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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.

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."

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 feel, like I do, more fully aware of life's gifts than ever before, but still, at the base of it all lies your dead husband, the one whose death sucked all the air from your body and left you flapping in the wind like a dry husk. He's always there, always there. He's always dead. He's always never coming back.

 

I don't know how long it's been for you since your spouse died. For me it's been five and a half years. What I want to say is: "I feel better now."  Or "I don't wake up everyday feeling like crap anymore." Or "Some days I don't think sad thoughts about Ken at all anymore." Or "I'm thrilled to be alive and to see what happens next." Or "Fear has finally left the building."

 

It's really amazing when you get to this point, but it's kind of hard to fully embrace it sometimes. I'm wondering if this is the final hurdle to completely overcoming the loss of your spouse -- when you can admit you're OK without him or her, you've made it, you're happy again, life is good --and you don't feel guilty about it anymore. I'm not sure I'm there yet, but I'm closing in on it. Perhaps another sign of vaulting over the final hurdle is when you can say "I feel happy again" and you don't feel like you have to add something like: "but, of course, I'll miss him forever and it will always be terrible that he died."

 

I'm wondering if when we allow ourselves to fully grieve, to take the time it takes you as an individual to do what you need to do to process your loss, perhaps then it is easier to cross the final hurdle. Can you picture yourself leaping over it, arms raised high in a victory leap? I can see myself there now, or almost nearly there.

 

I fell so many times along the way. I was filled with fear, anxiety and pain. I was envious, sad, jealous, bitter, confused and misguided. I wrote about it. I talked about it. I got help. I figured out how I needed to live through it.

 

I couldn't envision reaching this final hurdle five and a half years ago. I thought I would never want to be in a place where I could be happy without Ken. In fact, I believed that getting to this point would be impossibly difficult and impossibly sad and horribly dismissive of Ken's life and what he meant to me. I also felt, way back then, that I didn't want to experience and feel and process all the grief that his death would bring my way. I knew it would take a long time, and I wasn't sure I wanted to spend years doing it.

 

But now, years of grieving later, I get it. Grieving fully brings your life back to you. That's why you do it no matter how long it takes. Eventually, you see the last hurdle approaching. Then you get ready to jump.

 

***********

 

What does it feel like to imagine being at a place where you are happy again? Take 5 minutes to write about it. If you can't even imagine it, write about that.

 

 

 

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Comment by Jill on November 11, 2011 at 9:00pm

Hi Notthesame,

I like your name, cause it's not the same is it? I think you sound like you're doing great. You're taking steps to move forward with your life, but you're still holding on to your husband and all he means and meant to you.You are doing what you have to do to grieve.  It's been less than a year. Grieving takes a long time and in the first year, it's all just so new and you're getting your bearings in a completely unexpected life. Hugs to you.

Comment by notthesame on November 11, 2011 at 6:30pm

I just want to clarify that we did not know each other before my husband died and I was not looking for a relationship the time we started talking to each other as friends.

Comment by notthesame on November 11, 2011 at 6:22pm

I am looking forward to the day that I can say the same because I know that is what my husband would want for me.  He always told me that while he was still alive.  I think he had a sense that he was not long for this world because he talked about dying a lot and what he would want for me to do.  It will be a year on Dec 4th and I still hurt as much as I did the day I found out he was killed at work.  I have taken a step to move forward with my life and am currently involved in a relationship with a wonderful man who is accepting of the situation with me and my boys.  He actually was a coworker with my husband so he has somewhat of an idea of what our situation is like.  He knew coming into this that it was going to be a difficult process and I am grateful for that.  Him being in my life has helped me be okay with trying to move on with my life.  With the holidays and the one year anniversary coming up things have been a little shaky in our relationship.  He has never experienced anything like this and it is so hard to get him to understand.  I hear that a lot from him that he doesn't understand.  He just doesn't get it.  He actually has felt like I am wanting him to be just like my husband but that is not true.  I know there will never be any other man that is like him.  We had been high school sweethearts so I had been with him since I was 16 and this is the first adult relationship I have had so this is all new to me. The problem I am having is I refuse to let go of my husband.  I feel like I am waiting for a sign or to hear from him that it is okay for me to move on and be happy.  I had worried about him a lot while he was alive with the kind of job that he had and some of the health issues he had.  Difference now is I can't call and check on him to make sure he is okay.  I know it probably sounds silly but I guess I feel like I can't move on unless I know that he is okay now. 

Comment by Jill on September 9, 2011 at 5:33am
Pat, your words make me feel so happy for you! I am really glad to hear of the progress you've made. I'm certain that Heidi would want you to live in peace, and she would know also that you will make a fine and loving partner for someone else when the time comes. Whoever that woman might be, I can tell she'll be lucky to have you.
Comment by Jill on September 9, 2011 at 5:31am
Hi Robert, Thanks for writing. I knew it would take a long time to get over my husband's death. At age 44 then, I would think to myself that I was going to be wasting precious years in grief instead of just enjoying life. Although I wouldn't wish this kind of grief on anyone, in retrospect, and even while I was in it, it wasn't wasted time at all. It was rich, it was full, it was confusing, but, boy, it was also just plain sad. I am very sorry for your very recent loss but I am glad to see you here on Widowed Village.
Comment by NMWidower on September 2, 2011 at 11:27pm

Jill,

Thanks for your post.  I can really imagine it for me now.  I am starting to see the summit.  This may be an intermediate high point or it could be the summit for me.  The thing I am most encouraged in is in wanting to live life again and in coming to accept where I am.  Its been a long journey for sure.  But the most encouraging thing to me is that I can see the road ahead for me.  I know now I can love again and be loved again.  I think the challenge for me in this point is in finding balance between honoring the memory of the past but also in opening a new part of my heart to love another.  I think that is one of the last major hurdles for me.  I am definitely a changed man from this experience though for sure, but these last 4 months for me have been really good.  I feel a sense of peace now that I had not had before and an acceptance of the loss and that I have grieved the loss well.  I can really see life being lived again in me and in my kids.  I know we are not 100% out yet but feeling alive again really feels wonderful.  I know now I will definitely marry again and am excited in one day sharing life with another.  I know Heidi would want me to keep living and I now look forward to living life again...  Thanks Jill for this post.  Excited for you!  Pat-NMWidower

Comment by RobertBear (Bob) on September 2, 2011 at 6:00am

Jill,

Nice blog.  I am just a couple of weeks out so it's nice to know that one can approach the other end of the tunnel.  I suppose there's a birth/rebirth metaphor in it.  My initial reaction to your blog was "five and a half years?", that seems so long.  I'm fifty-four so that scares me.  On the other hand, I know I cannot rush it.  I must let in unfold in it's own good time.

For me, the starter's gun just went off.  I hope I don't trip over many hurdles.

Thanks so much,

~Robert

Comment by Jill on September 2, 2011 at 5:33am

Supa,

I'm glad you're back to being you, a new you. I'll bet the old one was wonderful too. Much love, J.


VOLUNTEER
Comment by Soaring Spirits on September 2, 2011 at 4:56am

I STILL don't have my arms straight up in the air as I leap... but nearly every day is a good day, and most of my bad days have nothing to do with losing my husband. I think I used this break to do more work, which is deep deep stuff, and that is why I'm not leaping for joy every single minute. But is my life easy? YES. Am I in love? YES. Did I take care of things as well as I could? YES. Am I strong and making the changes I need to make? YES. Well, most of the time.

Is there still guilt? Yeah.

But I'm back to being "me," even though I"m pretty different from 5 years ago. Your post reminds me to celebrate this a little more often. Cause really.... that was a lot of hurdles and the one I'm in now is simply "life."

Thank you!

Comment by Abby on September 1, 2011 at 7:39pm

HI Jill

I am so happy for you and yes there is a bit of envy in there. I cannot imagine waiting 3 years let alone how long you waited, but I know you have 2 young children. I HATE living alone not being alone. I am lonely for the arms of a man around me, a close friend to talk to and to do things with. I want my husband back and I know that that will never happen. I am not there yet and after 7 months I feel light years away from that. Yet I want it so badly. Sometimes I feel like if I could fall in love again, that my life would be happier but my husband will be a huge act to follow. I know that I am not ready but wish I were.  I do want to meet a man organically and not on match.com....i know that that is the new way to meet men, but I dread having to go through that. Clearly I am answering my own questions .... I have not grieved the full cycle and I am trying to rush this process because I hate being sad and heartbroken all of the time.

Do you think your grief really does end? That a man you loved so much that died will ever truly leave your mind, enough to give yourself to another man? Sounds like you have and your story does give me hope. I am so tired as each day seems like a year.

I know I am rambling as it  is getting late. Any words of wisdom from you would be greatly appreciated.

Abby

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