Hi everyone- I lost my husband 3 months ago, after watching him deal with cancer for almost 2 years. I feel like i was grieving for a lot of that time, since we knew it was incurable. It was really hard at first, and it comes and goes, but I almost feel guilty that i don't feel terrible right now. I read what other widows write on this and other websites. I was married for 19 years, am 51 and raising two teenagers and working, and I have lived by myself before I was married.
Is this the numbness others talk about? In some ways I feel so busy with things that it keeps some feelings at bay. My hormones seem to be in overdrive as well and I definitely look at men with an appreciative eye:) A nurse told me that is part of the grieving process too.
We had a good marriage and I definitely miss my husband. But i don't have this " I can't go on" feeling that many others seem to have. Maybe that comes in the second year?
Thank you Fromage for your honesty. I have felt that way too. The grieving comes on in waves-but doesnt weigh me down too often. I lost my husband after 3 year struggle with cancer. His death was a relief in some ways for me, mostly because he passed very peacefully at Hospice and I was no longer terrified to wake up and find he had died alone, or get the phone call that he died at chemo etc. He would be very proud of the way my daughter and I have held it together for each other. I am now smack dab in the middle of my third year widowed and some things really stink (like going to bed alone, or having to introduce yourself as widowed), but the good days outnumber ther bad and i am fortunate to have a career that satisfies me and good friends around me.
Allow yourself to have your own grief journey.
Each one of us is so different! While my story may seem similar to yours, we are traveling our paths differently.
I do think I pre-grieved. He lived with his diagnosis of cancer for 11 years; it was the last one which was so hard. When he died, I knew he was at peace because I was. I would never wish him back unless he could be cancer free.
I did have a numb period - I don't really remember the first 6 months tho I know I made a lot of mistakes at work.
I think now I truly do feel I can go on and it will be 5 years in September.
Thanks for sharing your story. It helps.
I just joined this group and your post caught my eye because I lost my husband to cancer 4 months ago after 19 years of marriage and have a 10 & 12 year old. I am also not feeling his loss at every moment. That's not to say that I don't miss him, but I think it's because there is so much to do. Having children is definitely a factor. They not only keep me busy, but I want to be strong for them, show them that there are still things to look forward to and that it's okay to be happy.
As things settle down (we're moving) and become less busy though, I find myself thinking more about what happened and regret and irrational guilt are surfacing: his suffering, knowing that if we had caught his cancer earlier, it would have been curable and the ways in which we didn't know each other (we had been drifting apart before he got sick). These thoughts come in the middle of the night and prevent me from going back to sleep.
In whatever way a person grieves is their own right way, and I think it changes over time. Most of the time I feel pretty good. I feel a renewed sense of purpose in caring for my family. Occasionally recently though, I feel overwhelmed with the rush of simultaneous conflicting, complex emotions that leave me feeling totally defeated. And then I'm ok again.
As far as hormones go, I get it. Losing a spouse to a disease can mean going without physical intimacy for quite awhile before (and probably after) they die. I'm 43 and I would like to date again someday, but it will be a long time before I'm ready. I am also okay with being on my own, but I've enjoyed reading this blog on another widow's journey into dating. thehungoverwidow.com
Best wishes as you navigate this next part of your life.
Welcome Wren. That is definitely true for me too about kids, there is so much to do.
I have had that same feeling, that if we had paid attention we could have caught it earlier, and maybe he could have had surgery which at least would have prolonged his life. But maybe not. Its always so much easier to look back and berate ourselves for many things, if only we knew then what we know now:)
I have enjoyed that blog too, thanks for mentioning it again. My hormones have finally calmed down, whew. I have no interest in getting married or living with someone for a looooong time if ever, but i would like to date at some point.
I've made myself reach out more to my current friends and reconnect with a few far away, so that has been helpful.
Best wishes to you too. It is very hard to be a truly single parent.