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September 16, 2019..... the day my life changed forever. Who I thought I was, the life I knew and loved is forever gone. My husband, 55, athletic, fit and exercised every single day cardiac arrested and passed away at home. I tried to save him, CPR. No one should EVER have to perform CPR on their spouse. That memory will be forever engraved in my mind. I relive it every day. What if I had come up stairs sooner? We had just been laughing and talking about our upcoming trip to Hawaii in 5 days. 10 minutes later I found him. Gone forever.  My life is shattered. I cannot breath. How do you wake up and live this “new life” ? I yearn for his voice, his touch, his smile... everything. 12 1/2 weeks now and so much pain. So much pain 

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First, let me say how sorry I am for your loss. As you stated this is a life we did not choose but it is one that we must come to grips with each and every day. 20 months later and I still replay those final weeks and days and hours over and over again. I think we all have those what if moments. Please know that the feelings you are experiencing are real. Hopefully, coming to this site will help you in some way. I hope you have the support you need. I have two friends who have stuck with me and continue to be there for me. For the most part they just listen . I am still trying to find my new identity. It seems like you may still be working. Others have told me that they found refuge and comfort in having to focus on their respective jobs at least 8 hrs a day. Others say that having children gave them a reason to not give up. I was with my husband for 50 years. We were both retired and empty nesters so I have had to make a deliberate effort to get up and out of the house. I wish I could say it has gotten easier but that would be a lie. I can say that I have had moments when I have been able to laugh and smile. Usually that's when one of our close colleagues calls or we meet for lunch. (We both worked in the same school district for years) My husband had a great sense of humor and since he assisted the Dean of Students all the faculty members knew him. To hear them recall certain encounters they remember and their respect and admiration for him is comforting. As you travel down this road I hope that you also will begin to have those moments where you too will be able to laugh again and smile. Please forgive me for rambling. Take care.

Thank you DIVA70. I just never knew this kind of pain was possible. I am so thankful for your kind words. I look forward in finding support here with those that can truely understand. I am so sorry for your loss. These are not just words. I really am sorry.

Denise,

I know exactly how you feel. We did not choose this and I’m sure our loved ones did not choose this for us. Someone said to me yesterday that grief is like carrying around a glass ball, you cradle it so fragile at first, you hold it close so people don’t touch it, you hold it with both hands, over time you allow others to see it, touch it and help with it. Eventually you’ll put that crystal ball on a shelf but still touch it daily, and look at it often. 
I felt comfort from this because that’s how I feel, lost my husband on Nov 23 2019 and the pain is so very raw. I’m so sorry you had to deal with doing CPR and the sudden loss, please co to us to write and express! It helps ❤️

Hi DeeDee. Your loss is so so recent and I am so so sorry. I too, know the rawness of the pain, the aching of loneliness and abandonment. I love the analogy regarding the glass ball. I wonder when we will be able to put that crystal ball on a shelf? I am sure you are cradling it like I am.

Denise,

10-10-2019 everything changed forever. Sharon was 54 when she was taken, after a short illness.

Your thoughts and feelings are a mirror of many. The inability to breathe, the difficult memories that just do not want to leave our brains, no matter how much we want them gone. The lost of who we are, what our life was and our planned future was ripped from us. There is no magic wand, no words which can take the pain away.

When I read your message something stands out for me. One of the last moments of your husbands life was laughing and taking with the love of his life. Your smile and your laughter is what he had engraved in his mind forever! He went up stairs, a man, on top of the world happy.  

When I 'allow' myself to feel,  the depth of despair, that grips my soul, has me feeling that I am drowning and unable to breathe. The inability to think or comprehend what I just read is something I couldn't understand until I talked to others feeling the same. I often say to myself I "hate" this new life I did not choose. I spend a fair bit of time staring out into Lake Ontario with a feeling I am lost at sea, in a fog, searching not for land but the love of my life. 

Having said that, I do have hope and want to look to the a future and I know I just cannot see yet.  

Going to Camp Widow a month after Sharon died, was maybe the best thing I could have done for myself. I came away with tools to cope and new friends that understand and are living the "new life". Talking with those in the same spot and those who have been where we are, for me, has been a life line. I felt I was losing my mind, I wasn't, it is something grief causes. I have attended Widow Meet-Ups, which can be a bit emotional but are always helpful. Being able and willing to reach out to others for support has been a life line. Sometimes your closest friends you have cannot help as they do not understand, same for family. 

Something I have also learned but did not understand at first - Be kind to yourself! It can mean different things to each of us but for me it means I can cry, I can be sad, but I also can laugh, smile and have moments of happiness. Some have trouble with music, for me, music helps to reflect and happy music is good for the hurting soul. 

Holding on to hope as we move forward in this "new life" is so important. Sadness was not really part of my old life and I swear as I move forward it will not become my new either.

Hugs and warm thoughts to everyone while we all struggle with the new life none us chose. 

Steve

Steve,
Your words were beautiful. I recently realized that I was the last person my husband saw on earth, and it was a lovely morning. I do hope he left this world remembering it as being lovely as well. I have spoke to a few people who have lost their spouses that have given me a glimmer of hope for the future. Intellectually, I know I must move forward learning how to adapt, live a new life. A life that will never be the same. My heart is telling me different right now. The two are not ready to connect for me either. I am sure someday we will look back with wonder as to how were able to get up each day and move forward. 
I may register for camp widow in Tampa this March ( I believe it’s March). The pop up widow camp in Denver is not until next September. 
it sounds like this life line you spoke of was helpful and supportive. Thank you for your advice. Denise 

Denise,

I feel your pain. My husband was 53 and an avid cyclist, in great health, and died from sudden cardiac arrest as well. I too had to do CPR. I am a nurse and it breaks my heart that I could not save my own husband. I too am haunted by the memories. I hate this pain and sadness. My heart aches for all our losses. Pat

Pat, thank you sharing your story. I am a nurse too and feel exactly the same. I am so sorry. 
We are trained to save lives. Why were we unable to save our husbands? My heart aches for you too.

Denise

Dear Denise,

I lost my husband exactly one month and one day after you lost yours, on the 17th October 2019. He was just 30 years old and died from a brain tumour.

Before all of this happened I could never really understand the phrase "the heart is aching". Now I feel it, especially during these days of Christmas when everything is about spending time with your loved ones and the one you want to spend it with is not there anymore. My heart is hurting and its an incredible pain. I often feel angry when I have to deal with bureaucratic stuff or struggle financially, because lets be honest, just because there's one person less, doesn't mean your bills get split in half. I get angry because I'm resisting that life that's been thrust upon me. I don't want it and I don't like it and the only thing I want is to have my husband back!

But I also do realise that resistance only makes the pain worse (which doesn't mean I'm able to never resist to this new life). I struggle daily as I make my way through the day. So I just try to take one step at a time. Slowly, very slowly. I make sure to move my body (on some days), I try to give my body as much sleep as it needs, I eat regularly and i make sure to not close myself off to the people who love me.

I also thought about attending a Camp Widowed in 2020. I am from Europe but wanted to spend a holiday in Canada with my husband. Maybe I just go alone now and attend the Camp in Toronto. I try to find goals for my life (or only for the next year). What did I want to achieve? What have I been doing of which he was proud of? These are the kind of questions I ask myself.

Warm wishes,

Tanja

Diva70, DeeDee, Steve, Pat, Tanne, and all 2019 widows, 

I had to change my profile name as I knew this was a public forum that could be viewed, but never thought would be followed by people who know me and looked up on line. Wow. Nothing can be private I guess. That’s sad and frustrating.

I did want to ask whether any of you are also dreading the “New Year”? Because we were all widowed in 2019 we are ending it without our spouses. I feel sick to my stomach feeling like I am leaving my husband behind, starting a new year, new decade without him. I am in tears and miss him so much. I just want him to come home. This is just tearing my heart into millions of pieces. If it’s even possible to tear it more. 

Sorry someone was following you who you did not want. Another issue of being widowed is people trying to take advantage. Please watch out for yourself. 

Lost Girl, your feeling about New Years started for me a few weeks ago. Just thinking about "ringing in the new year" has my eyes leaking once again. The feeling I just want him to come home, I cannot count how many times I have said those exact words since Sharon died. I miss everything but the loss of friendship seems to be the greatest for me. That girl and I just worked and unless I stay very busy I seem to crash that last few weeks. I am grateful that the kids and family were around. I am thinking New Years means I will be going to bed early so that I do not have be alone for the strike of midnight I will be sleeping. Not sure but this is what I am thinking right now. 

I am a little ahead time wise and the constant paperwork taking Sharon's name off everything is another moment where I feel I am eradicating her from my life which I do not want to do. We have to do these things for legal reasons but boy does it hurt my insides. Even talking on the phone getting cards canceled often has my voice cracking. 

I say as my heart is shattered and my mind is broken. My mind tells me what is real but my heart sometimes doesn't follow. I was thinking I was getting somewhat better, then the holiday's hit and It did cause me to slip backwards. 

I am not sure I will ever leave Sharon behind, I think she will be right beside me the rest of my life.  She was my everything so everyday I hear her voice in my head telling me to stop it (grieving). One day, I hope soon, my fond, wonderful memories will help me forward instead of causing tears. As I move forward with hope I do know she is alway with me, in my heart and in my soul. Just wish we all could have grown old ....

Hugs to all of us! 

Steve, the feeling of leaving Chris behind started weeks ago for me as well. We had two cars, and I let one go a month after he passed. It was as though I was losing him all over again. I’m not a big car person but Chris was into cars, loved them even. One day I saw a red Jeep Wrangler and casually mentioned I liked it. A few weeks later he had me come out to the garage and surprised me with the exact same car. This was exactly a year ago. Letting go of the Jeep was devastating. It was a dagger to my soul. Like you, all the endless phone calls, actually having to say out loud that he was gone. It’s just been too much. Last night I was told to “keep a strong upper lip”.  I came home sobbing. Really? I lost my husband nearly 15 weeks ago and I’m not allowed to be sad. It was said with good intention, I’m sure, but wow that hurt.


I know Chris, Sharon, and all our spouses will always be with us. We will never stop grieving them.We will carry them along side us. They will be there to support us and cheer us on.  

I, too, will be staying home sleeping letting the year end while the new year begins. I wish all of our spouses could be along side us in our beds and we never had to know what it feels like to be a widow/widower. I wish we all could wake up with the love of our lives. To touch them, hold them, kiss them.

Warm wishes and lots of love to all, Lost Girl 

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