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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

Patience (Diane) is your group greeter.

Members: 662
Latest Activity: 2 hours ago

Discussion Forum


Started by katjames. Last reply by judy 9 hours ago. 14 Replies

Has anyone been to any retreats in the last few years that were especially meaningful and good????   I know there is Camp Widow, but I'm wondering if anyone has any organization they can recommend.…Continue

Looking to Put Together Resources for soon-to-be-widowed

Started by Mozzie. Last reply by goingon (Cynthia) Jan 15. 38 Replies

I found being the spouse of a terminal person very frustrating.  We were getting care at a prominent hospital, and there were social workers, but I didn't feel like anyone ever gave me useful…Continue

Grief and release at the same time?

Started by Germaine. Last reply by Bobbysgirl Dec 11, 2015. 45 Replies

I am aware of two different forces acting from within me.  One is the downward weight of grief. The other is an upward energy that comes from the release from caregiving.  After 16 years of part time…Continue

I'm Lost

Started by MickeysLove (Sandi). Last reply by my roses Dec 9, 2014. 19 Replies

So, 4 days ago marked the 2 month period.  I had joined a support "group" where you go and sit with other people and talk about whats bothering you. I had went 2 times, I'm not going anymore - I…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Lizabet 2 hours ago

Oh Dianne - you have NAILED it!  And the feeling of loss continues...I keep thinking it will get easier.  I gave him permission to go.  He had fought SO long and so hard through so many different cancers.  I told him I'd be okay - eventually.  I'm thankful I know my GOD and we will see each other again on the other side.

Comment by peaches@thebeach 4 hours ago

Thank you for sharing Dianne. We had two good weeks of labwork. I can remember each week. I held the cool towel and cup of water many times, and when my 7 year old daughter asked to take care of her Daddy one day in Hospice, she too held the cool towel and cup of water. My husband waited until the day before I had to medicate him to a comatose state to control his vomiting to talk to me about the important stuff. Luckily for him, I had already taken care of most of the important stuff (we were married for 22 years. I was a good listener), so he could concentrate on telling me his wishes. We didn't really celebrate Valentine's Day. He showered me with love all year, but my upcoming birthday will be difficult. He outdid himself every year for my birthday! Just won't ever be the same.

Comment by Gaining Strength 10 hours ago

Diane, Thank you for this post. After 4.5 years, many of these small details of the experience are no longer in the forefront of my mind. This article has reminded me of some of the things that we experienced as a couple at that stage of our marriage. Love survives these experiences and  ultimately, death and the end of the marriage. Wherever he is, I wish him a happy valentine and I hope that he knows that I love does go on. 

Comment by Terry 10 hours ago

Dianne, I sit here with tears running down my cheeks as I read your post from CNN.  Each line hit so close to home and reminds me that I would give everything I have or will ever have just to have the chance to do some of it over with her.  I would never wish her back to suffer but just a few minutes to tell her how much I love, miss and appreciate everything she ever did for me.  To hold her and ensure she did not die alone which was the reality.  While the rest of the world celebrates Valentine's Day I will hold her close in my memory and pray that where she is, will know how much she is loved and missed.

Comment by Dianne in Nevada 12 hours ago

This is a good article for our group:

Valentine's Day- Love is: Through the Eyes of a Surviving Spouse

Doesn't it make you cringe a little when they try to tell "US" what love REALLY is? 

Here is a note back to the DeBeers, Godiva, Russell Stover, FTD Florists and all the other places selling LOVE in the next week: 

Love is the doctor saying it doesn't look good and holding hands and crying through the details. 

Love is looking in his/her eyes and saying EVERYTHING will be okay...even though you know it won't be. 

Love is hours and hours spent at hospitals...and in clinics...and chemo...and transfusions. 

Love is coming back home after spending a week in the hospital together through some trial treatment and being too exhausted to do anything but sleep for 12 hours straight. 

Love is standing by with a cool cloth and the cup of water to rinse their mouth while they vomit from the drugs poisoning their body to save their lives. 

Love is losing everything you both worked for all your lives but it is okay because the treatments are giving you another six months or year together. 

Love is helping shave their head after the chemo makes them lose their hair and love is being able to tell them they are still as sexy as the day you met them...and mean it. 

Love is sleeping for weeks at a time on those hard fold out chairs that make a bed...and sneaking into their hospital bed because it has been years since you slept apart and you know that soon you will never be sleeping together again in this life. 

Love is sitting and eating the most fattening concoction you can whip up...with them...even though you need to lose weight...just so you can coax them to take a few more bites because they have lost another ten pounds. 

Love is what is left after the "sex" is gone because of all the arcane chemicals pumped in to battle the disease. 

Love is realizing that the STUFF is unimportant...what is important is one good week's labwork. 

Love is the day you both realize you are losing the battle and talk about the really important stuff. 

Love is wondering why you waited so long to talk about the really important stuff. 

Love is watching that last breath...or pressing your ear to their chest until the last heartbeat...or saying "I Love You" one more time even after they are already "gone". 

Love is missing them for the rest of your life...and realizing you would give anything to pick up their dirty clothes off the bedroom floor again. Or put the seat down. Or the cap back on the toothpast tube she always squeezed from the middle. probably wouldn't sell a lot of flowers or diamonds or pearls or chocolate...but as every surviving spouse knows-- That is what LOVE is.

Comment by booktime (Susan) on Monday

I think we will always feel the should have, could have, and regrets. I was with my husband in his hospice room, sleeping. My regret is I had put my earplugs in as I always did with him (he snored!). So I did not wake up until the nurses were there. This was 2 AM. I knew immediately the end was coming. The nurses said he had about 4 hours. And he died at 6. I was with him but had I missed an opportunity? I'll never know. I do know I spent those 4 hours with him and talked to him a lot. I think I said a lot - you can go, honey, I'll be OK.

If I held onto the regrets I have I don't think I could move forward. It has taken some doing but I am trying to leave them behind. What happened happened. There is nothing I can do now to change anything that happened.

But I can change what will happen from now on.

Hugs to you all - all of our stories are so different and yet so similar. I wish we did not have the comfort this brings us because of what it means. But we can reach out and share and support. I am grateful.

Comment by judy on Monday

I too will regret that I was not there also.  I was there the day and night before - and thought that he would be going into rehab 2 days later.  But I guess he didn't want me to see him that way.  

Comment by Joyce on Monday

Tom died in a hospice hospital, the last two days before he died were terrible.  He had what the nurses referred to as the death rattle (horrible) for more than 24 hours.  Late in the evening on Monday, October 10th, the nurses suggested I leave because they said some people won't pass while their loved ones are there.    He seemed to be suffering so I did what they asked, he passed a couple of hours later on the 11th.    I really feel guilty that I didn't go back to say my final goodbye, I was emotionally incapable of driving the 20 minutes and there was no one with me.  I will feel guilty about that forever.

Comment by Patience (Diane) on Monday
Bj, I understand .... My husband seemed to wait until we were all out of the room or sleeping to pass ....
Comment by Bj on February 3, 2016 at 4:25pm

Dianne,  I would like to read the book the "Final Gift".  I was also not with my husband when he passed away.  He was outside in his shop and I found him later and it was too late.  Others have told me he was in his happy place and I have felt if I could have only gone out there sooner.  I keep feeling so hurt that  he was all alone and if I had only checked on him sooner I could have gotten him help in time to save him.  I've had such painful feelings of him being alone that morning in his shop.  I wish I knew everything about his last few hours and it will always hurt me that I don't.  It appeared he just laid down on the floor and went to sleep so peaceful.  I know he wouldn't have wanted me to see him suffering in a hospital.  I feel if he had his choice he wouldn't have changed a thing in the end and this helps me to accept it a little better.  Bj


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