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Born in the 50s

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Comment by shelley on October 30, 2018 at 12:22pm

CarLady, I so miss the way my husband made me feel.  We adored each other.  Yes, I felt beautiful because of him.  He used to look at me tenderly with his deep blue eyes and say, 'I love your soul', which also code for, 'I love your naked body'.  He loved me and made me feel beautiful in so many ways.  Is that total acceptance partly because we grew old together?  Or were our husbands exceptional human beings?  Both?  I miss him so much.  

Comment by Allan_sch on October 30, 2018 at 11:47am

In the last 5 1/2 months after my wife passed away I been to 2 weddings, one funeral  and one anniversary party. I know life goes on, but it is still very hard to go to these places without my wife. I'm going to a family Thanksgiving party next month, everyone will have their spouses with them except me. Still not sure if I will go or not. I have already pair for the motel. It would be a two day drive to get there also. 

Life just kinda sucks sometime 

I'm being strong for my adults kids.   

Comment by Melissa on October 30, 2018 at 11:34am

Susan, I know how you feel. You put it perfectly. I am lost. Last year, I was still in shock. This year, I am alone and feeling alone.

Comment by LP on October 30, 2018 at 9:43am

I too dread my first Christmas without Chris. He loved mince pies and all the Xmas trappings. I’ve planned to go away with a friend who is also at loose ends, but the buildup to the season is getting me down. It also means that winter is coming and my darling died on a snowy day in Feb. It was as if the snow took him away. 

Comment by Barzan on October 30, 2018 at 7:11am

First note to Carlady - Don't let your exterior "flaws" keep you from meeting people.  We all are flawed in one way or another.  There may well be someone out there who won't even notice your flaw but focus on the person you are.  

As for the holidays - I dread them with every bone in my body.  I feel like I'm back in school where in gym class the two designated kids pick their teams and I'm standing there waiting to be picked.  My MIL usually comes up for Thanksgiving and some family member who hosts will likely invite us.  If not, we'll find an alternative.  Christmas is going to be spent alone but the family does get together the weekend before.  My mom is in assisted living so I'll probably spend some time with her.

I just look at it this way, these too shall pass.  

Comment by CarLady on October 30, 2018 at 6:01am

Christmas has never been the same for me either.  The first one, 3 months after his passing we had a terrible ice storm and my home was without power for 5 days and utilities for 10 (cable,internet,phone). I couch surfed at my kids homes until after Christmas Day, when the power came back on. This year my daughter and son-in-law are travelling in New Zealand in December and won’t be here until New Years, so I’ll spend the day with my son at his home. Holidays are different every year, because my 30ish kids feel the loss deeply too and we are all doing whatever we need to do to go on. I just stay flexible. 

On the dating issue, I realized this week why I can’t face or even think about this. 12yrs ago I had surgery to remove a tumour from my neck (not cancer) and some nerves were severed causing the left side of my face to fall slightly and my smile is noticeably crooked. When I meet new people they often ask if I’ve had Bells Palsy. Bill always thought I was beautiful no matter what, even at my worst. I know I will never have that again, feeling beautiful, and I don’t have the confidence to put myself out there and meet new people. So, the plan is to stick with family and long-time friends.  

Comment by riet on October 30, 2018 at 5:27am

In fact I am panicking about the holidays. I will not be alone then. My grandchildren already made plans to join me on Christmas eve. They did that themselves, I didn't ask for it. And on Christmas day, the tradition will be followed. The children, grandchildren and  me will celebrate in our house with a good meal and small presents for everybody. As the custom is in Belgium.

But... he will not be there. I already miss the pleasure of organizing all of these things with him.

Not being religious, he thought the end-of-the-year celebrations were very important. He had missed these as a kid, being born in a family severely affected by the war. So he made all these days wonderful. Giving his family what he never had.

Not in big things, but searching for every little warm thing he could.

That is now completely gone. Where would we start? 

He made the lives of those around him so easy and festive. And  now I doubt if I told him this enough.  How I wished I could hug him again.

I got an offer to visit my cousin in California these days. I would like to go but I have to be with my own family.

Better  to avoid the 1st anniversary of his death , and to visit in April.  The month in which he suffered so much and died. 

Nature now seems to cry with me here. Cold and rain.  I hate it.  When my husband was still alive, it was just one of the things that came with the season.  Now it's a real burden.

Actually I am still happy with my dear family around me. But despite this, I also feel alone.

Comment by NoLongerInBergenJC on October 30, 2018 at 4:38am

I guess I'm lucky in that I "de-mythologized" the holidays a long time ago.  What I always tell people who have issues with the imagery of the holidays is "DVR everything so you can skip over the commercials."  Because let's face it -- it's really the TV commercials that give us the impression that everyone else in the world has a big, loving family holiday except us.  The reality is that many people are alone, many people endure excruciating holidays with relatives they hate, and others just have the holiday with their nuclear families and wonder why they don't have extended family.

I'm on my own for Thanksgiving in alternate years when my sister goes to her in-laws.  I can always go to my step-family in Florida, but I hate traveling over Thanksgiving.  I'm part of a local group of women who are "aging alone" and I am hosting Thanksgiving for some of this group at my house.  I actually enjoy this more than dealing with my sister's vocal and self-righteous vegetarianism. The first year I was in my new home, I volunteered at Ronald McDonald House, but I felt like an interloper there because they have a family that does it every year and I felt I was an unwelcome interloper at THEIR Thanksgiving.

Last year I similarly hosted Christmas dinner for my friends.  I find Christmas easier, because I'm "culturally Jewish" (probably more so now after the events in Pittsburgh over the weekend) and so it's never been my holiday.

But mostly I just try to recognize that the mythology of "the holiday cheer" is about advertising, marketing and consumerism.

Comment by booktime (Susan) on October 30, 2018 at 4:10am

I think we are all heading into a particularly difficult time with the holidays. This will be my 6th year without Ed. The first four were not too difficult - the family gathered at my mother's house in many different groupings. But that's where the focus was.

Last year was the first without my mother and her home. I managed to celebrate Christmas first at my niece's house and then I hosted a very small gathering at mine.

This year seems worse. I really feel "lost". I can't explain to my family - they don't get it nor should they. They have homes full of family or have some family members. I find myself getting very brittle about this. There's a lot of talk amongst different family members of who is hosting who and when. But I have not really been included, except second-hand.  Everyone assures me I am welcome at their home. But it just feels so very vague.

I don't know how to explain this feeling. I am struggling. When Ed was alive we had our own holiday traditions. I don't have any now.

Is anyone feeling similar or can put this into better words?

I am not necessarily upset, just kind of lost, I guess. And I selfishly am just wishing the holidays away!

Hugs to all at this time of year.

Comment by Tess on October 30, 2018 at 4:00am

Gary'swife, I had a chuckle at your last sentence about the dog preventing you from being "some weird old lady walking the neighborhood wanting to talk to people." I have felt that way so many times. It's that dichotomy of what you feel you look like inside and how others see you. It's hard to admit that we're getting old and that people actually recognize that. Or that we're lonely and it is very evident upon view by others.

Hang in there. I know we can fill our lives with "busy" stuff, but it will never be the same without our partners for sure.

 

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