Widowed Village

A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation

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Born in the 80s

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Comment by ivorydeer on May 16, 2015 at 1:38am

I thankfully just discovered this forum today and joined in hopes of finding people to connect with. I live in a small town and feel so out of place with finding some comfort with others in similar situations. My heart goes out to anybody suffering through the same grief.

I lost my husband exactly a week ago today, very suddenly and both of us at the age of 24 years old, this is mind blowing. The nights are always the hardest, him and I were inseparable. He was my best friend and vice versa. He's been sick the majority of his life, living out of the hospital (stroke as a kid, then pacemaker, and in 2000 had a heart transplant in Boston) I saw him an hour before he passed and everything was looking up. He was going to get some testing and come home in a few days, I left feeling at peace with everything and he seemed content. An hour later, I'm being paged up to his unit and there's 15 doctors around his bed. Blood pressure dropped to 50, they need to do a cath to get fluid out of his lungs, etc. The last thing he said to me was "it's going to be alright" I was able to squeeze his hand quickly and let him know I'm there before having to leave so they could put in a breathing tube. About 30 minutes later, the doctors came in and said his heart stopped. He went into cardiogenic shock and his was heart was in major rejection. I knew this would happen eventually, but not so soon. I'm left with our disabled 2 1/2 year old (speech delayed and same heart condition, just had a pacemaker 2 weeks ago) to say I'm overwhelmed is an understatement. We mainly just had each other and I wouldn't have it any other way. We both came from dysfunctional families and were able to support each other in every sense of the word. I just don't know how to go on anymore, but I'm trying to find some comfort that he didn't develop cancer from his awful medication and it was as peaceful as possible.

Comment by CandJ02 on May 12, 2015 at 11:41am

Lolo1122, I'm sorry for your loss. I think you are exactly right. I was a caregiver as well and you completely forget about yourself when you are in that role. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have it any other way, but you lose yourself in an entirely different way than just being part of a couple. I'm also trying to save myself even though people sometimes look at me a little strangely. To them, it doesn't seem like I'm grieving in the right way. But I'm doing what I have to do for myself because most days learning who I am again is my only reason for getting up. And I know my fiance would want me to get up and live. He always told me, "I just want you to be happy. Be happy however you can." That is what I'm trying to figure out how to do on my own now, even if it doesn't meet other people's expectations. 

Comment by Lolo1122 on May 12, 2015 at 11:25am

I can totally relate to the identity crisis feeling. My husband was diagnosed with melanoma in July of 2014, and passed away at the end of January 2015. That was a whirlwind enough, but we were still together every day. After he died I just kept saying I feel so lost. I felt like I didn't know who I was anymore. We had been together for 7 years, 3 of those years married. I have been trying to figure out who I am again and what I like to do and eat.  It's harder than it sounds, but I think it is an important part of our healing process. I focused solely on him while he was sick and did everything for him to try to save him, even though in the end I couldn't. Now I'm trying to put that much effort into saving myself.

Comment by CandJ02 on May 12, 2015 at 11:13am

Victoria8, thanks for making me feel a little less crazy. I guess this whole process is really a "journey," one I know that none of us want to be on. Sometimes I feel like it is an outer body experience--like I'm looking down on myself going through this, but that it can't really be my reality. It is just so strange. 

Newblossom2000, I know what you mean. I try to avoid all activities we used to do together. I think the hardest part for me, though, is that I'm not sure what I even like to do alone anymore. For so long, I was part of a couple, a team--everything I did was for us and our life together. Now, as I prepare to move, I don't know what kind of furniture I like for just myself. When friends ask what I want to do or what I want to eat, I find myself giving automatic responses that would suit both of us. The other day I ate pesto for the first time in probably five years and I had forgotten how much I liked it. My fiance hated it and so I'd forgotten all about it and never made it at home. Strange. It is like in the middle of my grieving, I'm also having an identity crisis. 

Comment by newblossom2000 on May 10, 2015 at 11:27pm
I'm 8 weeks in today. When I'm busy doing other things like work I'm okay. There are things that I don't do more like avoid going grocery shopping. Things we would do together it is just to hard. When I'm not at work I cry and also realize he is not here anymore. I miss the conversation and laughter. I understand miss my husband everyday and still love him very much.
Comment by victoria8 on May 10, 2015 at 11:17pm

CandJ02, I think what you're experiencing is not abnormal. I definitely went into shock at first (which sounds like what happened to you and to many other people). The first month, I just went completely crazy cleaning and organizing my house, getting through as much paperwork and administrative things as I could and generally being busy. In my second month, I started forcing myself to experience my grief fully for short periods of time every day so that I could compartmentalize my grief in order to get through my daily obligations. My anxiety was bad. At around three months, I felt the "fog" lift, and I started to regain clarity of mind and feel a little bit more like myself. But along with that came the realization of what losing my husband actually meant. I always knew, but now I really could feel it and I'm now starting to understand what it means at four months. In some ways it's been easier as time has gone by, but it other ways it has been much, much more painful and difficult. I've read a lot of women say that the second year is harder than the first because that's when reality becomes much more apparent. Grief will never go away, it will just change. I guess it's about learning to live with it, to be at peace with it and to continue moving forward. I just still feel really sad that I have to move forward without him :(

Comment by CandJ02 on May 10, 2015 at 7:10pm

I don't think I've posted here--I'm still sort of new to WidowVillage, but today it has been three months since I lost my fiance after about only seven weeks after his cancer diagnosis. I can't believe I've been without him for ninety days. It is strange to think that so much time has passed. I didn't think I could live without him at all, but once he passed I think I went into survival mode. We had quit our jobs and moved to Tennessee so that my family could help us. I'm also a graduate student and temporarily stopped working on my dissertation. In the last ninety days, I got a job back in Florida, I've visited friends, I've worked on my dissertation, I've dealt with his family and with paperwork. I started a diet and exercise plan. I did everything I could think of to do. All of that seems so silly now, but I didn't know what else to do except to be doing something to have a reason to get up in the morning. I didn't fall apart, though I did get incredibly angry at just about everyone. But now I'm exhausted and I can feel my grief shifting. I've gone from survival to shock I think. I can't believe I'm 31 and alone. I can't believe we don't get to have the things we planned. I am only now starting to have break downs and anxiety--I cry at the drop of a hat. And I'm so terribly lonely. I'm not alone, my friends and family have been great, but I'm so lonely. I can't imagine ever knowing anyone or letting anyone else know me like he did. I want to talk to him and tell him how crazy I've recently become. I write him letters instead. That is a little crazy, isn't it? I feel like there is no one who understands so I don't talk to anyone about how I feel. I also don't want to burden others with my grief. Whatever I'm going through now is much harder than the last ninety days were, which is strange since everyone keeps telling me to give it time. The more time that passes, the worse I seem to be/feel. Is this normal? 

Comment by Bekah on May 3, 2015 at 2:03am

I struggle on so many levels daily. My fiance, Kam, was murdered a few days after Christmas 2014. We were both shot with a shotgun during a robbery, he positioned himself to take the majority of the blow, blocking my torso. I only got hit in the right arm, wrist, and hand while he was hit in the chest and shoulder. He died in my arms about 10 minutes later. Those 10 minutes I was completely focused on saving him, but I couldn't, and lost contiousness myself due to the extreme blood loss. After the paramedics woke me and I remembered what happened, I started to scream like I've never done in my life, and at that moment my grief began, and I know in my heart i will never stop grieving, just hopefully I'll just learn to live again and I'll be happy again, because I know that's what he'd want. But i have a long road of healing and learning and growing. I have ptsd now and think often about that night. The sounds, smells, and images are strong in my memory. I also have flashbacks like I didn't even know were possible, complete with the smell of gun powder. And his last words, and the feeling of holding his limp body in my arms, and omg, all the blood, so much blood. during the month after it happened I found pictures online people had posted of the crime scene, of me being put into an ambulance, of the huge pool of blood the next morning, and a picture of the police standing around our car with his dead body uncovered on the ground. I found the pictures after reading a news paper article while waiting in the waiting room at the trauma center for a wounds check. I was numb through the appointment then had a breakdown after and couldn't even get in the elevator. Life is so different now. Kam was everything to me. we've spent 24/7 of the past 11 years together, we met when I was 17 and he was 25. We both have physical disabilities (I have systemic lupus, he had a spinal cord injury and was paraplegic) and neither of us work outside of our home. We took care of eachother, we were eachothers main priority in life. Now I'm all alone, except for my dogs which I am greatful for. But everything changed that night and I will never be the same person without him. you'd never see one of us without the other, which has left me feeling like I'm missing half of myself.

Comment by smit09 on April 29, 2015 at 8:56am

newblossom2000 , its so annoying to continuously read this but TIME> time will help you get through this.  The pain will NEVER go away, but over time it becomes easier to bare.  7 weeks is still so recent.  At 7 weeks, I was still in that blurred state of living, where it didnt feel like living at all.  It's okay, you'll be okay, and you'll get through this... keep leaning into your grief, let yourself cry and weap, let yourself mourn and feel the sorrow. 

@ victoria8... i am the same as you, moving along in the healing process, accepting his death and a life without him, but remembering the moment I saw him in the hospital and making the decision to take him off life support is STILL haunting me from time to time.  It's been nearly 4 years... and I guess, the same as widowerAndOne, I just look at it as a body, and not him.  He was gone when he was struck by the drunk driver.  technical tasks. Same when I had to visit the scene of the collision, and get the things out of his truck (which was smashed into bits)... everything was just technical tasks...seeing them wheel off his body to take his organs, going through the motions, without any emotion.  Remember your love for each other will ALWAYS be stronger than the memory of his death... let that shine in your heart and eventually the focus won't be on those memories

Comment by victoria8 on April 28, 2015 at 10:34pm

I'm sorry newblossom2000. I'm just a few months in now. Personally, I stopped talking to everyone except my closest friend and my family (the supportive ones at least) and avoided anyone who had their own issues going on. I've read a couple books that were really helpful to me - "Honoring Grief" and "The Power of Now" and made sure I spend around 10-30 mins everyday to deeply explore my grief and emotions when I was alone and safe at home. The key was to allow myself to feel everything and think everything that came to my mind without judgement and without trying to minimize or deflect from my emotions. Once I allowed myself to feel different things fully they did not eat away at me anymore. Making time to do that everyday also allowed me to get through the practical side of life because when I felt overwhelming emotion start to come up, I could set it aside for the time being, knowing that I would explore that emotion during my next "grief session". That's what has helped me the most - maybe it can help you too. Hugs**

 

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