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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: 1719
Latest Activity: on Friday

Discussion Forum

Walking the line tonight

Started by BlueRoses. Last reply by lulu74 on Thursday. 3 Replies

The line between what is and what was. It is more of a tightrope, that often at this hour starts to fray. My sailor, soared last August. He was a young, bright, tenacious man, who left this planet at…Continue

He deserved so much more love

Started by KJPE. Last reply by KJPE May 12. 10 Replies

At least once a day, I feel intensely frustrated & sad because my husband was exceptionally wonderful to me, and I keep wanting to give him more love and cannot believe that I can't any more. …Continue

Since He Died...

Started by Crabby. Last reply by ForeverMourning May 11. 5 Replies

People are always telling me how strong I am.  I don't feel strong.  It's rare that a day goes by when I don't cry.  You could probably count on one hand how many days I haven't cried since July 29,…Continue

Old Mementos

Started by Crabby. Last reply by Roxi May 1. 3 Replies

Tonight I was going through boxes in the basement, trying to declutter some because I have to move.  Don died 9 months ago yesterday.  i went out to get pizza, and when I came home, I found him. He…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Gunnerx2 (Carol) on March 30, 2018 at 11:53am

So I talked to my son last night (my step-son).  My daughter (step-daughter) has not spoken to me since December 2017.  I was not sure why or what was going on.  I've reached out and not received any response from her.  I invited Junior to my retirement party at work and told him to see where his sister is if he felt she wanted to come.  He told me that he talked to her about what was going on and she said "She's the adult, she should be calling me".  I should mention that she is 45 years old and I have called, texted and emailed her since December and never get any response.  I really don't have the time or energy for this kind of crap and I'm trying to define "me" after 30 years of being "us".  Her Dad always babied her in every way, she was never wrong and now she does not have that so I know she is hurting and having a hard time but I really do not want to have to validate her existence the way her Dad did.  I'm sure she will never call or reach out again and right now I'm okay with that.  (oh, the check I gave her for $15,000 from some of the insurance money was cashed and cleared before she stopped talking to me).  Sorry, I just had to vent and this is the only safe place where I can.  Carol

Comment by chef (John) on March 30, 2018 at 10:03am

"...I have to keep reminding myself that I have already been thru the worst thing that could happen..."

This is key--and has been my own response whenever someone poses the "what's the worst that can happen?" question; thereafter, everything else is reduced to "small stuff". We still have anxiety because we no longer have our spouses with whom we can discuss things before making any major decision. The realization that everything is now on our own shoulders is daunting--and certainly a cause of the anxiety many of us experience. Learning to trust ourselves to make the right decision (especially with well-intentioned family and friends putting in their oars where they often don't belong) and accepting the consequences of our own decisions takes time. Accepting/Learning from our mistakes can be just as difficult.

There is a lot of space on the spectrum between being the inaction of being petrified with fear and the activity of running with scissors because one has adopted a devil-may-care attitude. I think all of us are just as capable of traveling the breadth of the spectrum as sticking to some straight line. 

Comment by Maggie on March 30, 2018 at 8:46am

Tjtango...I'm coming up on the 5 yr mark and I can give you my perspective from here. While my husband's death due to brain cancer was not sudden, it was only 5 months, which isn't a long drawn out illness either. So maybe I qualify to answer here.

I dealt with anxiety a lot and still do. I am on a low dose anti depressant and it works for me with no side effects and keeps that anxiety in check for the most part. I moved two years ago out of state to a smaller home, all of which I'm pleased with. I've made a few new friends and have two ex SILs living here and we are friends as well. I volunteer once a week at the hospital and go out to eat a lot with these friends and they are mostly widowed and one divorcee.

I make myself keep busy. It is work that use to be so easy and it was so easy to just do nothing  with my husband. But now if I don't stay busy, I can feel the anxiety go up a degree. I'm fairly content with my life, but I can't say happy. I still long to be at peace. When your life doesn't turn out like you dreamed it would and yes, even assumed it would, it is a real shock that seems to stay with you forever. At least it does for me. And since I'm not in any way looking for another man, I don't have that to look forward to either. So it's kinda just muddling through.

I'm probably older than you (71) and that makes a difference too, but it will get better for you and the anxiety will lessen. Just keep busy and try to make some single friends. It's a slow process and one or two good friends is all you need...

Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on March 30, 2018 at 8:41am

Yup, the overstimulation just made my skin crawl - shock was all gone. Who would've thought w/the constant crying in the first year that shock was a protective shield - until the day came when sudden manic behavior from anxiety set in. Boy, did that suck!

I would've preferred being in shock much longer or in a coma till that time of grief ended. However, the change into this intense hyper emotional state was the most powerful test of my strength in "fight or flight" to keep from running out the door to do something really stupid. I often put myself to sleep w/the help of Tylenol PM, a body pillow & wrapping up in a quilt made from Bob's t-shirts as well as wearing one - they provided security to calm my anxiety & fears from the unknown ...

Some widowed do not suffer from panic/anxiety attacks, but those that have need a longer period of convalescence. Socializing is for the ones that have no issues w/it. The world will still be out there - it doesn't ever stop rotating ... 

As for close friendships, I had them. I let most of them fall by the wayside b/c I didn't have the energy to maintain them. Those that didn't require work hung in there w/me - they knew me well enough to know I'd come around regardless of how long it took.

Nothing is more important than healing - taking care of yourself as best you can ...

Comment by Tjtango on March 30, 2018 at 7:04am

I am coming up on the two year mark in May, and I must say I am nodding my head in agreement with everything I am reading on here.  Especially the anxiety, I’m not sure where that is coming from but it definitely seems to be the new normal for me. . I feel always on edge like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I have to keep reminding myself that I have already been thru the worst thing that could happen.  I try to make a conscious effort to look for the good things that I still have in my life, but some days are still just plain hard.    I think the big difference for me  was when my husband was alive I didn’t have to “try” to be happy, I just was.  Not all the time mind you, we had disagreements like most couples, but for the most part I was content with whatever we were doing because we were doing it together. I was lucky enough to be married to my best friend.  A double edged sword now that he is gone as I never bothered to cultivate many close woman friendships.  The ones I do have are married and for the most part don’t really know what to do with me now.  Not that I blame them, i don’t know what to do with myself most of the time either.   

In this new normal, I am coming to the realization that if I want to have joy in my life again I’m going to have to go out and  actively search for it.    I think it is the taking action part that is the most difficult. But as Frank so wonderfully wrote, it is in the looking back that we truly can see how far we’ve come. I like to tell people that while my life is not great, it definitely is better then what it was, and for that I am  greatful.  Slowly but surely I am making progress in this new life I didn’t ask for, taking baby steps to try new things.  I volunteer at an animal shelter now, which has been very therapeutic for me.   Visiting with the cats helping them stay engaged in life.  I like to think we are helping each other that way. 

  While I definitely wish I didn’t have to be on a website like this, it does help me to know that I am not losing my mind.  .  Thanks everyone for listening.  

Comment by Melissa on March 29, 2018 at 11:55pm

That's exactly it. It feels like overstimulation. I can handle three hours of adulting at the maximum, then I just melt down from exhaustion and anxiety and wanting to feel safe for a minute or two.

I don't think I'll ever feel safe again, and that's the worst part. I used to be able to take a nap if I felt tired or a bit unwell. I haven't been able to take a nap since Gilbert died, even if I've been awake most of the night. I just can't unclench, you know?

My love to you all.

Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on March 29, 2018 at 8:41pm

(((Hugs going.on.slowly)))

My 2nd year was worse than the first as well as for many others. I constantly felt like I was jumping out of my skin - the anxiety was intense - similar to a baby crying & screaming in public from overstimulation. I walked around holding my chest gasping for air for months ...

Try to convalensce as much as possible. Build up to public outings &/or visitors - take as much time as you need & try to ask for help. This too, shall pass while you're nursing yourself. It can last awhile or a short time before your emotions & senses calm to fully engage the world again. Don't be concerned, the same ole, same ole will always be out there ...

Blessings ...

Comment by chef (John) on March 28, 2018 at 7:37am

Frank is spot-on in his observations. Keep on being kind to yourself, going on slowly, even if you have passed the "magic" one-year threshold--which is an arbitrary bogus "milestone" anyway. We all move (and pause) at our own paces. I'm now in Year VII, and some things can still be an occasional trigger. I guess that will continue for the rest of my life.

Hugs to everyone from a widower in Cleveland.


Comment by Tess on March 28, 2018 at 6:29am

I was actually grateful that first year when I was forced to make decisions and take care of things that required a measure of urgency. It kept my mind occupied to an extent. I found when the second year rolled around (I am at almost 19 months), the busyness and the fog lifted and a new reality had begun to set in. I cried less, but the dissatisfaction with my life suddenly became my new normal.

Frank, you are right when you tell Going on slowly to look back at the first days and weeks. It is so hard to see the changes, as they tend to be subtle. I know for me, though I am not at point "G" and sometimes feel as if I am back at point "C", I am far and beyond better than I initially was. I have grown. I'm just not happy with the prospect of being alone for the remainder of my life. I know I will have to reconcile my current circumstances with a life that at least has an occasional glimpse of joy and happiness.

((Hugs to all))

Comment by Boxer Mom on March 28, 2018 at 3:06am

Frank....your advice and explanation could not have been expressed more perfectly. I am coming up on my 4 year anniversary and have worked my way through all  you have expressed. Lots of things trigger emotions and life is very different but I know my dear husband is always with me by my side. Thank you for your words....very helpful for all.


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