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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."

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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 widville@gmail.com.

Patience (Diane) is your group greeter.

Members: 680
Latest Activity: 10 hours ago

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. http://nymag.com/news/features/cancer-peter-bach-2014-5/Continue

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

Retreats?

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

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Comment by BESTBUDS1 [Norman} on March 10, 2016 at 4:51am

Gaining Strength. My personal learnings  were many. I have lost many in my family over the years, whom I miss terribly. To lose my spouse made me realize even more what being in love truly is. I guess I knew but it truly hit home after my loss... I learned that , each of us handle grief differently, even our children.. I learned that life does go on , and it seems that the world slows down , but it is only our world that does. We were not taught about grief so all that we go through is our learning .. I learned that there is always someone who has it worse than myself in their experiences , yet none are greater or smaller , because the end result is the same. I see with new eyes now, after seeing the diminishing of my wife in her last months. I see love of complete strangers , I see people also that are scared to say her name or just do not know what to say , so they stay away.. I could go on and on but for me , she is at peace now, and she wanted and told me to move on, it is different for each of us, and some do and some do not but, actually with each breath and each step that we take , they are with us........

Comment by booktime (Susan) on March 10, 2016 at 2:03am

It hasn't been quite 3 years for me but I couldn't or wouldn't describe this journey of mine as learning something from Ed's death. I already knew I could live on my own - we married late so I was on  my own for many years. While I believe this was the worst thing that could have happened to me, I have been through some stressful times since and I don't see coping skills. I still stress and get upset and panic!

I think the one thing I am perceiving in myself is that I am really aware when I do feel happy.  It seems to creep right up from the toes and I catch myself smiling. Bear in mind I am alone! It is a kind of self-awareness I did not have before. I don't know if you can call this learning. I think it's part of my journey.

This does not happen every day or a lot. I think that is why I am so aware of it.

Good question. I am lucky too because my family still talks about Ed as do several friends.I am sorry you don't have that. It has helped.

Hugs.

Comment by Gaining Strength on March 9, 2016 at 7:05pm

This question is addresses mostly to those who have been widowed for some time. I have been told that people learn something form every experience.  What if anything have anyone her learnt from losing your spouse? I cannot think of what I have learnt. No one says his name anymore, no one except my children and I care.  I feel as if I was punished and continue to be punished by my loss.

Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on March 9, 2016 at 6:23pm

Like Susan, I too have been reading all these stories and feeling the loss... Don died Nov. 12, 2010.  The 5th year was so hard - harder than the previous 2 years had been and now it seems like I've "moved forward" - whatever that means... I'm not sure. But I still miss him as much as when we first lost him.  I've been reliving those last days with him... no meltdowns now, but still it's hard. I don't think we ever really get over it; even past it... I know a lot of us do find a "chapter 2" and I'm happy for those who do... but for me?  I don't know if that's in my future or not; I don't know if I want that or not.... 

I hope everyone here finds peace somehow.

Comment by booktime (Susan) on March 9, 2016 at 6:07pm

These posts have brought back a lot of memories. My husband died of prostate cancer. I was lucky in that I had him 10 years after diagnosis though like many of you I thought it could be longer. It was really only the last year that the cancer took over: weaker, thinner, no appetite, not able to walk.

I would come home and dive into chores and he would ask me to sit with him and I would say when else can I get all of this stuff done? Stupid me. Had I known. I was exhausted too, like so many of you. Working full time. His last few weeks, I continued to work. I even worked while he was in hospice.

The one thing I am eternally grateful for is that I was with him when he died. I had not stayed overnight at hospice every night but I did that Saturday night and he died Sunday morning at 6 am.

There's a lot I wish I could change but it is done. I did the best I could, I loved him (love him still), I tried.

And I know he loved me.

I share in what so many have written here. A different type of cancer. One everyone said was the "good" kind to get because men don't usually die from it. Tell that to the women who also lost their husbands to it.

I'm sorry, just rambling here. A lot of emotions have bubbled up for me, reading all of your stories. So much in common! I wish none of us had this to share but i am very grateful not to be alone.

Hugs to you all.

Comment by Terry on March 9, 2016 at 5:29pm

I echo the difficulty of being a caregiver to a spouse. At times I tended to be less sympathetic than what my wife deserved. I realize now it was because I was too close to the situation and it was my way of distancing from it. By doing that I could pretend it wasn't happening. She was hospitalized 4 times between December of 2014 and her passing in March 2015. I know they were concerned about the best place for her each time when she was released as I was working full time and not able to be with her every hour. I did eventually get a leave of absence with took care of that. She would not have wanted to go into any kind of nursing home and I couldn't even bring up the subject of hospice as she refused to accept that she was dying. My daughter and I did visit a local hospice the day before she passed more to check out the options but never really believing she was that far gone. Had I known she would be gone the next morning, I would have chosen to be with her not checking out end of life care facilities. I found myself exhausted much of the time and feeling guilty because I was getting too tired. What would I do differently if I had to do it again? Lots of things probably but I will never get the chance so I just need to be content on what I did do. Most of all I would have practiced more patience. It seems like I had it for everyone else.

Comment by idaho on March 9, 2016 at 5:28pm

well said BetBuds1!   

Comment by BESTBUDS1 [Norman} on March 9, 2016 at 5:13pm

Until being diagnosed I doubt any of us knew what  GBM was or any other unfamiliar or disease except by experience or study. I guess our greatest rewards to use that word loosely , would be quality of life for first 3 months and Hospice for last 3 months with Reiki in all aspects of our journey.. WE can never bring them back , but we can make a difference by what we have learned. Our journeys brought us all here, not by coincidence .nor  chance but by destiny, Others who cross our paths can now hear of our experience that their journey can be HONEST, instead of false hopes and promise.. May we all be blessed in our journey and may each of us bring comfort to others in their honor.... Hugs to us all.... 

Comment by CarolinaHeart on March 9, 2016 at 4:27pm

GBM family...Each narrative is heartbreakingly familiar, and we share a common bond. Thanks to each of you for sharing your scars and painful past with courage and boldness. Death always feels like a surprise even when the comfort and attention of those surrounding us rush in to prepare us. Gentle wishes and kind thoughts to you all, and yes, thank you for the (((hugs)))! 

Comment by Tink on March 9, 2016 at 4:12pm

I lost my husband at 58 in 2013, from Corticobasal degeneration, a rare brain disease which progressed quite quickly for him. Being a caregiver to a spouse is difficult. It was hard to be the one who had to tell him he could no longer drive or take walks by himself. Then having to take him to an adult day care with all the elderly people while I worked full time so we could have health insurance, and finally placing him in a home where he had always said he would never want to have to go. It is hard to remember him when he was well, but I can remember all too well that day I walked him through that door to the nursing home! From then on, it was endless paperwork and visiting every day, feeding him and spending the nights with him on the weekends sleeping in a recliner by his bed. Some how it still feels like I could have done more and been more patient with him at times. I hope as time goes on, I will be able to remember more of the good times.

 

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