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Suddenly Widowed

For those widowed suddenly or unexpectedly by any cause. 

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Members: 1694
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Discussion Forum

Went to bed and didn't wake up

Started by Peacefrog. Last reply by Melissa yesterday. 12 Replies

 September 13, 2018 was like any other day, he worked out at the gym doing strength training like he had for the last three years. He picked up dinner on the way home steak and cheese hoagies.  It…Continue

Life goes on, but it’s so bloody hard

Started by Lal68. Last reply by Lal68 Nov 13. 4 Replies

My husband was 46 and died suddenly.  We thought he had the flu, took him to doctors Thursday and she thought the same. On Friday he had stomach pains so took him back to the doctors where he was…Continue

Random Thoughts on a Rough Weekend

Started by Crabby. Last reply by jlsrdh Nov 7. 13 Replies

Since my husband died 14 weeks ago, I now take 6 pills a day for anxiety and insomnia.  I still don't sleep.I hate eating alone.  I can't even figure out what to shop for or what to make. When I do…Continue

Grief, guilt, and regret

Started by Crabby. Last reply by Melissa Oct 18. 11 Replies

Hello,I lost my husband of 38 years suddenly 11 weeks ago tomorrow. We were empty nesters with two grown children, and two adorable granddaughters. It was a Sunday afternoon, and Don was in our…Continue

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Comment by Sleepless in Chicago on May 3, 2011 at 4:51pm
Ah yes, here is my first official post into the group - hello!  Quick synopsis:  I was suddenly widowed 1.5 years ago at 35 when my husband had a heart attack right in front of me, I did cpr on him in front of the kids - I am a cpr instructor and I really thought that or the AED would have done it - but it didn't.  So, the in-law thing.  Yes, they shocked me with a few things a few weeks ago.  They told me they are getting better - so basically maybe I should too.  Um, hello, but they get to lead the SAME EXACT life.  Golf, dinners, movies, blah blah.  I'm raising 3 kids working full time.  Oh, and they told me I'm not the only one going through something like this (like there are other widows - which of course there are and I luv them all :) But my statement was:  Uh, yeah, no duh, but what is the point of saying something like THAT? What a ridiculous comment. Oh, and they said I should "suck it up."  Wow.  I go to work everyday, my kids are in a million activities, I am involved in volunteering, I take the kids to church, I keep a clean house - so I think I'm allowed to sulk and grieve now and then and think I'm sucking it up pretty darn well. But, overall they watch the kids when I need them to and are a big help for babysitting - but now I know they are not a source of emotional support!! Now I know who I can and cannot turn to for when I do need emotional support. Love it.
Comment by Momtofour on May 2, 2011 at 4:38pm
Missing Peace...I think what you are doing right now is just amazing.  My late husband was a Kosovo vet, and my FH (future husband, live in boyfriend) is currently in the Army and a 2 time Iraqi vet.  I know personally how  much that would  mean to them and I cant even begin to imagine how amazing it would be.  As for the family issues....well, I'll just say I am dealing with some of the same stuff you are and it ENRAGES me, but there is nothing I can do about it.  I just cut them out of our lives to end the drama instead.
Comment by NMWidower on May 1, 2011 at 10:28pm

@ Chris, 


I agree with you on Immersing yourself in it.  That was one of the things they encouraged us to do in griefshare classes.  They called it "leaning into the grief".  I think for me it helped me to 1) give myself permission to grieve 2) help me understand the depth of my loss and most importantly 3) to not run from my grief and pain and stuff it. 


Honestly grief is by far the most painful and dark valley I have every walked, but I know facing my grief, truly grieving each loss until I could let it go has helped me to find healing.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  I was thankful for others in my life like you who encouraged me to "lean into my grief" too.  As hard as this can be I think it really helps people to truly deal with the pain so you can one day be free from letting this loss control all of the rest of your life.  I know it certainly does for a season, but I also know life and hope can one day be found again and that as I have grieved it has helped me to be able to let go and start to rebuild life again.


@ Eowyn.  Wonderful words.  I think like you experiencing loss has also helped me to appreciate life more.  It took a while to get there, but I know as I rebuild in life I dont want to take anything for granted moving forward. 

I think similarly I was amazed at how I have become more compassionate than I ever thought I could be too.  I'm not sure when or how it happened but I can definitely see it has occurred these last 18 months.


Comment by missing.peace on May 1, 2011 at 8:19pm

I appreciate everyone who responded to my post..  while I wouldn't wish being widowed on my worst enemy it's nice to have some people to talk to and relate to on this subject.  

I do understand that my in laws are grieving in their own way, I'm aware that they may even be taking their anger at the loss of their child out in ways that may hurt me.. I'm also aware that I could be focusing the anger that I have due to this situation on them as well..  but I'm also tired of making excuses for them.  this isn't new to them, (not the loss of a child, but the sheer self centeredness) from early on in my relationship with my late husband it was apparent that his mother was a very selfish, self-centered person.  (she was an only child that never seemed to grow out of that mentality) through our wedding, announcing that we were pregnant and now this my mil has always managed to somehow make things about her.  In fact my husband had approached his father while I was pregnant and asked if they (my husband and his sister) could have a family "pow wow", to talk to their mom about her attitude and actions.. to explain how it upset them and hurt them and how if things didn't change somehow that she wouldn't see them as much..  his father told him no, that if they were to do something like that she'd "kill herself" -in my opinion a.)if she was this close to suicide that is a whole other issue to be dealt with immediately and b.) that he only said this because HE didn't want to have to deal with the aftermath of that conversation.  it is because of how my husband felt about his family that we moved to another city (we had been living in the same city as them) and three months later he was shot while parking our car in front of our house for no apparent reason other than the people behind him while he was trying to parallel park got impatient and decided to shoot him as they were finally able to pass by.  

from the moment they arrived the next morning they took over everything.  the decision to pack up the house we had been living in and moving me back to the city we had been living in.. I never had the chance to say goodbye.  even though we had only been there for a few months, it was still the last home we shared as a family.  the funeral was held one week after he was murdered..  I was completely numb and they were just throwing all this stuff at me.  they organized the funeral.. other than my decision to have him cremated and the urn that his ashes would be in.. I didn't have much say in anything.  I DID put my foot down when my mil wanted to cut some of his hair off to keep though.  she suddenly started acting as though he was a "mama's boy" when I knew the truth.. it makes me sick to my stomach.  the day after the funeral we had a last viewing of his body before cremation, just immediate family..  and all I wanted was a few moments alone with him to say good bye... but she walked up and kissed him on his lips, which I had said was something I needed to do.. to give him one last kiss, and after that.. I just couldn't bring myself to do it, not after she did.  

my brother in law now claims to be clairvoyant and says he gets messages from my husband.. I want to scream at him that if he was communicating with him he would tell them all to back the flip off and put them all in their place.. but I just have to remind myself that I know the truth.. it's just hard because I feel outnumbered by them.  If it weren't for the fact that I have their only grandchild I would have cut ties with them long ago.. I kept thinking after his death that this would change them, would put things into perspective and help them see outside the little bubble they live in, but in the long run it feels like it's only made it worse.  


I'm sorry, I know I've ranted on and on and it just sounds like all I have is this anger, I've just not had anyone to talk to this stuff about.. I do have more to me than anger.. I've tried to take from this experience and instead of playing the victim I've tried to make something in my life to help others.  at the time of my husbands death I was going to get to be a stay at home mom.. but that was no longer an option.. so the weeks following his death among all the other stuff going on in my head I was trying to figure out what in the world I was going to do to take care of us as a family (my husband was killed 23 hours before his life insurance policy went into effect, we were given nothing).  I also kept thinking about how much I wanted to go to a spa and get pampered in those months following his death, but I didn't want to be told to have a good day or explain what I was going through either..  so I started doing some research on massage and grief and long story short decided to go to school to become a massage therapist with the hopes of eventually creating some sort of retreat that is geared towards people who are grieving..  I've been in the industry for almost a year now (started school 4 months after his death) and just got an opportunity to work with "wounded warriors" -I live near a military base now- and will have the opportunity to work with people dealing with PTSD and who've been through some very traumatic stuff.. so at least I'm heading in the right direction.   I feel like I'm doing a great job helping others heal, I just need to start taking the time to work on myself.. it's just hard to do due to lack of free time and funds..  but I am truly grateful to have found this site and the potential people I will meet through this to share insight on this journey moving forward.  


Comment by Soaring Spirits on May 1, 2011 at 5:52pm
Abby, be easy on yourself. I often advise folks to be MORE selfish during these times... though I am also spending a lot of time rebuilding relationships that I neglected while *I* was taking care of things the past few years. At 5 years, I am working on compassion, openness, and some of the other things that got lost when I was just surviving... but I wouldn't be here to work on those if I hadn't survived, yanno? X to you!!!
Comment by Kerri H on May 1, 2011 at 5:47pm
Abby, it sounds to me like you are very wisely taking care of yourself in this situation.  It truly is best to insulate yourself from anyone that will hurt you or could hurt you because you have enough to deal with at the moment.  There is nothing like the devastation we suffer when we lose our spouse.
Comment by Abby on May 1, 2011 at 5:34pm

Thanks for your unique perspective Abigail. You are right that my husband's family is grieving their loss...selfishly and shockingly I never saw that until you mentioned it. I am in too much pain to deal with them at this time and I am not sure that I want to be around someone  (My sister in law) who would have the capacity to write such hurtful things to me. I forgot to mention that she lost her first husband to brain cancer 15 years ago, so you would think that she would be have a better understanding of my situation. In any event, I will need some time and perspective to decide how to move forward or not with them. Right now I am in too much pain to reach out to people who have hurt me when I am most vulnerable.

I am so sorry for your loss and truly admire your courage and perspective. I hope that I feel like you do after a few years. Right now, I am too obsessed with the loss of my husband, best everything to even begin to deal with other family members feelings.  Thank you for writing in and offering up some much needed wisdom.


Comment by Kerri H on May 1, 2011 at 5:23pm

missing.peace, I can relate to a lot of what you have said.  My husband committed suicide so I deal with a lot of the looks, pity, and dealing with how to deal with it with the kids.  I agree that it is difficult to lose a child but it is also difficult to lose a husband.  We have lost a person that was present in our lives 24/7, their parents did not have them around 24/7 anymore.  We have lost the person who helped us financially and emotionally and physically deal with our day to day lives.  I would be devastated if I lost one of my kids and I don't know how I would get through it but it doesn't compare to the loss of my husband.  The loss of my husband does not compare to the loss of anyone else's husband or wife either.  Everyone needs to understand that their loss is terrible but not any worse or better than anyone else's, kwim?  It's awful that in-laws would treat anyone that way, saying that their loss is worse than yours.  I've been blessed because my in-laws have always considered me as much a part of the family as their other children.  I thank God for them but I understand that their loss is devastating and they understand that mine is, just in different ways. 


Many of us have dealt with friends "disappearing" from our lives after the loss of our loved one.  I know I did.  I have finally figured out what to do with my life and am making it as good as I can in this new circumstance.  There are always bad days and always will be.  Give yourselves the time to grieve, the time to figure out what is next.  That is the best advice I can give.  It took me 2 1/2 years to figure out what I was going to do next. 

Comment by Abigail Carter on May 1, 2011 at 4:31pm

My husband too was murdered on 9/11 when my kids were 2 and 6. It has been a long, hard road, so I understand some of the comments below. Abby, Missing Piece, I understand your pain. I am so sorry to hear of your losses. I too had trouble with my family after my husband died. It took me a long time to realize that they were grieving as well and were behaving in irrational ways, just as I was. I am not condoning bad behavior, but sometimes it helps to remember that families very often behave badly after a loss. as difficult as it may be, it helps to try and cut them some slack, as you would hope they would for you. If when they don't cut you slack. It does get easier, that I can tell you. And you may, with time be able to move forward with his family and find a happy place with them.

My son (the 2 year old) too asked a lot of questions about what happened to his dad and I just tried to answer as honestly as I could, given his age. The conversations were often astounding. I often had to repeat the same conversation, because he didn't remember at 4 what I told him when he was 2. And again at 6 and 8. It's not easy, but almost 10 years on, I can tell you I have two pretty amazing kids that often "get" difficult situations a whole lot better than their peers ever will. The experience of loss has the power to strengthen us, and our kids, if you choose to see it that way. Good luck to you all!


Comment by Abby on May 1, 2011 at 3:08pm
Hi Missing Piece: My husband was not killed by a criminal, but I am convinced that his surgeon should be held responsible for his unexpected death. That is a very long story but my husband's sister (who he was not even close with )took it upon her herself to send me a cruel email about how I should have done this right after he died, his mother is 88 years old and I shoud have that for was such a mean and nasty email that after I had a a good cry, I deleted the email and am "trying" to forget it and consider the source from where it came. Sure it is horrible losing a child but my husband was a young athletic 55 year old male and we had the rest of our lives together.  At this age, losing your soul mate and confidant is a huge loss, and to me I was the primary person in his life and have lost the most. I do see a counsellor as I am only 3 months into this horrible grieving process and she told me that planning a service or whatever it is that I wanted to do was up to ME and no one else. She also said that is will probably be the only time in my life when I can do what I want to do.  So, I did what I wanted to do and what I know my husband would have wanted me to do, and I am done feeling badly about his family and their feelings. They never told me what they wanted til the day I had my event in our home. It was all about my me and my family as they never offered any input, any help, or ever asked me what they could do for while my husband would be sad that his sister was so mean to me, I am "done" with his family and feel that I have suffered enough for this lifetime.  My advice to you is to seek some counselling as it really is helpful and it will help you put things like your husband's family into perspective

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