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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.

Please don't interpret anything you read here as medical, legal, or otherwise expert advice. Don't disregard any expert's advice or take any action as a result of what you read here.

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


Long-Term Illness

For those widowed by cancer and other illnesses or long term conditions that required caregiving.

Check the 'Help' tab for more guidance or send questions to [email protected]

Patience (Diane) is your group greeter.

Members: 749
Latest Activity: Jul 6

Discussion Forum

Neurodegenerative disease MSA anyone else?

Started by LP. Last reply by riet Jun 2. 6 Replies

my husband died in Feb’18 of a rare condition called Multiple System Atrophy, a form of Parkinsonism, for which there is no treatment. He gradually lost all ability to move, speak, swallow, blink and…Continue

Not like the Movies

Started by Snow. Last reply by riet May 21. 9 Replies

In 15 minutes I will have passed my third day of being a widow. I have been bracing myself for this pain for 10 years, when my beautiful husband of 26 years was first diagnosed with advanced…Continue

how to handle life now

Started by nayajivan. Last reply by Mamitha May 11. 3 Replies

Hi,I have lost my wife Archana on 12th March 2018.19 years of Marriage..2 beautiful and lovely sons - 17 and 14 years..15 years of battle against 2 deadly diseases - Kidney Failure and AIHA...9 Years…Continue

Tags: sons, marriage, AIHA, dialysis, failure

Unexpected Emotions

Started by Snow. Last reply by Linda C Mar 3. 10 Replies

I had braced myself for the grief of loss, unbearable loneliness, some other things too awful to write about, but I'm also starting to feel quite hurt and let down by some people. Is this normal?…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on June 17, 2018 at 10:04am

Riet - I know exactly what you are saying.  I have a neighbor and friend who complains about her husband all the time.  He's a nice man, but I don't live with him so I can't judge.  But she also realizes that she loves him and someday he may not be with her.  So I listen and don't offer advice unless she asks.  No one is perfect and there were times I had my complaints, too.  And yes, now, I'd give anything to have Don's little quirks in my live again. 

The Widow's brain lasts for a while sometimes - we are all different.  Some days I feel like I still have it but then I wonder if it's maybe age creeping up on me.  I write shopping lists, then go the market with out them only to come home and find the list in my purse.  Now I write them on my phone.  Then I may go out and forget to take my phone!  But somehow, we just keep putting one foot in front of the other and somehow find ourselves living our lives.  Hugs.

Comment by LP on June 17, 2018 at 6:15am

Yes, Riet and Cynthia, as Joni Mitchell once sang, you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. I’ve had a woman who was bitterly divorced say to me, ‘ oh it would have been so much easier if he had just died’. Really. 

Some people will simply not know what to say. It is so true that you have to go through this to understand how to respond.That’s why you can come to this website, and people whom you’ve never met will recognise instantly what you are going though. Always remember it’s alright to be sad -  you’ve got every reason- and of course you miss him. That is love.

Comment by riet on June 16, 2018 at 11:39pm

Dear Cynthia, I am almost a month further now. I don't know where the time went.  I still have that "widows' brain". I have to write everything down or I forget it at the same moment.

I am going forward. But can't think of the future without being terrified so I am trying to avoid to think about it.

I am surrounded by good and lovely people, I am not lonely but I miss him so much.

I am happy for all the couples I see and hear around me.  I only wished it was us....

The only thing I can't stand is people complaining about their family and husband.  I was traveling by train last week and somehow next, before and after me all people of a certain age had to do that.:

"He" made too much noise, had too much "rubbish" and so on and so on. I didn't make any remark although I wanted to do that.

I just went away.  Longing for my husband. I would so like him to make his "noise" and bring his rubbish. And be himself with me.

Have a good day,

and Hugs to you


Comment by riet on May 21, 2018 at 10:25am

Dear Cynthia  

A lot of hugs for you too.


Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on May 21, 2018 at 10:18am

I know - we all know - what you are going through.  And I'm a 7 ½ years yet I still hate to grocery shop because we did it together, every Saturday.  

And it doesn't matter if it was modern or not; all that matters is you lost your love.  We are all frozen for these first months - maybe a few, maybe many; maybe years.  It's hard to try to do those everyday things when you are so early in your grief.  But one day, you will get up and you will do one thing.  Just one thing today; maybe something else tomorrow, or the next day or the next... you will.  But right now you are deep in your grief and that's all you have to do - just grieve.  It's a process; we all do it differently.  I am 66.  I have no desire to have another man in my life. Don was my love, my life, my everything.  

And you will talk to your love.  I talk to Don.  I don't know if he hears me, but it doesn't matter.  But I get it when you want to tell him something and then realize you can't... and it sucks.  

We all want to be old with our husband/wife/fiancee/partner by our side.  When I see older couples holding hands and being together, I get so sad.  Still.  I think I always will.  

I am sending you hugs.

Comment by riet on May 21, 2018 at 9:54am

One of the most difficult things to do now is shopping for me only.  I am at the bakers or butchers and they ask me what I want.  I don't know what I want.  I used to shop for both of us. What did WE want, what did WE like. 

I know this is not modern at all.  But it is how it is. I never ever took care just for myself alone. Often I don't know how.  My husband took care of me and vice versa.  

I have plans to do things that are badly needed.  Because of the very heavy last half year, I did nothing in my household.  People came to help me all the time.  I am very grateful for it.  But it is as if I am paralyzed  now: I do next to nothing. I  want to start and then sit  down and wait till I can start.  Without any result.

I am comforted by your mails.  And see I am not alone.  Not at all.  But the reality is so cruel.  Today I heard again: You're still young.  I am 65.  And than I want to scream: I don't want to be young, I want to be old with my husband by my side. 

My daughter warns me some people will certainly propose to take a dog.  Ok when you like that.  But I couldn't bear to hear that.  

It is now evening here in Belgium.  I saw my kids and grandchildren today.  And I have so much to tell to my husband.  And he is no longer here.

Thanks for listening and your concern

Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on May 21, 2018 at 6:59am

Riet -

I hear your struggle.  I hear your questions.  One of the hardest things I've had to do is make big decisions by myself when we always made them together.  Yes, now you are stumbling, but one day, the stumbling will turn into steps.  Maybe baby steps; maybe strides.  I can't say or tell you when that will happen.  It will happen when you are ready.  We each do this journey in our own way, in our own time.  There are no timelines for grief; no nice neat stages.  We just wake up each day and do it - we do what we have to do.  Somedays I spent not getting dressed, not going anywhere; just wandering around my house grieving.  And I stumbled - a lot.  Slowly it does get easier; somehow it changes.  I can't say how, because, again, it's different for all of us.  But you have found a wonderful group of people who truly care.  

Comment by booktime (Susan) on May 21, 2018 at 1:48am

Riet, how can you, you ask? You just will. We all stumbled, stumble still. The black hole for me is much smaller now.

I don't want you to think that time diminishes your love. In a very strange way at almost 5 years, I feel Ed's love more.

But now for now, take it moment by moment. Don't look ahead and wonder how you'll survive. You are surviving moment by moment, step by step.

And I know what you mean about not talking about it with him! Ed and I didn't either. I don't know why.

Hugs, Riet. I feel your sorrow and loss. But it really does change as time goes along. It's a new normal.

Comment by riet on May 21, 2018 at 12:22am

Dear Cynthia,

Thank you for your kind answer: I only now see what grieving can mean.  My husband and I didn't give it much thought .  He only once asked what I would do after his passing.  And I answered : going to study again.  That satisfied him and we never talked about it anymore.

He refused to talk about anything that involved his death.  Now I am asking myself if that was him doing so because he wanted so, or him protecting me for grief?

Thousands questions go through my head. I can't ask him anymore.  The only thing I know is: he wanted to live, to live and to live.

Even on his last day, he did some exercises to practice his almost paralyzed hand.  In the last weeks he got paralyzed all over his body and yet he didn't want to give up.

And indeed: seeing we were blind.  We refused to see.  But he no longer could live.  What that terrible disease did to his poor body is undescribable. As I am sure you know.

I am glad you tell me , things will go on.  But now I am only stumbling.  And stumbling we always did together, and got somewhere.  How can I do so without him? Even with all possible help you can imagine.  From good friends, from dear neighbors, from our children and grandchildren.  But there is this black hole where he should have been.  He was my light everywhere.

Thank you so much for listening to me.

Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on May 20, 2018 at 11:04am

Dear Riet -

I too lost my husband to cancer.  He had inflammatory bowel disease for the 31 years we were married, and he was always fighting something in his body - this terrible illness.  He had rectal cancer, and that was what took him in the end.  Our daughter's were with us when he died; but that last moment when he took his last breath almost too mine, too.

People well tell you a lot of things.  You only have to do what you can do.  And yes, you will go on.  There were a lot of days that i walked around the house thinking I couldn't live one more day with out him.  The pain was unbearable.  Then I'd think of my daughters, and ever though they were grown, I couldn't orphan them; I couldn't say to them that were not worth sticking around for.  So I stayed.  It will be 8 years in November that he died, and although in someways it gets easier, in many it doesn't.  It changes; it gets different.  But I still have a hole in my heart.  I still have that empty ache.  I still get teary when I think of his death and I miss him as much today as I did when he first left us.  But I know he's not suffering now; and that brings me a bit of piece.  I have to believe we'll be together again some day because otherwise I don't think I could stand it. But since his death, we have 4 new grandsons.  And I am able to see them grow and it is wonderful.  I talk to him every day, I tell him look at our beautiful daughters now and see how far they've come, and what amazing parents they are.  He was only 57 when he died, but he just couldn't fight anymore.  His body was worn out.  

It is scary to think about handling the future alone.  Somehow, we manage.  We find people who help us.  We find people who love us and want us to be there, and eventually we find some kind of joy in life... it's not the same as it was; it never will be.  We accept that.  We put one foot in front of the other, and take it day by day, hour by hour,, sometimes minute by minute.  But we stay here and we go on because if for no other reason, we think they would have wanted us to.  

I am so sorry for your loss, but I am glad you found Soaring Spirits.  They saved my life.  You will miss him every day; as we all do.  But this is a wonderful supportive community.  I found nothing but love and support here and I have made friends.  Please come back as often as you need to.  You are in my thoughts.  


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