Widowed Village

A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation


Long-term illness

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

We now also have a "Long Term Illness" discussion forum in the PERENNIAL main forum. Questions? Widville@gmail.com

Members: 588
Latest Activity: yesterday

Group greeters

Dianne in Nevada and Celestia have agreed to greet and coordinate for this group! Thank you, ladies!

Discussion Forum

Anyone ever have a sense of peace?

Started by Timetoheal. Last reply by Jladybug Jul 7. 36 Replies

Has anyone been doing normal chores or random things around the house and had a feeling of calm or peace come over them? As if your loved one is standing there with you or just brushing by you to let…Continue

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 booktime (Susan) Jun 10. 15 Replies

Has anyone read this article?  It stopped me in my tracks yesterday. http://nymag.com/news/features/cancer-peter-bach-2014-5/Continue

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

Started by Mozzie. Last reply by Germaine May 22. 25 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 goingon (Cynthia) May 4. 22 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

Comment Wall


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Comment by Germaine on June 8, 2014 at 6:16am

Cynthia, I think anyone who told you you'd be over post-surgical depression in eight weeks was talking through their hat.  There is just NO WAY!!  In my experience (with others…not myself)….three to six months has been the minimum to expect and one year is not unusual.  You are doing all the right things….you've got a therapist….you're on antidepressants (the right one???)…but you are healing. Your back is still healing. Certainly makes sense to me that you are still recovering from the anesthesia….AND you are still having to take pain meds?  So many of them kick in depression as a side effect. You need them for the pain. It is most important to stay ahead of the pain in recovery but they couldn't be helping you emotionally.  When you think about it, doesn't that make sense to you?  You were down and somewhat depressed before the surgery… I just can't help but think the physical/chemical recovery is adding to that.  I totally understand your wish to reconnect with Dan and I believe, personally, that that will happen in time but meanwhile these terribly long days are your task to get through.  Is there any way you can get together with Dianne in Nevada?  …get to San Diego?  I'm guessing travel is out of the question now but could a trip be planned…as you had, obviously intended to do with the San Diego possibility….something to prepare for… All good thoughts coming your way.

Comment by my roses on June 8, 2014 at 3:31am

My roses



Re the depression… a recent study was done by Dr. Beard and

Trialled  using Vitamin B Niacin and it has been very successful.

A young woman who was  deeply depressed  and injuring herself

(Parents were  desperate ) was  brought back to health over some

Period of time.  They did general trials up to 200,000 mg without

Any damage.  But  the average range would be about 3000 mg.

I  had a major meltdown last Monday and decided to take someVit b again,

(the complex which has all the Vit B types in it) and I did feel much better.

I have taken Vit B  before but had not been taking much recently.

Comment by Dianne in Nevada on June 8, 2014 at 12:16am

Cynthia - I am so very sorry things are so hard for you right now. I wish I had an answer. Going through a big surgery or illness alone is something I fear; but I've been lucky to not have to actually face that, so I can shove those scary thoughts to that place where the ugly thoughts go. And I understand that you aren't able to do that. I'm grateful you are seeing a therapist and I hope you have shared the depth of your feelings with them.

I saw you on the San Diego Camp Widow registration list. Will you be able to attend? Or did you register when you thought you'd be feeling better by this time?  If there's any way you could physically get there, that could be really helpful to find your way through some of this. 

You know, people tend to think I've got it all together - but I'm alone each weekend unless I make a real effort. And I usually don't. Most of my weekends are spent inside my house, in my jammies, from the time I get home from work Thursday night at 7pm until I head out the door Monday morning at 6:30am. It's not what I post on my Facebook page. It used to bother me that I had these two separate lives ... the one that everyone thought I was living and my real one. But I've gotten used to it now. My weekends are spent doing online volunteer work or taking online classes or reading.  Every now and then I'll see something that captures my attention and I decide to just do it. I signed up to go to Oprah's The Life You Want Weekend in Seattle in November - all by myself.  Perhaps when I retire I will find something local that will get me out of the house and interacting with people in person.

I read the book "The Fault in our Stars" yesterday ... and the buckets of tears that flowed actually seemed to help me. I don't cry a lot ... never cry in front of anyone ... so this opened up those floodgates that I think I really needed.  Perhaps a good cry would be helpful?  If so - that's a book that will do it for sure.

Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on June 7, 2014 at 11:42pm

Jen and Marlene -

Thank you for your kind words.  Jen, yes, I do like to read.  I read a lot, but there comes a time when nothing seems to hold my attention.  Marlene, I expected the post-surgical depression, but it's been over 8 weeks and I'm told that by now the surgery should not be affecting me this way, although who knows.  I'm pretty tired of waking up in pain daily, and having to take narcotics every night just to get through the night.  Once I'm up and moving around, it does seem better, unless I do too much moving.  I've been struggling with this depression for so long, from before the surgery, but I'm sure it didn't help.  It was a real test of faith to go though it alone, and being in a position where I have to ask for help from those who I either pay or are friends is hard.  It's never been easy for me to ask for help.  At least if I'm paying someone, somehow that's easier. But yeah, it's overwhelming me today; and has been.  All I can do is hope that I find something to give me a purpose.  I want to believe I'm still here because of some greater power having a plan for me, but it's been very hard lately.  Thank you again.  I appreciate your caring words.

Comment by Mford4 (Marlene) on June 7, 2014 at 10:45pm

goingon Cynthia, I am so sorry.  You are right we all do get it, but you do have other things going on there too.  I am wondering if you are having a depressive episode due to the surgery and aftermath.  When I had surgery, I experienced similar feelings and was told that the anesthesia  was slow to get out of my system and the confusion that it caused served me up a bout of depression.  It took me a long while to come down from that.  Serve that up with the fact that we go through this alone and the feeling at times that we have no one can and is overwhelming.  Hugs to you.

Comment by Gaining Strength on June 7, 2014 at 10:41pm

Dear Cynthia, I am heartbreaking to read your post. I am so sorry that recovery is slower than expected.  It is difficult to be always upbeat in your situation. Please be patient with yourself.  You can vent all you want here. We are here for you. Do you like to read Cynthia?  How long before you can resume normal activity? I hope that you feel better soon. Please take care of yourself. I will send you a friend request.


Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on June 7, 2014 at 9:54pm

I can't seem to get myself to see the positive in anything lately.  All I feel is lost and alone and depressed.  I simply don't know what to do.  I am limited in my activities as I am still recovering from this back surgery; it's going to be a long recovery as it was a big surgery.  I'm going to physical therapy; I'm walking and I'm doing all they tell me to do.  But I can't participate in my volunteer activities and the Meetup activities I'd like to.  My daughter is coming for a week at the end of the month with my grandbaby, and I look forward to that, but most of the time I'm so damned depressed it's like my body is just leaking fluid from eyes and I can't seem to stop it.  I have no motivation to do any of the things I enjoy.  I keep wondering why I'm still here.  After my surgery, I was overdosed in the hospital - I think someone gave me something and forgot to chart it, or was called away or distracted and then someone must have given me more before I was ready; I can't figure out how else it could have happened; but I remember listening to the nurses and the doctors talking about what was happening and I just couldn't get excited about it.  I was waiting to Don to come and say "Come on, honey.  I'm here; it's time to go..." and go with him.  But they revived me before that could happen, and I was actually upset about that.  I can't seem to figure out what to do or who to vent this to.  I have this place, thankfully.  I know you all get it.  I'm just so damned lonely.  Maybe it was a mistake leaving my home in California and moving here to Arizona; but it doesn't matter because there wasn't anyone left in California for me anyway.  Yes, my friends who are there.  But they still had their own lives and were busy; I always seem to feel like I'm more of an intrusion than a good friend.  People tell me how "wonderful" I am; how "sweet" and "nice" and caring and all the rest, and they honestly seem to care and like me, but when you get down to it, where are they now?  Not here.  I just don't want to be here anymore.  Life is more painful than anything else lately.  I won't take my own life because I can't do that to my daughter, but I sure feel like it a lot.  And honestly, I'm afraid if I do I'll never be reunited with Don and I ache for him.  There must be something that can help me.  I have a therapist; I am on antidepressants; I get so tired of saying this over and over.  It's supposed to help to let it out, to write it down, but it's never helped me.  I don't know what to do. And I don't even know what I'm asking for.  I don't have any expectations of anyone being able to do anything for me.  I just want to curl up in a ball and not wake up tomorrow.  But I will.  I will wake up. And I'll have the whole day ahead of me.  And how I'll get through that, I have no idea.  One day at a time. If I could at least tolerate being out for a while - hiking or a long walk, but my back is still healing and I just can't be on my feet that long, or do that much that is strenuous.  I'm sorry if I brought you down; that's not my intention.  I guess my intention is to just let it out.  I doesn't help to think about how much worse it could be, or how I'm better off than so and so, or at least this or that.  I just want to lay down and die. 

Comment by Germaine on June 7, 2014 at 4:45pm

I am approaching 11 months now…..well, in two more weeks, actually, but I find myself very, very aware that July is coming and with it the one year anniversary of Bernie's death.  I've already purchased a yahrzeit (Jewish memorial) candle and I found a seven day candle that was plain white so I got that too.  Over the years Bernie and I lit a yahrzeit for many family members on the anniversaries of their deaths.  We'd take out a picture of the person and talk together about his/her life and influence on our lives. I am overwhelmed at the thought that I will actually be lighting yahrzeit for Bernie.  It seems surreal.   People -- friends, family -- have been so supportive all year and I have made many many changes to my life but I find myself drawing inward. I've already thought that I don't want to do FB or email or possibly any Internet contact that week. I have no desire to be with even the closest friend or family member.  I don't want to take care of anyone and I don't want anyone taking care of me or distracting me. I want to be alone with my memories.  I don't feel depressed about that though I am sure I will cry and I have tears now even as I write this.  I just feel very, deeply, quiet.  We were together 37 years and during that time we spent a lot of time alone together -- a lot of time.  Much of that was great. Some of it was pretty awful; but I feel I am being pulled to the center of all of it.  I still have the Hospice notes on the inside of my kitchen cabinets (where I noted every extra dose of morphine or other medication, and the reason for it; every new symptom…..etc.).  I plan to take them down that week but not until then. I read them every few days….getting a sense of what these days were like last year.  I write this here because I think you are probably some of the people who will most understand these words and I thank you for having been there this past year and for being there now. Shalom!

Comment by alwayshopeful (Jocelyn) on June 6, 2014 at 12:29pm

Germaine. Thank you so much for all this very useful info. I love the way we help each other here!!

Comment by Germaine on June 6, 2014 at 11:48am

Regarding Social Security…this is worth checking out…. I believe it is possible to draw on your former husband's benefits early and then switch to your own when you turn 67 or whatever age….if yours would be higher at that point.  Also, I have a friend who applied early, took the early amount and put it in the bank.  Her goal was to try to keep making it without that money but have the relief of knowing it was there if she needed it.  At the end of a year she went to SS and was able to pay it all back….. (one time only deal I think …after the first year)….and then she waited and reapplied in a few months or a couple of years (I forget)….but was able to withdraw at the larger amount at that time. Just saying it is complicated but there are options..  Good luck!


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