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Widowed in 2020

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Members: 91
Latest Activity: 1 hour ago

Discussion Forum

Relationship with daughters?

Started by Sleepless in Oxford. Last reply by Maggie May 1 hour ago. 2 Replies

My wife of 24 years died just over two months ago.  I thought it would start getting easier by now, but after reading this forum and a couple books on grieving, I’m beginning to understand why it’s…Continue

Hard Couple of Days

Started by Carousel. Last reply by Rere on Monday. 15 Replies

Maybe I'm just tired as I've been up since 2:00 a.m. today.  The past couple of days have been bad.  On Tuesday, I had a grief therapy session in the morning and then did the Zoom call in the…Continue

New Widower

Started by Carousel. Last reply by DIWT4E Jul 27. 10 Replies

My wife of 35 years passed away in June  from lung cancer.  I am not sure what my place in the world is now.  She was my soulmate, wife, and best friend.  I feel like half a person blindly going…Continue

Feeling lowest of lows

Started by Mel K. Last reply by LorraineS Jul 24. 9 Replies

I'm reaching out as I am having one of my worst days ever. I am so lost and wondering what the purpose of everything is. My husband suddenly passed on June 11th. Suspected heart attack at the age of…Continue

Comment Wall

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Comment by Estragon 9 hours ago

Carousel - You're right about avoiding the heavy drinking thing... I tried that, and all it got me was a hangover on top of all the other problems.

Lynne - my wife died about a week later, and I think I'm in much the same place as you... not half expecting her to be waiting at home to give me heck for getting her car dirty after she just had it washed in January.  Some stuff still sets me off, but it isn't constant any more, and the odd smile creeps in with a fond memory.

Comment by Lynne 16 hours ago

I was one of the early members of this group. I think there were 4 or 5 of us when I first joined. I sure wish we could have been the last of this group, but of course that wasn't the case.

My husband died suddenly on January 23rd, 2020. I've heard from other widows the pain doesn't go away, you just learn to live with it. I wasn't sure what that meant. I just kept thinking at what point will I not cry and feel extreme sadness when I think of my husband? At what point will I quit feeling like it isn't real? At what point will I not miss him to my very soul? It was just 6 months. It still feels like it was only a few days ago that he was here. For me, 6 months must have ben the mark. I still feel sad and miss him more than I can even say, but.....there are times now when I can think of things we've done and smile. I'm finally starting to accept that it's real and he's gone. I'm beginning to understand what it means for the pain to not be gone, but to learn to live with it.......or learning to live without him. It doesn't mean I don't cry when I think of him most of the time. It's just a glimpse of our happiness in place of my sadness sometimes. 

Comment by Carousel 17 hours ago

I'm sitting here reading and listening to an Amazon Prime video sounds of Pacific Ocean waves at night.  My wife and I always missed the sound of the ocean all these years living in landlocked Oklahoma.  Such an ugly state for the most part.  Up Tulsa way is a bit prettier.  Never could compare with San Francisco or Lake Tahoe where we were married in 1985.  Of course, cost to living in California versus Oklahoma is much higher by a longshot.  Tradeoffs.  We created a comfortable and secure life here.  Now that I'm alone, it doesn't seem as important.  

My wife did not like her picture taken.  So, when I ran cross some pictures from the day we married in Tahoe, I was ecstatic and sad.  We married after dating for five months.  So cocky were we, thinking, if it lasts, great.  If not, we tried.  So cocky.  Little did we know it was the first step in a 35 year adventure.   We became each other's best friend and soulmate, permeating our very being, which makes the pain of her being gone all the more difficult to bear.  Sometimes, I feel like I can't breathe, can't think, can't function at all.  It's been 7 weeks today that we last shared our bed, falling asleep next to each other with no idea how our world was about to be blown apart, never to be the same.  

I'm going through the motions of daily life with no real purpose or sense of self.  I've realized that I do not really know how to be by myself.  I used to think I needed time foe myself once in awhile.  Guess I did not fully understand what that meant.  Other than a few household chores or yardwork,  my days are filled with watching TV, reading, and sleeping.  At least I have not gone wild with drinking, which my wife was worried could happen.  It's not that I don't want to sometimes, but I am very aware that the obsessive part of my personality could lead me down a dark path into potential oblivion.  Keeping a lid on that part of me is a good thing right now.  I guess this is all part of the nightmare journey of grief.  Just holding on best I can 

Comment by LorraineS on Monday

I did some reading on Melatonin and the other common sleep aid Benadryl. Both effect ROM sleep where your body/mind/emotions connect to work through the days problems through dreams. If you take either of them too long they will short circuit ROM sleep. I tried Benadryl and hated feeling groggy all day. The groggy feeling is a symptom of not going into ROM sleep.

Next I did some more research on Melatonin. Again and again I read: take the least working dose which is usually 3 mcg. That's not an error: Three mcg! Most everyone takes 10 mg. So I ordered 3 mcg. I have yet to take it.

Instead, I've done something I did years ago after losses: I accepted that my sleep will be affected by my loss and that eventually it will right itself. I guess the number reason for me to not take something for sleep is to not circumvent the dream cycle. If I don't go into ROM sleep I won't dream and I won't get the healing sleep I need each night.

I've been naturally going to bed earlier than I used to which was 2 to 2:30 AM! Now I'm going to bed at around 12:30 AM. I'm a night owl. And I've been sleeping longer and longer hours.

In a book I found, Finding Your Way Through Grief, it recommends sleeping on the side of the bed your partner/spouse slept on and that way it won't be empty. I have yet to try that suggestion.

---

Outwest, I've been doing a little at a time as well. I'm in no hurry. I did order a larger trash can, if you can call it that, the size is more like a dumpster, for trash pickup because I cannot take items to the local help houses because of COVID-19, and I don't want to keep those items around. I have a couple of projects going at once. If I get triggered with one, I go back to another one and that way I don't overwhelm myself. I take a lot of breaks. Some days I don't do anything. It depends on what's going on with me emotionally and/or mentally. I'm patient with myself too in making decisions about what to do with something. I have one item still sitting on the bed as I cannot come to a decision on it. It's been there for a month.

Plus I found out that I have to wear gloves when cleaning out the closet and drawers. I'm allergic to the color of clothes my husband wore. I broke out all over my hands. I knew I was allergic to blue yet not as bad as it actually is. It's much worse than I thought. Wish I could find some elbow length white gloves to use.

So a lot of my sorting through clothes in the closet is out of necessity; getting the blue clothes out of my bedroom as it causes physical problems for me. And there's a fan on my hot water heater in the closet which blows the lint around adding more problems for my allergies.

Still it's going to take as long as it takes and I'm not pushing myself to do it.

One day I actually found a document I was looking for by sorting through some things; my husband's birth certificate. He had ADHD and used to stash papers in odd places because he lacked the ability to organize.

Take care.

Comment by outwest on Sunday

Carousel

A small victory, but a start to move forward.
I am 4 months out on Tuesday, last Friday while it was raining I started to look at my wife stuff. I am bit overwhelmed by how much there is to handle. I figure there is no hurry to deal with it, I will get to it in time,  a little here and little there.

Move at a pace that is not too stressful for you.
Take Care

Comment by Carousel on Sunday

Small victory, but something.  The light in our bedroom fan had been out for a few months.  Being the procrastinators that we are, neither my wife or I rushed to replace the bulbs.  Part of it was simply trying to figure out how to get the light dome cover off easily. We looked at it a couple times, but got lazy.  At least we had small table lamp on nightstand all those months.  So, I finally decided to push myself to do something, anything, in our bedroom just to start.  Lo and behold, I was able to get the cover off with some trouble.  Ran to Dollar General and picked up new bulbs and put them in the sockets and flipped the light switch.  Oh no.  Lights did not come on.  I thought...great!  Will need an electrician.  Then I realized I needed to pull the on/off chain for the light on the fan...duh!!!!  They all three came on.  Yeah!!!  Getting the cover back on was tougher by myself.  I needed to balance on a stepstool, thread the two on/off chains through the cover while holding on the plate and screw that locks it into place.  After a couple of false starts, I got it.  Now there is light when I turn on the wall switch.  My wife and I would have a good laugh.  We've done this before.  Put something off because we thought it would be too difficult and then when we did do it, voila...simple.  Anyway, on this sixth week since she passed, I am pleased to get something done in our bedroom.  Still consider when to make the bed.  Baby steps.  Take care everyone.  

Comment by Estragon on July 26, 2020 at 6:07am

FWIW, I've found taking melatonin (~10mg), before bed has helped a lot with sleeping better.  Lack of sleep + brain fog = pretty much catatonic me.  With better sleep recently, I'm almost passably functional sometimes.

Comment by Maggie May on July 25, 2020 at 5:12am

Carousel - I could have written that - my sleep pattern is still a mess, and it's been three months for me. Things were getting better when I could work in the yard, but it has been too hot and humid to be outside, so my dog and I are trapped inside. I used to work things out when I could swim laps, but the community pool is closed. My new thing is starting, but not finishing projects - I have the attention span of a gnat. It's a process - and healing is not linear. I understand why people say "wait a year before making any major decisions." The ZOOM calls are helpful.

Comment by outwest on July 25, 2020 at 5:09am

Carousel

From the people I talked to a change sleep patterns are fairly common.

My wife was taken to the ER early in the morning, When she returned from the hospital she was too weak to go upstairs to sleep, we slept on the 1st floor her on the sofa and me on the recliner until she entered the hospice. After I was lock out of the hospice I continued to sleep in the recliner, after she passed away I slept in the recliner or on the sofa for a little more than month before I forced myself back to the bedroom. At first I slept the first part of the night in the bed and the second part on the sofa, gradually I got the point where I was sleeping most of the night in bed. Things changes at the end of June and what would have been our 42nd anniversary, now I am back to sleeping half the in bed and half on the sofa. Hopefully it will go back before too long.

Have you tried a night time sleep aid, years ago I used one from Walmart worked and was safe. I did not use it now since I am still a little uncomfortable being in the house by myself.

take care be safe

Comment by Carousel on July 24, 2020 at 11:50pm

So it's 2:30 in.the morning.  I was up yesterday at 4 in the morning.  No naps.  Fell asleep on couch around 5 pm.  Woke up t 7:30, fed the kitties then back to sleep until midnight.  Now awake like it's morning.  My sleep pattern is so screwed up these days.  Been sleeping on couch since my wife passed on Father's Day from lung cancer.  She suffered a broken hip on 6/18/2020 just getting into bed. We heard this awful, awful crack and she screamed out.  The only good thing is she was on the bed.  Called ambulance which took her to ER.  They told my wife hip would need surgery as the x-ray showed break across maim hip bone. Given her cancer diagnosis, she decided against this course of treatment.  She was transported to hospice facility where she stayed until her passing.  Bed is still unmade as ambulance people had to lift her up sheets, pillows, and all to get her on gurney.  Cannot bring myself to sleep there yet.  I know eventually I will have ti face it but not yet.

 

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