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."

Wow, It's been a long time. Another lifetime for sure. I have been away for 3 years now and so much has changed. Although I've remained involved in the widowed community I had completely forgotten that I had a blog here. It's nice to see you friend. I hope you are well. I can't wait to catch up and see what I've missed.

Since I was last here I've had many changes.
The end of a relationship.
A new friendship & marriage.
Seeing my kids grow into happy adults.
The addition of 3 adult kids from my marriage.
A 400 mile move to Southern California.
The birth of 3 grandchildren to go along with the one I got in marriage.
A daughter's marriage.
A renewed passion for writing and a blog.

I'm so glad I ran into you today at the kitchen table over coffee. My life is where it is today because of the desire to sit and have a cup of coffee. This typing on my phone isn't always the best. How about you tell me how you've been doing since I was last here? Hard to believe it's been this long and we're still here. I thought by now, with all the joy that has come to me I wouldn't be back. Just another surprise wrapped in this complicated journey. I've met many more members of this awful club since we last talked. The sadness and compassion I feel for those just beginning tears me up. People forever changed by a hurt so deep that a part of them dies too. We all have wisdom we didn't want. I have reached a different place in my journey. It's driving me to write again. Some things only you would understand and relate to. I'm really glad to see you again. I'll grab my laptop and be back soon. In the meantime let me share the words of Anne Lamott~ Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up.

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Comment by lizbeth4 on June 12, 2016 at 8:44pm

I found your blog encouraging!  Thank you.  

Comment by barbee on June 8, 2016 at 8:31pm

My apologies if my comments were the ones that sounded like boasting or were insensitive. Many of my friends are widowed -- male and female -- and prefer to stay that way. Each of us who are widowed are deeply wounded. Each of us needs to find our own path toward healing. All of us move on. Sometimes quickly; sometimes slowly. Sometimes in healthy ways; sometimes in more destructive ways. Sometimes alone; sometimes finding another. But move on is something we all do. Any way we chose to do it, the loss is always there. I chose to find someone and am grateful for his patience and understanding of my widowhood and the support he offers on those bad days that still come unexpectedly.

I just wanted to say what has worked for me and I do not expect anyone else to move on in the way I did. Through the grief I have found ways to grow and mature and express emotions that never would have happened without experiencing the loss of my husband. I wish it had not happened. But it did. I'm better for learning these lessons -- more patient, more empathetic, and kinder toward others who are hurting. 

I have not replaced my husband, because he is irreplaceable. I have not forgotten my husband, because we still have three beautiful children and grandchildren and a family history. Our story came to an end; yet, lingers on. I don't want to get stuck in grief forever. I do want step out of yesterday (while still recalling it and keeping it close) and move into tomorrow. Kinda like leaving high school and moving away to college. If that makes any sense.

Comment by laurajay on June 8, 2016 at 7:14pm

Widow_eredDad.  It was not your blog alone that caused me to reply.  I am four years out and thoroughly understand what you refer to as our hopeless despair.  For the last three yrs whenever I read  a post of a former widow or widower  now remarried- who posts a return visit to " give hope or support" to newly widowed persons I always feel the undertone that they believe their new marriage/mate that has brought them happiness is  the only and preferred solution to relieving the "hopeless despair".  When the truth is that remarriage  is not the answer for everyone.  Nor should anyone be made to feel it is just because it has been right for some. Happiness can be brought back into the life of a widow in many ways.

You have the right here to blog about whatever helps you to heal.  I avoid  blogs that "preach" or scream "how to"   You did not do that with your blog!.  There is a group of widows and widowers  here at WV who have remarried and I believe that is a good place for them  to communicate with other remarrieds  without offending those who are choosing  to not enter into another  marriage/commitment.  There is room/place for everyone.

I believe it's vital to encourage everyone grieving to seek a solution/healing that is in harmony with their values and beliefs and desires.  And validate that there is no one perfect answer to getting through grief successfully. We all know it takes time-lots of time.  Your apology is accepted but not necessary.  It's very apparent you in no way choose to offend or judge.  But everyone needs truth to elevate what they offer of themselves to the world. Makes us all better people.    lj

Comment by Kaci on June 8, 2016 at 2:33pm
I find your post very encouraging Widow_erDad. You don't come across as rubbing it in that you have a new relationship at all to me and no where do I see you suggesting that that is our only hope for happiness. Keep writing from the heart. I really liked the quote too. I'm pleased each time someone is living well.
Comment by Widow_erDad on June 8, 2016 at 11:20am

Laurajay, My apologies if the post came across as judgmental. The comment about not giving up hope had nothing to do with marriage, dating, or finding a partner. It was referring to the feeling of hopeless despair many of us have experienced. I am sensitive and appreciate your feedback. I've only recently returned to writing and could have stated what I wanted to say another way that would have been more appropriate to this site. I would not have wanted to read my post in the first 2-3 years after my wife's death. If I think back to my own state of mind in the first weeks and months of this journey I can completely see what you are saying. And if I did come off as boasting, then that too is not good or appropriate here. I guess the truth is that I originally found my writers voice in deepest darkest despair of my life. My way of coming to grips with what had happened, to understand my world was to write. And then I lost it. My writers voice that is. Just as sudden as it went away it has returned. I am writing a lot, not just here. I'll take your words to heart and try to do a better job of remembering who it is reading posts on this site. Seems I may have taken the saying that "you have two ears and one mouth for a reason" a little too far when I added my own "and ten fingers must be even better." Lastly I'd like to add that the reason I returned was because at 5 years I am finding there are new emotions I am dealing with that I don't understand. I can't really discuss those any other place where people get it. 

Thank you for your honest feedback. 

Comment by laurajay on June 8, 2016 at 10:46am

The caution you  can thoughtfully use to not sound - know it all - is to not "rub in" the idea that because  you  found  a new relationship/marriage  others must do the same to find meaning or fulfillment in their lives. It IS resented when that is hinted at because many choose to not do this and they still find life worthwhile.  In no way is there only one way!  In no way is one choice more right than the other!  And even though it may not be intentional it comes across as judgmental and as a boast when remarried return to tell others not to give up hope.  It is vital to remember each widow/widower comes to their own alone  healing in the way best for them.  Each is unique.  Personally, I scroll past posts that resemble boasting.

Comment by barbee on June 6, 2016 at 3:48pm

Thank both of you--Widow_erDad and Blue Snow for your comments. They have given me courage to write more here. 

I have been away from Widowed Village for many months and have been hesitant to return. My husband died three years ago after a devastating battle of 16 years with MS. I had wept so many tears over the years that it seemed there was not more than a feeling of relief when he passed. WV became a lifeline for me many nights.  

Two years later I met a man, widowed for twelve years, and we have started creating "the rest of our life". We just came home from a six-month cross-country trip in his 40-ft motor home. It was a trip of a lifetime for me--seeing only places and things I had dreamed about my whole adult life! He is 81 and I am 75 and the trip wasn't easy in many ways. Yet, we love each other very much.

Blue Snow, I LOVE your word about "seasoned" widows and widowers. Because that's what we are in our new relationship. Both of us have raised our family and now are great-grandparents, had marriages of around 48 years, are retired, opinionated and sure each of us has the best answer to whatever the problem is! That seasoning adds meaning and value and respect that probably would never had been there in our earlier years. It also gives each of us the emotional space needed to remember the special days and times we had with our former mates.

I haven't wanted to post and share my joy because it seemed to me that it would be like rubbing salt into the wound of the grieving. My thinking has changed since reading your posts and it seems like sharing my story might give others hope that there is life after a terrible tragedy.

I believe happiness is an inside job and we must each create it for ourselves and not be dependent upon someone else to provide it for us. But, when two people share happiness it has a synergistic effect that simply expands to no outer limit. At the same time, there are moments--days--weeks--where the grief returns again and again. As we settle into our grief and come to terms with it. Not as deep or destructive, but there forever. Because the loss is there. Because once widowed we are forever widowed. And that might not be a totally bad thing. 

Comment by Widow_erDad on June 5, 2016 at 11:31am

Thank you Blue Snow. I have a couple of reasons for returning here. I am a writer. There are things I write that I don't want to share on a public forum. Here I know I am among those who get it. The second is that I have a great desire to support others here who need a safe place where they are understood. I found help and support that allowed me to find my way out of darkness and despair. Honestly I thought I had pretty much worked through it all now at 5 years out. Certainly the pain is dulled and I am hopeful again. But there will always be things that bring me back to the awful stuff. I am also volunteering, along with my wife who was widowed 3 days before me, to lead a grief support group. We still have a lot of training to go through but Widowed Village and Soaring Spirits will certainly be resources we'll want to share with some coming to our group. It is a long process to launch. I had hoped we'd be up and running by now. My best guess at this point is mid August.

Comment by Blue Snow on June 5, 2016 at 7:14am

Glad to see such positive changes in your life in just three short years. I think it's important for seasoned widows and widowers to come back here from time to time if for no other reason than to give hope to the newer members of the "club"....that it is possible to find meaning in life again.

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