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Widowed Village connects peers with each other for friendship and sharing. The moderators, administrators, and others involved in running this site are not professionals.

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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

How many of you have had to help at least one other person start this widowed journey?  I have had three in the last year and a half.  Do you find it helps you?  Do you find yourself grieving along with the other person?  A friend just lost her husband yesterday in a horrific accident -- unexpected and sudden.  I read about it through a news clipping and felt almost more gutted than I did when my own husband died.  She is younger than I am and her life was damn near perfect until now.  I would love to feel that when I help people through these early days I am doing a good thing, but it is so hard to get past the wishing mightily that we could go back in time and not have them in this club.  I accept that I'm in it, but I don't want anyone I care about to have to join.  :-(

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One of my 12 year old daughter's best friends' mom is dying of fairly quick brain cancer and it hurts me so keenly, because as bad as it is for them now, I know what they have in front of them. She and her husband are the nicest people in the world, and they are devoted to each other. I can hardly stand to see it happen.  It's caused a big resurgence in my own grief, which I had gotten pretty good at denying.

That's very sad Bergen. We are constantly reminded how fragile life really is, aren't we? My neighbor lost his wife a year ago (she and I had become friends over the years) I know it's been quite difficult for him. He's a quiet man and it seems he just wants his privacy and I certainly respect that.

One death that really affected me recently was a young man my grandson was friends with. He developed cancer last year and was treated but it returned in Jan. My DIL shared a letter he wrote informing family and friends of his circumstance and by March, he was gone. Only twenty years old. That had me crying.

I am much more sensitive to the loss of someone's spouse or partner--more than I was prior to losing my own husband. I could never have imagined the magnitude of pain or the length of time it takes to mourn someone so close. You know just what your friend is going through and you feel for her--that is understandable. Our thoughts can return to the time of our own loss, we almost "feel" their pain. Good or bad, that may stick with us.

Early on I thought it was best to pay it forward, but I quickly learned from their dependence on me in knowing all the answers it was compounding my own grief. I learned having grief buddies who relied on other sources was more helpful for all of us. We were able to exchange ideas as well as talk easily about other things while being supportive. At almost 10yrs out, it's not a problem to be supportive. There are times, as it should be, that I don't easily or quickly recall the many issues associated w/grief b/c it just gets better w/healing. Its what is looked forward to during the process. I still remember the day I woke feeling light hearted & raring to go - it stopped me in tracks after about an hour. It was a quite the shock to realize grief ended. No sadness whatsoever; that feeling of dragging a ball & chain w/the same cloud of feelings & thoughts melding into one day after another while multitasking. Do whatever is helpful to/for you ...

Hi NoLongerInBergenJC,

    Several other ladies, also Widows, have helped me just by talking and letting me talk. Two of my neighbors are Widows.  Also so ladies at my church have helped me just by being there if I so much as simply want to talk. ( I haven't taken them up on this though.)  

     I think it would be such a good feeling if i could help someone. A way to pay back what others have done for me. The only question is, " Am I ready for that ? " 

     I'm having a hard time with the fact that I'm single / alone. How do you live as a single person?  I haven't ever been alone. I married at age 21. Before that, I was living with my parents. 

      The quietness is what gets to me. I have to either have a radio or an audio book on. I even play one at night so I can fall asleep to it.  I have no idea how t overcome this alone feeling. I need things to do.

      Sorry to have talked too much. But it feels good to sort of " Get It Out ".

Regards,

Susan

Susan, it's probably more difficult for some than others to adjust. I found in the early days, it was him that I missed and was terribly lonesome for. Still am, actually, after eight years. As far as living alone, it doesn't bother me most of the time. I can and do get in the car and go when I need to but I always have things I can be doing around the house. Maybe I have just resolved to myself that this is the way it is and going to be.

I really don't know what to suggest because we all know the real problem is we miss that daily interaction with our spouses, that space no one else can fill. We all need to figure out for ourselves what is best for us. I thought about getting a pet, which I know would be companionship but I don't know if I have the energy to care for one.(I have health issues) That may be something for you to consider, I don't know. I hope you find some peace!

Thanks Callie,

    I should know by now that not everyone is the same or feels the same. Gets over grief the same way. Etc. Etc. I AM trying to get to get a Maltese. I'm trying to adopt an older one. Zsa Zsa is 10. But I'm  waiting to hear from the agency if I have her or not.

Susan

It has helped tremendously for me! I tend to share my story a lot in my travels. So often it leads to "I just lost my husband, I just lost my mother or father, I just lost my child... empathy is on overdrive. 

I don't share my story unless for some reason it is relevant.  Some of this is an overreaction to the way my mother was, because the first thing out of her mouth if she met new people was "I lost my husband", which is pretty much a conversation killer because they don't know how to react.  Usually if it is relevant, which it usually is in the context of "So what brought you here?" (since I moved 500 miles away a year ago), I say "...and then my husband passed away, and I stayed in the house a couple of years and then decided it was time to move...so I did, and I love it here."  That way I get the point across without sounding like a buzzkill or making others uncomfortable.

I'm new to this group but I've been helping others for a couple of years who like me have (or had)  a spouse with Early Onset Alzheimer's and I've shared some of my experiences so far in this widowed journey and they have told me that it helps them.  If anything good can come out of both Rick's journey and now mine, then it gives me a little bit of comfort. 

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