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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."

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 seat to living. Here's what it feels like at the beginning of this new phase of life after major loss:

I feel so much more aware of how lucky I am to be alive.
I am far less likely to get aggravated or stressed out about daily living.
I am more appreciative and less critical of my own performance and contributions.
Surprisingly, I have become a more hopeful and positive person, despite my incredible back luck!
I have more faith that I am living my truth -- liking what I like--doing what I am supposed to be doing.
I am more open to the unknown and less attached to control.
Sometimes I still feel alone in the world, but, as when I was a much younger woman, I enjoy my own company.

And, yes, if I am going to reveal all the feelings that surround the idea of "grief fading", there is also some guilt, some sadness, and some concern: guilt that I am still alive and he is not, sadness to move forward into a territory where the loss of my incredible husband no longer dominates my world, and concern for how I can continue to honor him and keep his memory alive.

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Comment by Jill on October 14, 2011 at 11:17am
Carolynne, I really hope you find some good support and comfort at the group, and that Randy does too.
Comment by rodsgurl09 on October 14, 2011 at 3:28am
Jill, that's exactly the kind of group we're going to. I was going to go to spouse support, but everyone was much older than me and I didn't feel I could really relate to them...I"m hoping that the family one will help, as it would seem the participants are in situations more similar to mine. I'm glad it helped you and your daughter. It's great that you're facilitating a group! What a wonderful way to bring light out of your own loss.
Comment by Jill on October 13, 2011 at 8:12pm
Carolynne, I took my kids to a place that did groups for families. On the same evening, the kids met in age specific groups while all their widowed parents met separately in a group for adults. I really liked it and feel that I benefited from the support, the talk, and from listening and realizing I was not alone. My daughter liked going a lot. My son had mixed feelings and eventually did not want to keep going. I think you just have to give it a try and see how it is for you. Today, I help facilitate a group for bereaved kids in the Chicago area. Progress.
Comment by rodsgurl09 on October 13, 2011 at 6:58pm

Jill, did the grief groups help? Randy and I are going to separate counselors right now, but we're scheduled to start grief support next month. 

It's amazing what a little inspiration/motivation can do for a black day. : )

Comment by Jill on October 13, 2011 at 6:38pm
Carolynne, I'm so glad I can give you some hope. I remember in the early days for me I took my kids to a grief group. One of the volunteers had lost her husband 5 years earlier and talked about how she was once again happy -- even remarried. It gave me tremendous hope to know that there could be life after the big disaster.
Comment by rodsgurl09 on October 13, 2011 at 6:24pm
Jill, thank you for the glimmer of hope...so important on those really dark days to remember that it won't always be like this. Marsha, you're so right, living our lives well and fully is an important way to honor our loved ones. I know Rodney would hate to see me in so much pain, so I keep plodding along, trying to find my way out of it. And I too will keep his memory alive, through photos and videos and repeating the funny stories he loved to share.
Comment by Marsha on October 13, 2011 at 4:41pm
Thank you for giving me hope as I continue on my journey of grief. I believe we all continue and will continue honoring our lost loved ones by choosing to live our lives. My granddaughters will hear stories of their Grandpa and with pictures and videos his memory will live on through his family. He may be out of sight but will never be out of our hearts and minds.

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