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Widowed in 2013

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Members: 563
Latest Activity: Oct 27

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Comment by Broken Diva on October 27, 2018 at 9:14am

OMG Brianne!  Our paths do seem similar!  I am so happy and grateful you responded to me!

Unbelievable.  I do believe what we went through made us stronger women today!

God bless you and I am so glad you found happiness again.

Maybe I could friend request you?  But not sure how to do that!

Take care.

Comment by Brianne on October 27, 2018 at 8:14am

Thanks Broken Diva for sharing.  We all travel different paths but so many times I see similarities in our journeys.  I was a Bank Executive and for many years commuted to my job, leaving on Mondays and returning on Fridays. My husband and I had a strong, close loving relationship but choose to not have children.  My job allowed us to move to different cities and in the end we were residing outside of Canada when my husband was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.  We returned to the 40 acre property we had rented out while we were on assignment outside of Canada.  He died in that home.  I cared for him until the end.  I had no support, or at least it felt that way.  All our family lived more than 3 hours away and close friendships had been lost during my career changes.  So in some ways I see a parallel in our journeys. 

I sold our 40 acres and moved everything by myself.  I received no help from family due to the distance between us.  I had a 5 bedroom house, two double garages, a barn and farm equipment that I dealt with myself. I wondered if my family was wrong for not offering to help or if I was wrong for not asking for help.  Because I had always been a career woman my family viewed me as the executive who could handle anything and hence did not realize the struggles I was experiencing.  I found my peace in publishing a book and it was only after my family read it did they realize the pain I was in. Within 4 years I had lost my Mom, Dad and husband.  I was truly broken inside.  

When I met other widows at Widow Camp I was envious of so many who talked about the support they received from family and friends during their husbands illness.  I cared for my husband for 9 months and never once had anyone drop off a meal, offer to clean the house or offer to sit with my husband so that I could go run errands.  

I became bitter.  

I realized I needed to build a life for myself.  I had no children or grandchildren to occupy my time.  I tried to make new friendships but found most woman married.  I joined several groups to see if I could find a single person to do things with.  I think having such a close relationship with my husband had left me unable to relate to woman my age who had other interests. 

It took me 3 years to finally have the strength and confidence to go on a dating site and look for the man who would help me heal on my journey.  I know I was blessed in my first marriage and am blessed again to be in love for the last time in my life. 

Thanks again everyone.  Through sharing we gain understanding and possibly help someone else.     

 

Comment by Broken Diva on October 27, 2018 at 4:54am

Dear Brianne,

Thanks for your response.  I am trying to understand and go through the process of grief more and more. And, actually, thanks to you and the other responses on here, feel I am doing a good job. And I thank my husband for helping me to become a stronger woman.  

I had some extenuating circumstances to my husband's death.  He died suddenly when I was 55.  Normal day and evening and then on Oct. 25, 2013, I went upstairs and found him dead and blue on the floor. 

Our romance was a whirlwind.   I met him at a job assignment I was on when he was CFO of the company.  I was welcomed abruptly into the corporate world.  Met with the Chairman and has wife to be "interviewed."  A few months later, my husband became CEO of the company and off we went, travelling the world sometimes entertaining 200 people.  We could do this because we had no children - he had grown kids from a previous marriage.  I was very instrumental in the business, in fact, my husband attributed me for him becoming CEO.  We were a great team - both helping each other. Later, when he started his own company doing mergers and acquisitions, I still traveled a lot.  Our base was in Pittsburgh, but we were in SF for a few years and then NY, Philly and Florida.  So when he died, everything changed in an instant.  I had no family to help me - they didn't offer - and were the ones who said get over it.  In fact, they still wanted me to entertain for Thanksgiving that year!  (We had hosted every holiday for the entire family at our house - so now, it seems strange that I haven't been invited once for any holiday at their houses.) In their minds, they thought i had it made sort of - money could buy anything I guess, but it doesn't buy happiness.

We had a huge house which I cleaned out myself with a few people, dealt with the attorneys in Philly and learned a lot, but it took me a while...all while caring for my elderly parents - my dad having Altheimers.  He died a year later.  We had bought them a house with a mothers in law suite which I moved into immediately with my cats because I couldn't stand to be in my house where he died.  Now, in retrospect, I feel lucky that I had the time.  Some people have to sell their homes immediately, etc. In time of grief, which I would trade for all the money in the world!  But I was non stop, but now realize that I did a good job.

I did go to a grief counselor and am still seeing a therapist.  My counselor told me to not contact my brothers and their three wives anymore since they said they were too busy  -to get outside help which I am doing even now. 

I'm sorry if I sounded cynical from my anger of no one helping me but I guess I could be envious of others who do have the time.  All during this time I've had multiple men asking me to go out but I couldn't a lot because I was caring for my mother. 

Also during this time God became more instrumental in my life and reading the Bible more and more realize that He wants us to have joy and happiness in our lives.  Remember the song, "A time for love, a time for hate, a time for mourning, a time for joy - the "seasons" of our lives....Well, now I am entertaining the idea of having more joy in my life and am having more dates.  My time of "mourning" is coming to an end.

All this was partly possible by reading these posts...realizing I may be a little different (which is not a bad thing; my husband always told me that there is a price to pay for being different.  He was such an intelligent, wise, unassuming man.  And I am glad I paid that price - I wouldn't change anything)  But, again, thank you Brianne and everyone for helping me realize that everyone in fact is "different" in their own way.

God bless everyone and sorry for the long post!

Comment by Brianne on October 26, 2018 at 12:14pm

Well said NoLongerInBergenJC.   Appreciate your insight.  

Comment by NoLongerInBergenJC on October 26, 2018 at 11:28am

@Broken Diva and @Brianne:  I think it's important to not define our lives after loss in any "one true way."  Brianne, you say you were only 59 when widowed and being alone the rest of my life was not what you wanted.  I was 58, and five years later I find myself to be reasonably contented alone; certainly more so than I would be dealing with the dating world.  But then, I was single until I met my husband when I was 28 and was always comfortable in my own company.  So perhaps I am well-suited to life alone in a way others may not be.  We are all different.

Those who remarry are not "grieving less" and those who do not are not "stuck in grief."  If someone were to drop into my lap who I felt connected to, I would be open to the possibility.  But I am not going to "look for someone."  That's not to say that my way is right for everyone.  

What I DO think, however, is that if grief is still as raw as it was in the beginning after a certain period of time (which varies from person to person), then perhaps some help is necessary.  It is not about "getting over it" or even about "moving on."  It's about finding a place for the grief and loss and integrating it into our new life in a way that allows us to actually LIVE our lives, not just count down until we ourselves can die.

Comment by CarLady on October 26, 2018 at 11:24am

Sept 1 was the 5th anniversary for me, widowed at 58.  As my friends and family continue celebrating anniversaries I will never have, and birthdays my husband didn’t live to see the enormity of his loss deepens every year.  I have moved forward with renovating the house and retiring from my career this year but it is sad facing my senior years alone when this was never contemplated.  However, I remind myself I’m strong, healthy and have great children who are close by and love me.  I can’t imagine meeting anyone new, and I’m not looking.  

We all need to make our own path forward, as we did when we were young and just starting out. The universe will unfold as it should.   Have faith, and take care ❤️

Comment by Brianne on October 26, 2018 at 11:09am

Broken Diva thank you for your comments. I certainly did not mean to sound like I have erased my husband's memory. Quite the opposite. I treasure what we had and songs still bring me to tears, or visiting places that had been special "to us" still make me sad. When I met my new partner, introducing him to family and friends was difficult, so my path is not an easy one. I have continued to keep my old mother in law in my life and she supports me in my new life. 

I was only 59 when I was widowed so being alone for the rest of my life was not something I wanted.  Many of the widows I met at Widow Camp have moved forward but not by forgetting the life they had. We all handle it differently. My hope was to show that we can do both;  honor our husbands and the life we shared, but also move on to enjoy life again.  

We all need to make our own peace, in our own way.  My best wishes to you.  

Comment by Broken Diva on October 26, 2018 at 3:31am

Dear Brianne,

Good for you that it worked out, but some people grieve differently.  Glad you can enjoy every day, but some people cannot.  For those like that, I pray that you will and never give up hope.  I can't just erase my husband after a couple years and marry someone else.  If it works for you, great, but I sympathize with others who cannot. Everyone is different.  And it does bother me that people do not acknowledge my husband's legacy. 

My post was intended for those who ARE having trouble "moving on" as they say it....

Comment by Brianne on October 25, 2018 at 7:15am

Hello everyone.  We are all celebrating the 5 year mark.  For me that will be October 27th.  I am both sad that I lost him after 39 years, but also feel blessed for what we had.  I have remarried, earlier this year.  I met an amazing man who for the past 2 years has joined in my personal tributes to my husband on the anniversary.  In 2016 we built a cairn to my husband and each year we add new momentos.  I have learned that for my family and friends, time does change their memories of my husband and perhaps they are not as vocal about his passing now but it does not bother me.  I have learned to appreciate life and enjoy every day, knowing things can change for any of us in an instant.  I send you all good wishes.  

Comment by Broken Diva on October 24, 2018 at 4:56pm

Dear Min,

I feel like the five year mark has hit me hard too.  It will be five years this Friday.  No one seems to acknowledge it anymore -- not even my family!  I haven't forgotten though...Has this happened to anyone else? 

I have no children, just siblings with their own families and it seems like they are so caught up with celebrating their kids (who are over 18) birthdays.  In fact, one kid's birthday is on my husbands anniversary of his death yet not one word was said!  I don't get it....

 

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