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: 1667
Latest Activity: Jul 4

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Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on April 17, 2018 at 3:15pm

Yes, try using those words again & again & again ...
My saying was "I did the best I could" - I said it for every guilt feeling till I felt deeply in my gut as well as intellectually accepted it was the undeniable truth. I tried playing God in thinking I could have prevented Bob from being killed by a road rage driver. He & I were always aware there were/are dangerous & careless drivers on the road, but life unfolds as it does for everyone. I was powerless & still am in preventing death. I struggled w/anger at God for not protecting him against death - it took a quite a long for me to realize God protects us whether dead or alive ...
Any long forgotten issues in our marriage surfaced as well - I used the same words as well since begging forgiveness from a dead husband was useless for years of complaining about the same ole crappola like not picking up his tools or tracking in a trail of grease from the garage into the house. I followed it w/the Serenity Prayer then most times just fell asleep soundly - relieved of stress & guilt till the next issue came up. Guilt from just about anything was only one of the most helpless feelings I've ever experienced. In just saying your words whenever guilt arises is doing something positive in working with your grief - its just one of many ways to empower yourself. We do what we do to resolve what we can using whatever coping skills we have as well as try to learn ...
Relief as well as resolution will come from working out your grief issues. Learning to live with/carry grief is far more helpful. No doubt its a struggle to find how to cope with it, but resisting it or pushing it aside is unproductive & surely causes craziness as well as more anger or depression ...
FYI, insurance companies provide a therapist, counselor, clinician, psychiatrist, etc w/a set time schedule to work w/a client. This can make a person feel rushed & angered by a mental health provider w/out knowing why ...
Hope this helps ...
Blessings ...

Comment by shelley on April 17, 2018 at 12:48pm

The first time I went back to my hairdresser I started crying while he was washing my hair.  He was very sweet and supportive, gave me a little shoulder rub.  I was pleasantly surprised.  

Comment by Melissa on April 17, 2018 at 12:43pm

Senecagirl, I eat a lot of take-out and frozen pizza. I only do what is absolutely necessary, which is take care of the dogs and go to lawyer and doctor appointments. I haven't gone anyplace fun because I don't have anyone to go with. My husband even used to get manicures with me! I haven't been back to the nail salon in the five months since he died, because I can't bear to say it out loud.

You are so fortunate to have a bonus family! Having someone to hug you and cry with you is a huge blessing. I'm glad your friend is moving in ext door to you. I'm sorry she had to join this awful club, but you'll each have someone close who understands. Much love to you~

Comment by Senecagirl on April 17, 2018 at 11:40am

I love reading everyone's posts. This is one of the few places i feel comfortable. I am 4 plus months into this new journey. I have had a few better times but feel i am going backwards..the tears have been coming more often again. My 30 plus year marriage was all i have known...i feel so lost and alone. I cant seem to get anything done, but the simple things to survive feeding the dogs, dishes when i feel like it, putting a pizza in. Anyone else eating a lot of pizza? Lol! I have been blessed with a great bonus family as i call them, my next door neighbors, they are so kind and loving and its a safe place for me to express my grief, they listen they hug they cry with me. They also give me happy times..picnic at the lake, family dinners, and there 2.5 yr old son is amazing, when he takes my hand to show me something i realize there is hope for me. When there 16 yr old son hugs me when i come in and everytime he thinks i need one i feel hope. My daughter lives 10 hrs away with her husband and my grandson who is 1.5. She has only been here twice since her dad died. Its been so hard to be so far from her. My bonus family helps to soothe that hurt. A close more recent friend, cousin of neighbor suddenly lost her partner boyfriend of 8 years, he died a month ago. So she who consoled me is now in this same club. She will be moving in next door and we will continue to work our ways thru this messed up situation. Thanks for allowing me to have a place to ramble on. This site is such a blessing. Love and hugs to all.

Comment by Melissa on April 17, 2018 at 11:09am

Tjtango, I know that feeling exactly. 

Comment by daringtoday on April 17, 2018 at 9:02am

Shelley, Have you tried massage, yoga or energy work? Grief writes heavily on the body and I have found that body work has been one of the most helpful practices for me to work through my grief. I am still getting regular sessions, more than two years after my partner died. Hugs, Amy

Comment by dougn52 on April 17, 2018 at 9:01am

It has been 4 years and two months since my wife took her own life.  I have definitely had my share of the "what ifs".  At some point I quit focusing on how she died, but I don't know why.  Maybe it was just a matter of time.  You might try  memorizing a prayer, if you are religious, or an inspirational poem and reciting it to yourself when you get those thoughts until they go away.

Two things I finally realized helped me quite a bit.  (But again I'm not really sure when it happened).   First,  I realized I will never be the same person, so I should quit trying to be.   Second I realized that I was going to improve at my own pace, not on anyone else's schedule, so I should quit pressuring myself to get better. 

It does get better over time ...

Comment by shelley on April 17, 2018 at 8:54am

SweetMelissa2007, thank you.  It is exactly the shoulda, coulda, woulda guilt.  

Comment by shelley on April 17, 2018 at 8:48am

Thank you all for your responses to my post.  You are always helpful.  I apologize for not being clear about what advice/suggestions I was seeking.  I was surprised to hear my therapist say that my guilty feelings are becoming obsessive but I am not questioning her judgment.  I was seeking advice on ridding myself of the guilt.  When the 'what if's' popped into my head, I would tell myself, 'But we didn't know', 'But we had no way of knowing'.  Whether or not my guilty feelings are obsessive, they are painful and unproductive.  And I know I would benefit from letting them go or at least softening their effect.  Maybe the 'But I didn't know' and the 'But I had no way of knowing' would work again.     Thank you so much for your support.  

Comment by Mike on April 17, 2018 at 8:29am


I am still inclined to trust the therapist. If she feels Shelley is becoming obsessive maybe she knows better than we do. She is trying to help her work out her issues and I think it’s worth a try. It doesn’t sound like criticism to me. It sounds more like honesty. 


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