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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 [email protected]

Patience (Diane) is your group greeter.

Members: 747
Latest Activity: yesterday

Discussion Forum

Not like the Movies

Started by Snow. Last reply by riet on Monday. 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

With the holidays upon us...

Started by Don. Last reply by goingon (Cynthia) Nov 18, 2017. 3 Replies

How do I answer the comments that haven't come when I talk about the things that happened to Arlene around two holidays? She had her first heart attack on Christmas eve day 2012 on dialysis as we…Continue

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Comment by riet yesterday

Dear Cynthia  

A lot of hugs for you too.

Riet

Comment by goingon (Cynthia) yesterday

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 yesterday

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) yesterday

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 Monday

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 Monday

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 Sunday

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.  

Comment by riet on Sunday

Reading a book, I discovered this website.  English is not my native language. Please forgive my awkward language.

I lost my husband on the 20th of last April. He fought  an aggressive brain tumor. And despite an average surviving rate of 15 months, he had exactly 4 years.  He was 73 and on the 1st of May, we would have been together for 50 years. We were in a very tight marriage. The only thing important for my husband was his family. He lived for us every moment. He wanted to have a big party on this first of May.  In stead, we celebrated his life on that day.

My husband loved living so very much. He didn't want to give up till the last moment.  He took every therapy what was proposed to him. And hoped to live till he was a 100 years old.  And despite the heavy treatment all this time, we had hopes.  He came out of the statistical data and we thought it would last that way.

It did not.  From about September 2017, his condition became worse every day.  And still, seeing,  we were blind. We hoped and hoped.

We never consulted any internet paper about his disease. We only accepted what the doctors told us. If we had done so, I believe my husband had given up fighting a long time ago, because with this cancer he had no chance at all.

Our 3 children and grandchildren however knew all about it and I only now see how lonely they must have felt , not being able to discuss all this with us.

He died in our own house. I was with next to him.  Our children and grandchildren had left a few hours before, not expecting him passing that night.  He cried when they left.  Now that hurts me so much.  I still want to hug him and he is no longer here.

He was nursed by our daughter this last month. She did this so gentle and kind.  She and her daddy were two of a kind. 

His grandchildren had come to sing and bring his music  on their guitars to him this last day.  He liked classic rock and was so happy and proud they shared his his interests.  They miss their granddad so much.

I want to tell his story a million times.  His photos are all around me.  I am surrounded very well by caring people:  our kids in the first place. But also our neighbors and friends. 

But I don't see how to go on now.  They all tell me not to think very far ahead, and live by the day.  But I can't help feeling scared.  My husband and I did everything together. And now?

Thank you for being able to tell you this.

the best to all of you

Riet

Comment by Dianne in Nevada on December 31, 2017 at 11:11am

If you don't have plans this evening, pop into the chat room to ring in the new year with other Villagers. You are not alone. We'll be there for all US time zones from 11pm Eastern to 12:30am Pacific.

http://widowedvillage.org/chat


VOLUNTEER
Comment by Soaring Spirits on December 25, 2017 at 7:23am

We're hanging out in the WV chat room for anyone who finds themselves alone on Christmas day. Join us!

http://widowedvillage.org/chat

 

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