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Widowed Village connects peers with each other for friendship and sharing. The moderators, administrators, and others involved in running this site are not professionals.
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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."
For those widowed suddenly or unexpectedly by any cause.
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Hey Tiffany, you can do it! You can and WILL make it. I had a hard time figuring out the financial aspects of my loss because my husband and I had 2 houses. He couldnt afford to sell his, so we split time between the two. After he left, I was trying to fill out a truck load of military paperwork for benefits and pay bills for both houses for 6 months while I moved things out and into storage and cleaning, etc....it was overwhelming!! There were times when I would just collapse on the floor and cry and cry, desperate for it to all be a bad dream.
I have a friend who gave me a wonderful book to read daily. It is called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. She has written several devotionals and is a great inspiration for me. Each day I read the devotional and focus on what it is saying to me. I found hope and some peace by learning to pray and believe that I would get through the financial, emotional, physical aspects of grief. It worked so well for me! Every time I feel overwhelmed I pray to Jesus to take away the darkness and then....I feel it inside. Things have been working out little by little.
Don't give up and keep praying for strength and peace. It is a daily struggle; nothing is easy with this, but it sure has helped me. I hope you buy the book and keep blogging. It helps me to know that I am not alone in this. Eventhough we don't know one another, I feel that we are all tied together by in invisible bond.
Prayers for you today!
While all the posts impact me and call up deep empathy, Tiffany, your post sent me up to my desktop to respond with a resounding YES! Me, too! I'm not as young as you (I'm in my fifties), but our choices had me a stay at home mom with my husband working hard to keep us in working class status. My overriding 'emotion' is also fear!
My marital relationship was not that of soul mates or even really very intimate partners. There is a sadness and grief, certainly, but the practical issues are, for me, the stronger drivers. I married at 19, only held a few part time jobs over the years and have five children, the youngest of whom is intellectually disabled. I am not physically very well, and am not able to jump into the work force. A few years ago I obtained my Associates degree, very slowly, over a period of five years! I had thought I had time to slowly move forward in education and in networking and eventually take on a satisfying position...
Now I feel, irrationally, I do know, that my life has ended. My vision of the future is what has been cut off, and I am still working to uncover what that future might be. My husband died a year ago. I am getting a little better, in some ways, at believing there MAY be a healthy, fulfilling future somewhere ahead of me.
I also know the imposter syndrome, and have talked about this with my new therapist, who raised the topic, but it was not a new topic to me. I get it! You need validation. WithoutJim's comments were very astute and on target!
Tiffany, no subject is taboo here. Being financially in distress absolutely overrides everything.You are right! Although I am financially secure as a widow at 67, when I was 30 I was divorced with a baby and a toddler so I do know firsthand that not knowing how you are going to support yourself is worse that anything I have experienced. I felt incredible grief to lose my dream of an intact family. Yes, I was so sad. But my fear of ending up homeless was the overriding feeling and I learned to use that fear as a driving force.
BTW, massive imposter syndrome is very common in women, particularly assertive women who are afraid that the image they project is a false one. You are in good company with many very successful professionals including attorneys and doctors. But being assertive is an incredible strength and talent that you possess that you can use in reaching for financial security.
For what it's worth, I'll share what helped me when I was 30 and destitute. I found a good therapist; one who would helped me focus on building a financially secure future for myself and my little ones. Like you, I felt that dealing with any other feelings had to take a backseat. I wanted financial security first and foremost. A good therapist or even a career counselor at a community college can help you figure out and then keep your focus on your financial goals. When I took risks to change my life, many folks along the way said "oh, you're so brave!" No, I was scared to death and full of anxiety! For me, practicing mindfulness to breathe through anxiety and calm myself down was my life saver. I wish you the best of luck. Sending hugs and love across the miles.
You know what I feel is missing from this thread and something that keeps me up at night? The logistical challenges of being a widow. Losing the bread winner... Is it just because it's rude to talk about money? I was 100% dependant on my husband for nearly half my life, dependant on my parents nearly the other half, and have only recently become independent. But I have massive imposter syndrome and am always scared I'm not going to make it. I'm 35 with no savings and no retirement plan. I'm afraid I'm going to be a homeless old woman some day. I live in one of the most expensive cities in the country and I'll never be able to afford to live and save without a partner. A big chunk of my grief stems from my disappointment of losing my safety net. Screw sadness and loneliness, my grief is all fear based.
To "MarinesGirl" - It WILL get better and no, you are not losing your mind....Take one moment at a time and ignore the "should-ers, i.e. you SHOULD do this, you SHOULD do that.." And please don't give the ex-wife a moment of thought. My husband's vindictive ex-wife (they hated each other and NEVER talked! She actually left him for one of their children's teachers!) actually showed up at his funeral - front and center - and even tried to approach me! Some people are unbelievable.....
Thank you "WithoutJim" for your comments. You said things so eloquently. I understand what you mean when you said the loneliness at the beginning was different, almost frightening. Now, I have less anxiety and it is more of a melancholy or numbness feeling. Thanks too for the encouragement of being grateful for what I do have. It could always be worse I guess...And I will never give up hope....
I lost my Jim 4 1/2 years ago. I do find that in some ways things are better and in others harder. This year I finally feel more confident about making choices that are truly my own and some that Jim would not agree with but I remind myself that life is for the living and he would want me to be happy.
The loneliness has been the hardest issue for me. I'm not sure that it has gotten more difficult to deal with or if I am more lonely than I was earlier on. I'm beginning to think that I must accept the loneliness that comes with living alone at 67. Having wonderful family and friends does not seem to take away the essential loneliness that I feel particularly in the evenings. I think the persistence of this feeling that makes it seem more difficult than it was in the beginning. But the loneliness in the beginning was of a different almost frightening nature. I am no longer full of anxiety with a deep pit of despair being alone. That gut-wrenching loneliness fortunately is gone for me. It is more a melancholy, a missing of a limb; I now feel confident that I can limp along and make it on this lonely journey, but I don't feel I'll ever feel whole again. And that makes me feel sad. So I try to focus on what I am grateful for as a way to pull myself out of that "missing limb" feeling. I try to turn my thoughts towards what I can do, what I do have, who is still in my life.
And I agree: Karma is a bitch! No one knows how absolutely totally devastating it is to lose a beloved partner in life. No one until it happens to them.
Hello to everyone. I am so sorry for your losses and what you are all experiencing. It's been three years since I lost my husband suddenly and sometimes I feel like it was yesterday. I still think of him every day and when I go to sleep I have visions of things we used to do. Does that happen to anyone else? I also feel like it gets worse with time not better. At first you are in shock and adrenaline helps you get through the motions. Now when I am doing things I think "would he do this to solve the problem?" And sometimes, as I knew we were different, I feel sad that he wouldn't approve of some of the things I do! Does anyone else think like this? After three years, I feel totally alone, no one -- even my family -- talk about him and they think I am fine!! No one truly knows how we feel unless they go through it. I keep trying every day, but STILL get tired and angry at the people who disappeared and are not there and make comments like "MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE!" Karma is a bitch.
Thanks for the feedback SweetMelissa2007.
I spoke to the attorney and never asked about time limit. Right now my worry is getting everything out without the kids or family who will be there knowing everything of how I feel. I don't want to be treated with kid gloves or make things worse for my kids. It is hard enough seeing the damage done to our youngest.
I am going to make a start of the impact statement this week.
I am so sorry for anybody dealing with insurance companies. I never had a problem, my bank manager was able to process the papers for the mortgage before we got the cause of death.
And his company called to make sure I sent in the second form that doubles the money because he was killed at work. But then, they really have no choice to own up as this wasn't just some random freak accident where only one area of the mine was responsible. Every section that was responsible for his health and safety FAILED. Every one.
Worst part is, I started it by convincing him it was a safe place and would be good for our future. A future he was looking forward too, as was I. Now I am dead on the inside.
I am truly sorry for your loss. My own husband died of a sudden and fatal heart attack while at work on February 12th, 2014. Even more than 3 years along in my journey, I still experience difficulties. You may hear some describe this journey as a roller coaster of emotions and there is no map. Unfortunately, we can't really control the poor behavior of others. My SIL for one found it awkward to be friendly with me because, as she put it, we didn't really have that kind of relationship before. That, of course, as not by my choice - but hers.
I certainly gave more of myself than I knew I would ever receive and that is fine with me, because I never expected anything in return. Still, she is grieving too and I must respect her way of grieving. Everyone is different and she's got her own issues. I can't deny that her behavior hasn't hurt or angered me but It is in my best interest to simply let it go and get own with my own life.
Perspective's a funny thing as well, as everyone has their own version of things and neither is wrong. Just different people with different opinions who grew up (or didn't) under different circumstances.
The best advice I can offer is one I try to adhere to myself. "Take one moment at a time."
It will get easier but, I won't sugar coat it, you may very feel as if you are going out of your mind at times. You may have more feelings than you know what to do with at any given time and in no particular order. There are many twists and turns in this journey and no two journey's are exactly alike. You go at your own pace and do the best you can with what you've got.
Wishing you strength, love and courage in your journey.
Maria (a.k.a., Nieta)
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