Widowed Village

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Widowed in 2013

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Comment by fiddler yesterday
Hi to all, I'm reading how difficult it is to give energy to a career when grieving and recovering. I left my job to take care of my ailing mother not long after my husband died. It was a difficult decision, but it has given me space to work through things and be more present for my children. I hope to come up with a business idea in the next year. Who knows? I try not to listen to the naysayers :) who look at me like a crazy dreamer. Good luck finding a balance everyone out there in WV. To Lakegirl - thanks for the update on your flowers. I hope your mower is good to you. I figured out a few tricks with checking the spark plug cable, topping off the gas, putting on the choke...hoping to trim giant bushes today :D. All the best!
Comment by going to make it on Friday
Soooo wish I could take survivors benefits & rewrote, but not old enough. Ugh!
Do what's right for you!
Comment by Lakegirl33 on Friday
Dear BerganJC, so proud of you for making a decision. Where in NC? I visited my son last weekend and we went to Lake Norman! Beautiful! I also just turned 60. When I called ss for survivor benefits it was complicated . They deduct $1.00 for every $2.00 you make from your husbands SS if he was collecting of what you earn . Once you hit the magic 65 they deduct nothing . Be careful.
Fiddler . While I was in NC the orange plant that Bob had bought the year he died bloomed along with my bleeding heart. And forget me nots! The grass is knee high so. Have to hopefully start the lawn mower tomorrow. Our 38 anniversary would be this Thursday. Dreading that day! Going to a cookout subday( hope I do k) and having a few new friends from my widow support group over tomorrow . Baby steps, I know ! Sending you all a big hug( I miss those so much) sue
Comment by Patience (Diane) on Friday

BergenJC,  I have to agree with your logic.  It sounds like retirement is your best bet.  I'm really hoping ACA is not repealed. My daughter and I both are very happy with our plans.  The plans are not perfect and we are not allowed out of network, but it is affordable.  

Comment by Maggie on Friday
I've been following this too. I'm older 68 and my husband and I retired very early and thankfully had 11 yrs before he died of cancer. In hindsight for him, retirement was not a good thing...but that's a whole other story and men whose work defines them are different than we women. I now wish I did have some part time job and think about looking. It would take my mind off "things. And keep me around people. I admit, I have a real problem needing connection with people..so for me work would be a good thing, providing I liked what I was doing. I suppose I could do volunteer work as well. Just my thoughts. If your current work is stressful, then I'd say quit. It's not worth it to ruin your health.
Comment by Choosing life on Friday
Good Morning to all: your discussion about retirement caught my attention. I argued with myself for months after my husband died about taking survivor benefits. While I knew I was is no shape mentally to do my old job, years of getting up and going to work and the comfort of belonging to a "work family" kept tugging at my sleeve. After much discussion with my older son (who, God love him, was so patient) he asked me a question that was in reality the answer. He said "if you could talk to dad right now what do you think he would tell you to do?" I knew that my husband would tell me to take the money and retire. So I did. Now I have to say that we had already been preparing to retire, I would just be retiring alone instead. Has it been easy --- no. Am I bored --- surprisingly no. some of my hours are filled with the daily chores of life and some are filled with new experiences. And I have been able to revive some of my old hobbies that I had set aside. So I set out each day doing my "chores", weathering the the hazards of widowhood and trying to be mindful of others. (Even though some do not treat me with the same respect). Do what is right for you in all cases. You will know in your heart the right decision. Peace to us all.
Comment by new2015 on Friday

BergerJC:  I am in the same place as you.  My husband left in March and the 6 months before he passed he was bedridden.  I haven't been able to put in a decent day at work since this nightmare started.  I too am retiring early because I just can't do it anymore.  I keep thinking tomorrow will be better but it isn't.  I too am scared about the financial comfort I will be leaving behind when I retire, but I am losing my mind trying to work.  Blessings on all of us as try and navigate a path we don't want to travel. 

Comment by BergenJC on Friday

Lakegirl33:  I too have found that no matter what else we may or may not have in common, this experience of losing a spouse gives us a bond that is different from the bonds we have with others that may be by virtue of being neighbors, or having similar political or religious beliefs, or having worked together, or having had similar childhood experiences.  

Unlike most of you, I'm finding spring (such as it is here in NJ this year, where it's 50 one day and 90 the next) this year to be hard.  My husband hated winter and tried to spend as much of it asleep as possible.  Then in spring he came alive.  That was the time of year when he was happiest ("happiest" meaning able to come out of his chronic low-level depression the most).  The baseball season was new and the Mets hadn't broken his heart yet, it was warm enough for long bike rides and kung-fu practice on the patio and dining out at restaurants with outdoor seating.  So it's hard.

I'm in kind of a funk this year because I've realized that my work mojo is just not going to come back.  I've been unable to focus on work now since Steve died and I've been getting my ducks in a row to retire.  It scares me to death -- I'm only 60 and I'm about to turn my back on a high-paying job with great medical and a solid 401(k) match because I simply can't do it anymore and I don't want to wait around for a lousy review next year.   I'm 5 years away from Medicare and COBRA is only 18 months and I'm certain that ACA will be repealed in January 2017 and who knows if I'll even be able to get insurance at that point...never mind if Medicare will still be around in its present form.  But I simply cannot go on like this.  I am not living.  I'm always either working, thinking about work, or worrying about work.  In the last eight months, one person on my floor at work has had a quad bypass after suffering chest pains, another had a stroke and is now paralyzed on his right side, a third is undergoing ever-escalating tests, and I've seen ambulances outside no fewer than four times.  And this is white collar work!  That's how stressful my industry is.  And I'll be damned if I'll let myself be in that number.

I've lined up the financing to buy a house in NC.  I've taken a HELOC so I can pay off my mortgage and reduce my payments here while I get my house ready to sell.  Today I'm calling Social Security to make an appointment to apply for survivor benefits.  I'm getting my ducks in a row.  I don't like change and this is all very scary change.  But my alternative is to be the next one taken out on a stretcher.

Comment by booktime (Susan) on Friday

Peace to you too, Cindy. Thanks for your words. I like your analogy of the waves and holding one's breath. It really is like that.

I'm mostly ok too. I do run by Ed's stone on the mornings I run. It's strange to see it there.  I know he isn't there but it is comforting to have it in a strange way.

I'm not a cemetery widow because I really don't know what I should be doing! Thank goodness for my MIL who sends money for "Eddie's" grave. At least that gives me the impetus to do flowers.

I guess we are learning to ride the waves without drowning, Cindy.


Comment by Hornet (Cindy) on Friday

booktime, I had the same kind of experience only yesterday. I was driving home from work. I was taking a new route...trying to find different ways back and forth down the 20+ mile route to the office. I pass right by the cemetery where Rick is buried on this particular route.

Now, I've made myself NOT go by there frequently. Rick isn't really 'there', you know what I mean? And while I have been there several times in the last 20 months, I've decided I won't be a cemetery widow. I will look after that place, I make flower arrangements for our spot, I will go there when I need to, but I will not let it rule my living schedule. But for some reason, I had to stop there yesterday as the sun was going down in the early evening.

I was the only one there. I went to our spot. I straightened the flower arrangement I had made, brushed off the dirt that had been blown on the newly-laid marker after a rain storm...and just burst into tears.

There I was...on my knees in this peaceful place, sobbing like a baby. I had no tissues...I left there a mess. I realized that the last few hours right before I got there were filled with grieving for him. I was fine that morning, but my heart just sank to my feet after lunch. I was just really, really low. Missing him so deeply. So lonely for him.

I keep loneliness in check fairly well now. But every now and then...it hits me in the head like a baseball bat...like a thunderstorm...and flattens me.

A few hours after arriving home, I was ok.

Who in the world could know this ahead of time, Susan? I suppose we just let the waves wash over us and try to hold our breath as best as we can until it finishes with us.

Peace to you, Susan. 


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