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Widowed in 2013

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Comment by Brianne on March 13, 2017 at 11:30am

Imogen I can relate to your comments but I am on the side of the reply from NoLongerInBergen.  I found myself having difficulty getting on with my life after losing my spouse of 39 years, having no children or grandchildren to fill my days and no family within a 5 hour proximity.  I put my efforts into writing a book and then volunteering until I was emotionally well enough to get back out into the world.  I think we have to be people that others want to be around to make new friends.  And I get it - we can't always be happy and smiling when inside we are hurting but if we are sour on the outside we will push away those people who may help us out of that emotional state.  I have photos of my husband in the house and I am surrounding by the items we collected on our travels.  The house however is new to me so it feels different.  I do not see him in every corner.  I m happy to say that I went on (as did some other widows from this site that I know) and I was lucky to meet a wonderful man who understands my need to still be able to talk about my husband.  I am happy with my memories and the prospects for a new love in my life.  

Comment by Imogen on March 13, 2017 at 11:18am

Thank you so much for the reply.

I have no photos of him, because.. 1)  I think I am bitter that he got to die and go to heaven & I am stuck here.

2)  Maybe also, because it reminds me of my first life, when I actually had one,  now I just exist.

I agree with what you are saying,  I try very hard when I am out to pretend I am happy, "life is moving along" I don't' talk about him. In the meetup group I joined for widowed/widowers I just joke & keep things light.  Although yes at times I am honest, I am not happy he got to die.  I am working very hard not to be bitter.  I am grateful for what I have; house, pets, a vehicle that works, some health issues but still very able to get around.  But getting passed that is the tough part.  I know people who take a walk & actually see the beauty a tree, a bird etc.  to me it's just a walk, like a jog.  Then I tick it off my to-do list.

I have suffered from depression since I was about 12.  My husband got me thru the years we were together.  Depression alone is very hard.  Yes, you are right I do not want to die alone.  But I seem to have a very hard time connecting to people, to make friends.  Always have.   

You are so right about church groups.  They are the most unsympathetic people out there. Some of them made the worst comments to me after he died.

Thank you for responding, I really appreciate it & for being straight forward.  I too am a honest tell it like it is type of person.

Comment by NoLongerInBergenJC on March 13, 2017 at 11:05am

Hi, Imogen...I am at 3-1/2 years out and my husband and I were married 27 years (together for 30).  Like you, I didn't get cut any slack at all at work; I had 3 days of bereavement leave, I took 7 vacation days, and then I was expected to be back at 100%...and in the middle of my husband's illness someone I was working on a project with complained about me to my manager because things were not moving as fast as she would have liked. I work from home now because I moved last year.

I'm wondering why you have no photos of your husband in your house.  I am in a new home and while I have one of the cats I had when he was here, this kitty was only here for 2 months before my husband died.  I still say I miss my family, because I miss my husband and the two little girl kitties we had then. Much of the furniture where I live now is new, and it is truly "MY" house.  I keep  photos of my husband because I do not want to erase him.  He was part of my life for 30 years.  So even though no one here other than my sister ever knew him, I want people to know that he lived.  So I'm wondering why you don't want that.  Is it too painful?  

Now you are not going to like what I am going to say, but I'm going to say it anyway, because as people who have read my posts over the last three years know that I am all about Hard Truths. And here is a Hard Truth:  No one wants to be friends with bitter people.  If you are bitter that you are still alive, that is going to convey to others as well.  People want to be with fun, interesting people.  If you are defining yourself as "the bitter woman whose husband died", then you are unlikely to be able to make friends easily.  My mother did that and she ended up with no friends at all when she died. 

I joined a social group for widows and widowers two weeks after my husband died.  Yes, everyone "gets it" and everyone has bad days.  But they were all capable of having a good time except one woman who was such a buzzkill that no one wanted to sit next to her because it was like having someone suck the life force out of you to be near her.  

You do not want to be that person.

Making peace with this life requires an effort of will.  We all have a decision to make.  Either we are going to go on living or we are going to just sit around alone waiting to die.  I decided very early on what line I was going to queue up in.

Based on what I've read, church groups are some of the worst places to make new friends.  I don't know why, but people who have joined church-based groups have had some of the worst experiences.  I have joined meetups for things I'm interested in.  I refuse to go to "singles meetups" because those are full of people who have nothing in common other than their "single-ness."  And because I am not looking for dates.  I don't care if I make new friends who have husbands or if they are single, if they are young or old.  What do we have in common?  What do we like to do?  What do we like to talk about?

Imogen, I get feeling lousy.  I get depression.  I get loneliness.  I have weekends where I over-plan just so I don't have to start myself down the road toward "I could die and no one will find me till the cats are eating my corpse."  I have weekends where I feel like no one cares about me, and I have weekends where I am so happy to have nothing to do.  Every day is an effort I make to keep on living and make my life as satisfying as possible.  What other choice do we have?

Comment by Imogen on March 13, 2017 at 9:53am

I am coming up to 4 years since my husband of 29 years passed away.I sold his golf stuff the first year, gave away his clothes. I have no pictures of him in my house.  All the pets I know have he has never met, it's like new life, new family.  The house was painted to what I like.  But now there is just ...nothing.

I worked at a horrible company which was not supportive at all.  When I returned to work, the first day my boss said "I don't care what has happened in your personal life just do your job" It was a new boss in the dept & that was my first day back. I stayed to pay off the mortgage & then finally left in 2015.  I now have a PT job I like.

Now it's just one lonely day after another.  I am bitter he got to go to heaven & I am stuck here on this miserable earth of daily dreary tasks & the horrible place our world is in.

This weekend, as all weekends, I spend alone with my pets. With intervals of daily shovelling.

Last year I decided I would try to meet some friends, I joined 4 meetup groups, two groups at church.  I even go to single functions (which feel so odd, as my brain says "Why am I here I am married?"  I just listen to everyone at the table complain about their horrible ex-spouse (wow all divorced people are very bitter)  But they all have someone to talk about it with & agree.  I am bitter I am still alive, so I have to just sit there quietly. And listen as I have been told 3 times now "I am lucky he died & it wasn't a divorce".  I don't feel lucky.

I have no one to talk to this about so I really appreciate this forum.  I hope someone out there understands.


Comment by kathspec on February 21, 2017 at 10:54am
Hi seashell
Well said! It s almost 4 yrs since my sweetheart died! And grief does change! I am a better person now! Grief changes u! Life is so precious!
I miss him everyday. But I have found peace!
Comment by Seashell on February 21, 2017 at 9:16am

It's funny how life has a way of continuing even after a loved one passes. I had spent so much time running away after Jerry died that I didn't really have enough time to create a life for myself - until now. I am a much better mother and grandmother to my daughters and their children. I am more of a friend than I had ever been when I was married. I take classes because I enjoy them - not because they fill the time. I don't run away from home anymore - at least not right now. This weekend I spent 3 days at home cleaning out closets, going through paperwork, looking through Jerry's things that I had stored away - and the greatest accomplishment of all - I hemmed those bedroom curtains that I had been telling myself for the past 3 plus years that I was going to do. I even ironed them! When does the grieving end? When does the mourning stop? I don't know. Yes, I cried this weekend. Some of it the deep grieving sobs that have become a part of my life. But, as I allowed these waves of grief to flow over and out of me they were replaced with a new sense of peace that I will make it through.

Comment by Soaring Spirits on December 31, 2016 at 10:57am

Don't be alone this evening ... we'll be in the Widowed Village chat room tonight to keep each other company. 

Event post:

If you haven't tried it yet, here's a direct link to the chat room:

Comment by lizbeth4 on December 27, 2016 at 4:31pm

Christmas wasn't as bad for me this year as it was last year!  I had dinner at my house and was surrounded by family members.   Like you Susan, I have had to change a lot since my Husband's death.   I am not the same person.   I miss him everyday but I have managed to go on and make a new life.   I have been real busy as my youngest Daughter who is pregnant with a baby girl is living with me.   I have a Grandson (11) from my oldest Daughter.  I feel blessed!!  I have been busy transforming the spare bedroom into a nursery.   I keep thinking how much my Husband loved being Papa to our Grandson.   I know he is watching from above!!!!!

Comment by Brianne on December 24, 2016 at 6:48am

Comment by booktime (Susan) on December 24, 2016 at 2:55am

Merry Christmas to you all. I say Merry but I am not sure I actually really feel that. I'm with family today and tomorrow so it will be nice. I know I had a melt down last year but I don't think I'll feel that. I still miss Ed so very much but I am realizing too how much life I have lived since he died. How much I have changed because I have had to. I could not continue as the same person but I can as I am now.

May we find peace in these holidays and hold onto the new memories which are created in these magical times.

Hugs to all.


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