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. 

Check the 'Help' tab for more guidance or send questions to [email protected]

Members: 1671
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Comment by shelley on April 16, 2018 at 7:27pm

Tjtango, Yes, Yes, Yes.  Know exactly what you mean.  

Comment by Tjtango on April 16, 2018 at 7:22pm

 I remember watching an episode of greys anatomy where one of the characters had just lost their mother and was being held and comforted while she cried.  I just started crying, staring at the tv, , thinking that not once since my husband passed have I been held like that and allowed to cry on someone’s shoulder.  It gets so tiring having to be the strong one all the time, when you just want to collapse into your husbands arms and have him tell you everything is going to be okay. Only now his absence is the very reason things are not.   

Comment by Cha Cha on April 16, 2018 at 1:56pm

Hello, wanted to stop by and introduce myself, I'm Charlene. Glad to have found this site even though it has been 5 yrs since my husband died I find relief in finally finding others who can understand the widowhood journey. 

Comment by Melissa on April 16, 2018 at 11:36am

Shelley, yes. I feel the same about 'The Year of Magical Thinking'.

When the person who has been an extension of your own body for decades is suddenly gone, at the time you most need to be held, is for me the cruelest part of this ongoing hell.

Comment by IBelieveInYou on April 16, 2018 at 11:22am

Shelley thanks for sharing that. I recently visited NYC (alone). Seeing the pools of water at the site of the world trade center towers was a moving experience for a number of reason, not the least of which was that those black pools with a huge, seemingly unending hole in the bottom are a useful representation of my grief that I use when someone needs to understand my pain. For me, there is a dark chasm that sometimes just opens beside me. 

Comment by shelley on April 16, 2018 at 11:16am

'The Year Of Magical Thinking' by Joan Didion has become one of my favorite books.  I've read it and re-read it countless times.  She says, 'Nor can we know ahead of the fact ... the unending absence that follows, the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaningless itself.'  Unending absence.  Meaningless itself.  Yes.  

Comment by Lady v on April 15, 2018 at 8:46pm

Shelley, you write so beautifully about the intimacy of touch, the connection beyond words. it is four years since I lost my beloved and i still feel the empty space, the coldness of loss, the deep yearning. This grief, this deep soul pain, is the price of the deep connection of love. I feel the pain, i breathe, I cry, I walk I make it through the moments. My hear goes out to you. Lady V

Comment by shelley on April 15, 2018 at 8:28pm

After decades of sleeping with, spooning with, being intimate with, touching, kissing, starting the day with, ending the day with- how do you deal with the absence of all that?  I feel like my body is covered with the lack of my husband.  There are just so many levels of loneliness and longing.  Grief is on me and in me, I'm immersed in it.  

Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on April 13, 2018 at 5:48pm

(((Hugs Shelley & Melissa)))

This is a long journey - they are words that eventually become bearable to hear. Unfortunately, grief gets worse before it gets better. It's difficult as well as confusing to get an understanding of how grief continuously changes when widow/ers can sound like cheerleaders/pep talkers while most suffer quietly like yourselves or those who are able/unable to relate, dismissive or happy happy happy, etc. Everyone is suffering from loss in different degrees. In their own way the responses are all meant to be supportive, however, it depends on the mood of the receiver. Believe me, I've been flamed for not interpreting correctly just in telling the truth - its difficult to determine between what a person is asking - does s/he want the truth or only what they want to hear - guessing is involved. The responder also gets to choose how s/he wants to answer with or without sugarcoating or change the subject by ignoring the question. However, if asking a direct question (as you did, Shelley) such as "Does grief get worse after the first year?" Responses can be anywhere from "it's different for everybody" to the 2nd or 3rd year etc being the worst to unsure how to answer when under a number of years out ...
The old Holmes/Rahe Stress scale from 1967 rates loss of spouse as #1 on the list. Back in 2007, I was still able to information that stated grief lasts about 8 years (mine ended at 8yrs). Apparently, it has become quite subjective since the info no longer exists b/c people can declare themself healed at any time even though others can spot their grief from their behavior ...
I only wished I could've been given straight forward answers about grief during my time - I only needed sugarcoating during the trial(years) of Bob's killer for which I got none of - zip, zero, zilch, nada. Just cold truth ...

It gets better in time (?) ...
Blessings ...

Comment by Tjtango on April 13, 2018 at 8:13am


it is coming up on two years for me.  I can look back on things now and see how far I’ve come when at the time I had trouble just making it thru the day.  My widowed sister in law said these words to me “ just keep putting one foot in front of the other and life will happen.”  My brother was killed in Afghanistan in 2002, leaving her a young widow with  two little kids.  Thankfully he also left her with a lot of faith in God which she credits for seeing her thru the dark times when she didn’t want to get out of bed.  Life did go on for her.  kids are grown, she got remarried a few years ago.  I know at the beginning it really helped me to hear from people farther along this awful path then I was so I could maybe follow the breadcrumbs they were leaving.  Anything to give me a little hope for a future where I wouldn’t hurt this bad.  All I can say is they were right.  I will miss my husband till the day I die, but I am also proud of myself because I’m still here.  doing things out of necessity I never thought I could do, because I never HAD to do them.    He would be glad to know that I finally realized how spoiled I was.  

I returned to work within a few weeks.  Yes I was an emotional wreck, but it gave me a place to go where things were still familiar and I needed that.  Seemed I could hold it together while I was there and then I would cry all the way home.  Still better then crying all day by myself at home in pajamas, which were what my weekends looked like.    I think you should try going back and see how you feel.  Everyone is different, but for me going back to work helped.  

So just be gentle with yourself and take things day by day.  


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