This site is run by widowed people, for widowed people

Widowed Village connects peers with each other for friendship and sharing. The moderators, administrators, and others involved in running this site are not professionals.

Please don't interpret anything you read here as medical, legal, or otherwise expert advice. Don't disregard any expert's advice or take any action as a result of what you read here.

We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."


Widowed in 2010

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Members: 274
Latest Activity: Jul 26

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Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on July 26, 2015 at 11:03pm

Maggie - an SSLF chapter is a region group of widows who meet twice a month and is "hosted" or run by a member of Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation, who host this wonderful Widowed Village.  There is a listing of the ones running on the website; Dianne can probably tell you more about it, but if you got the main website for, you can find them. Go to, and that link should take you right to the regional events page.  But it it doesn't, go to, go to "how we help" on the menu bar at the top, scroll down to the bottom of that link, to "regional Social Events".  You can find out if there is a chapter near you.  It's not a support group; it's for widows/widowers who are ready to be in a social environment with other widows.  They meet twice a month, usually for lunch or dinner, maybe brunch.  The times and days vary according to each group. If there isn't one in your area, maybe you want to start one!  

Comment by Maggie on July 26, 2015 at 5:10pm
Cynthia....what is an SSLF Chapter? Thanks
Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on July 26, 2015 at 11:36am

Cathy, I know where you are.  My father in law died two weeks after my husband, I lost my dog (he was a family member!), my father died 13 months after my husband, my oldest brother's wife for some reason created a lot of drama and decided she would "replace" me as the daughter/sister in the family and somehow manipulated my brothers into thinking I couldn't properly care for my mom who has Alzheimer's and I spent a year in hell trying to care for her, while all the time my brothers were extremely angry with me but no one would talk to me about it... then my older daughter's husband got mad at me and thought he could keep her and my grandchildren from me... my daughter kept in touch when she was at work, but I haven't see my grandson's for over two years.  My mom was my biggest source of strength when Don died, but then she was diagnosed, as I said, with Alzheimer's just before my dad died, and I just can't talk with her like I used to, and it's like losing her, too. 

I'm so sorry you are going through this.  And when you ask, how does everyone do it?  I ask the same thing.  It's been 5 years since I lost Don, and I miss him minute of every day.  I was taking medication for sleep before he died when I developed chronic insomnia, and I still take medication to sleep, but it doesn't always work and I spend a few nights awake for most of the night.  It sucks.  Sometimes I wake up and look at the other side of the bed and wonder, Where are you?  Why did you leave?  Why aren't you here with me?  And I spend a lot of my time depressed, even tho I'm on antidepressants.  But some depression is biochemical, and some is situational.  If' its situational, anti-depressants might take the edge off, but they aren't going to suddenly make you happy.  I can stay busy, I volunteer, I have friends (I moved to a new town 2 years ago) but at the end of the day, he's not here.  And when I see couples being affectionate, holding hands, yeah, think that's nice, and that's sweet, and then my heart starts to hurt again.  I even got envious one day when my daughter and her husband were being affectionate (the "good" husband, not the idiot one who tried to keep my daughter from me!) and I immediately felt bad about that; I'm happy for them, that they've found each other and are expecting their second child soon, but it just made me thing of my husband and how we were openly affectionate, holding hands, and smooching whenever... and how much I miss it.  It's like a physical void in my body.  I've been doing a lot more art this year, and it helps.  I found an art journal group on Facebook with weekly prompts and it's been very therapeutic.  And therapy.  Finding a good therapist here was hard, but I finally found one I like who helps me mostly by listening and validating me, but honestly, there isn't anyone else now I can pour my heart out to like I can in therapy.  And I still talk to Don, hoping maybe he's somewhere nearby and can hear me.  On the other hand, we were both agnostic; we just didn't know about a high power or G-d or whatever you want to call it... but when he died, he was seeing something no one else could see and it really challenged my belief system, so I like to think he's around me.  Sometimes.  I'm sorry; I didn't mean to ramble on about myself, but I want you to know, you are not alone.  I know it may feel like it sometimes, but you're not alone.  Is there a SSLF chapter near you?  Just being with other people who get it can help.  Take care, and I hope you find something to keep you going.  Sometimes, it's just putting one foot in front of the other and not thinking past that footstep. 

Comment by Macduff (Hal) on July 26, 2015 at 9:53am

Cathy, You got it piled on after your husband died, how could you you ever be normal? I live with lots of widows and widowers and none of us are normal in the way that the couples who live here are. When we are together, as we often are by chance at a table at a meal, or in our coffee shop, there is an unspoken connection. Not only do we know something those who haven't lost half their hearts don't know, we also know that one spouse in every couple living here will join our sad ranks someday. This is a community (you can look it up Willamette View)  where seniors come to eventually die, but to live the best way possible for them until that day comes. 

This all being said, I suggest you address first things first before delving into pondering your life, and the first thing is getting the sleep you need. You are probably on an anti-depressant, if not, talk to your doctor about this. There is no safe long term sleeping medication but judicious use of a medication may be something to consider.

Also napping can help a lot.  There is lots of good stuff online, look up sleep hygiene.

I say set your expectations for joy in life low... it may be a long time, years, before you can say at the end of the day that you made it though a day like you did when your husband was alive and at the end of the day you thought "that was really a fun day." Cherish those memories.

I only hope for moments of happiness and days of feeling content and no deep sadness. If fate brings me more, I will be surprised.

Comment by Cathy on July 26, 2015 at 1:23am

Rather quiet on this site, I had hoped I would not be a part of it much, but here I am again. Nice to read you are doing well, Hal, I've followed your story for several years. I've had several losses this year: a friend while sailing on vacation ( what a trip that turned out to be as we were out of the USA), my Dad, and just this week my brother in law. He has been my main support since my husband died, as well as my kids. We are all devastated. I function  during the day, but am back to not sleeping. I just don't know how I'm going to make it thru the dark days again, I find no joy in life, only sadness with all these deaths. I live in MI, and the area is full of tourists, all having a good time. I look at life going on around me, and just feel like I'll never  fit back into that again, never have the joy that they do, I know too much about death/grief/loss to live a "normal" life. How does everyone do it? How do you put aside the pain and live again? My Mom died a year to the day that my husband did, now 3 more losses this year, I am just so sad.

Comment by going to make it on July 8, 2015 at 11:45pm
HUGS Hal! Was so good to open my email & see you had pasted something! I think of everyone from the 2010 group often & pray that everyone is doing well. Glad to hear you're making friends & doing well in your new home! I know that would make Betty happy. I giggled as I read your pay because I also cuddle & pretty my dogs. One was my 1st husband's & the other was my 2nd husband's service dog,so they connect me somehow. They sure don't take the place of arms around you, but their unconditional love makes up for it, I guess.
Keep in touch.
Comment by Macduff (Hal) on July 8, 2015 at 12:51pm

Hi all... I am still following posts on this group... and feel for everyone struggling five years out with the vagaries of life and loss. Since Betty died I lost my sister and her parents. I have only one close relative, my niece. Having moved to a  vibrant continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Portland (OR), I made friends with many widows and widowers. We share that special bond that those of us who post here also share. I never could have imagined what it would be like living in what is like a town of 450 people with such a feeling of community. It is reassuring that having no relatives to care for me as I get old (I'm 71 and so far heathy) I know the community and facility will care for me. I am in a duplex now with my two dogs, but can move to an independent living apartment, or an assisted living one, if I need to. Here are pages and pages of photos on my blog.

The biggest change in me since getting past the first two grueling years of grief has been to move in fits and starts to where I am now. That is, to accept that the best years of my life are over. Reluctantly I have come to believe that I will never have a love like Betty and I shared. I also doubt I will ever have a woman partner again, and aside from checking out eligible women s they move here, I am not looking. At night when I wish Betty was next to me, I stroke the dogs and rest my hand on one of them, and feel closer to her since she loved them so much.

Comment by Dianne in Nevada on July 8, 2015 at 12:13am

Thinking of you tonight, Ceilya, and hoping you're finding some peace.

Comment by Soaring Spirits on June 27, 2015 at 7:19pm

We've added new Forum discussions for you to post your special dates in. July, August & September are currently posted.  Please check out our Home Page for links:  HOME PAGE

Comment by going to make it on June 15, 2015 at 2:08am
Hi everyone. Hugs! On vacation with my 13yo & my folks. Not the vacations I thought I'd be having in life, but making the most of it. The past 4 summers I've taken my grandkids on vacation, but the oldest 2 are too busy this year, so I thought heck, I've wanted to take my folks (dad/step mom; my mom died 20 yrs ago) somewhere before they can't travel. Sadly ,I think this might be the first/lady I get to take them. I had to push my dad through the airports in a wheelchair cause he just couldn't walk the entire way. We're going to do our best to have a great time &make memories.
Hats to believe we're coming up on 5 years coming up on 8 since losing my 1st hunny)! It's a blur really. I just try to stay so busy I don't have time to think. Anyone else still do that?
Trying to read through some posts & wishing I could make things better for everyone. Sorry for the struggles & heartaches!
Hugs top each of you!

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