Widowed Village

A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation


Widowed in 2010

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Members: 270
Latest Activity: Apr 1

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Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on April 1, 2015 at 1:09pm

So I'm talking a lot....

I found a few groups on Facebook for art journaling; I've never done it before; you don't have to be an artist, but I've found it very healing.  One group gives you a weekly challenge and prompt, and most of the time what I think I'm going to do comes out totally different, and my unconscious just goes to work and I get a lot of good insights.  

But today I work up just feeling depressed.  Lonely.  I think that's the hardest part.  My health has been poor lately - just arthritis, fatigue, my fiber which I still feel may be psychosomatic but my shrink keeps reminding me it's not.  I think I feel guilty complaining about my aches and pains; but some of them are pretty intense at times.  And the medical care up here in Flagstaff is lacking.  But I"m also spoiled because my dad was a doctor and I always had good doctors, but then, we (Don and me and our girls) lived just outside of L.A. and always had good ones.  I actually go to Phoenix now to see a rhumatologist.  And I have a lot of fear about what will happen to me when I can't take care of myself.  I won't be a burden on my kids; I'll never live with them.  I don't want to be in "facility" because it's so depressing, and I don't want people I don't know caring for me.  And if I keep my faculties, and don't lose my mind, well, maybe a senior living community will at some point be a good move for me, but I just bought this condo, and I love living here, it's just that I get so lonely.  Yes, I have a few friends; some are widows, some are not; and there are things I could partake of - the senior center in town has a lot going on, and I keep telling myself I'm going to go there and get involved, so maybe today... and then there's a part of me that just wants to come home and work on my art.  It's like when I was a therapist; it's isolating. Even being a teacher was somewhat isolating because when you're in the room teaching, you're not with other adults!  Only before school at lunch and at after school faculty  meetings.  But that seems like another lifetime.  

Well, I didn't help anyone by telling you how I keep going on; it seems i just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep moving.  i even bought a bicycle... it's fun, and there's a part of me that just want's to let myself go and die, and a part of me that wants to be able to say, "Yes I exercise" when the doctor asks me.  Thanks for letting me vent; thanks for being here, even tho the reason sucks.  And I miss Don just as much now as I did when he died.  He just seems farther away somehow. 

Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on April 1, 2015 at 12:56pm

Cathy, I logged on the vent pretty much the same thing you said.  I've been going along, the hurt never stops, but I've been pretty much trying to live my life and then one day - today - I wake up, somehow get out of bed (and I had a lousy night last night) and suddenly the depression just jumps to the front of everything and I'm sitting here trying not to be all weepy.  I have therapy today, and I know I'll cry there - I usually do - and it's like I want a head start or something.  I know that doesn't make sense.  After  Don died, I stayed in the house, planning on staying as long as I could, or wanted; the mortgage was almost paid off.  Then my mom needed help because she has Alzheimer's and after my dad died, she was living with my brother and his crazy wife and all she wanted was to come back home, so I told her I'd move in with her and help her.  But that meant moving into her house because it was important that she be in her own home - of course it was.  My brother and his wife whisked her out of there so fast after my dad died, she hardly had time to know what was happening!  They really fought her coming back to L.A.  Then they were all mad at me, and no one would talk to me about why; they just treated me like an incompetent 12 year old; to the point I just couldn't live like that anymore - at age 60 after all.  So Mom and I found her a great assisted living place she liked, and I went on a trip I'd planned for a year, and one of my brother's came to stay with her while I was gone.  Well, turned out while I was gone, they all came and convinced her to go back to Arizona (which she did not like at all) and they had her in a terrible situation.  The plan was she would stay in CA, about 5 minutes from my house, and I'd be able to see her daily, take her out, etc., and my oldest daughter was close enough to visit with her two children often, too.  But Mom was in Arizona.  I had to find another place to live as her house was unaffordable for me to rent to keep up, and I had rented my house.  Since Mom was in Phoenix, I moved to Flagstaff, a 2 hour drive.  But then, Mom was so miserable, she kept calling my brother in Northern CA and he finally moved her there near him, which is great, because he's really great with her, and he sees her daily, but now I'm no longer 2 hours away, and have to fly, and can only see her every few months... so that's one part of my vent, and maybe that's what's really bothering me?  I didn't think I'd talk about this.  And I had made my mom and dad a quilt several years ago; it was king sized to fit their bed, and now I can't find it anywhere.  Mom doesn't seem to have it and I don't have it.  And for some reason I'm fixated on it, and I'm also fixated on asking my brothers why they were so mad at me and no one thought to even talk to me about what was going on.  And I know they'll just say "It does't matter now; let it go..."  My oldest brother with whom I was always closest, and we were very tight, has removed himself from my life because I can't have a relationship with his wife so he can't have one with me.  Oy.  And I could have one with her except she's nuts and I just can't trust her; she'll be all nice and everything and then suddenly she thinks I looked at her funny and she'd "done" with me... family.  

So I just keep getting up each day, doing what I need to do (sometimes - I still have trouble getting myself to the supermarket; I think its because Don and I always marketed together on Saturdays; it was one more way to spend time together and he liked to go...

Comment by Cathy on March 22, 2015 at 10:25am

Hi all, passing the 5 yr mark was brutal for me, like you all, I couldn't believe I am still here, still grieving, still trying to figure out how to move on and live. It all came back to the surface when a friend died while I was on a sailing vacation out of the US; dealing with incompetent police, hospital, morgue, funeral home, etc has hit me hard. Loss on top of loss over the years...no one told me about this part of the so called  golden years. I have tried really hard to simplify my life, but it just makes no difference anymore, I'm back in the pit and just don't care about it all. How do you all keep picking yourself up again and go on?  Everyone thinks I am doing so well when I'm not, I feel back in the early days of grief again. Downsizing to a condo last summer, marriage of my daughter...I'm just not living the life I planned, and so miss my husband every second of every day. I know you all understand it all

Comment by feelinglonely on March 20, 2015 at 1:47pm
I think it would be great to have someone to go to dinner with or just a movie---my problem is I compare every man I see to my husband and none of them come even close. Was with my husband since the year I graduated high school, married for 41 years when he passed. My friends who got married around the same time as us have all passed me by--they are married 45, 46 years--it is hard not to be a little jealous. This May would have been our 46th.

As far as my rings go, I will continue to wear them until I think of something creative to do with them. I also have our original white gold bands and would like to do something with them also. One of these days!!!!

Believe it or not it is snowing here again so I will be stuck in for the rest of the day. Was out early this morning to do errands, etc. Have a nice weekend everyone!!!
Comment by ceilya on March 19, 2015 at 11:37pm

I have a long story about my wedding ring but I won't bore you with it today but maybe one day I will just feel like writing and the story will resurface.  I too wear my wedding ring.  Jim used to love to buy me jewelry and rings with different stones but I just loved wearing my little diamond.  When he passed I started wearing all the other rings but there was a comfort when I wore my little diamond ring.  It reminded me of how much of a sacrifice he made to buy it.  I do switch off from the white gold to the yellow gold but I still wear mine to.  

Hal I too talk to Jim a lot.  We too moved into a senior community.  Jim loved it and everyone knew him.  As for me I worked way late into the evening so if it wasn't for Jim's wedding ring most of the single seniors thought he was single.  It became a little bit of a joke between us.  Now I still work and so I don't really have time for all the activities but I love walking the dog and saying hello to people walking or sitting out.  Also I think just knowing if I want to join a group or go to an event it is available.  I have been asked out often but it is just not the right time for me.  You are a very wise man and I enjoy reading your posts when I have time or make time to check in here.  My fear is one day I will come on and you will all have moved on with your lives and will not be here.  But like feelinglonely's priest told her "don't worry about the future" so for today I will put that thought away.  

In the meantime thank you all for checking in and one day we will be happy again. Right????   

Comment by feelinglonely on March 19, 2015 at 6:12pm

Hal--I really got a chuckle out of the "Be Happy"---I can honestly say I cant remember the last time I was truly happy---contentment is good--I dont think Ive been really content either.  I try, I really try and then something happens and poof, Im down again.  It's good to know that I am not alone.  Also, I am one of the very few who is still wearing her wedding ring set.  It just doesnt feel right without it.  Comments, anyone? 

Comment by Macduff (Hal) on March 19, 2015 at 5:55pm

An idea that started over 60 years ago is the Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). These are communities which provided independent living, on up through varying levels of assisted living including a more nursing home kind of facility, all on site. You can get a good example of where I decided to live on their website, http://www.willametteview.org

Click on the small Facebook link on the top of the page to see what happens here all the time.

As for the "4. Be HAPPY!!!" advice, I doubt that is a realistic goal, I more like to think of working for contentment. I have moments and even hours of feeling cheerful, but am a long way fro being happy if that's ever to happen.

I think those of us who keep up with this website had both exceptionally good marriages and, unlike many others with good marriages, we were more bonded to our spouses. 

Comment by feelinglonely on March 19, 2015 at 1:31pm

Hello to everyone in our group!!!  I can't believe it's going to be five years since ny husband is gone--it just seems impossible.  In those early days I didnt think I would make it to One Year--yet here we all are.

I am still lonely, I still miss him and I still yell at him when things seem too much to handle--especially making decisions on my own.

I have looked at a few over 55 communities in my area but none of them seemed like me--they are also really high priced in my area of northern NJ so I dont want to jump at just anything.  However, I am in a large townshouse now with three levels and it is getting to be a bit much. This winter has also been exceptionally bad--I am tired of the sight of snow.

Aside from that, I just keep moving forward--that's all any of us can do.

I speak often with the priests from my church and the advice he gave me is everything I know we should all do---BUT, it is hard:

1.  Stop living in the past.

2.  Stop worrying about what could happen in the future.

3.  Forgive, forgive, forgive.

4..  Be HAPPY!!!!


I am trying, trying, trying--Bless you all---glad you are still checking in--I thought I was the only one.

Take care!!!!!

Comment by goingon (Cynthia) on March 19, 2015 at 11:41am

Macduff, I'm so glad you don't regret your decision to move, and have a life with people in it.  I love living in Flagstaff, but I just got back from visiting my daughter and grandson (her husband was away for a week for work) and it really made me wonder if Flagstaff is the right place for me.  I love the environment, the small town, the people but aside from one friend who I new before moving here, my closest friends, the one who I could call anytime I need, are my neighbors.  I've had trouble finding the right "fit" for me when it comes to volunteering, and I feel pretty lonely a lot of the time.  I miss Don the way you miss Betty.  I talk to him a lot, and I keep asking for a sign that's he may be here somewhere!  My health is not good, and I have a lot of fear about what will happen if I lose the use of my body in anyway, and the thought of being cared for by someone I don't know....ugh.  But I don't want to be a burden on either of my girls, either.  Hopefully I'll just wake up dead one day instead of having to go through that.  Take care. 

Comment by Macduff (Hal) on March 19, 2015 at 9:47am

I was thinking just yesterday how while my life has gotten bearable because I made the move to live in a social senior community and have new friends and activities, I still miss Betty so much. I woke in the middle of the night last night and was talking to her, telling her I wish I could have been the perfect husband and apologizing for every argument I had with her. I've met lots of unmarried women here but none I could see being in my life as a partner. Bottom line is that probably without the dogs I'd be crying every day. She loved them so much, they are the living part of her still with me.


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