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."


Suddenly Widowed

For those widowed suddenly or unexpectedly by any cause. 

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Members: 1407
Latest Activity: 22 hours ago

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Comment by Diane 22 hours ago

Well said, Susan.  We're here to share our experiences, not advise others on theirs.  I love how you said..".the big ugly happened to me.  I've kept breathing and will find my way."  There is a lot of hope in those words.  Thank you!

For me, I just hit the 4 year mark.  I keep thinking the same of the worst things that could happen, did.  And I'm OK, in fact, I'm very good.  Surviving such a terrible time when Don suddenly was gone made me realize that it will always be OK, just trust in that and keep breathing.

Comment by Susan yesterday
Previously I had been prescribed anxiety medication. I had been on them for many years. I think I always had an irrational fear of my own mortality or impending doom that something in my life would go terribly wrong. Well crap it sure did.
Keeping in mind it has been over a year since my husbands accident. I am now off of all my medication. When I needed it, it helped me. I decided with my Dr to try coming off of them. It happened over a few months. But I did it. I don't fear my own mortality any more. The big bad ugly happened to me. I've kept breathing and will find my way.
Each of us are so different. I say go with what works for you. Between you and your Dr you will know if you will benefit or not.
This is your journey. You get to decide.
Comment by SweetMelissa yesterday

Hi BiscuitJane,

I regret this comes on the heels of the recent discussion on dependence and addiction. Please do not allow it to affect you as best you can. There are many people who know the difference as well as share in your experience.

Its difficult to separate the disease (addict) from the person. I assure you, every alcoholic &/or addict suffers from their disease 24/7. That is not to say you will not be angry, because you will just like everyone who suffered a loss from disease. The wretching pain I felt translated/equated to that type of suffering. It allowed me to come to peaceful terms w/the disease even though I had great battles accepting that the disease was in control doing his thinking. In retrospect, I was able to identify those times when he was out of control, but did not recognize it becuase I was ill equipped/lacked information to understand it.

The most important step in getting this result is through education. Learn all you can about alcoholism & drug addiction through Al-Anon &/or Nar-Anon. It is understandable when people question why they should have to learn about it since it was his/her problem. Fact is, others who have lost a spouse to disease have gone the distance to learn all they could about it whether it was cancer, heart disease, MS, etc. It makes no difference that society's ignorant view alcoholism/addiction as a *choice*  as well as sordid - a lack or morals & will power, contemptuous, etc. The point in learning is to gain peace & acceptance w/a disease that could very well haunt you for life resulting in anger & disdain.

Please keep coming back and do not allow yourself to accept shame for a disease both you & your husband had no control over ...


Comment by SweetMelissa on Friday

Hi Susan,

Additionally, you might want to try massage -I can't say enough about its benefits. At 8 1/2 yrs out & no longer grieving, I still go in for a monthly massage. This is my stress & relaxtion modality, I'm not into yoga due to issues it spurs w/polymyalgia.

Comment by Maggie on Thursday
Just my story on antidepressants...20 years ago my Mother was dying from Ovarian cancer and I was under lots of stress. We were very close. I started having heart palpitations and was put on beta blocker, which took care of that. But I had difficulty sleeping because I couldn't turn my mind off at night. So I took a low dose of Xanax every night for two years straight. In time my stress lessened and I accepted my Mother's death and just skipped a pill here and there and then just stopped. No addiction, no dependency, no problem. Then my husband died in July of 2013 and for two years I needed nothing except Benadryl to help me sleep. At the two year mark, I had another problem related to the loss of a friendship and between that and the grief, I was needing some help. I also had been forcing myself to be busy busy to not think too much on my loneliness and grief. So my family Dr.put me on a low dose of Lexapro (anti depressant). He assured me that these in no way are mind altering drugs. They do something with the serotonin level to change the chemical uptake in your brain to give you much needed relief. I also saw a therapist for a few months. As this situation has settled, I stopped seeing the therapist, stopped the Benadryl,but still take the low dose Antidepressant.I feel no ill effect or deadening of any emotions. I still get bluesy, miss my husband and have concerns for the future. But the edge is taken off and I return to better feelings sooner than before. I still,on a rare occasion, take a Xanax if I'm really stressed and anxious over something. It works great. I've never had any regrets or concerns about either of these nor has my Dr. I realize some people have highly addictive personalities, but for the average person, I don't believe it's considered a problem. I know two other adults that have been on an antidepressant for years and have no problems whatsoever. This is just my experience and not meant to suggest that someone else follow my suit.
Comment by Thyme on Thursday

I never equated my teeth breaking off recently to my grief.  I just thought it was shitty luck! 

Comment by SweetMelissa on Thursday

Wow, Laurajay,

Honesty, your reply reads as if you're shouting at a bunch of numb skulls! In addition to being all over the place combining & comparing two separate issues. Abuse is different from taking "medication as prescribed".

The main problem appears to be one of taking offense to those correcting misconceptions. Or could it have been the feeling of being put on the spot w/my use of bold italicized lettering to catch the attention of everyone who reads my reply. Or a sensitivity to the topic of "substance abuse"? I had a consuming problem w/alcohol & drug abuse, my husband was killed by a road rage driver under the influence. DH also had a BAC of .016; the legal limit is .08, however it was enough for his attorney to repeatedly shit talk & speculate about my husband every month for 3 years. The man was placed on probation. Two months later, he was released from probation to join the military to train as a medic. He was kicked out of boot camp; the military did not find him qualified to be a medic because his record showed he refused to check on my husband per instructions of the 911 operator. When he returned, he severely injured 2 men w/M-80 explosive fireworks. Prior to killing my husband, he was released from one year of probation in a different town as the result of a road rage incident & DUI.

I do believe everyone made their point quite clear as well as speaking from personal experience as to how it was/is whereas your information came from as you stated: "I have known and know people  who turned to their doctor for guidance and wound up drug dependent". In almost all your replies, I noticed you provide alot of advice. That's your style as well as many others including myself, however, no one has called you on it till now.

No one suggested or mentioned using antidepressants as a quick fix for grief or as a cure or to bury/shorten it ... only you have done so in your rant. Antidepressants are not mind altering drugs, they restore the brain's chemical balance that was thrown off by grief. "Relieving symptoms of grief such as sleep deprevation or anxiety, etc are justifiable to avoid unnecessary suffering". If I had gone to the doctor sooner, I'd still have the 5 teeth plus the other I broke from downloading severe stress during sleep as well as not developed polymyalgia from carrying years of stress in my neck & shoulders

Comment by laurajay on December 1, 2015 at 12:42am

It is vital that we ALL remember our journeys are different. 

Over the past two years I have seen very vulnerable people lean on others here trying to rid themselves as quickly as possible of their grief and some have made choices on behavior based on what someone here shared rather than "receive proper care"  and I think it's a slippery slope easy to fall down when the pain is intolerable.  

It is just a reminder because new widows sometimes think we have magic formulas or specific answers to share  when really  everyone has to find THEIR OWN PATH  through their grief.  

Very true, just as everyone has their purpose in seeking support & suggestions for all or different kinds of grief related issues. A visit to a doctor was stated in replies. We have the right to chose ...

Consistency is the key to success no matter what you are doing ...

Comment by WefW on Thursday

BiscuitJane,  I am so sorry for your loss and that you have the addition of so many negative thoughts to go along with this awful grief process that we all share.  I don't know a lot about addiction but I do have 2 addicts in my family, a brother and a nephew.  Their actions are unpredictable and so very selfish.  My nephew often "pretends" to "quit" my brother doesn't bother with the lying...he calls his addiction "pain management" and remains in a constant altered state.  One thing they both share is a family that is helpless against the addiction.  No family "need" alters the need of the drug - the drug comes before everything else it be clothing, shoes...or even food & shelter.  

You will be the only person that can let go of your feelings of guilt, but my experiences with addiction tell me that those feelings are misplaced.  That being said, many of the widows/widowers on this site feel guilt...guilt for surviving, and guilt for not being able to save our loved one.  In my case, my husband died of a "heart event" I write event because I don't know what else to call it - the cause of death is shown to be "coronary artery disease" but he was killed by a defibrillator.  It blew out an artery and killed him instantly - he had several tests and scans preformed just a few weeks prior to his death and was given a "clean bill of health" the day he passed he told me he was feeling like his heart was racing too fast I had him in the car and to the hospital within minutes, called the hospital ahead to inform them, and still my husband was gone within 35 minutes of first symptom to last breath - I still blame myself to some degree - I should have fed him less beef and pork...less carbs...etc. - I guess what I am trying to say is that it seems to be natural to feel guilt as a part of the grief process but as far as the addiction - it was never under your control - so find your feelings of guilt elsewhere, let addiction not be one of them.  My thoughts are with you.

Comment by WefW on Thursday

Hi Susan, It was me that recommended the app for your smart phone for audio books - it is called "Smart AudioBook Player.  Prior to my husbands passing I was an avid reader and always...always read for 20 to 30 minutes each night before bedtime.  After my husband passed I was unable to concentrate at all on the written word - I doubt that I would have been able to sleep at that time regardless, but with my routine obliterated, sleep was impossible.  I tried sleeping pills...for about 3 days - how awful the sleep was and still too restless to be worth the feeling they left me with - I started using Zzzzquil and listening to audio books - the books allowed me to shift my attention from "me" to the noise of the book.  It wasn't long before I could follow along with the stories and soon sleep returned after a few months - I would like to add, however - my sleeping is still in 2 hour intervals but when I wake I put the book back on and soon I am sleeping again - the app has a "play cycle" that you can limit - I choose the night time sleep cycle of 10 minutes and find that I am usually back to sleep before the cycle ends.  There are several sources to acquire audio books, Kindle is one, is another.  I wish you well with your sleep - it is hard enough to function through this overwhelming grief do so without the benefit of some semblance of sleep is just impossible.

Comment by Hopeful30 on Thursday
Lauajay I do participate in that group too, but it tends to be very quiet. I can identify with the gut wrenching agony that any of us who are grieving feel, and while I pray not many have been subjected to the relationship dynamics I described, there are some on here that were hurt by their spouse's changed behavior from whatever illness they were facing. Between 2 jobs, working 70 hour work weeks and taking 18 college credits my hands are a bit tied in having any time for grief counseling or outside support groups. So I come here to listen, to share, to comfort, and be comforted.

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