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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."

People that end up on Widowed Village (WV) are usually alone and devastated by the death of their spouse or loved one.  Many have lost parents and/or other close relatives prior to this, but until they actually lose their spouse or loved one, they do not know the pain that we on WV feel.  They cannot know it like we do, because the feeling doesn't exist until after it happens and only then can it be felt and understood.     

Once we get to WV, then we can begin the first steps in the healing process.  Just recognizing that the death of a spouse or loved one is different, can help. People that have not experienced this, including grief counselors, will give you all kinds of advice.  Some of which helps and some of which comes across as them having no clue as to what it's like.  They all have good intentions and most want to help, but they really don't know how to go about it and sometimes their comments or advice can be worse than if they'd said nothing.  Friends and family members can give you the cold shoulder, because they don't want to talk about it and think that you should be able to cope with it because of having such a wonderful life before with your spouse.  What they don't realize is that the life you had is gone and it is beyond being hard to live on without the one that you loved more than anything in the world and was basically half of you.  You lost your life, you lost your identity, and you lost the best, closest friend that you ever knew.  However, you didn't lose you and that's something very important.  

As you arrive on WV and try to start the healing process, you'll notice that many have been on here for a long time and some for years and they still say that they are grieving and cannot and will not ever get over it.  They cry every day, sometimes publicly and sometimes privately, but the tears continue even after many years.  WV is a wonderful place to find and help people after the loss of a spouse or loved one, but WV can, after a while, become a detriment to the healing process.  Depression can set in and it's not healthy to be depressed forever.  At some point, one needs to ask themselves, how long will I remain like this before trying to regain a normal life.  

First of all, we have to realize that we are definitely alone and that our loved one is gone and not coming back.  I think this part is well understood, but we have to accept it.  Then, we can begin the healing process that we need to get back to living.  I myself thought that the world ended when I lost my wife of over 51 years on 8 August 2012.  I thought that I would forever grieve and that my life was finished.  However, as time went by, I began to realize that I was still alive and that my wife had died and I didn't.  I decided to find a job, which I did at Walmart, and I began to try to live again.  I love the job and I love working with people.  I have found my life is getting much better and I have found that I have the power to embrace life or not.  I recently found another lady that, like me, lost her husband.  She was devastated like me and like all of us.  I began trying to help her and a funny thing happened while I was doing that, because I slowly began to fall in love with her.  It was something that a few months ago I would have said could and would never happen.  However, life can change and we can change.  Our spouses died and we still exist and if we choose to try to live again we can talk to our spouses who have died and ask them for help and guidance as we pursue a new life.  I feel that I still have a lot of love to give and a lot of life to live.  At first, I felt a little guilty even thinking about another woman, but then I realized that I was doing nothing wrong and was not sneaking around behind my wife's back.  I was doing what my wife would want me to do and that was to be happy and carry on without her.  I gave everything to my wife while she was alive and now I hope that she can give everything back to me with her blessings and guidance.  I loved my wife more than anything in the world and now, together we can move forward in the pursuit of happiness once again.   

My days ahead can be full of wonderful surprises and renewed love and life or I can stay in the past and choose not to continue down the path of life.  I will choose to move forward and to enjoy the time I have left here on earth.  Together with my wife and my new life.  I hope all the people who find their way to WV can also find their way to a new life and one filled with love and happiness again.  However, to do so, they need to be receptive to it happening and not sit forever feeling depressed and sad.  It's not easy, but believe me, it can be done and it is more than worth any effort that is put into it.  To feel alive again and happy is something that I thought would never happen to me!      

Many warm and friendly hugs to all on WV!  May we all find happiness in the time ahead!  Stan   

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Comment by Moving On on July 2, 2013 at 7:39am

For all those on WV that feel that they are stuck and will never move on, ask yourself this question, "Do I really want to be this way five years from today?"  If your answer is "Yes", then you could be in for a very long bout of depression.  If your answer is "No", then you have already done the first step in getting over your grief.  After your first step, you need to dream and your dreams can start today!  I hope that everyone on WV has a truly happy day and can start to dream.  In less time than you can imagine, your dreams can come true!  However, a happy future won't have a chance of occurring unless you decide to accept what the future might bring to you.  Happiness is no guarantee, but your future is!  Many warm hugs and sweet dreams to all on WV, Stan   

Comment by cupspinner on June 28, 2013 at 10:35am

I think positivity is a hard thing to practice now, but I feel it holds the key to moving through this.  It is great that you started picturing yourself in a better place.  There are many books and speakers who talk about making your future align with your thoughts.  It is impossible to skip the grieving process, but it is also pretty easy to feel stuck. I'm so glad you are sharing your good outcome.

Comment by suebru (Sue) on June 28, 2013 at 9:18am

Stan, Thanks for sharing. I *love* your positive attitude! Hugs, Sue :-)

Comment by Moving On on June 28, 2013 at 7:03am

Thanks cupspinner, There is hope for all on WV, but they have to be open and willing to continue with life.  Life is fragile and we each must face it alone when something terrible like this happens.  People don't understand and it's a good thing that they don't.  I know I didn't understand until it happened.  Believe me, it's not easy to try to move on, but once you really try and start to feel just a little better, then it's worth it and you will be able to smile again.  The hardest part is shaking off the depression and the sad feeling that goes with it.  I did it partially by visualizing that I would be possibly happy again in ten or more years and that made me start to think that I shouldn't wait that long.  If it was going to happen, why not try to make it happen now, why wait that long.  I think that's when my healing actually started.  My story and others like it on WV does show others that it is possible.  I sincerely hope that everyone on WV can not only visualize a happy future, but can also experience it.  Love can happen more than once!  Warm hugs to everyone on WV! Stan

Comment by cupspinner on June 27, 2013 at 4:37pm

I'm really happy for you, and thanks for sharing your story.  It is depressing for me, 7 months into widowhood, to read that people 2 and 3 years out are still so depressed and are having a hard time.  I can't explain how, but I know that my future will be a good one.  I can't say when or how, but it is this deep, certain calm "knowing".  So, on my weakest, darkest days, I tend to forget that inner voice telling me I will come out on top, and it is good to read entries such as yours, that shows that it is possible to reclaim yourself and lose that "dull, lost, hollow feeling" and move on.  Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Moving On on June 26, 2013 at 12:49pm

Jean, I completely agree with you.  Well said.  No matter what one's status in life, honesty and trust is key in any lasting good running relationship.  It is definitely not fair to string someone along!  I believe that when two people are engaged in a relationship, whether just starting or long standing, it's important to be completely honest with each other.  Tell the other person all about yourself, your feelings, and your intentions. If the other person, feels the same way and feels you're being honest and you feel the same way about the other person, then true love can develop!  Honesty and trust go hand in hand!  Always say what you mean; and make sure that you truly mean what you say!    

Comment by jean on June 26, 2013 at 12:07pm

Jerry, for you I say follow your heart. For your lady friend, I wish she were getting support here too because I have a few things I would like to say to her.. first one is run... I only hope you have told her lately how you feel and to tell her to go find someone else because she is wasting her precious time waiting for you. I realise this is her time to waste but truly hope you are being completley honest with her. Honest as in this week. Keep telling her over and over, she might 'get' it eventually.

 

but.. since it is you here for support.. I support you too.  Keep telling her how you feel and don't feel guilty about it. When she refers to you two as "us" tell her you don't like it. She needs to know these things, it isn't fair to string her along.

Comment by Moving On on June 26, 2013 at 7:13am

Hi Jerry, thank you for your kind words.  The feeling guilty part is normal and to be expected, but then we must think that when we have these feelings, why we're having them.  The feelings come from previous memories and not from the present.  Past memories are healthy and we just need to think that now we can be associated with a new love and not feel guilty, because we are doing nothing wrong and we are doing exactly as our heart tells us to do.  I think you may have hit part of the reason on the head when you said, "Maybe, I'm not really in love."  With the lady I've met, one of things that we hit it off on, was that we both freely talk about our feelings and I think the love part helps in that regard.  I'm not sure how to describe how it feels different when you truly love someone, but it's a connection that you feel and it's different from just having a friend.  I have a widowed lady friend very close to where I live and we're very good friends.  She lost her husband less than a month before Linda passed away.  We've been having dinner, along with another widow, once a week now for months.  I was somewhat attracted to her, but I've noticed too many differences between us and being with her is not the same as being with the lady I've fallen in love with.  In my opinion, listen to your heart.  If it's really love, I think you'll feel it.  If it isn't, then be a good friend.  Friends are nice to have.  

The reason I put my story on WV was to hopefully show others that there is hope and that life can go on after something this dreadful happens.  Best of luck to you and whatever you do, listen to your heart, and when the connection is there, I think you'll know it!  Warm hugs to you and all on WV!  Stan

Comment by Jerry on June 26, 2013 at 3:28am
Stan,thanks for writing your story. If you search my name you will find I have posted about feeling guilty over meeting a new lady. It has been 3 1/2 years that my wife is gone,and although I don't break down and cry much, I have guilt feelings about a new relationship forming.
The lady I met is also a widow,was married about the same amount of time I was,35 years. She seems to have a similar attitude as you do about living the rest of her life happy. I myself seem to be able to take happiness in small doses.
I have been seeing my lady friend for almost two years, and like going out on dates,movies, dinners,shows. But still like my alone time, and doing things with some of my old friends without her.
They one thing that bothers me is when she refers to US, like we are a couple . It sort of,hits a nerve whenever she says that.Maybe it's that I am not really in love,just like,her as a friend,and she feels differently about me.
It's nice to read that you are doing well and you give ope to all of us here.
Comment by Moving On on June 25, 2013 at 9:56pm

Thanks KK,  When I was first widowed, I never ever thought that I could or would ever be able to love again.  The lady I met was also on WV and also felt the same way.  We chatted and talked and it became more and more evident that we thought a lot alike.  It wasn't too long until both of us were surprised to feel a love that we both thought was gone forever.  I'll admit that at first, we both felt a little guilty, but we realized that we were doing nothing wrong and that it was something that happened.  It would have been a different story if either or both of our spouses would have still been alive.  Even with that realization, it does take some soul searching to work your way through the feelings.  The way we both look at it is, that our lives didn't end, but a new phase and a new journey has begun.  We're still in the early stages and we plan to take our time and make sure that we let things develop naturally.  I wanted to share what I've gone through so that others on WV will know that it's possible to love again.  The important thing to me is that we freely use our spouses' names and keep their memory alive.   I've told the lady that we can all four be together and that is the way it should be.  Two of us are alive and two are beautiful memories.  I've also told her that as far as I'm concerned she will always come first.  There will never be any comparison or remarks about my previous wife.  As far as I'm concerned, there will never be any sharing or comparing.  We are going on a new adventure and a new phase in our lives.  

lizbeth4, I feel the same as you when it comes to having an open mind and having a lot of living left to do.  I wish you the best of everything in your journey.

The main thing I feel for widows and widowers is that you keep an open mind and at the same time be careful that you don't think you're falling in love with someone when it's only loneliness.  Listen carefully to what the other person is saying and doing.  Make sure that their actions are compatible with their words.  I myself feel that I prefer a widow over someone that hasn't been through it like we have.  I hope everyone on WV can work their way through the grieving process and come out of it with a smile.  And, if you can find love again then it will show that you've completed the healing process.  When I met my wife, I fell in love with her after meeting her on a blind date, and our marriage lasted nearly 52 years.  I was surprised when I met her and felt it was love at first sight.  Now, it's happening again.  Neither of us went out looking for it, it just happened.  I think that's the way true love works, but then I don't have to tell most people here on WV about how love works because most of you here know it, you've had it and you've lost it.  Now, you just need to see if you can find it again, for the second time, or even the third.  If it happened once, it can happen again.        

Many warm and sincere hugs for everyone's happy future! Stan     

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