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Suddenly Widowed

For those widowed suddenly or unexpectedly by any cause. 

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Members: 1720
Latest Activity: 13 hours ago

Discussion Forum

Since He Died...

Started by Crabby. Last reply by Roxi yesterday. 7 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

He deserved so much more love

Started by KJPE. Last reply by Mrs Bear on Thursday. 11 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

Walking the line tonight

Started by BlueRoses. Last reply by lulu74 May 15. 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

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

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Comment by Abigail Carter on January 20, 2011 at 7:18pm

la Doctora,

Amazing story! I am envious that your son had such a healthy way to process his father's death by actually getting to see your husband. It sounds like you handled it so well with regards to explaining it all to your son. I loved the racing the ME van down the street! I applaud you.

Comment by la Doctora on January 20, 2011 at 7:09pm
Sorry -that turned out to be WAY longer than I meant it to be - I really didn't mean to monopolize the wall...
Comment by la Doctora on January 20, 2011 at 7:04pm
My husband died on June 30, 2004, when he was 39 years old. He was a computer programmer, and often stayed up late into the night coding. I used to get upset with him if he'd come to bed in the wee hours, because then I'd wake up, and I had to get up early in the morning for work. So, that night, he came to talk with me in bed around 11pm or so, right before I drifted off. I essentially fell asleep on him while he was talking (and haven't a clue about what he said - kick myself for that one, too), so he patted me on the head and walked out of the bedroom - my eyes fluttered open, and his back in our doorway is the last I saw of him when he was alive. I often wonder how things might have been different if I had chosen to snuggle with him, seduce him that last evening, instead of just turning over and going to sleep. My neighbor was the last one who saw him alive - through the window at 2am, working in his office. He went to sleep on the living room couch at some point after that, and never woke up. I came down to the kitchen in the morning, put on water for coffee, and was brushing my hair as I walked into the living room. I knew he was dead the minute I saw him. Although he looked peaceful and was covered with a blanket, his arms were curled up in a slightly extended fetal position from rigor mortis, and his mouth was ajar - he was positioned exactly like a friend's son who had died one week prior. My thoughts were, "He looks just like --- in the casket! Oh my God, he IS dead!" I reeled, felt my life existentially turn on a dime. His body was cold and really stiff, no pulse, still slightly warm underneath. Thought, "If I call 911, the ambulance will come immediately, and my 5-year-old son is still asleep upstairs. There's no hope of resuscitation, and I don't want all that hubbub to interfere with my child's processing of this." So, with much trepidation, mustering all the courage I could, I went upstairs, woke up my son, and told him that Daddy had died. He said, "You're kidding, right?" And I said, "No, I wish I was, but I'm not kidding. Do you want to come downstairs and see?" He said, "If you hold my hand." So, we went down, and had some private minutes alone with Daddy. My son wanted to know if he could touch Daddy, and I said, "Yes - he won't wake up again, but his skin feels like our skin, only colder - he'll be with us in our hearts forever." My son touched him, and I told my husband that we both loved him, that we wished he could have stayed with us longer. After about 10 or 15 minutes of talking with my son and answering his questions, I explained that I would have to make some phone calls, people would come over, and a lot of things would happen, but that my son could stay with me, go play with some toys or go to a friend's house (he decided to play with toys first). I called my neighbor, and of course she came right over, said, "Call 911!", and I did, and they came, there was a lot of hubbub, and my parents came, the police came, the coroner came, another neighbor came and offered to have my son go play with her kid. The other kid said, "I want to see the dead Daddy!", and he did (much to his parents' horror and dismay!). My son was back and forth from their house to ours for the several hours it took to get things squared away. He was in and out of the house, in to take a look at Daddy, and then back to playing and just being a kid. My colleague from work came over and got them to let me keep my husband's ring, wallet, and a few other personal effects. So, before we let them take his body, my son and I said good-bye to him, and I gave my son his Daddy's wedding ring (he always liked to play with our rings, and we would never let him hold onto them for long, so this was very special to him). The guy from the ME's office was kind enough to not zip the body bag over my husband's face until he was out of sight of my son (my Mom's suggestion to him.) My son and my husband often "raced" me in the morning as I drove away to work, so my son said, "Let's race him!". So the two of us "raced" the ME van down the street until it turned the corner, and that was it. Although the death certificate says my husband died from coronary thrombosis, which I do believe, my husband also suffered from major depression. I have therefore never quite gotten over the thought that perhaps he found some covert way to off himself that nobody found out, though I think this is highly unlikely. I had spent so many years thinking I'd find him strung up somewhere and have to cut him down, that this kind of peaceful, natural death felt really out of place. His death was very sad, extremely untimely, and I do miss him greatly. However, I was never sad to be finished dancing with his depressive illness. My grief has been very conflicted, with a great sense of relief always mixed with it, for which I have felt somewhat guilty. I was grateful to come to a point, after my anger dissipated, where I could grieve purely, being happy for all that was good about my husband, and not have the acute memory of what it was like living with depression, the anger and sadness I went through while he was alive, coloring that pure grief. I have never had the guts yet to go get the autopsy report (I'm a pathologist, and sometimes do autopsies as part of my job, so I know exactly what happens, what cuts we make to free the organs, and I really didn't want to read all that about my husband). But maybe it's been long enough now...almost 7 years.
Comment by uswithoutyou on January 19, 2011 at 7:05pm
I'm not sure where I belong...suddenly widowed or long illness.  My husband died from a brain tumor 22 days after he was diagnosed.  I was 9 months pregnant with our second child at the time and gave birth during those 22 days.  And since he had a brain tumor and it was so advanced, he really wasn't himself and didn't understand what was going on around him once he went to the ER.  So, in many ways, it feels like he was hit by a truck or something. While I had three weeks to grasp that he was going to die, I thought he had about a year.  And therefore we never got to say our goodbyes or any of the other things I so desperately would have loved to say and hear.  Its been two  years and I still don't believe it happened at least once a day.
Comment by Janine (txmomx6) on January 19, 2011 at 12:29pm

I have a question for everyone.  A woman who reads my blog emailed me.  Her husband is dying and she's been reading for a while.  She asked if there's anything that I wished I could have asked Jim, or wish that I had known, before he died.

I gave her my answer and told her that I'd post the question here and ask all of you.  If you'd known your spouse was going to die, what would you have asked him/her?  What do you wish you had known?

Thanks so much for responding.

Comment by Chris on January 19, 2011 at 12:29pm

My wife, Sarah, was killed while we were on vacation in Italy, trying to start our family.  We were in the Cinque Terre & it was September 27, 2007.  We had climbed down a staircase & onto some rocks to get pictures of the sea - it was rough, but we thought we were up high enough.  A large wave hit while I was taking Sarah's picture & knocked her back, off onto a lower ledge of rocks & then into the Mediterranean.  I jumped down to the lower ledge to see if I could rescue her when a second wave hit and took me into the water.  I remember being underwater thinking that I should've taken a deep breath before the wave hit me when a third wave hit and somehow threw me back onto the lower ledge of rocks.  I climbed back onto the higher ledge and then back onto the trail we had been on in time to watch her drown. 

I met so many amazing people and many good things happened immediately after this tragic event that I cannot begin to list them here.  I will tell you, though, that a memorial for Sarah was erected by the Cinque Terre National Park near the spot where the waves hit, and that the people of the Cinque Terre are among the most caring and loving in the world.  It was also evident to me that God has his hand in everything that happened that day & every day since.

If you'd like to hear more, please feel free to contact me.  It's therapeutic to talk about our losses, ya know... :-)

Comment by Michele Neff Hernandez on January 19, 2011 at 7:35am
Vertical, I love the idea of embracing life like nobody's business :)
Comment by Michele Neff Hernandez on January 19, 2011 at 7:34am

It is amazing to read all the stories here and know we all shared that moment of disorientation and disbelief that happened as someone told us our loved one was dead....when just a moment before they were just living life.

 

My husband died in a cycling accident on August 31, 2005. He went out for his regular Wednesday evening bike ride with his friend, and was hit in the back by a suburban about three miles from our house. He died in the ambulance in the driveway of the hospital. I was in the room as they worked to try to restart his heart, and standing at the end of the bed when they pronounced him dead. I have always felt so lucky to have been with him as his life ended. He never regained consciousness, so there were no spoken words, but he turned his head to the sound of my voice and I was sure in that moment that he knew I was there and knew he was loved.

Comment by Vertical on January 19, 2011 at 7:24am

My husband died in a helicopter training accident on September 20, 2009. He was a flight instructor flying with one of his students who was getting ready to fly with the FAA the following week for his flight instructor certification. Needless to say (or maybe for those with no aviation background), they were not new pilots. The NTSB has not finalized their investigation as of yet...taking a long time.

If you've seen the intro forum then you may have read some of the things I've been doing for myself lately. One of the things that I worked on this past week was to let go of the life I thought I would have - the marriage, growing old together, our son being raised by both of us...the moment I thanked this perception/thought/way of being for what it gave me and then was ready to release it - that act, simple but so complex and difficult, opened my heart and my eyes to living in the present with what I have now. I feel that I can be so much more of a mom to our son than I have been the past year. It also showed me that I can be grateful for what I had and have because of my husband. Instead of longing for what cannot be...I know I'll have my days as I've already had my moments and I haven't even been back in town for 24 hours. But I know it is there. And I am perfectly fine with saying 'this sucks' every single day. Because it does. I didn't want to walk this path but if I have to I'm going to hold on tight to what I had, the love I had and embrace the future like nobody's business.
Comment by Abigail Carter on January 19, 2011 at 7:13am
Thanks Andrea. I am glad you found it helpful. Kids and I are well. I am just in the process of trying to sell a second memoir. Fingers are crossed.
 

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