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Widowhood is a very dark lonely place

slg
Posts: 200
Joined: Jan 2010

I have not been on this site for quite some time. It has been 7 mos. since losing my husband to Liver Cancer. So much has happened since but not a day goes by that I don't wish he were here with me.
We would have been married 40 years which seems like to long ago yet just like yesterday. I was only 17 when I met him and now I am left here to live the rest of my life without him!
The worse part of losing him was his not being able to walk our daugther down the aisle two weeks ago.. It took a lot of strenghth on my part but I did manage to keep my composure and get her down the aisle without too many tears. We did honor him with a picture with candles and in the program. It still is sad that all these years we waited for him to have that honor and he missed it!!
My heart is still broken however I try my best to make him proud of me everyday by the way I go on...
I don't know what the future may bring and it scares me to think of myself spending the rest of my life alone but I am trying to make the best of it as that is what he wanted.
I now must face my own health issue alone without my beloved husband.
Wishing everyone else on this site the best.

SLG72

Raani01
Posts: 68
Joined: Mar 2011

Thank you for sharing your feelings. I was wondering how/who I should talk to!I lost my husband on July18th to brain tumor, after 26 years of marriage.I have the same feelings. The loneliness and not seeing him on his chair, all making me feel very empty. I go to work as an engineer, but not focusing yet.I wonder what God wanted from this life! I have 3 boys and youngest is still in high school, so I know I have a duty as mother. But not in any mood.
I can imagine the sadness at your daughter's wedding.I also silently hoped Jacob would be here for our son's wedding, he is 25 and not engaged yet.I try to see everything as God's plan,still hard to accept.Seeing my husband declining (from very strong independent person to completely dependent!)I am convinced that life is agift from God and I should make best out of it as I can,not to waste...Well, I got to work becasue Jacob always said "keep your good Job:-)
Have a good day!
Raani

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grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

Before anything else, I want to say that I feel your pain. It takes me back to my first year as a widow. I didn't even realize that I was one until I had to check one of those widow boxes where it said marital status. I knew my husband had died. Knew? It was my first thought each morning and my last thought at night. I just hadn't applied the widow word to describe myself. I am not going to tell you that time will heal your hurt. For me, three years into this new life, I can tell you that I am adjusting. My pain is still here, but it has mellowed. I have charged some things. I no longer even try to eat at the table. For some reason that was just torture for me. I changed out our queen bed to a daybed. Our bedroom is small, so it didn't make sense to have a queen when I didn't need one. I am planning my first solo trip in 45 years. I need to do this for me. I love to travel and have taken several trips since Doug died, but I have done so with family. I'm somewhat terrified, but I'm also determined. I can only imagine your pain at your daughter's wedding. All of those family things remain hard for me. Doug lived longer than anyone expected, surviving a little over 6 years. During that time, we were blessed with our fourth granddaughter. Our sons both received promotions, and we took some trips with family as well as on our own. We also made it to our 42nd anniversary. I am still grieving. I will always grieve for him. Some days are still just plain difficult to live through. That's ok. I now accept those days. I guess that's what they mean by acceptance, not accepting the death but accepting the pain. Knowing that it is a part of our lives now. I am who I am today because of our shared life and his death. He faced his death with faith, love, and courage. My job now is to live as well as he died. Prayers and hugs, Fay

slg
Posts: 200
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you to both of you. I have visited many grief support groups in these past 7 months and also see a grief counselor and everything I have heard is not to make too many drastic changes in the first year. I assumed that's because we are not in our right minds!!! I did have to sell his car right away as he hadn't driven it in 6 months and I was paying insurance on it. I didn't care for it so it was not an issue... Then the refrigerator broke and soon after the dishwasher flooded my kitchen.. So I ended up replacing all the appliances at the same time.
I am sleeping alone in a king size bed and have considered switching it out to a queen! Not there yet as I still sleep on his side of the bed.
I remember so well when I had to fill out a form at my counselor's office and had to check the box "widow". I started crying. I have only had to experience that one other time. I still feel married and continue to wear my wedding ring. I do acknowledge that I know he's not here nor coming back.. It still hurts though....

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

I too lost my husband of 32 years of brain cancer in 2010. The pain and sadness has dulled some in the past two years. Unfortunately the loneliness has become my biggest issue. There were so many changes in the first year...my two oldest children married, my mother passed away, I sold my house and moved into a condo and then lost my job of 7 years very unexpectedly. I do believe time is a healer but I am very tired of this life and wish the healing would come a little quicker. I am sorry for my venting and very sorry for what you are going through...so very unfair. Guess we have to hang together and support each other until better times come our way.
Becky

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

I can relate to all of your feelings and hate the word "widow". My husband died in 2010 also after being sick only 2 months. He died from a very rare side effect of Avastin. Like everyone says, especially Grandma Fay who I've corresponded with on here also, it does get easier as the days go by. But the lonliness of being alone scares me. I'm always afraid of something happening and here I am alone with no husband. I've taken my wedding rings off and wear them on my right hand now. I just can't bear not to wear them. I don't know how your husband was, but mine did everything around the house. Never had to call a repairman for anything.
I'm glad you're seeing a counselor. I saw one for 10 months and was also on medication too. Without that, I probably would've had a breakdown.
So there are alot of us who understand what it's like. Just take one day at a time, and let's keep coming on this site just for comfort. "Carole"

annesound
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2013

My husband died 3 years ago after a rapid form of cancer.  He only had his diagnosis 4 weeks before he died.  I didn't cry for 2 years.  He was gone, but somehow it wasn't real to me.  I'm partially blind and had to put my glasses where I could find them.  The firsts were hard but even now I find Sundays terrible.  I stay in the house alone, looking at his empty chair.  I tried the going for walks, but then you just see other couples holding hands and it reminds you of the happy times that cannot be replaced.  The love is still there and always will be.  The loneliness is terrible though.  Coming home from work on a dark night and finding that the lights are off and the surprise hot meal isn't ready.  You can do it for yourself some days, but other days, like today, easter sunday, It's hard.  Hearing that I'm not the only person feeling that I have to eat my dinner away from the table makes me realise that I'm not going crazy.  Thanks.   

Carl_Renee's picture
Carl_Renee
Posts: 84
Joined: Jun 2010

We read on the cancer forums pertaining mostly to colorectal cancer even after it came back and hit up his liver at which point after surgery and several weeks in ICU he never came home.

Some days it seems so long ago and others seems just yesterday he was by my side and we were encouraging each other as he went down this journey. He started his battle in 2010 and ended it March 23rd of this year. Next year would have marked 20yrs together. We are now entering probably the hardest part of the 1st year grief journey as we will be hitting mile marker after mile marker. I got thru the rest of the year but worry about the rest coming up. From Thanksgiving to our oldest will be 18 to Christmas, New Years, the day in Jan we found out the cancer spread to his liver to surgery day to never coming home again.

I don't feel time is a healer but rather you learn to live the new normal that is still very full of ups and downs.

Renee

ktlcs's picture
ktlcs
Posts: 360
Joined: Jan 2010

It sounds so alien to describe myself, or to hear someone else describe me as a widow. A widow! Still in my forties! While we never know what life will bring, this is not something I ever anticipated!. At first I would cry each time I checked off one of those boxes on some form, now I just leave it blank. When people who don't know me ask, I just say I am single, and leave it at that. Only we know what it feels like to go home to an empty house, to clean out a closet, to look at a favoritw chair, or see a favorite show on TV. It is an indescribable pain unless you have been there. But I am learning, as you will too, life does go on, whether we want it to or not, and we have to go on with it. Little by little I have managed to pull myself up and move forward, make decisions alone, live alone, BE alone. He will always be in me, my head, my heart, my soul. But it's now time for me to begin to let me in, to let it go, to let the memories turn from sadness to joy, and be thankful he was in my life to begin with. Someday we may meet again....and I will wait patiently for that day

K

slg
Posts: 200
Joined: Jan 2010

I have not been on this site for a while but as I just read both of your comments i still feel the same. I agree, it seems like just yesterday and yet so much has gone on that it also feels so long ago. Many "first" have come and gone and I have gotten through them. While in a Grief and Bereavement Group not to very long ago, another woman made the comment, "good days, and bad days". I realized I used to say that too and don't anymore. I just say I'm "ok".
Most recently, I have managed to walk my youngest daughter down the aisle, took a trip to New Orleans to meet two CSN members in person, celebrate my husband's 65th Birthday with an Honor Guard Ceremony and Remembrance Celebration afterwards. I am so glad that I did not end up with the Honor Guard Ceremony back in January for his services. Through no fault of my own, it did not work out back then. This was much better to have had some space in between and it meant a lot to honor him for his Birthday.. My mind was clearer too. The final was facing surgery without him! That was a hard one to do but I got through it and am now hojme recovering..
I too, don't like to use the "W" word and have also put single instead. Although the first year is supposed to be the hardest getting through all those "firsts", I do think the second will also...
I wish you both well and do understand how you feel as I am feeling the same.
Sue

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi,
So glad your daughters wedding went okay. That had to be such a hard thing to go through for her too.
Today is the 25th which is the day my husband died on. It's over 2 & 1/2 years now, and he died in March, but the 25th of every month is always a hard day for me to get through.
It's not easy having to check the "widow" box on forms, but we are no longer married. I still wear mine & my husbands wedding ring on my right hand and probably always will.
The holidays are going to be hard too. I always had Christmas at our house, but haven't been able too since Tom died. My 3 kids have taken turns having holidays as they know I have a hard time doing it.
I saw a counselor for almost a year & it helped alot. Plus I had to be put on meds, because of the terrible way he died.
Hope you're doing okay & remember we all understand what you're going through, so we're always here for you. "Carole"

slg
Posts: 200
Joined: Jan 2010

I do hope I will be better in two years but I know the holidays will always be a problem.. Just got my first invite for Christmas. I can't even think that far ahead and don't really want to go. Will have to see as we get closer.
They need to come up with a new description for those you have lost their spouses..
I still wear my wedding ring but have locked his up. I did wear it briefly right after he passed away but I am afraid of the diamond coming out so decided to lock it up..
I am old fashioned in a way and feel I must respect his memory and will continue to wear my ring on the ring finger but at some point think it must change hands.
He will always be with me in one way or another but have to make some changes for myself..
Keep in touch. We all must stick together.
Sue

barbn
Posts: 33
Joined: Jan 2012

I too lost my husband Sept 7th of this year. He lived 10 months since be diagnosed.
I am so lonely. It is so hard to come home from work to an empty house(well I have 2 cats).
I know it takes time and through the strength of our good Lord I will make it. My husband and God doesn't want me to be unhappy. It will never be the same and I will alwys miss him.
We were married 38 yrs. I just celebrated my 59th birthday. It was hard. He would always be waiting with a small gift and a yummy shrimp supper for me. Thank God I having caring friends and family who took me out.
My daughter lives in Nevada. We skype daily but miss her too.
I struggle daily and am also seeing a therapist. I have trouble still facing the fact he is gone. Every day is a new 1st. I hate it but know I have to try and live the best life I can. Crying releives some pain so do that daily. I hope the pain seizes in time.
Thanks for listening.
I pray for all of you
Barb

slg
Posts: 200
Joined: Jan 2010

Barbn,
So sorry you lost your husband of 38 years. You and I areclose in age and we would have been married 40 years had he made it.
I highly recommend grief and bereavement support groups and it's good you're seeing a therapist. I too see someone privately.
Something I have learned is that things "shift". The crying doesn't happen as offten, it still happens, just not as often. The pain is still there but we somehow manage to "function". Instead of "good days, bad days," we say "ok", just ok..
It is still very new to you and I do know how you feel. We who have lost know exactly how you feel.
Take care of yourself and stay in touch. Your daughter is in Nevada, are you in CA?
Sue

slg
Posts: 200
Joined: Jan 2010

Barbn,
So sorry you lost your husband of 38 years. You and I areclose in age and we would have been married 40 years had he made it.
I highly recommend grief and bereavement support groups and it's good you're seeing a therapist. I too see someone privately.
Something I have learned is that things "shift". The crying doesn't happen as offten, it still happens, just not as often. The pain is still there but we somehow manage to "function". Instead of "good days, bad days," we say "ok", just ok..
It is still very new to you and I do know how you feel. We who have lost know exactly how you feel.
Take care of yourself and stay in touch. Your daughter is in Nevada, are you in CA?
Sue

barbn
Posts: 33
Joined: Jan 2012

Thanks Sue
I live in Wisconsin. My daughter ended up in Nevada after she graduated from grad school in MSP. Jobs were hard to come by and that is where it took her. I miss her dearly. She was home almost every 2 weeks the last several months of her dad (jesse's) life.
Sierra (my daughter) was married July 14th. Jess got to walk her down the aisle. That was his goal.
Unfortunately we do not have many support groups in our town. I have to drive 30 miles or so.
I try not to think about my future too much. Only God can lead me on my path to feel like living again.
We had so many plans when we retired.
I am on vacation this coming week. Feels so weird. Never had a vacation week without my husband.Don't know what to do??
I have things I should do but not much motivation.
Thanks for listening. Where are you from?
barb

slg
Posts: 200
Joined: Jan 2010

Barb,

I am from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live right by SFO. I took my first vacation in September to New Orleans. It was to meet for the first time three people who I met on this Website page almost three years ago. My husband and I had planned on doing this together after his transplant. I decided to do it anyway. This was only my second time in my life flying alone! I managed. It was so hard to go to NO as we had never been there. I don't feel like I want to visit places that we went together though. Might bring back too many memories. Maybe I'm wrong and maybe in time that will change.
Do something nice for yourself this vacation. He would want you to.

Suzi_cue1961
Posts: 17
Joined: Jul 2012

I just recently lost my husband on Oct. 3rd. Even though I have a big family (we have six children and 10 grandchildren)(between us). It is a different lonely. And I to find it hard to say the word "single" or "widow". Just brings tears to my eyes. I continue to feel like I am in a dream. I do trust that God will guide me through. And I know my husband is not hurting anymore and he is rejoicing. Prayers for each of us as we walk down this path...

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

I couldn't have said it better. I lost my husband almost 4 years ago. I still have trouble being the only single in a group. I have also, just recently, found that it bothers me when I hear about people celebrating long anniversaries like 50 or 60 years. I know it's silly, but I find myself thinking that's just because they have lived a long time. We would have made it to those benchmarks, too. Sometimes it's hard not to be jealous of couples. Even though I have some of those negative thoughts, I'm glad for longtime couples. It's just a passing thought. Why I hadn't had them until recently I don't know. 

ju1ia
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2013

Hi,

  My husband had liver cancer and in other places we didn't know he had cancer until 2 weeks before he died.

It has been two months and i am having a hard time I am so sory for your loss and I can't even Imagine what you were feeling when you walked your daughter down the aisle.

My husband & I married when I ws 15 and he was 18 was married 33 years  Thanks for posting it helps to see how other people are coping.Smile

Griffon
Posts: 17
Joined: Jul 2013

Hi, my wife pasted away six weeks ago from a battle with lung cancer.I can honestly say I feel worse now then ever.I am back at work now which can keep me busy for a while, but going home is terrible.There is no other place I would rather be at  then at home,but without her being there it's a lonely sad place.I call to ever day when I come home hoping to get a response, but no answer yet.I sit in front of her pictures telling her about my day,and what I going to do later.This usually ends up with me crying. The loneliness is very difficult for me to deal with.Not that I need company,it's I just want my wife back.People leave notes on my door asking how I am doing,but I really do not respond,I really do not know why,maybe I just want to be alone in my pain and sadness.I am sorry for your loss and your pain.I hope things will get better for you.But remember you are not alone, their are plenty of us here who are in pain and are your friends.     Bill

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

Your feeling sound so familiar. I can remember those very dark days. I can remember because I still have them now and then and I am four years out. My dark days don't come as often now and they are not quite as dark. One thing that actually helped me was when a friend at church who has been a widow for many years told me that it takes at least three years to really adjust to the lose of a beloved spouse. It helped because it took some of the pressure off.  I readily admit to people even now that I am still grieving and will always feel that loss. Time has dulled the pain. Each of us must grieve in our own time and way. I still talk to my husband. I had one friend tell me at her husband's funeral that she talked to his pictures, and people would probably think she was crazy if she told them. I told her that we all do that. It's ok. What ever helps is ok. Take care of yourself. Fay

ipetrosky
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2010

I lost my husband to lung cancer in 2010.   Where has the time gone..........he had lung cancer that had spread to liver bone brain.  He had whole brain radiation which really took him down fast.  I love him and miss him.  We were married 42 years.  He was diagnosed the end of May and died August 2nd.......if I had it to do over again he would forgo the wbr.

 

 

 

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