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

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Jill's Blog (39)

Grief Meet Hope

There are so many twists and turns along the grief pathway. I wrote this two and a half years after my husband died. I was just beginning to feel hopeful again. Today I am six and a half years past Ken's death. I am here to report that I have rediscovered happiness, something I never thought would be possible. I wish the same for every widow and widower.

Grief Meet Hope…

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Added by Jill on August 6, 2012 at 6:55am — 12 Comments

Cleaning the Garage of Grief

Sigh. Then there are the moments when the dead feel really, really, really, really far away. Really gone. Really dead. Really not here anymore. Really not influencing daily life anymore. Really not living. Not here. Gone. Dead. Irrelevant. Missing in action. Not a husband, not a father, not a friend, not someone who can lend you any kind of warm hand anymore.



This is not my favorite part of grief. This is just sad. This just makes me screw up my…

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Added by Jill on July 24, 2012 at 9:45am — 14 Comments

Loss is Timeless

(I wrote this a few days ago, on my birthday.)

Loss is timeless. Ken's brother got an email the other day from someone who just found out that Ken died. He wrote to express his sympathy, six and a half years later. Good for him. Loss is timeless. You can be moving along rather nicely, whistling, enjoying the view, and then it can root you like quicksand. It holds you. You may want to escape its grip, but it's strong. When it gets you, it can be hard to move forward. …

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Added by Jill on July 1, 2012 at 7:28pm — 8 Comments

Death of Spouse Not Recommended

I'm going to write a gloomy post for a change. Normally I try to be upbeat about the havoc death brought upon me and mine. Generally, I aim to be filled with perspective and humor: after all, everyone dies. Death isn't special; it's expected. You can learn lessons from it! It can make you appreciate simple things, like waking up in the morning with your heart still pumping and your brain synapses still firing!

Today I want to tell you that I hate that more than six years have gone by…

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Added by Jill on May 7, 2012 at 7:47pm — 14 Comments

Lost and Liking It

When I was 6 years old my family went to Expo 67 in Montreal.  I remember walking over a huge…

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Added by Jill on April 13, 2012 at 10:31am — 9 Comments

Try Writing When the Pain is Really Bad

We all have to find what works for us when it comes to getting through the pain of loss. My way is my way. Yours is yours. I've used writing my entire life to work through difficult spots and to understand my life. I think its a tool that anyone can use. You don't have to show anyone your writing, you don't even have to save what you write. Or you can start a blog, write a letter, or keep a journal devoted to your grief. The simple act of writing down your deepest feelings has been proven to…

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Added by Jill on February 22, 2012 at 11:23am — 5 Comments

Rethinking Grief. Then Rethinking Grief.

Are you ready to stop thinking about your late husband or wife on a regular basis? Will you ever get enough of those old memories? Will next year's anniversary of the death pass by without psychological mayhem? Will you ever stop wanting to say his or her name aloud around those who knew your wife or husband best?

Probably not.…

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Added by Jill on February 8, 2012 at 6:38pm — 4 Comments

Sometimes It Will Feel Like Everything Is Falling Apart

When it finally hit us that Ken was likely to die pretty soon, hope continued to blind like being wakened by a flashlight following major surgery for multiple gunshot wounds. We were stuck in a hospital room across the country from our home, our friends, and our kids. Ken had been in that room for almost a full six months of stem cell transplant complications. We were exhausted. He wasn't going to get better. …



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Added by Jill on January 10, 2012 at 4:44pm — 4 Comments

The Web of Memory

Nineteen years ago this month, I married Ken. It was inevitable because after we met we were happier together than we were alone. We made our decision to marry while standing outside the wolf pen at the Lincoln Park zoo on October 31, 1992. Our wedding would take place just two months and two days  later with seventeen attendees, all family. I always liked the way we decided to get married in the company of wolves who mate for life.



Many things…

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Added by Jill on January 3, 2012 at 9:30am — 3 Comments

Funny, but the idea of NO CLOSURE has given me a sort of closure.

They've had a rather stunning effect on me, those words I heard on the radio when Nancy Berns was discussing her book called, Closure: The Rush to End Grief and What it Costs Us.

 

The words bear repeating because I think they are incredibly wise. It's just taken slow me a long time to get it: You don't need closure to heal. You don't need closure to heal. You don't need closure to heal.

 

These words have given me an enormous sense of peace and permission to…

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Added by Jill on November 11, 2011 at 7:03am — No Comments

You don't need closure to heal.

A widow friend of mine recently mentioned a new book about grief (which I haven't yet read) calledClosure: The Rush to End Grief and What it Costs Us by Nancy Berns. The author was speaking on NPR recently and her final words were: You Don't Need Closure to Heal. 



How I love these words!  You Don't Need Closure to…
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Added by Jill on October 18, 2011 at 9:06am — 1 Comment

When Grief Fades

When my husband died almost six years ago:



I could not imagine how I could possibly ever be happy again.

I felt like a loser.

I felt extremely unlucky.

I was scared, anxious, worried, sad, confused.

I felt out of place and out-of-sync with others.

I felt desperate to recapture my old life --and this, an impossible task.

I felt alone in the world. 



Six years later, I find that grief has FINALLY taken the back… Continue

Added by Jill on October 13, 2011 at 6:52am — 7 Comments

Write a Letter to Your Dead Spouse

It's an obvious exercise, but it's a good one. If you want to know what you're thinking and what you're feeling, writing is one great way to figure it out, and writing a letter to your dead husband or wife can be an excellent way to put it all out there. After all, who was once your most trusted friend? Who did you talk to about your most important thoughts and feelings? Well, you can still do it (although, sadly, it will be entirely one-sided.) Never mind about that.



Here… Continue

Added by Jill on September 26, 2011 at 7:07am — 12 Comments

Grief and Hope Get Acquainted

Grief and hope try to be friends, but it isn't easy. Grief pulls back, gets scared, loses its mind in the past. Hope moves forward quickly, not even imagining all the trouble that might lie in wait up ahead. Hope is full of energy. Hope wants to branch out, try something new, get out and get going.

 

Grief takes a big long nap and is grateful for the quiet. Grief needs to lose weight and feels too heavy to get up and start all over again. Grief holds on tight to what is known.…

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Added by Jill on September 25, 2011 at 6:52pm — 18 Comments

A Different Kind Of Grief Handled with Grace

I wanted to share here the words of an incredible writer, with people, like all of you, who understand the depths of grief. It is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. "Mary Tyler Mom", a fellow Chicagoan, is documenting on her blog, the tale of her 2 year old daughter's cancer treatment. Be forewarned, the story doesn't end well, but the hope and love and compassion, and above all, STRENGTH, is palpable and amazing.

 

Here's the link:…

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Added by Jill on September 10, 2011 at 7:07am — No Comments

When Hope Becomes Nope

When Ken was first diagnosed with cancer I was 40 years old; our children were 6 and 3. It was a busy, full time in the life of our family. We were scared, yes, but we were full of hope because given the statistics, he was more than likely to survive. That hope stretched out for four years, even when the statistics started looking less and less in his favor as one recurrence then another invaded his body.



How did we express our hope? So many ways. We continued to travel, he invested… Continue

Added by Jill on September 8, 2011 at 7:19pm — 2 Comments

Beyond Grief: The Final Hurdle

Yes folks, it's true. When you finally feel as though you've recovered from losing your spouse, you might just have one last hurdle to jump.

 

You can tell yourself that you feel better, that you're no longer drowning in grief, in fact, you just might…

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Added by Jill on August 28, 2011 at 10:57am — 12 Comments

A Different Kind of Happiness

A Different Kind of Happiness

Driving down the half-mile, single-lane, dirt road with Lac Des Iles sparkling blue on one side and the  Laurentian forest shimmering green on the other, I couldn't help but feel wistful. Here we were arriving at the lake house built by Ken's great-grandfather, where Ken and his brothers spent time every summer, where Ken's mother spent her summers, Ken's grandmother and so on. And now we were… Continue

Added by Jill on August 11, 2011 at 4:31pm — No Comments

Why Widows Get Mad: A Do-It-Yourself Rant

We got screwed out of our happy ending. We were raised to fall in love, get married, raise kids, and grow old together. So much for that. We don't want to mow the grass, change the lightbulbs, fix shit, barbeque, do all the cooking, driving, worrying and planning. We don't want to sleep alone at night.



Widows get mad because we have a historical reputation of being kind of loser-ish. In some cultures, we might as well just throw ourselves into a good, hot fire.



We want… Continue

Added by Jill on July 21, 2011 at 9:36pm — 2 Comments

Recovery. Renewal. Reinvention.

On my blog The Heartbreak Diary (www.aheartbreakdiary.blogspot.com), I encourage people to try using writing as just one tool for managing the overwhelming emotions caused by losing your spouse. Here's an example of a writing exercise that I found helpful from a post I wrote on January 25, 2010. I had been widowed for four years. I hope that a simple idea like this might be helpful to you too. I've also included here some of the many…

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Added by Jill on July 20, 2011 at 11:10am — 1 Comment

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