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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

twlghtangel's picture
twlghtangel
Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2017

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...

JosephK
Posts: 65
Joined: Jun 2017

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

Roger s
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2017

I lost my beautiful wife age 56 to triple negative breast cancer 3 months ago. I have felt evrything that you are feeling. It is painful beyond words and the grief and loneliness is indescribable . All of us who lose their spouses tocancer especially afterwatching our loved ones suffer for months, go through the same experience and emotions. Our world crumbles and our lives go from a happy and fulfilling one to sheer hell. But the way I am dealing with it is this- I tell myself that I have 2 choices . I can either sit in a dark corner and cry and wallow

in misery , but that is not going to bring her back, or I can simply block out the sadness and get out and enjoy life, go out with Friends , exercise organise and rebuild my life, stay busy , after all there is so much to be done! 

Try doing the same and you will feelbetter. But you have to want to feel better and it IS your choice which path you choose.

I hope it helps , feel free to chat. You are not alone, a lot of us are going through this.

Roger s
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2017

I lost my beautiful wife age 56 to triple negative breast cancer 3 months ago. I have felt evrything that you are feeling. It is painful beyond words and the grief and loneliness is indescribable . All of us who lose their spouses tocancer especially afterwatching our loved ones suffer for months, go through the same experience and emotions. Our world crumbles and our lives go from a happy and fulfilling one to sheer hell. But the way I am dealing with it is this- I tell myself that I have 2 choices . I can either sit in a dark corner and cry and wallow

in misery , but that is not going to bring her back, or I can simply block out the sadness and get out and enjoy life, go out with Friends , exercise organise and rebuild my life, stay busy , after all there is so much to be done! 

Try doing the same and you will feelbetter. But you have to want to feel better and it IS your choice which path you choose.

I hope it helps , feel free to chat. You are not alone, a lot of us are going through this.

Bunza
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2017

I’m sorry.  I don’t know how this works.  This is my first time to write anything.  It’s been 6 weeks for me too.  I can honestly say that I understand how you feel.  My husband of 40 years went to heaven on September 12th.  Liver cancer.  He must have had it they said over a year but he didn’t have any symptoms until 3 months before the end.  I guess I’m supposed to be grateful.  I’m just numb.  I wanted to respond to you because I feel like what you wrote.  I just want someone who understands how bad this hurts.  And NO ONE can except someone who is going through the same horrendous pain Can. I loved your husband’s picture.  I need to put one of my Daddy.  It’s what I call him.  I just started searching for someone to talk to.  I have my kids but I have to be strong for them.  My husband was 60.  I just wanted you to know that I understand exactly and if you ever feel like talking please talk to me.  I had someone tell me they understood how I felt and then said because their dog had just died.  I can’t think right and I dont know how I’m going to make it without him. Every second of every day was about my Daddy to me.  I feel that I will never be happy again and I’ve always been very happy and always optimistic. I do still work.  But I’m not doing good.  It’s hard to sell a 500,000 house when you’re heart is breaking every second.  It scares me when I see people on these sights that are grieving so hard after years.  That I’m afrlaid will be me too.  I’m a believer in the Lord Jesus and I just knew He would fix my Daddy.  I’m struggling so hard to understand why.  He knew it would destroy me.  I just wish Daddy was here with me.  I just can’t stand it.  So thank you for writing. I don’t feel like I’m crazy now.  I just needed someone to talk to who really understands. I hope and pray it gets easier on both of us, all of us. Thank you so much. 

ClaCla
Posts: 137
Joined: Jul 2017

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.

iaoeyo
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2017

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
Posts: 65
Joined: Jun 2017

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
Posts: 65
Joined: Jun 2017

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
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2017

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's picture
JerzyGrrl
Posts: 760
Joined: Jun 2016

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
Posts: 65
Joined: Jun 2017

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
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2017

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
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2017

MWA I have exactly the same feelings as you after my wife's death. But for the sake of your family please don't harm yourself

I realise how painful it would be for Children and other loved ones to go through another funeral. It's the worst feeling. 

Roger s
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2017

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.

Coldbiker's picture
Coldbiker
Posts: 23
Joined: Jan 2016

My wife died on September14 after a 11 year fight with breast cancer. We were married 36 years, that now seem like a blink of the eye. When she had her mascetomy in 2005 I made a promise that I would be there until the end, no matter what. I had a couple of health scares that almost broke that promise. The last 2 years were pretty bad for her with bone mets, fractures and other things no one should have to experience. I was and still am humbled by Her strength  and  inner light through it all. I did home hospice for her and fulfilled my promise. Now I have no reason to go on. No family just me. It is astounding how fast a person's life is erased, Banks, credit cards, all the other things of modern life... poof gone, never existed. I keep a 14 day sanctuary candle burning in the fireplace. I talk to her everyday while praying. It's hard to deal with the guilt over feeling  relief for her being gone and having the suffering be over. Put simply I miss her so.

JerzyGrrl's picture
JerzyGrrl
Posts: 760
Joined: Jun 2016

Coldbiker, so sorry to hear of your wife's death. Wow. Eleven years -- that's practically a third of your time together. Again, wow.

Being a caregiver for someone at home is all-consuming, even when it's wrapped in love. When they die, especially if you've been there for and with them during their suffering, relief is a sensible thing to feel. They're not suffering any more. I was a caregiver for my parents (at different times), then my spouse. In each case, I felt as though I was adrift. What was I supposed to do? What was this "going on" thing? While caregiving was hard work, once my loved one had made their transition, I had the new hard work of remembering how to care for myself and connect with others as me.

I love your use of a 14-day sanctuary candle. That is such a wonderful spiritual, loving, and relational thing to do.  I wish I'd thought of that. I think I'll get some candles for All Saints Day and at least use them in November. Thank you for the idea. 

Keep us posted as you're able -- All the best...

Coldbiker's picture
Coldbiker
Posts: 23
Joined: Jan 2016

you hit the nail on the head, I pretty much stopped doing anything the last 3 years except support my wife, of course would do it again without hesitation. Two terrifying words that I’m facing are Now what. the flip flop of emotions is very hard. I hear a song or see something that brings a smile in an instant feelings of sadness because she isn’t here to share it. reality is she is gone, and I’m just biding my time. If I was younger then I would put more effort into rebuilding my life.  

JosephK
Posts: 65
Joined: Jun 2017

Hey, so sorry for the passing of your wife. I know how you feel. I lost my significant on May 12th and I miss her so much. She was my soulmate and it took me a long time to figure that out but she was and I hope she will be waiting for me on the other side. Cancer sucks and thats a mild term. I wish they could find something that could eradicate it. this disease has effected so many people and their families. They just need to find a cure and eradicate it once and for all.

morecoffeeplease
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2014

My husband and I were married for 36 years but together for over 40. He was the love of my life. Like everyone else here, I am struggling just to live with my grief. He had been diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma (very rare) over 4 years ago; we knew it was not curable but we worked very hard on that miracle called "survivability". After multiple surgeries, chemotherapies, clinical trials, and other treatments, the cancer finally won. We were told on September 20 that there were no more options. We were told that he had "weeks not months" left. That was my cue to invite all of our family and friends to our home to celebrate his life while he was still feeling ok. He enjoyed every minute of it! Our adult children took leave from their jobs and were home for the last weeks and hospice made sure he could stay at home. I have no regrets - we did everything we could and he died in my arms.

Now the house is quiet, I can't sleep, and even more strange, I can't cry. I feel numb and I feel like I am losing my mind. Every time the phome rings I think its him calling to say he's on his way home. I have read the literatiure and I realize that I am a textbook case of a grieving widow. I will be joining a bereavement support group next week and hopefully that will help. I only want to say that this forum helped me as a caregiver and it helps now to read about the pain of those of us left behind to build a life without a loved one. I feel a little less alone.

mwa
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2017

morecoffeeplease, I feel your pain, I understand. It has been 7 months since I lost my beloved wife Margaret, and have found grief to be unrelenting and always present. It is there waiting every morning to pick up and carry through the day. Sleep is an escape for me however, a chance to quiet the madness that rages inside my head while awake, and theres a chance I may dream about her. Melatonin helps get to sleep, but it is a problem when I wake up in the early hours and can't get back. All those tigers are released from thier cages and they wont return until they run about and exhaust themselves. Then, if there is time, and I'm lucky, the dreams come.

 I think the numbness you feel will pass and something else will take it's place, emotions more intense as the top layers recede; grief evolves over time. It helps to talk to others when the madness comes, I hope you have people around you that will listen. They don't have answers, they mean well but won't really understand, only those who have lost their special someone will. But ultimately we alone know the closeness we have with our loved one, and others were just visitors in our world.

 I know that my Margaret is with me always, she watches over me, cares about me. I talk to her constantly and I know she hears me, but it is heart wrenching not to hear her voice in return. She speaks to me in a different way, a more subtle path, directly to my heart which she holds in her hands. I believe your husband is with you as well, just because his body exhausted itself doesn't mean his soul has, he is simply in a different place, a place where pain doesn't exist and he is at peace, waiting for you to join him.

 There seems to be no cure for the likes of us, perpetually in pain, waiting for our time when we may join our special ones. I feel lost and adrift most of the time. I go to work, take care of our house and our cats, do what I have to do. But her special light and love that made all the work seem worthwhile is not there. The magic has left, and its just me in a world of memories looking into an abyss of misty uncertainty. I want to be with her, at her side, where I belong. But I am trapped here, waiting and wondering when my time will come.

 I hope you can find a little comfort. I have watched the old movie "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" many times, I love it for some reason,especially the ending when they leave hand in hand. I also recommend books by George Anderson, I have read them all to tatters and refer to them constantly when the madness is fever pitch. I wish peace for you, and for what its worth, you are not alone, there are others like you.

joniwriter
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2017

Everyone keeps asking me "Are you OK", "Doing OK?", "You have to keep going", and I try to smile, nod my head and say something trite like "one day at a time".  But I am not OK, and I will never be OK again.  We were together 30 years.  I am 58 years old. He was 68, and was full of life.  He was never sick a day in his life.  Then cancer took over and 10 months after he was diagnosed, he was gone.  I still can't believe it.  This will be the first Christmas without him. He was born on Christmas Day.  I feel like I am living in a nightmare I can't wake up from.  I took care of him at home doing in-home hospice and the last month was horrific for him and for me.  I did my best to care for him.  But I could not make him comfortable, and I could not save him.  I really don't want to live without him.  And we had no children so there is no one who loved him like i did.  Sure there were lots of friends and family, but no one who can comfort me now.  I want to see him again.  Hear his voice again.  Touch him.  Hold him.  This is just too hard.  And on top of everything else, I lost my job while caring for him, and now may be losing our home.  It's just all a bad dream.  I go to sleep at night and pray that I won't wake up again.  We were both very independent people.  We had our own friends and lives, but we also always had each other.  We went threw a lot of life together. He made me laugh. And knew how to lift me when I was down. I feel like my life is over.  The loneliness I feel is suffocating me. 

 

mwa
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2017

Joni, I know exactly how you feel, our stories are very similar. I read your post nodding in agreement to everything you wrote. People seem to mean well when they ask "how are you doing?" Really want to know?  I would like to tell everyone that I'm not well at all, I am profoundly broken and I want all creatures great and small to know that the world is a bleak and lonely place without my sweet Margaret walking amongst us all. I'm out of my mind and hurt all the time. I don't want to be here anymore. Thats how "I'm doing". I also go to sleep praying to not wake up, it is more and more difficult to get up and going. Without her, there is little motivation to face the day. I do not like this new life, the seperation from Margaret is driving me quite mad. Yet, I keep waking up and wonder why. I think of those couples who have been together a long time. One passes and the other soon follows. I wonder why I'm still here? I love her as much as a person could possibly love another, why haven't I followed? I certainly want to. It is not my time, I am told... How to make that time come sooner?

 Margaret was 60, I am 53. The thought of going on for another 20 years or so is unthinkable to me. But then, who knows when my time will come? What do I need to learn so that I can go home to her? It is on my mind constantly. She is the love of my life , there is no one else for me. What is life without your special love? We were both rather alienated from our families and clung to one another. We created our own world that others just visited from time to time. She loved Christmas, and her birthday is on the 27th. I would rather avoid the whole event, but I know she wouldn't want that, and the kids and grandkids need me to be there in some capacity. So, I suppose I will try to be there for them, and to honor the traditions Margaret and I created. But it will be a painful, lonely day, like all the others only more intense.

 I am lost and adrift as you are. They are with us, watching and caring for us , waiting for us to join them. But we are here and they are there for now. How do we cope? I don't know really. I talk to her all the time, and I feel her with me. I pray a lot. I have pictures of her everywhere. There is no fixing this problem; for me , I won't have peace until I am at her side again. Support groups, talking with others who also suffer are like little band-aids on a gaping wound. They help a little, but it wears off quickly I find. I am staggering on like you, but reluctantly. I am dragged down this stoney path where I do not want to go and I miss her desperately.

 

 

 

sawilson's picture
sawilson
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2017

My soulmate died sixteen months ago after a very painful fight with stage four colorectal cancer.  We were together 41 years.  I'm mad at God, not because He took her, that's His prerogative, but because of the way she died.  We prayed so hard for her healing.  Eight months into her treatment, after surgeries and chemo, we were told she was cancer free!  Our doctor called it a miracle.  We thanked God and gave Him all the glory.  We were so happy.  Four months later she was dead.  Now I find myself angry at the God I love.  I don’t go to church anymore.  I’m lonely and confused and all I want is to see my wife again.  There are so many sad stories here I guess I just wanted to add mine.  God bless.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1862
Joined: Aug 2010

I lost my husband of 40 years three weeks ago so I am still very emotional.

The faith my husband and I shared holds that God does not cause our deaths but knows when we are born the moment we will die. Jim was ill for the seven years after his successful cancer treatment. While we knew his death would come sooner rather than later, we tried to focus on making sweet memories.

Was in church today for the first time since Jim's service. While he had been too ill to attend for many years, I still missed his arm around me and his deep bass voice.

Praying time heals your wounds and cools your anger although it may be what is sustaining you now.

Jodyannie
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2018

5 weeks today for me.  Married 40  years.    Trying to keep moving but it’s so lonely without him 

JerzyGrrl's picture
JerzyGrrl
Posts: 760
Joined: Jun 2016

40 years together is a long time. So sorry you've lost your husband. Five weeks, it's still so fresh. Ouch. I hope, in spite of your loneliness, you will be able to do things that are kind and a comfort for you.

The keeping moving thing? I found I could sit in one spot for hours. It's tough. Fortunately, I also found that going for a walk early in the morning was helpful. Not too many people out and about, but the birds and the sunrise reminded me that some things in the universe were still going according to plan (Even if I was jealous of that fact). Hang in there. 

Hugs to you - 

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