This site is run by widowed people, for widowed people

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: 682
Latest Activity: on Tuesday

Discussion Forum

NY Mag Article "The Day I started Lying to Ruth" by a cancer doctor on losing his wife to cancer

Started by Patience (Diane). Last reply by Patience (Diane) Apr 5. 20 Replies

Has anyone read this article?  It stopped me in my tracks yesterday.

I'm Lost

Started by MickeysLove. Last reply by NewLoss Apr 3. 21 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


Started by katjames. Last reply by judy Feb 11. 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

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Long-Term Illness to add comments!

Comment by Bonnie on June 30, 2016 at 7:18am
So perfedtly said, Lizabet. It will be two years for me too on July 29 and although I know that I am facing the day with less overwhelming grief than I did last year, I also know that I will forever feel the void my husband left. I agree that "moving forward" is a better way to say how I feel. I know he is pushing me to find ways to find at least contentment and I am trying to do that. Still, this journey without him has been hard and I will never stop wishing he was still here by my side.
Comment by Lizabet on June 30, 2016 at 7:05am

As I read through the posts here, I am struck by how similar all our "stories" are, and what a resilient bunch we are!  We all will forever know the pain of loss of our soulmate, yet we move forward (I NEVER say move on, as that implies leaving the old behind), dealing with the realities of this life the best we can. We will forever have the empty spot in our heart where our love used  to reside, and we must figure out new ways of finding joy and happiness.  I'm not there yet, July 13 will be the two year "rememberversary" (I won't call it anniversary because that implies GOOD in my mind), but I try to live to honor my husbands legacy.  God's peace to all, and His blessing be on each of you.  Love and hugs to all. 

Comment by Bonnie on June 29, 2016 at 2:19pm
Moonstonre, I am so very sorry for your loss, which is indeed a heavy one. I hope that you can find some help and support here. I have, but I also had 33 wonderful years with my husband, and you have the heavier grief of losing your fiance such a short time ago without the compensation of time together. It is unfair, but life sometimes is. I will keep you in my warmest thoughts and pray that time will make things easier for you and that you will be able to find comfort in the memories you shared togehter.
Comment by moonstone on June 29, 2016 at 2:01pm

Hi all.  My fiance passed away a month ago, and we were due to be married in about a month.  He had a condition similar to ALS.  He was my world, my light.  Helping him and taking care of him was a natural part of our relationship.  We also had caregivers to help.  I miss him fiercely, and I always will.  He was the most beautiful person, inside and out.  It seems so unfair that he's gone.

Comment by Dionne on June 2, 2016 at 10:43am

Hello Everyone,

I joined WV last month right after the year mark of my husband passing from brain cancer. I joined two groups this one and widowed in 2015. This site has been so refreshing and yet sad, its great to know that there are other people who understand things that would take to long to explain to people who don't know what say cancer does to a family. It makes me sad because so many people here are awesome, loving, overall good people and yet we have all been dealt a horrible hand on this side of life. Anyhow I look forward to reading about, getting to know you guys and empathizing with you all. 

~ Dionne 

Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on May 28, 2016 at 7:27am

Lioness - My daughter also was married after we lost her dad.  It was a bittersweet time - joy for her and her love, and sadness that Don wouldn't be there.  I filled in and walked her down the aisle.  She wanted to do something to acknowledge her dad but not a big picture; we had an extra boutonnière made and just put it on a chair next to my chair to symbolize his presence.  Only she and I knew about it.  During the ceremony (it was outdoors) a large butterfly flew over the couple, circled twice and flew away - I'm pretty sure it was Don.  And yes, as our children move on and create their own lives, we need to find a way to have  meaning for ourselves, also.  And that's not an easy task.  Now my meaning is  my grandchildren... I'm the only grandparent my younger daughter's children will have, so I make it a point to visit often (they live in another state).  I"m sorry for your loss, but I"m glad you found us.

Comment by Lioness on May 27, 2016 at 6:51pm
My daughter called me to tell me she is engaged last weekend. It fills me with sadness to know her dad won't be there for the joy of walking his baby down the aisle. We shed a few tears over that together, but I want this to be the happy time she deserves. My kids should have their dad and it is so painful that this had to happen to them. Having a down start to the weekend, missing him so much.wondering where my life will lead from here, as my kids shape their own lives and move on. I need to find my own meaning somehow, but it is elusive.
Comment by only1sue on May 20, 2016 at 2:27pm

Lioness and icecream moving on is hard,like you both I lost my husband in 2012. I seem to take one step forward and two steps back.  I am going out more on my own now, weaving a life i can live with.  But now I realise how much being a long term caregiver changed me.  How I was once able to make decisions for one, then had to make them for two, now need to make them for one again.  It is a learning curve I suppose like many others I have managed but sometimes it seems harder because of my age.  I don't have the energy I used to have and that worries me a bit.  But it is keep going, keep moving, try to keep moving on.

Comment by icecream on May 18, 2016 at 4:48am

Hugs to you Lioness! Similar story - lost husband in 2012 also - after 5 year battle with colon cancer. Hospitals, test results and kidney failures were a daily part of our lives. In the hospital one fourth of July, daughter's birthday and Christmas. The last 6 months of his life he could not get out of bed - cancer had metastasized to his spine. He was 46 when he died - did not want to leave this world and not get to watch his kids grow up. Never gave up either - always thought he would beat this beast! I have moved forward a bit,am dating the guy who was my husbands best friend, but it is all kind of dull. The new experiences of my daughters - going to college, graduating elementary school, falling in love, are just not the same when I can't share them with their Dad. I have progressed personally, I  now do some things without thinking twice - things that terrified me before, like taxes, home repairs, driving long distances. We step up to the plate and do what we have to do...but you are right, it lacks the luster of the person you wanted and thought you'd be sharing your life with. I am going on, but the hole in my heart is really not going away.....

Comment by Lioness on May 15, 2016 at 6:43pm
Reading this brings me some relief that others know the pain of losing your love gradually over time. My husband died in Dec 2012 of leukemia, after being diagnosed seven years prior.
He had a stroke in 2007, at 54, and that was such a large shock to us both. Hospital and rehab became a daily part of my routine. Then he recovered enough to come home after 6 weeks, and fought to regain his independence with much success.
Then the cancer surfaced its ugliness in late 2011, and the horror of the downhill journey began. In and out of hospital. Chemo, side effects, hospital, home, weight loss, infection, respiratory failure and a respirator. A miraculous recovery, and home again. Gained weight and feeling good. A fall and cracked ribs, back to hospital, a staph infection, spreading from a leg cut to encompass his whole leg. A prolonged recovery, then well again. Only to suffer more weight loss, and deterioration. He died at home one night, with us at his side. I didn't expect it, as he always rallied. But not this time. I should have, would have quit my job to be with him earlier,mif I had known it was coming that night, but I was worried about money. We were both exhausted at the end, but I can barely exist without him. Nothing gives me joy.
I should be grateful for all that I have, he left me debt free and no financial worries. Many people are not as blessed with such great kids and extended family, who love me and protect me. But will the joy of life ever return, will it ever feel like I am not just going through the paces day to day?

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