widow" except with others that share that experience.

I was 49 when Doug died.  My family was no support.  His family was better.  If it wasn't for my husband's aunt & my pets I would never have gotten through it.  She lives in another province so we could only speak on the phone once a week.

Of course the usual, all "friends" vanish as I don't fit in any more.

I found a "meet up" group in my city for widows & widowers, finally someone who gets it!  These are my friends now.We laugh, go to movies, dinner, meet every Friday in a quiet lounge. Last week was out Christmas gift exchange. I find myself having less & less to do with "the others" - the married & especially divorced they whine too much, & they have SO MUCH support At church Divorce Care never ends, literally year after year.  Grief Support was 8 week & we were handed a certificate that we "passed" (No I didn't take it & told them I was insulted)

At a friends husband's funeral this year the pastor read how the church is to look after widows, except if they are younger than 50, because they will marry again.  I want to ask God, IS that a guarantee?  I've been waiting for the right one for 4 1/2 years, & meet no one interesting.  Do all men just want sex & no relationship?  I so envy the ladies in their 80's who their spouse just died. They have less years alone.  I don't want to spend 40 - 50 years alone.

Because I am still young, no one helps.  To do anything.  I would never ask of course.  But all those offers (lies) after Doug died "If I can do anything for you.........."They are back to their wonderful lives.

Imogen, I'm pretty much in the same boat - steerage class...

At any rate, most people have long evaporated, and as I get older, I suppose I'll "age into" the "usual definition" of widow.  Now I'm in a complete never-never land, of having kids who are older (20 and 23) and no one really else...I'm pretty terrified of growing old alone, I must admit.  Not of death, but of getting old.

Anyways...I do understand.  

I was 36 when A died in 1999. We had 4 children 13 and under. I remember my father driving me away from the hospital and I looked at him and said "I am just too young to be a widow." 

I am in a very different place now. I have since remarried (a widower) and life is good.  But I pop in here from time to time. It is the holidays... 

I remember so many of the feelings expressed in this thread. I remember dipping my toe into the dating pool about 2 months out, and thinking "what on earth am I doing sitting with THIS MAN?" I just wanted A back. 

I felt like all I did was work, and then come home so exhausted I had so little left to give my children - who were grieving too!

I was so blessed to have several good friends who, while they didn't really understand, tried to be there for me and never said to me that it had been X months or years, I had to get over it. 

And I had a few former friends who suddenly became concerned that I was a threat to their marriage, that I wanted their husband *yuck* - Good riddance!

As the years go on I have had a number of new widows cross my path. I hope I can pay forward what I received when I needed it.

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