Widowhood is a very dark lonely place

13

Comments

  • SHarris73
    SHarris73 Member Posts: 2
    Looking for Support Groups - Any Thoughts Would be Helpful

    I lost my best friend and husband on the last day of June in 2016, it is so hard to realize that we've come to a new year, a year in which he didn't live. I think the New Year has hit me harder than anything else to date. We battled Mesothelioma for 2 years, he was 43 and we'd just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary when he passed at home. He asked to be home, and that was the last wish that I could grant, and our home is my santuary now. The end was very hard - and I have so many things I wish I could have done differently, or I wish we could have discussed. He never really accepted that he was going, and we couldn't really talk about it because it felt like we were betraying his hope, so the end came without a goodbye. I realize that it is more me than him that needed that - so I'm ok with it, but it is hard sometimes. We had been together since we were both 18. Our oldest is in college and our youngest is graduating high school now. We were married so young and had children so early, and we were really looking forward to spending time in our 40s and doing things that all our friends did when they were younger. He was really looking forward to grandchildren someday, and I was looking forward to spending time focused on us. I find that few people understand - people who have lost parents or children face a different grief, one I can't understand either - but losing a spouse, particularly a young spouse - is hard to explain. Night time is the worst; I try and make sure that I'm simply exhausted before the day ends so I can go to sleep. Going places with people who are couples, is just painful. I know I need the community, but I can barely stand listening to people talk about vacation plans or house improvements, all of those things are painful for me now. The comments above about Church hit home too - Our Church community was such an amazing part of our journey, but going alone is something I dread every Sunday. I was ok through the holidays because the kids were around, but New Year hit me like a ton of bricks, which is why I sought out this group. I waffle between feeling blessed that I was given such an amazing gift in our love, and simply being angry that it was taken away so early. I know anger doesn't help - and it is part of grieveing but I'm trying very hard not to let it consume everything else. Would anyone in this group know the best way to find a Widows group locally, particularly a young Widows group? I've asked my local Hospice (which I go to for counciling sessions, those help), but they don't seem to have an answer on a group for young Widows. Thank you for any help you can provie. 

     

  • JerzyGrrl
    JerzyGrrl Member Posts: 760
    SHarris73 said:

    Looking for Support Groups - Any Thoughts Would be Helpful

    I lost my best friend and husband on the last day of June in 2016, it is so hard to realize that we've come to a new year, a year in which he didn't live. I think the New Year has hit me harder than anything else to date. We battled Mesothelioma for 2 years, he was 43 and we'd just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary when he passed at home. He asked to be home, and that was the last wish that I could grant, and our home is my santuary now. The end was very hard - and I have so many things I wish I could have done differently, or I wish we could have discussed. He never really accepted that he was going, and we couldn't really talk about it because it felt like we were betraying his hope, so the end came without a goodbye. I realize that it is more me than him that needed that - so I'm ok with it, but it is hard sometimes. We had been together since we were both 18. Our oldest is in college and our youngest is graduating high school now. We were married so young and had children so early, and we were really looking forward to spending time in our 40s and doing things that all our friends did when they were younger. He was really looking forward to grandchildren someday, and I was looking forward to spending time focused on us. I find that few people understand - people who have lost parents or children face a different grief, one I can't understand either - but losing a spouse, particularly a young spouse - is hard to explain. Night time is the worst; I try and make sure that I'm simply exhausted before the day ends so I can go to sleep. Going places with people who are couples, is just painful. I know I need the community, but I can barely stand listening to people talk about vacation plans or house improvements, all of those things are painful for me now. The comments above about Church hit home too - Our Church community was such an amazing part of our journey, but going alone is something I dread every Sunday. I was ok through the holidays because the kids were around, but New Year hit me like a ton of bricks, which is why I sought out this group. I waffle between feeling blessed that I was given such an amazing gift in our love, and simply being angry that it was taken away so early. I know anger doesn't help - and it is part of grieveing but I'm trying very hard not to let it consume everything else. Would anyone in this group know the best way to find a Widows group locally, particularly a young Widows group? I've asked my local Hospice (which I go to for counciling sessions, those help), but they don't seem to have an answer on a group for young Widows. Thank you for any help you can provie. 

     

    Some other ideas...

    There might be some young widows groups at churches in your area. Aside from just calling around, the library, newspaper, or chamber of commerce may have a list of organizations or the school district may know of a group for parents. Meetup.com has groups for widows.  Ask around. You may find some other young widows who are looking for someone to connect with and -- tah-dah -- there's your group. 

    As for church, it was hard for me to get back to going. I looked for some people who were sitting by themselves and sat near (then with) them. Some of the older widows were especially sweet to me.  I got involved with the music / choir.  I signed up to bring stuff for the fellowship time. I offered to give rides to church.  That way, when those mornings came and I thought NO WAY I'm not going to church today NO HOW, I was stuck having to be there because other people were depending upon me (Note: Do not get suckered into teaching little kiddos during worship time... you'll be stuck for ages and you NEED the worship right now). I got sick a year ago and nobody connected with me. It was scary and devastating, so I asked a couple of people -- if they didn't see me in church and hadn't heard from me -- to give me a call or a text.  That's been really good. 

    Oh, and anytime at home on those days when you're knee-deep or worse in anger, reading the Psalms out loud, dramatically, is a great way to mix some rage with gratitude. 

  • Suzz
    Suzz Member Posts: 1
    edited March 2017 #44
    Support Group

    I have joined a group called GriefShare.  It's a national usually church based support group that meets once a week.  All are welcome no matter what your spiritual beliefs are.  It is very comforting to be with people who understand because they feel exactly like you do and are also experiencing grief over the loss of someone.  Topics of discussion range from common reponses to the death of a loved one to how death of a loved one affects your friendships. We have discussed nightmares, flashbacks, anger, guilt, getting stuck in grief, and so much more. We share many tears and heartfelt stories.  You can learn to find hope on this journey of grief.  You also form a special bond with your group members.  Information can be found on www.griefshare.org.  I sincerely hope this helps.

    I lost my husband of 42 years on January 20, 2016 to brain cancer.  I am very lonely indeed even though I am blessed with wonderful family, friends, and neighbors.

  • JerzyGrrl
    JerzyGrrl Member Posts: 760
    edited March 2017 #45
    Suzz said:

    Support Group

    I have joined a group called GriefShare.  It's a national usually church based support group that meets once a week.  All are welcome no matter what your spiritual beliefs are.  It is very comforting to be with people who understand because they feel exactly like you do and are also experiencing grief over the loss of someone.  Topics of discussion range from common reponses to the death of a loved one to how death of a loved one affects your friendships. We have discussed nightmares, flashbacks, anger, guilt, getting stuck in grief, and so much more. We share many tears and heartfelt stories.  You can learn to find hope on this journey of grief.  You also form a special bond with your group members.  Information can be found on www.griefshare.org.  I sincerely hope this helps.

    I lost my husband of 42 years on January 20, 2016 to brain cancer.  I am very lonely indeed even though I am blessed with wonderful family, friends, and neighbors.

    Wow, 42 years...

    Wow, Suzz, 42 years is a long marriage. I'm sorry for your loss, especially that your husband (and you) had to go through the cancer mess. 

    Grief Share is a good program, although how good depends upon the leader. Individual groups have their own personalities, too. I went to one GS group that was over the edge for me, the participants practically turning it into an evangelistic crusade (That's in poor taste, not to mention evidence of poor boundaries). So I found another GS group that was much more mellow.  Still, the materials are Christian faith-based, which can be intrusive for some on a good day - but quite comforting for others on a bad day. 

    I spoke to the leader of a "loss group," who told me they had effectively dealt with conflicts about any religious issues in their group by forbidding any mention of God in their discussions. I was assured that there were many religious people who attended. I'm happy for them. I also thought it was hysterically funny that they could address loss and grief, all the while not mentioning some sort of higher power or faith. 

    At any rate, I'm glad to hear you've got good support. I hope you're able to use this time to become best buddies with you. 

  • LKM
    LKM Member Posts: 2
    annesound said:

    My husband died 3 years ago

    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.   

    We have similar stories. My

    We have similar stories. My husband died 6 weeks after diagnosis.  One week before our 26 wedding anniversary. I still feel lonely and struggle with embracing my " new" normal.Take care ....

     

  • LKM
    LKM Member Posts: 2
    annesound said:

    My husband died 3 years ago

    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.   

    Same for me

    i feel the same." My husband has been gone almost 4 years.. I am still struggling..."

     

     

  • The lion
    The lion Member Posts: 1
    It been 200 days

    it has been 200 days since my wife of 52 years died of Cancer, 22 years ago she was diainosed with lung to the bone cancer and given 5% chance to live but we were very lucky and we had an incredible 22 years together until this year.  The Doc always said if it comes back it will come back with a vengence and it did. For 50 days 8 was with her  until the Cancer won. There are not words to describe the feelings of loneliness and pain you feel, which is there every day. We fell in love the first day we met and never stopped loving each other. During her last few days she said I needed to find someone because life is too short to live alone. At that time the statement hurt but now understand what an amazing comment it was and how amazing she was, it was like giving me permission.  But there will never be another person as beautiful and amazing inside and out as she was. On a scale of 1-10 she was a 12. Yes, the tears flow everyday.  They say time will heal, but how much time. You use to laugh and want to do lots of things and now the candle flame is very dim.

  • JosephK
    JosephK Member Posts: 64
    The lion said:

    It been 200 days

    it has been 200 days since my wife of 52 years died of Cancer, 22 years ago she was diainosed with lung to the bone cancer and given 5% chance to live but we were very lucky and we had an incredible 22 years together until this year.  The Doc always said if it comes back it will come back with a vengence and it did. For 50 days 8 was with her  until the Cancer won. There are not words to describe the feelings of loneliness and pain you feel, which is there every day. We fell in love the first day we met and never stopped loving each other. During her last few days she said I needed to find someone because life is too short to live alone. At that time the statement hurt but now understand what an amazing comment it was and how amazing she was, it was like giving me permission.  But there will never be another person as beautiful and amazing inside and out as she was. On a scale of 1-10 she was a 12. Yes, the tears flow everyday.  They say time will heal, but how much time. You use to laugh and want to do lots of things and now the candle flame is very dim.

    Hang In There Old Buddy

    There are many of us out here going through the same thing you are. You are not alone. It's almost been 90 days for me since I've lost my sweetheart. I feel your pain. Seek a grief group. It is helping me to a point. And check out a Website called Soaring Spirits. There is a great blog on there and it helps me when I read it in knowing there are others like you and I out there. Best wishes to you friend. I hope you heal soon.

  • Ladylacy
    Ladylacy Member Posts: 773
    edited July 2017 #50
    The lion said:

    It been 200 days

    it has been 200 days since my wife of 52 years died of Cancer, 22 years ago she was diainosed with lung to the bone cancer and given 5% chance to live but we were very lucky and we had an incredible 22 years together until this year.  The Doc always said if it comes back it will come back with a vengence and it did. For 50 days 8 was with her  until the Cancer won. There are not words to describe the feelings of loneliness and pain you feel, which is there every day. We fell in love the first day we met and never stopped loving each other. During her last few days she said I needed to find someone because life is too short to live alone. At that time the statement hurt but now understand what an amazing comment it was and how amazing she was, it was like giving me permission.  But there will never be another person as beautiful and amazing inside and out as she was. On a scale of 1-10 she was a 12. Yes, the tears flow everyday.  They say time will heal, but how much time. You use to laugh and want to do lots of things and now the candle flame is very dim.

    Grief

    I lost my husband 2 years ago this month and it is hard even now.  We were one month short of our 53rd wedding anniversary and had been dating for a year and a half before marriage.  I was still in high school when we met.  He was older than me by 7 years but that didn't matter to me.  He fought cancer for 5 years before he lost his battle and I was by his side the whole way so I can understand where you are coming from.  There are days when it is rough and our children think I should be getting out more and doing things but I can't.  I just take it one day at a time and I think about him all the time.   I say I am going to volunteer or go to the senior citizens center but have done neither.  I guess when I am ready I will do it.  

    Wishing you peace and comfort.

  • twlghtangel
    twlghtangel Member Posts: 8
    widowhood,, its been 6 wks

    hi,, i just  found this page,,, was married 46 yrs   ,,he passed  june 22 2017,,,  fought a good battle,, but now i  find myself alone,,,  each morning i wake i look to his side of the  bed  like i did  for 46 yrs,, but each morning it hits me again,,hes not there  nor will he be,,, i have no idea where i am going,, how i'm going   it seems like half of me is missing  and    i can't get the  half  that is still  here to   get it moving,, i feel lost... i  just want to stay at home     with   his memory all around,,,does it ever get better ..i don't know,,,  this month is his 67th birhday,,kids want to have a memory day,, i don't want   it but they do so i'll be here for them  ,,then when they go  back to thier homes  i'll  cry in mine,,,is it bad to want him back,,, missing him is so hard,,  i would write more but   can't see anymore...   if anyone wants to message please do,,,    its lonely  being in this spot...

  • ClaCla
    ClaCla Member Posts: 136
    TwilightAngel

    I'm so sorry for your loss.  Widowhood is my worst fear; worse than fear of cancer.  When you're ready though, technology has made it so much easier to make friends with people who share your interests.  On the Internet, check out Meetup.com for your area.  I don't mean for dating groups, just for groups of people who share your hobby and recreational interests.  For example, my husband and I belong to local meetup.com camping groups, where lots of older women camp without bringing anyone.  I even belong to several "women only" camping groups who do really fun things and support each other, like "Sisters on the Fly."  If you're not familar with meetup.com, you really need to check it out.  If you don't find a topic you're interested in, you can start your own meetup group.  Before the Internet, I always thought I'd join a support group like "Suddenly Alone" if I was widowed.  But again, there are lots of new ways to expand the circle of close friends we enjoy.  You may have to get on your knees to pray for the strength to get up and  just do the very next thing to get on with what's next in your life.  I've seen from people in our groups that it won't always be this hard.  Hugz and blessings to you.

  • JosephK
    JosephK Member Posts: 64

    widowhood,, its been 6 wks

    hi,, i just  found this page,,, was married 46 yrs   ,,he passed  june 22 2017,,,  fought a good battle,, but now i  find myself alone,,,  each morning i wake i look to his side of the  bed  like i did  for 46 yrs,, but each morning it hits me again,,hes not there  nor will he be,,, i have no idea where i am going,, how i'm going   it seems like half of me is missing  and    i can't get the  half  that is still  here to   get it moving,, i feel lost... i  just want to stay at home     with   his memory all around,,,does it ever get better ..i don't know,,,  this month is his 67th birhday,,kids want to have a memory day,, i don't want   it but they do so i'll be here for them  ,,then when they go  back to thier homes  i'll  cry in mine,,,is it bad to want him back,,, missing him is so hard,,  i would write more but   can't see anymore...   if anyone wants to message please do,,,    its lonely  being in this spot...

    I'm With You

    I lost my love on May 12th, 2017. It's a very lonely feeling. I'm only 52 , barely past the half-point of my life. She was 59. We still had years to look forward to if it wasn't for Cancer. I can't believe I have to live so long before I see her again. It's the worst feeling I've ever experienced. I'm currently going to grief counseling and I don't know if it's helping me. I have met up with other widows and widowers and it's comforting to be able to talk to tothers who know what you are going through. I never thought that I'd have to do this but it was a reality check in a way that I'd never expect. Just know there are many of us out there that are going through what you are going through. Seek counseling. It can help you. Join a grief group. It helps to talk to others that know what you are going through. This is a dark and challenging journey. Best wishes to you

  • iaoeyo
    iaoeyo Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2017 #54
    4 weeks alone.

    My husband passed away on 7/7/17, 7 weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.... we had been married 37 years... the pain is so raw.... I want so much for the world to just stop and let me get off.... 4 weeks and 17 minutes and it seems like it's been forever..... yet only a few days... 

  • JosephK
    JosephK Member Posts: 64
    iaoeyo said:

    4 weeks alone.

    My husband passed away on 7/7/17, 7 weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.... we had been married 37 years... the pain is so raw.... I want so much for the world to just stop and let me get off.... 4 weeks and 17 minutes and it seems like it's been forever..... yet only a few days... 

    I Lost

    I lost my sweetheart on 5/12/2017. It's very hard and just so you know you are not alone. My advice to you is to find a spousal loss/grief group. It will help you. Also, maybe go to a grief counselor. This also is helping me. There is another on line forum called Soaring Spirits. It's an incredible site especially the blog. Best wishes to you through your journey. If you ever want to communicate just reach out.

  • JosephK
    JosephK Member Posts: 64
    Help

    There are numerous things you can do to get help. Grief Counseling, grief group, spousal loss support, online forums. I do all of it and it really helps. Lean on your children too. It's good to have family to help you. Just don't think your pain is going to go away overnight. It's a process and journey you will go through. It's not easy, it's extremely hard. But the good news is that you are not alone. Do not be afraid to seek support and help. There are many of us out here that are like you and in the same boat.

  • mwa
    mwa Member Posts: 4
    edited September 2017 #57
    I lost my Margaret 4 months

    I lost my Margaret 4 months ago to pancreatic cancer. I am 53 and she was 60, we had 30 years together and I am also in a dark fog of loneliness and despair. Every day is a circus of pain and I'm not sure I can go on with this, not sure that I want to. Life is so empty without her, she was the wind in my sails, the life force behind all that I did. I have tried support groups and see a hospice councelor, but it only helps a little. I find that I have very little interest in life beyond caring for our cats, and am ready to join her. I have contacted mediums, and read many books about the afterlife. I know I must wait for my time. I hope my time comes soon.

  • JerzyGrrl
    JerzyGrrl Member Posts: 760
    mwa said:

    I lost my Margaret 4 months

    I lost my Margaret 4 months ago to pancreatic cancer. I am 53 and she was 60, we had 30 years together and I am also in a dark fog of loneliness and despair. Every day is a circus of pain and I'm not sure I can go on with this, not sure that I want to. Life is so empty without her, she was the wind in my sails, the life force behind all that I did. I have tried support groups and see a hospice councelor, but it only helps a little. I find that I have very little interest in life beyond caring for our cats, and am ready to join her. I have contacted mediums, and read many books about the afterlife. I know I must wait for my time. I hope my time comes soon.

    So sorry

    So sorry to hear of Margaret's death and of your struggles with grief.

    I found that support groups helped a little, too. Unfortunately, nothing made the grief magically go away. Grieving takes a while. Some days it's miserably hard work.

    Have you gone to your primary physician for a complete checkup? I found, as a caregiver, I hadn't been very tuned in to what was going on with my health. Not to mention, my slight propensity toward depression got clobbered by grief, so I needed to find a way to deal with that on several levels. I was on medication for a while, which - along with getting other medical things taken care of - really helped. 

    I haven't had cats, but I have had little dogs. I sure appreciate how they live in the moment and appreciate simple things. One of my favorite "meditations" has been to sit quietly and hang out with my dog, focus on quieting my breathing, and enjoy watching what's going on in the back yard. Sometimes we sit out in the back yard together, other times we're inside, watching through the window. I've learned a lot about how to find unexpected bits of joy, beauty, and humor in my day from our "meditations" together. My regard for sunbeams, birds, squirrels, and leaves blown by breezes has increased dramatically, too. It's also helped me get used to just being in my own company. 

    All the best as you go through this difficult time. Keep us posted as you're able. 

  • JosephK
    JosephK Member Posts: 64
    MWA

    I feel your pain. I had the same age difference with my Karen as you did with Margaret. Don't give up hope. It's been 4 months for me as well and it's hard. What you are feeling is normal to us. I know it's cruel but it's the new normal. We just have to learn to cope. In time we will learn. Keep going and talk to a counselor and a grief group. Talk until you can talk no more. Don't ever apologize either. Talking about her and your relationship helps. And remember, just because she passed doesn't mean your relationship with her ended. Everything you said sounded like something I would write. I did all you said. Just remember, she is looking over you and you will be with her again. There is no denying it.

  • mwa
    mwa Member Posts: 4
    Thank you for your comments,

    Thank you for your comments, it helps to know there are people who understand. I had an appointment with my counselor yesterday, she seems to feel I need something more than berievement counseling. She is disturbed that I haven't "improved" and that I have no sense of who I am without Margaret. We had an extremely close relationship, I loved just being with her and didn't like being apart. Is it really such a bad thing that I was so very attached to my wife? I think about joining her a lot, I've thought of taking my life many times but I don't want to hurt my family; my parents are in thier 80s, I couldn't do that to them. I understand I was left behind for some reason, to effect somone elses life I suspect, because I feel mine is over. I'm really not interested in starting a new life without her, although I have been forced to. I resist, I don't want to "get over " her... I know she is with me always, it just hurts so much to know our life together will never be the same. Her kitchen is as she left it, suspended in time, idle. No more wonderful smells, no more love created by her special way of doing everything, her special way of loving me. Miss her so...

     

  • Roger s
    Roger s Member Posts: 5
    Wife's recent cancer death

    My wife passed away from triple negative breast cancer in early June. In the last 3 months she went from a beautiful, independent woman to an emaciated, terribly ill and fragile person with a belly full of nodes and fluid, chest cavity filled with fluid, vomiting, abdominal pain and countless other symptoms of suffering and indignity. She died in hospital peacefully after being admitted with fainting episodes and low blood pressure. She left such a big void in our lives! I guess it's normal to have feelings of loneliness, anger and feeling overwhelmed . 

    It has been such a difficult and painful time for myself and my 2 daughters that I can't even describe how bad I feel. I am trying to look after myself, meeting with Friends , going out etc but everyone has their partners/spouses and sometimes I just feel like not being with anyone who not gone through what I have experienced.