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Suddenly Widowed

For those widowed suddenly or unexpectedly by any cause. 

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Members: 1654
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Comment by shelley 12 hours ago

So I went to the memorial today.  It was fine.  Glad I went.  Yesterday afternoon I spent hours at the gym blasting music into my earphones and exhausting every muscle in my body.  That work out combined with crying myself to sleep for several nights combined with the support I received from this web site allowed me to be present and gracious at the memorial.  And...    this morning when I woke up and walked into the living room, there was a feather on the floor in front of the sofa where I sit, where my husband used to sit.  I assume it was from John.  I haven't had any birds in the house that I know of.  

Comment by shelley on Friday

I posted somewhere about my stepdaughter (in a forum where the subject was adult stepchildren), can't find it.  So I'll post here:  After my husband died (suddenly and unexpectedly) his 43 year old daughter came in the home that my husband and I shared and went through cupboards, dressers, etc, looking for anything she might want.  I was in shock, didn't know what to say/do.  She wrote and published his obituary without letting me read it beforehand.  I had suggested to my husband that he add her name to one of his bank accounts in case something happened to the both of us because he procrastinated about writing a will.  After John died, she took all the money out of the account and closed it without telling me.  She picked up what she thought was his pension check (it wasn't an actual check, he had direct deposit) and put it in her purse. She found $300 stashed where John and I sometimes hid cash and was putting it in her purse when I said that the money was mine.  She begrudgingly threw it on the kitchen counter.  She contacted his pension administrator and social security to see if she was a beneficiary.  John had two IRA's-  she told me over and over again that John wanted her to have those funds.  I signed over the IRA's to her because I didn't want money to be an issue between us.  And I was grieving, didn't care at all about money.  At the mortuary, when I said that I wanted John's ashes for just 24 hours and would then split them with her, she stormed out crying.  Her husband yelled at me and said that I was completely self-absorbed.  Soon after my husband died, she emailed me and asked if I wanted to help plan a "Celebration of Life"; I said that it was too soon for me so she went ahead with the plans on her own.  So on Saturday I will attend my husband's "Celebration of Life".  I'm still working on saying, 'John's not coming back', thought for sure I saw him yesterday.  But I will make the best of an awkward situation and hope for some healing.  It was fine with me that she was a 'Daddy's girl'.  I was very secure in my relationship with my husband.  But I think in hindsight that we created a monster.  

Comment by Rainy (Misty) on Tuesday

Oh shoot, I wanted to add something Shelly.  I have a step-daughter as well who was her dad's baby.  I've taken a backseat from the beginning and kept in mind that he loves me different but loves me none the less.  

That being said, she had him for 34 yrs and I only had him for 5.  As much as I hate to admit it, she knew him better than I.  I defer to her for about everything referring to her dad.  In turn, she does to me.  I'm not saying feelings haven't been a bit hurt on each side....after all, we are both hyper-sensitive right now.  I was pretty lucky in that, she realized her life was centered around her family and mine was centered around her daddy.  Therefore, I have a whole different kind of ache.  Somehow, that in and of its self-has made me feel better.

If it's your wish to retain a relationship with your step-daughter I hope you'll be able to hash things out.  It's not worth having hard feelings on top of mourning your loss.  Hang in there.

Comment by Rainy (Misty) on Tuesday

Shelly best of luck and hopefully it will turn out to be an event you actually enjoy, maybe you'll hear stories you haven't heard before.

Laurajay,  you said what I was thinking so I won't reword your comment, you said that way better than I could have!

Comment by shelley on Monday

Frank & Laurajay, Thank you for you comments.  Yes, I know I have to go and be pleasant.  I'm just not ready to celebrate his life when I'm still begging him to come back.  The "So what?"  comment, I've used that myself when emailing friends about this.  The bottom line is that it is what it is and I have to deal with it in John's honor.   I appreciate your advice and support.  

Comment by laurajay on May 20, 2018 at 10:57pm

Shelley.  playing the devil's  advocate since I am hoping some necessary  comments might toughen  you to the reality of the situation you will be facing.  First of all, I was a daddy's girl-the first man I loved  who loved me.  My daughter was also a daddy's  girl  with a special bond between them.  If  you realize  he(your husband) was hers(stepdaughter)  before he became  yours so to speak and nothing can change  that.  In the five yrs  here reading  posts   of the before and after death relationships  the vast majority  of  folks  have posted that had  rough times with "step" relationships  some  very  hurtful  some  nearly  vicious and a lot of what happened was unexpected.  You  kinda  have a  choice  of role playing.  You can attend the memorial  of the man you so loved  and be a gracious  widow  to honor  him  and the memories  you  made with him  or  you can play the  role of the  angry, wicked  step-mother who sulks  and  resents what is  happening (the memorial).  Try to realize  it's  only  a  few hours  of being pleasant  to family  and friends- people  who also cared for him  even if they are clueless of your true relationship with him and how deeply you are hurting. Most  don't  care. If given the opportunity  to speak  just  speak of  the qualities  you loved  about him and acknowledge  the  gratitude  you have that  others cared  about him,too.  His  daughter  lost  her  beloved  father. She  is hurting  and  has  chosen to lash out at you for her own reasons. You  be the  adult!  Let her  have her  memorial.  Don't argue  or debate as it will only  bring  on  stress  and  more ill  feelings  for you.  Smile.  Be  cordial. Walk  away from confrontation if  it comes.  If  told  what  you  should  do now  or in the future  just state  you have several things/ideas  you are considering.  Don't  try  to explain. Of course  it  may be  uncomfortable  or awkward.  So what?  The time will  fly by...just  imagine  the people  there  thinking  how well you are doing  and  how  your  kindness  and  friendliness  make it  easy to understand why he chose  YOU for a  partner.  Imagine him  there  watching  you.  Take  love  with you  and  leave  hurt angry  feelings  at home.  We are never ready for these occasions. Just  go with the flow and  tell yourself  "This too shall pass" because  it will.  I believe  you can and will be  fine.   Hugs  and  prayers...                    lj

Comment by Frank on May 20, 2018 at 9:02pm

Hi Shelley,

Celebrations of life overall are wonderful things that help family and friends to just what is says..

Celebrate the life of...  For those of us that have just gone through that loss it can be both terrible and wrenching or, if you can, it can be a celebration of our love and commitment.

Your mind is filled with inspirational times and moments with your husband.  During these celebrations everyone has a say and comments, and all are almost always humorous or poke good natured fun at some event.  If you can, try and stay away from the pain of loss, stick with good memories, and join in the celebration of your husbands life and in particular with you, as you remember to family some of these moments with family. 




Comment by shelley on May 20, 2018 at 5:33pm

My husband's daughter and I had a falling out after John died.  She had endured many of her dad's relationships/girlfriends over the years, before John and I were together.  And it was important to her to be the most important woman in John's life.  That was fine with me.  But in the weeks after John died, she really crossed many boundaries and hurt my feelings/made me angry.  So now she has organized a "Celebration of Life" event. And of course I must attend but am not looking forward to it.  I'm just not ready.  Any advice on getting through it with the best possible attitude?  Thanks 

Comment by Rainy (Misty) on May 17, 2018 at 8:28pm

Mrs Hehar, I'm so sorry that happened to you.  I can see how that would cause a panic attack.

Shelly, I know how you feel with the sheets.  Jerry died at home, on his favorite flannel sheets in our bed.  I took them off and washed them all except his pillowcase.  It still smells like him and is shoved into a big ziplock bag.  I will never wash that pillowcase.  Jerry always helped me with our bed too, so it's weird to do it alone.  

I had the last shirt he wore and it was such a pleasure to bury my face in it...then his dog found it (I left in it on his chair) and drug it off and proceeded to sleep on it for several days until I found it again.  Needless to say, it smelled of dog when I got it back.  I was really annoyed.

Comment by shelley on May 16, 2018 at 9:40pm

Well, I finally changed the sheets.  It was really hard.  Most times we changed the sheets together.  He would volunteer to tuck the fitted sheet in the farthest away corner and I would thank him.  He would complain about all the dog hair on the bed and I would change the subject.  Now I have clean sheets but no smell of his sunscreen on the pillows, no lint from his wool socks in the bed, only memories of us changing the sheets together, and memories of snuggling with him every night in those sheets.  


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