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How is everyone doing?  I thought I'd list some things I'm still feeling and new feelings or realizations.  I'm still lonely. I still have nightmares.  I love being with my grandsons, I'm starting to really get into gardening, I got a new yearling filly, I'm starting to gather up my husband's clothes and take them to goodwill, I still wear my wedding rings, I need something to look forward to, I don't want to hear anymore from married friends that want to tell me all about their trips together, I hate not saying "our", I feel like I'm the only one who misses my husband, because no one ever says his name or speaks of him, I still need him, I'm learning how to do things I've never done before, I'm still confused as to who I am or who I will become , I don't cry anymore , my dogs are a life saver, the only time I don't feel pain is when I'm riding my horses, my dad has become like my best friend, but he's 78 and I'm scared of when he will die and leave me, I've made some changes to the house, new furniture, new landscaping, new deck on the back.  Guess I'll stop there.  

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What a great expression of your reality, transparent, and poignant!  I can say many of the points are also my reality.  I get it. 

It's been a really mixed bag.  I'm doing better than most- DH was on a downhill slide for 2 years and by the time he faded away in November, 2016 at age 78 it was almost a relief.  Since his death I've had some wonderful trips, bringing bits of his ashes with me to scatter.  Releasing some in the Ganges last month while a Hindu priest chanted from the Vedas was profound.

BUT- right now I'm dealing with a different and very unexpected loss.  A dear friend from my college days suffered a stroke while I was gone last month.  I've talked to him a couple of times (he's several states away) and while he's working hard at therapy he'll probably return to about 80% of normal function.  We'd grown very close in the last 6 months or so and, even though marriage was out of the question, it's a loss and maybe even harder than DH's loss because he was energetic and vigorous, only 64, and it was completely out of the blue.  We both have adjustments to make.

The good news- I was visiting my son and DIL last weekend- they live 3 hours away- and they're doing very well and my granddaughters (ages 4 and 1) are delightful.  I love my house and my life here and have to count my blessings.

I just want to say that I still say “our”, “us”, “we” and so on. I find when I talk about my wife in the past tense I sort of feel like I am betraying the two of us. It just feels so right to talk about us still being together. It feels like we still depend on each other. And we do. I just have to ask myself more now ... what would she say or do in this situation? We were together (and still are together) for 44 years now. And I make time to talk with her every day still. I tell her what went on and if I have a problem I ask for her help. The pain and grief is still there - as bad as ever. The one thing I have learned is that I realize I am falling more and more in love with her every day and I can’t wait to see her again in heaven. Take care.

I understand.  I know what you mean by loving your wife now more and more.  

Lost my husband July 2016.  That pang of sadness hasn't gone away.  It's softer most of the time but it can come back with a vengeance as well.  Working full time helps to get through the day but waking up alone in the morning sucks!!! I am still feeling cheated out of happiness especially when I visit my friends who are happily married and still enjoying each other.  I tear up at the weirdest things still-seeing spices that he liked, a grocery list I came across that he wrote, hearing an expression he used to say, drinking out of his favourite glass/mug.  I talk out loud to him sometimes usually out of exasperation and often to say Good Night.  Have our wedding rings on a chain around my neck.  Still say "we" and "our". Yes, confused as to what "me" is now.  But trying hard to be positive.

It is harder for a guy to wear his wife’s wedding ring on a chain and my finger is too big anyway. So I had the diamonds and sapphires removed from her ring and mounted onto a guys ring and now I wear both her and my wedding ring on the same finger. A sign that my commitment to her is forever. I look at both rings multiple times per day and know by my feelings that this is “right”.

I still have not touched any of her clothes. I doubt I ever will. It will probably fall to my son to take care of this when I go. But I still can’t bear doing anything with her clothes. I would feel like I am throwing her away or giving her away - and she does not deserve this.

And every day I cry. Sometimes I cry so much I run out of tears. My routine for every day is to try not to think about the situation too much. The more I dwell on my wife the more despondent I get. People have said to reflect on the good times we had. But this makes me all the more lonely for her. And the bad times near the end - this just crushes me to think about how she suffered and how I was unable to help her. Big regrets.

So I try to live my life knowing she is still with me and loving me. But you are right - the sadness has not gone away. I expect it never will.

I think the loneliness is the worst, but I've tried dating. So not ready. I like not having to explain myself to anyone about choices and decisions.  Its very liberating and I dont want to give that up.

Wedding rings are put away. They just reminded me that I was definitely not married any more and it hurt  more to look at them then it did to put them away. I had some of his ashes put in a beautiful cremation jewelry necklace, but it was so heavy it just felt like a huge weight on my neck. All I did was fuss and fidget with it.  It is with our rings now. 

Inotice it makes most people uncomfortable when I weave a memory or funny into the conversation,  so I just stopped talking about him.  Re-learning my own strengths and independence. And learning new hobbies. 

Living in a place I love, but itit hard without my family here. Most all of my friends have partners/spouses so iI feel like the 5th wheel sometimes. Well, thanks for giving me a space to share where I am at in the whole process. Never thougut Id be a widow at 50 and lacking in direction in life. Kudos to you all.mall.mYou kight not always think so, but YOU rock!

I hear ya Nitabug, loneliness for my husband is the worst.  There are 3 times that it really hits  hard, when I first wake up, evenings from 5 to whenever, and weekends.  I am  58 and I can't believe I've been cheated out of the rest of my wonderful marriage.  I think about going on a date, but then I consider all the ramifications of that , and I think no way.  I still have my husbands ashes.  My daughter was pregnant with twins , and one of them didn't make it, so we cremated his little remains and I poured them into my husband's ashes.  I was just thinking last night , how terrified I am of all the time I have left before me. Or maybe I don't have much time.  Who knows?!  Either way I don't know what to think about it.  

I do agree wil you all that life is so different without my spouse. All of those plans for when we retired are now gone.

I have the same issue that no one wants to talk about my wife anymore - even her bothers and sisters. How sad.

i do have to say my wife was the bravest woman in the world. I was always somewhat fearful of death, but watching her go through this she taught me not to be afraid. So even though I don’t know when, I do know when the times comes I am afraid no more, and I am looking forward to that time because that means I will be back with my wife again.

I came back here to post - something - and was glad to find this thread about how we are all doing.     Some better than others, of course

Had I come here ten days ago, I would have said I was doing quite well all things considered and my closest friends and my therapist were of the same opinion.

However, ten days ago my very good friend (matron of honour at our wedding) rang me.    She was diagnosed with a second cancer and has been undergoing various low-level tests for about three months and has been going to these clinic appointments on her own - by choice;  or else by contrived choice by leaving it to the very last minute to ask me/others if we could go with her.    I have had to say NO on one occasion.

I have listened to her reports from the various clinical appointments, over the months, and increasingly it seemed to me that she was in denial - or was just not paying attention to the oncologists and surgeons words - or was lying to the rest of us, her two adult sons included.    What she was telling us just didn't quite make sense, not to me.   I felt there was something not quite right.

However, she had an appointment with her surgeon last Thursday, and came home and rang me and she was in a terrible state - ranting and raving and criticising the doctor she had seen (not her usual one, who was apparently ill that day) and recounting the blackest possible prognosis, all doom and gloom and horrendous negatives that, according to her, she'd not been given any hints about previously.    I couldn't get sense from her to talk to her;  I asked her about the specialist nurse she'd been allocated - her response was to shout  "DON'T talk to me about THAT woman".    I gave up trying to talk to her after she forbade me, equally vehemently,  to contact her sons, who she was keeping more or less in the dark.  My friend gave as the excuse that she hadn't told her younger son what's going on "because he's not well"';  and I thought, what about me  "I  - am not well"?  

Four days later she was on the phone again, all lightness and general interest about "How was your weekend" and so on.    It was when I mentioned I had certain plans for the coming Thursday that she said, in a small voice "I thought you were coming with me" (to the surgeon's clinic again to REALLY decide that she would go ahead with the proposed treatment). 

   

We had had no conversation about this possibility, but I rapidly scrubbed out the appointments for the day in question and said Yes, I would be there (because I knew there was no-one else).   

I said I would take notes and I also said that if my notes weren't clear, since I'd have been writing so rapidly, I would of course check with the doctor that I had the correct information - again she shouted at me:   DON'T you say ANYTHING:  I don't want YOU to say ANYTHING.

At the time I thought - well, hey, you get all of me or you get none of me;  but I remained silent on that point.

What then happened was that it all came back, what I'd gone through for months with my dear Stuart.    I was going to be facing the same things, the oncology clinic, the same processes, the same faces, the same clinical smells.   I have, since Monday, been very upset.    Crying a lot;  not sleeping well.    It's not yet 18 months since Stuart died.    I am still grieving for him.    

What happened on the day was that I functioned like a robot;  my only way of coping    We got through;  I took copious notes,  she got a further appointment and asked me to be with her for that  one, too;  I found myself saying I would (because I know she really doesn't have anyone else to call on) but I don't want to do it, I don't want to put myself through spending time in the oncology department again, taking notes again, zipping my mouth shut, pretending I'm not a real person.    I don't want to go on crying about all that this has brought back to me and to think ahead to how it will all be renewed again in two weeks time and how stressful it is, to say the least.

A good friend of Stuart's called on me yesterday evening;  I wanted to pour out my emotions but I didn't.     It didn't seem "right".    I still got in a bit of an emotional tangle about my feelings and was near to tears and I believe I was less than gracious towards him and the kindnesses he offered (practical help) and now, I want to apologise to him, since I am ashamed of some of my responses but - would you believe it - I don't know where he is, right now;  and a text-message would definitely not be the best medium for such an apology, I'm sure you agree.   

So the answer to how we are all doing, for me, is not good at all, right now.

So I feel your hurt and your confusion. On the one hand, you are very empathetic to your friends predicament and don’t want to hurt her feelings, thus you are doing things for her even though your mind says otherwise. On the other hand, by your helping her, those feelings that you had about your hubby come roaring back, clinical smells and all. And it causes the hurt to return to you. Indeed a sad and difficult situation.

The worst thing I see is that there seems to be no thinking of you or your situation. My recent experiences as well. The bond between spouses who truly love each other is like no other, and the loss of one brings terrible pain to the other. And those around, close and not so close, seem to miss that point. Call it selfish, call it ignorance, call it what you want, but things are hard to change for most people because they only think of themselves.

It is sort of similar situations for me, so when they occur, I grit my teeth and move through it, and then each day during my quiet time with my wife I ask for her guidance. She was always so good with people - me not so much.

I don’t know that this helps you all that much but I believe that talking to your spouse in prayer and solitude, they will somehow help you find the right path.

Miket, thank you so much for your empathy.     I talk to Stuart every night, in solitude, and ask him to help me get through . . .  whatever it is that I'm facing at that time.    I also thank him for the help he's given me and share happier things with him, too.     

I am thinking of taking Athena's advice and escaping from the next clinic appointment.    My music teacher suggested the same.    I can't go on hurting myself, willingly, for someone else.

My music teacher also wonders, as does another friend I've confided in, if there are some mental health issues with the friend in question.    Now the point has been raised, I am wondering the same.

Stay brave and strong.

catapan

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