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Surviving the death of a spouse

Updated on June 1, 2013

Surviving the Loss of a Loved One - a young widow's story

My name is Tanya Clapshaw, and I was widowed after 16 years of happy marriage. My husband Dwayne died after a year-long struggle with melanoma cancer. Less than 40 years old, I was completely unprepared for people's reactions, the legal and financial craziness, or the breaking of my own heart.

Honey, I've been through it, head down and plodding, but made it. I've come out the other side, and after eight years still miss my first husband every single day. I am here to let you know that you can survive being a young widow or widower, that life is worth living, and that you are not alone. Let's talk together, and see if my experiences (and my mistakes) can ease any of the burden you're feeling right now.

Love,

Tanya

P.S. My husband Dwayne's eulogy can be seen here .
I did not put much in there about our relationship--those of us who knew us, knew what we were.

Keep breathing....

The best advice I ever got

Everyone seems to want to give you advice when you're widowed, whether it is financial or relationships or living situations.

The best advice came from my hospice chaplain, who told me I only had to do three things:

-- Get out of bed at least once every day

-- Take out the trash at least once a week

-- Keep breathing.

All the rest is gravy.

Take your time, don't let anyone push you. Even if your well-meaning friends and family have been through what you have, they still aren't YOU. Everyone grieves at their own time and in their own way, and everyone has their own story. I offer the information here to you knowing that, and hoping that you might find at least one thing on this page to help make your journey easier.

Why People Used to Wear Black Armbands

alternately titled, "Don't Mess with the Crazy Person"

After living through the loss of a husband, I now know why people used to wear black clothes or armbands during a formal mourning period. I used to think that it was kind of quaint, and was a way to honor those who have died. Maybe that is true, but I think it is more than that: it is a warning.

It shows others that we're not ourselves.

It warns others that if they do something wrong, we have the right to be irrational and holler at them. We may even thank them for being the target of our pent up feelings.

It announces that we may cry at the drop of a hat, and forget things, and may be wearing two different colored shoes.

It let's them know that we need love just the way we are, as crazy as we are, as we try to heal.

I vote we bring this practical custom back.

If you read one book on widowhood, make it this one

Widow To Widow: Thoughtful, Practical Ideas For Rebuilding Your Life
Widow To Widow: Thoughtful, Practical Ideas For Rebuilding Your Life

This book was so practical, and was written by people who had actually been through the horror of losing a spouse. It was very helpful to read it and know I wasn't losing my mind, other people had gone through the same problems, and gave me ideas on how to cope and deal with situations. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

 

Weirdness and the Opposite Sex

A Young Widow's Survival Kit

WARNING: When you're young and your spouse dies, some people seem to think it is kind of like you two just broke up. People will try to do what they think will help, and to many of them, that means asking you questions about who you'd be interested in, or trying to set you up, or making a move themselves.

In classic literature, young widows wound up taking poison or joining a monastery--they didn't stick around to wonder what to do next. With older widows, people expect them to grieve gracefully and be alone, but the younger ones just confuse them.

When my husband died, I just couldn't cope with well-meaning people, or those on the prowl, so I took a vow not to worry about men for a solid year. That took the pressure off me, and let me concentrate on just trying to make it through the days and nights. It gave me something to tell people to deflect them, and was a tremendous relief.

Another trick? Got people bugging you? Get a protector. I mean a friend who is a wonderful PIT BULL of a person, ready to step in and talk to people if you need it. I did this, and it saved my sanity. He was able to have the strength to put his foot down with people who wanted to interfere, take advantage, or bully me. I'd simply tell them to talk to him about it, and left it at that. No other explanation was necessary.

Stick or Run?

You'll start finding out who your friends really are.....

Being widowed is a crucible, and you'll find out pretty quickly who can stand the heat. I found that people almost universally broke into four different groups:

--RUNNERS--it was almost like they thought cancer was contagious, and once my husband had passed away, the rest of them ran so they wouldn't have to deal with me, or their own uncomfortable feelings, or whatever. I say, good riddance.

--MEAN WELL-ers--say they want to help, and genuinely feel bad about things--for awhile. This is human nature, that other things in life happen, their schedules and priorities don't mesh with yours, or that they get tired of always seeing you cry. I don't bear them any ill will, because I understand exactly why it happens.

--LOOKY-LOOS--who want to be part of your story. The drama appeals to them, either to live it with you, or so they gossip to others how much they know, and how much they've helped you. You can either weed these people out, or just ignore them and keep your personal business away from them...........unless you want it broadcast to the known world.

--JEWELS AND GEMS--those rarest of rare friends, the ones who understand that if you call at 11 PM saying, "I can't stand to be in my house alone tonight" that means they need to get in their car, bring a toothbrush, and sleep on your sofa. These are the rare ones that go out of their way to include you in their holidays or their outings (even if you do kill all the conversation the moment you show up), who check in with your answer machine every day (because you're so demented you don't answer the phone anymore) just to say they're thinking of you , and that they love you. or who surround you as a buffer at those tough social situations.

Eric, Sam, Bob, Lara, Rob, Jerry, Damon, Alison, Misty, Dawn and Mark--love you guys. So many others held my hand through those first months--THANK YOU.

For Widows with Children

From Surviving to Thriving (young) Widowhood with Kids
From Surviving to Thriving (young) Widowhood with Kids

I didn't have children when I was widowed, but I have friends who did. I've been told this is an excellent book, with some solid common sense ideas on how to live through such dark times.

 

What works (and what doesn't)

A few simple rules can help you heal

--Take one day, one breath, at a time. Grief comes in waves, and how you feel one day may not be how you feel the next. Much like labor pains, it sometimes helps to look back and think "Well, one more behind me that I don't have to do again.".

--Know your calendar. Anniversaries, birthdays and Valentine's Day take on a new, difficult meaning for those of us working through grief. Also, several months after the death, it becomes apparent that the loved one is not coming home, and it all becomes real. Timing may be different for different people, but most of the widows I've talked to mention this time frame again and again. When you feel those tough days coming up, cut yourself some slack.

--Protect your health. Take a good multi-vitamin (I lost about half my hair that first year, due to stress). Make a promise to try to have one really nutritious meal everyday, and to limit drinking alone.

--Try to maintain a semblance of a sleep schedule. For example, you could have a goal of being in bed by 11, with the TV turned off by 12.

--Getting out of town has benefits, and problems. Many widows travel quite a bit that first year after the death, trying to have some peace away from all those memories. This works somewhat, but flying back into an airport, when you know they're not going to be there to meet you, can be devastating.

--Friends and Family--can be either a blessing or a curse. You'll find people will say "if you need anything, let me know," but that you won't call them, because you don't want to intrude, or ask too much of them. It is hard for us to learn that LETTING them do something for you is giving THEM a gift--it lets them try to do something useful, and express their own grief, too. Let them help, if you can. Tell them you could use someone to trim your lawn, or wash your dog, or just answer the phone those first few days. One of my friends simply stayed in my home during the afternoon of the funeral, as he'd heard that sometimes thieves read the funeral notices in the paper, and target houses they know will be vacant during that time.

Money and Other Monstrosities

Nothing like working through intense grief....and then having money complicate the issue. Big fun.

FUNERAL EXPENSES--you may have cash or a credit card in reserve to pay for this, or you may not. Prices vary widely, and funeral directors often will not take an IOU, while you wait for life insurance payments to arrive.

LIFE INSURANCE--some people have it, some don't. Check through all the paperwork to see if you do, if your spouse did not tell you beforehand. If they were employed, check with the employee assistance department to see what benefits you're entitled to.

WORKING WHILE GRIEVING--many of us have to work while we are dealing with legal, emotional, and personal matters. If you can, find an advocate/friend at your company, who can help deflect well-wishers who just want to pepper you with questions, or who can cover for you if you need a bit of time to yourself. This isn't weakness--it is a survival tactic, especially if you plan on keeping your job.

FINANCIAL COUNSELING--if you get a good financial advisor, they are worth their weight in GOLD. Especially if you're going to have a chunk of money from a settlement or a life insurance payout, see a competent financial advisor to get advice. Almost every young widow I met blew through much of their inheritance before they knew it, and wish they'd been more frugal, or set up annuities. I mean it--go back and read this paragraph again.

Want to HELP someone who's been widowed? - Advice for friends and family

Trying to help someone who's been through loss can be tough. You may offer help, and they may turn you down, they may cry a lot or not show up when you've invited them somewhere. Here's a few ideas on how you can help:

--Don't lead, FOLLOW. The new widow may not know where they are leading you, or what they'll need tomorrow, but you can just be there when they need it.

--Give advice cautiously--Don't tell the new widow what to do, unless absolutely necessary (like nuclear disarmament necessary) or unless they ask you. Really. This is their story, and their grief may lead them in all sorts of directions that may not make sense to you, but may be part of their healing.

--Let them go at their own pace. Different people grieve different ways, at different speeds. She may be having a great week, then suddenly have a very tough time with grief. This is normal.

--Be aware they're not going to be "themselves" for awhile--It's nothing personal, but you may look at your friend or family member and wonder where they've gone, and who is the alien that has taken their place. Grief, like any major life event, changes people.

Don't Ask for the Dead Man's Golf Clubs: What to Do and Say (And What Not to) When a Friend Loses a Loved One
Don't Ask for the Dead Man's Golf Clubs: What to Do and Say (And What Not to) When a Friend Loses a Loved One

Full of practical advice and tips on how to help someone who's just lost a loved one. An excellent source for common sense ideas.

 

Don't get suckered

Beware of those who want to take advantage

I'd love to say that all people are truthful, with good motives and pure souls, but that just isn't so.

Nothing brings out the pond scum of the world as much as a perceived weakness or opportunity for gain. As a widow, is is very common to have people take advantage during those first few months. This could include

--developers or real estate agents who pressure or cajole you to sell your home

--"psychics" who tell you they can contact the dead

--"friends" or family who suddenly need a loan (especially if there's been a life insurance payout)

Do yourself a favor--don't do anything in haste. The classic advice is not to do anything BIG (i.e. moving, changing jobs, etc) for the first year after your loved one's passing.

What Kind of Support Do YOU Need?

Different strokes for different folks

Yes, you can go it alone, but WHY? People who have been through grief, or who are professionals who understand how to help people going through loss, can truly help.

--COUNSELING--I never used to believe that old adage about how bottling up your feelings could cause problems. After Dwayne's death, I believe it in SPADES. Counseling, whether with a group or one-on-one, can vent out those toxic emotions, help make sense of what's going on, connect you with resources, and let you choose when and where you'll have your big meltdowns. Weird, but true, and worth the cost and time it takes.

--FRIENDS--Remember what I said about those gems in your life who may not understand what you're going through, but want to support you anyway? God love 'em!

--SUPPORT GROUPS--can be good or bad, depending on which one you get into. It seems to work best if young widows form their own group, often after meeting in a larger grief group. Also, people who are widowed at about the same time go through a lot of the same problems and pitfalls at the same times, so it is wonderful to talk with others who really understand what's going on in your life, and in your heart.

--OTHER PEOPLE vs. SOLITUDE--sometimes, it feels good to be alone, and sometimes you're going to need people around you. Listen to that little voice inside of you that tells you the difference.

--ONLINE RESOURCES--there are online groups for widows, but I'd be cautious and do some research before joining one. It is very difficult to be dealing with one's own tragedy, and have a daily email deluge of new widows, telling their stories and asking for help and advice. It is best to be part of a group, in person locally or online, made up of people who started their journey about the same time you started yours. The stages, problems, and phases will make a lot more sense to you, without the crushing weight of seeing all those new widowhoods unfold.

When looking at widows.....

...DON'T JUDGE THEM.

Some will get in a new relationship and be remarried within weeks or months of their spouse's death. Some will blow their money, or neglect their kids, or go through men like potato chips. Some will request meds for depression, and some won't.

To you, the behavior may make no sense, but to them, it is their way...THEIR WAY....of surviving.

Love them anyway, and only interfere if they're doing something really, really stupid (recreational drugs, etc).

The Stupidest Things People Said to Me

Figured these deserved a category of their own....

Ahem. Isn't it amazing how your nearest and dearest can sometimes mean so well, and still be so THICK? God bless their pea-pickin' little hearts...

--"Is there anyone you'd be interested in?"--said four days after I buried my husband

--"Why don't you move in with your parents?"--my parents lived in Alaska, and I was nearly 40.

--"You're still crying over him? What's it been, three months?".

and, the all time stupidest thing said to me, actually said at the reception after the funeral....

"I know how you feel. My dog just died".

People, I can't make this stuff up.....I won't even go into the story about the man who tried to kiss me four weeks after my husband's death, or the guy who asked me out the week after that.

Stuff You Don't Want to Hear

...but I'm going to say it anyway.....

I know what it's like to have so much grief it feels like if you explore it to its depths, you'll be sitting on the bottom of the ocean, wondering if you'll ever see the sunlight again. You worry if you go that deep, that you'll never come out.

The truth is, yes, someday, you will.

Things will get better. Slowly. There may still be days when the darkness swirls around, but someday you'll find yourself being startled by hearing a laugh---and it will be you.

We never forget, but slowly the wound doesn't hurt quite as bad. I felt guilty when that pain eased up a bit, but after awhile I realized that this is part of the way things play out. I had chosen to survive, and to live again. Love does NOT die, but luckily for us, pain does ease.

I wish for you laughter and joy in in the future.

I wish for you peaceful sleep and true peace in your heart.

I wish for you HOPE.

Love to you all,

Tanya

P. S. I have been so touched by the amazing and heartfelt comments that people have left here! I am now putting together some resources for young widows, including writing a new book specifically addressing the unique issues we have. If you are interested in being interviewed via email for this project, please GO HERE to help others by sharing your experiences and wisdom. Anyone who provides a quote or idea that is used in the book will receive a free copy for their Kindle. I respect your privacy, and will only pass along what you tell me if you give me your permission. Thank you, Tanya

My guestbook and feedback lounge - Do you have any advice for others going through the same situation?

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      tess 2 years ago

      wow Tanya, your posts are awesome, and having lived through the loss of a spouse not once but twice, then burying all my other family. I can honestly say people have NO IDEA how to talk to you, how to help your grief, or how to relate. Death leaves a hole, that can't be filled. Oh and the men, lol, they think they can come in and take up where your spouse had been, shocking about their ignorance!!!! I have had 3 fatal attractions, because they "think" they can help me. Ah NO!!! they don't even measure up at all, not that I was looking for that. Can I just say, if you find yourself widowed. GET THEE TO A GOOD GRIEF COUNSELOR, and work out the stages with them. It was the best advice I ever got and sustained me through the STRANGENESS of others and their attempts at helping, and for those that disappeared when you needed them most. It is a PROCESS, and everyone PROCESSES it differently, so ALLOW yourself the time and space needed for YOU, based on YOU, and not some formula that others contrive for YOU. And really, don't enter into anything that requires cognitive decision making-realize you aren't ABLE to do that adequately. Take someone rational with you to any and all meetings who can think clearly, it is IMPERATIVE to make decisions based on logic and not emotion, and until you work THROUGH the many emotions, you aren't truly CAPABLE of making GOOD logical decisions that can AFFECT your future. And above ALL, resist the need or temptation to explain your decisions, people WON'T get it anyway. It is YOUR life, protect YOURSELF, and do NOT feel the need to defend those CHOICES. Be true to yourself, you convictions, etc. and if you make a bad choice or decision. THAT IS OK, that is part of the journey, be able to FORGIVE yourself for the learning process, and the learning curve. Best of luck and blessings to ALL who find themselves in a loss situation, you can survive, it just looks, and feels different than the image you once had, so work on replacing the image and take it moment by moment, day by day. And remember, others might look like they are doing it better, but we all have our issues and various things we need to work on as part of the journey. Focus on your own STUFF, and not what others think of you, say to you, expectations of you or for you. It is YOUR life, do what helps YOU get through YOUR journey successfully.

      Tanya, kudos for writing your story, and sharing it with others!!!!

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      kate 2 years ago

      Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address dr.iyarespelltemple@gmail.com, have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that i will have my husband back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my husband. Thanks for Dr. iyare. His email: dr.iyarespelltemple@gmail.com

    • profile image

      marian 2 years ago

      Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address dr.iyarespelltemple@gmail.

      com, have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that i will have my husband back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my husband. Thanks for Dr. iyare. His email: dr.iyarespelltemple@gmail.com

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      laura-johnston-716 3 years ago

      I lost my husband and love of my life on August 1st, 2013. We were married 6 years and 5 months to the day. He also had a massive heart attack after we made love. He had COPD and other health issues. We had been to the beach that day and were making plans to go back for the day on the next day. We lived with my stepson and he and I did not get along. I stayed as long as I could and left. I left because I feared for my life. I am trying to go on but it is hard. I am very lucky in the fact that I have a daughter and son-inlaw that is letting me live with them until I get a job and have enough to get out on my own. if you have family to support you, that is all for the good.nobody grieves in the same way. Everybody is different. it does not matter if it is husband or wife, you are going to grieve different. Another person cannot say that they know how you feel because of the fact that they grieved at a different pace. If their spouse was sick for a long time, they may have done their grieving while that person was sick .Every time my husband had surgery, I grieved because I did not know if he was going to survive.I still have my moments and will continue to do so. I just know he was ready to go because he was tired of hurting day in and day out.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I lost my husband and love of my life one month ago. I don't know how to decribe how i am feeling. I guess i am still in disbelief. I miss him so much!!! his last few weeks were painful as he battled lupus. Being a nurse I kept pushing him and encouraging him to get better. We have two children. ages 13 and 9. I still can't believe he is not here and I am not going to see him in the hospital either. I wrap myself in his clothes at night just so I could smell him. I am 42. we were together 23 years!!!! it hurts so bad I feel like I can't breathe!! I must be the worst parent because everyone tells me that at least I have the kids but it is not enough.I want to be with him...sooo lost!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I'm sorry for your loss,Darla. It is definitely a lonely walk. Everyone grieves in different ways and it may take some longer than others to heal. Some people don't even want to believe they will heal because it seems like they're saying they'll "get over it." I'm not sure you ever 'get over it' but you do learn to live again. It becomes a part of who you are. It hurts less. All the best to you.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I'm sorry for your loss. People say stupid things because they don't know how it feels, or they don't know what to say. As if that makes you miss him less. It's a pretty scary feeling. Hopefully you have someone who understands on some level that you can talk to. I've lost two husbands, one when I was very young, the other two years ago. The first one, I didn't know what to say. Now, I say something, in as kind a way as I can. Something like, "Oh, is that supposed to make me miss him less?" It at least makes them think and perhaps won't be so ignorant to you or anyone else. It is maddening! I have got tired of it being minimized.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I lost my husband and love of my life one month ago . He was 42 and had lupus . We have a 13 y/o daughter and a 9y/o son . He was the best dad and husband ! I miss him so much . There are no words to fully describe his absence now . I was always praying for a little more time .each day is more heartbreaking than the day before .. Just wondering if it will always feel this way???

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      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Congratulations on publishing this courageous, candid article. I hope many read it.

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      Joanie Ruppel 4 years ago from Keller, Texas

      Well spoken and may I add that much of your advice works not only for young widows but older ones too. You give good tips here that will help those in need.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      At 47, I'm not a "young widow". In fact, I'm not really technically a widow. My fiancé died on June 1, 2013. We dated five and a half years and lived together a year and a half. Even though we didn't have a legal document that said we married, i always called him. My husband. He was only 55 and died in my arms of a massive heart attack as we were making love. He was healthy and strong and had just gone to the doctor 15 days before and was given a clean bill,of health. guess I'm at the denial stage, because I keep waking up and saying out loud to him,,, stop playing this stupid game I'm getting tired of it. I just want him back! This week, I went back to work, and I worked ten hour days just because I didn't want to go home to an empty house. My office mate grabbed my arm today and told me how strong I am. She told me if it was her, she wouldn't have come back to work already. Well, I have no choice, and I don't feel strong and she didn't realize that three times this week, I went into the bathroom and cried like a baby. Anyway....after being In an abusive relationship for 25 years,,,my sweetheart was a breath of fresh air. We never once had an argument, we told each other we loved each other every day. I know I was loved and I kinda feel robbed...like I had this really special, unique gift and someone broke into my house and took it away. I want it back! I want him back!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      My husband of 7 years passed away on May 20 after a hard battle with cancer, leaving behind a beautiful 5 year old daughter. I am so sad and sometimes I just want to give up and die with him. I hope he knew how much I loved him. I've never been a very sentimental person... 10 days before his death, it was our 7th year anniversary. When he mentioned it (I was in the middle of struggling with bathtime for our daughter), I just blew him off. On the day he passed, I was at a baby shower (though I was home towards the end). I just feel so guilty... I haven't shown him any love these past few weeks and just kept nagging him to be strong, that he just have to have the willpower to live and he'll make it. I was in total denial that he would actually die and now that he has, I've completely fallen apart, ridden with guilt. I am so sorry love... if you are up in heaven, please know that I miss you and love you and will never ever forget you.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Winnie, I'm sorry for your loss. And I understand the guilt. I was so busy with my business when my second husband died and I've had lots of guilty feelings. But we have to accept that we did our best. You were carrying a huge load. One things that I've found helpful is to just have a conversation with him, as if he were there and tell him how you're feeling and that you're sorry. It will help.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @karliraquel: I'm sorry for your loss. It's true that some peope take the smile to mean that you're doing fine (whatever that is.) I hope you have someone you can talk to about how you're really feeling. It's okay to feel all kinds of things, and it's scary. Drowning is one good word to describe the awful feeling. I've lost two husbands and it's no picnic. PM me any time you like.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 4 years ago

      Unfortunately, I have had several friends and family members become widows/widowers in the last few years. You offer some wonderful advice. I am so very sorry for your loss.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Im so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband.My soulmate and best friend died March 24th 2013 of cancer also and i know exactly what you saying. It's been almost 2 months since his passing and I have good days and I have bad days, the bad mostly come when i home alone am and have too much time to think. What helps me get through is faith in the afterlife and one day we will meet again but my problem at the moment is the waiting for when that will happen. I too talk to him daily and it helps me get through rough days. God bless you and I will say a prayer for you daily along with my Mike.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      My husband Don of nearly 25 yrs [April 29th] passed away after a brave battle with Cancer on March 6, 2013. I cannot believe that he is not 'somewhere' so guess that is denial..but cannot wrap myself around the thought right now. He was my best friend and a great husband. Agree about the stupid things people say--keep saying I should write a book--but am keeping a journal and talk to him and that is helping me on some levels. Thank you for all the good advice.

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      rleightardif lm 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Karli: I'm sorry for your loss. I can feel the grief in your words. My first husband and I dated for two years and were married for one. I've always said they were the best three years of my life. My second husband passed away two years ago. People do say the stupidest things. I think it's probably because of ignorance, but I don't think we have to take it silently. Think up a remark that makes them think. Like, "oh, you think so do you?" Or come right out and say, "I don't think anyone knows that who hasn't been in these shoes." You're right. No one, absolutely no one knows how you feel if they haven't been there. It's true that you will never be the same. You will have to find a new you, a new normal. And it takes time. Don't rush yourself. It is so hard to accept that they are really gone. I remember when my first husband was drowned. It was a couple of years later, and I recall it clearly. I was looking out the window and thinking that I'd never see his truck drive in the yard again. My heart physically hurt. It was awful. And those crying times where you feel like you could lose it can be rather scary. Hopefully, you have someone you can talk to who does understand. One thing I found comforting after my second husband passed was this. I got a large cosmetic bag and put his wallet and all the little things I could find that he'd given me over the years, our wedding pictures and love letters, in it. I put it on the bottom shelf of my night stand. I knew it was there and I could pick it up and rifle through it when I wanted to. I found that very comforting. Anyway, I didn't mean to ramble on that much. But I do wish you all the best.

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      karliraquel 4 years ago

      @anonymous: My husband died last week. I'm 25 and I feel like I'm drowning but everyone sees the smile on my face and they assume I'm going to be okay. I keep telling them I know I am but I don't really believe it.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      My husband of 6 1/2 months died on Tuesday April 30th, 2013 in a motorcycle accident. We were together for 6 years and they were the best of our short lives. I am 25 years old and he would have been 29 on the 22nd of this month. I am drowning and yet still breathing. The people who tell me it will be "okay" I want to punch in the face and yell and scream that they're wrong. Only one person has had the ability to tell me that it will never be "okay". She lost her husband 3 years ago and she said I will never be the same and I will never be "okay". For some reason this has helped me more than anything else over the worst week of my life. I understood once she said that that it didn't have to be "okay". But I breathe, I eat when I can stomach it, I sleep with the help of drugs at the moment but I won't forever, I spend time with family when I can't stand to be alone and I go home when I can't stand to be around family. I'm able to hold it together most of the day by keeping the knowledge that he's gone hidden in the back of my mind, but it only stays hidden for so long. I'm drowning and he's not here to save me.

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      rleightardif lm 4 years ago

      Hi Tanya: What a nice lens. I've been widowed twice and your view is so spot on. The black arm band is interesting, Might work if the rest of the world knew what it meant. lol It is amazing the things people do and say.

      You mentioned calling a friend when you needed one late at night. When my second husband died two years ago, my cousing told me to call her any time of the day or night. And I knew she meant it. I never did need to do it, but it was so nice and comforting to know that the offer was there. I've since said the same thing to three people. None of them have called me in the night. But I hope it was a comfort to them. One of them, I'd met at a grief support group and we connected, but of course didn't know each other well. She looked at me with astonishment and couldn't believe I meant it.

      It's a tough journey, to be sure. Wish I'd come across something like this the first time, but then we didn't have computers forty years ago, and I didn't even know I could have found a book.

      Enjoyed your thoughts.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I just lost my Husband of 29 years to cancer. He was only 57 years old. Trying to find my way. Thanks for your blog. Lizbeth

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Tanya,

      Thank you for this article for me you hit the nail right on the head with pretty much everything you wrote.

      My husband was killed three years ago and although I am in a much better place than when it first happened I feel as though I still have huge "wobbles" that will affect how I am that day, so I have to revisit my initial survival techniques. Your three pieces of advice in regards to "get out of bed...at least once a day, keep breathing etc" are exactly what got me from hour to hour, day to day, week to week and so on.

      I also completely agree with your black arm band resurrection idea. I think that would have been a great help during those first few months. And your identification of the four category of "friends" was classic, I wish I had known that at the time.

      I find your article today three years on for me but having one of those "wobble" days where I need to know that what I am feeling is "normal" and okay. Not a day goes by when I don't think about what happened. I have a nice life as it stands today, I mean it is completely different and I had to work through some impossible things to get here but its nice and I think this also eats away at me too. This new life has all the possibilities of being great but I am taunted by what I had before, how great my life also was then (and not so great, I am not completely misguided) but it makes me feel uneasy, not worthy and guilty.

      That is why I turn to find answers today and I find your article. You have put a smile on my face that I did not think I would find today. Thank you.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for this web site! I lost my husband 2 months ago. He was 26.. I met him when I was 18 and we dated for 2 years and married for 4. I'm so lost, heartbroken, and angry cause he is gone.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I dated my husband for 6 years and we were only married 116 days before he died of a heart attack at the age of 48...We were a team, a force , iron sharpening Iron and then he was gone...died...left me. I relocated and left a area I had lived in for over 30 years and now I am here recreating my life...My faith and God's beautiful Big hands have guided me this past year and I feel so much HOPE and JOY for my future. I feel like a caterpillar emerging from the cacoon. Advice after only 1 year may be helpful...

      IT IS A VALLEY YOU ARE IN...YOU WILL NOT LIVE THERE

      IT IS YOUR PAIN/GRIEF...DON'T LET OTHERS TELL YOU HOW IT IS SUPPOSED to LOOK

      HONOR YOUR SPOUSE BY DOING WHAT WOULD BRING THEM JOY

      MEMORIALIZE THEIR LIFE...IN TIME YOU CAN LOOK AT PICTURES AND STUFF AND START TO RECREATE THEIR LIVES IN ALBUMS,SCRAP BOOKS, FRAMED PICTURES, VIDEOS

      TALK, TALK, TALK,JOURNAL, EXPRESS,LET IT OUT...FIND A OUTLET

      DON'T DRINK ALONE

      BE AWARE OF THINGS YOU WIL DO TO TRY TO FILL THAT VOID...BEING BUSY, EATING, DRINKING, SPENDING,ALWAYS ON THE MOVE

      BE STILL

      BE QUIET

      BE UNCOMFORTABLE...BE OK

      PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY

      BE IN NATURE

      TALK TO THEM AS IF THEY ARE THERE

      SEND CARDS TO ALL THAT LOVED THEM AND THANK THEM FOR THAT LOVE

      REACH OUT OF YOURSELF TO OTHERS IN NEED...THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE

      DREAM

      REALIZE WHAT AN AMAZING STRONG PERSON YOU HAVE BECOME OR WILL BECOME

      BLESSINGS DEAR SISTERS ON YOUR JOURNEY OF HEALING.

      SIGNED, In the fight Colleen

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you very much for sharing.

      I lost my beautiful, loving, caring wife of 24 years on Friday, October 5, 2012

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have been widowed for almost 6 yrs after 40 yrs, having been married to the love of my life! I moved away immediately (3 mo. after the funeral) to be closer to my sister. I never stayed long enough to grieve. To this day, I cannot return to visit where we lived for 40 yrs. without feeling absolute devastation. In addition, I met someone 3 yrs. ago, and actually married again. Three mo. later, I was in a psychiatric facility. I was looking to "resurrect" the marriage I had lost. DO NOT make ANY major decisions until at least 1 yr. after your loss. DO NOT enter into a new relationship (especially remarriage) for a long, long time! Any remarriage must be at least equal to, or must surpass that of the former marriage. Anything less will be a disaster. I am still 140 mi. from "our former home", but back living alone. I have my sanity and my identity back but I have paid the price.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hello it has been 2years sense my husband passed away at the age of 34 he was murdered on the streets and found in his car.we have four kids. I still feel like it happen yesterday. I cryed many of nights lost sleep many of nights he was my soul mate. We had a lot of good times and some bad but

      We loved each other around three month prior to his death we had been kinda not speaking. I feel like I have been cheated out of letting him know how much I love him.I still don't like being alone and I have very bad trust issues with people.I put in my head that we was just have a disagreement amd he would be coming home soon until one day I seen a couple of cars like his and I began to drive around and it hit me that I

      Would never get tge chance to see him again or tell him I loved him. I felt and still feel all alone. His mother and I don't get along so the bond of sharing those memories with the person who loved him as much as I did can't be shared from us because we can't even be around each other. It has divided his family as well as mine cause no one in my family understands and think I should just pick up and be over it. I look at my kids everyday and see him and I find joy in that because that is a blessing that was a gift I also look at them and see the same hurt and pain I feel I really don't talk to no one about it anymore because they look at me as if im crazy they say I talk as if he is still hear, or the stange looks or they just change the subject. I just started working again and it keeps my above water but the moment that I get to myself or watch an emotional stoy I be on a emotional roller coaster. Im sensitivie to every thing don't even like watching the news oh I haven't mention that I realky haven't had that cry of asking why? Becsuse I always feel like I have to get myself together pick up the pieces and be strong for my kids and everyone eles I look at it as being a strong person but who strong for me. How do I pick up?

      How do cope.with this pain that's buning inside and screaming out for help and no one hears it?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Tanya,

      Thank you for this, my husband passed about on January 8th, 2013 at the age of 23. It's been almost two weeks since. Every day is a struggle, I have had to make choices you don't dream of making until your well into the later years of your life. To everyone I seem fine, I am able to get through everyday without crying. At least in front of people, but on the inside I'm screaming. I've lost my will to live, but reading what you had to say. It gives me new hope. That I can actually feel the way I pretend to act, like I can actually make our goals a reality. I never dreamed of being a 24 year old Widow, but my husband Michael gave me the best years I could have ever asked for. If it weren't for him, and his memory I don't know where I would be today. Thank you again for the advice, it made a world of difference.

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      miaponzo 4 years ago

      Very inspiring... thank you so much for sharing this with us! Blessings to you!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am sorry for your loss. It is insensitive when people try to shift the focus of grief from you to them by saying "I know know you feel; my grandma/sister/father/dog/uncle just died." That is like saying, "Let's talk about MY grief now!" when you are the one who should be the focus. The fact that the person mentioned a beloved dog is not the insensitive part though...a dog lives day-to-day with a person and can be everything in his/her life. It's the dismissing your grief and turning the focus toward themselves that's so rude.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I see U posted this 2009. My H died Nov 19, 2012. Stage 4 cancer, diagnosed about July 27, after an accident when he passed out, while driving a car hauling truck (his work). We were doing protocols outside the box, but he had 2B hospitalized the week B4 he died. I brought him home Nov 18. Nov 19 I went out 2 get extra oxygen tanks; we thought we might need more than the 2 @ home. While out, missed his call about 1 hour 15 mins later, while signing 4 the oxygen on the loading dock, where I learned his oxygen was supposed to be 4 not 6. Came home & found him on the floor; oxygen tubes in 2 different areas, separated by 10 ft. I had told him I was worried about leaving him alone; he had smiled & said, "I'll be okay." I know he might not have survived this cancer, but when he was in the hospital 1 doc told us whatever we were doing was working (something in his neck was shrinking, as we wanted). I believe he's in heaven, but I miss him, & certainly was not ready to let him go; had so much both emotional & practical we needed 2 discuss. I know we all tend to blame ourselves & do all the "What ifs," but it just seems 2 me, in my case, this was terribly tragic. He had an episode in the hospital w oxygen deprivation when he took it off to use the bathroom. Nurse noticed it, (I hadn't!) We saw how that affected him. I know he died suffocating, terrified, alone, tried ot contact me. I live with this. I hope he forgave me, & didn't die in those minutes angry w me. I know he loved me.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: wow! can relate to everything you wrote.i know it is awful.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi DR, I lost my most cherished husband a little over a year ago and I am still asking when will it get better. I think maybe the reason we don't feel the "better" is that we miss them so much that we feel less than whole. But if I am honest I am getting "better" I don't cry every day anymore, I am less angry with the world and those around me, yes many friends and family said dumb insensitive things. The one that tops it for me was "you will be fine as soon as you get another man" REALLY. The mundane parts of life go on the bill paying the returning to work etc. Slowly the intensity of the loss subsides but the love and yearning stay. Take your time, let it happen at your pace. Do get out of bed every day, get dressed at least every other day, eat at least 1 good meal it is really good advice. Also try as hard as you can to take a walk as often as you can. It is crazy but a walk helps. Don't look to get over the death because you are setting yourself up to fail, with time you just learn to live with it.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: After several months now, I hope that it has gotten easier for you. My spouse passed away about a year ago and even though I still miss her each day, the physical, emotional and mental pain is not as harsh. I wish you the best ... JNC

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      My wife of 37 years passed away about a year ago from cancer and I still think of her each day. The emotional pain and grief that I experienced in the first six months was unbearable. Even though I had a full-time job in a neighboring state, I didn't want to go back to work nor talk with anyone. After 2-3 months I tried to focus on my job but it was not working for me so I finally decided to retire even though I was making a six figure salary. Through my employer, I was able to receive free treatment with a therapist which helped to a small degree. After nine months I finally retired and moved back to our house to start the process of removing my wife's personal possessions which was the hardest thing that I had to do. It is now one year since my wife's passing and I still think of her each day, but the emotional pain is not as painful as it was in the first six months. I've donated many of my wife's clothes to charities with the help of my daughter and kept the sentimental gifts. As I continue to go through my wife's personal belonging I find things that she kept that I gave her such as Valentine cards or little notes saying "I Love You. When I find such keepsakes I break down. I'm hopeful that in the years to come, I'll be able to enjoy life again. Thank you for allowing me to share my experience.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I am so sorry for your loss. I know you are in a deep valley of despair right now, I have been there, too. Just take one day at a time. One step at a time. It will get better, the fog of sorrow will lift. Remember sorrow runs deep but love runs deeper. Hold onto that love.

      Widowed for two years and four months.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Does it get easier

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: @ DR ... I have to say I know how you feel. My husband was diagnosed with lung cancer on march 27 2012. Within months he wa gone .. Oct 11 2012 We had Been together since 1978 ... I was 14. He was 17. we were married at 17 and 20 Never separated Never parted Been married 31 years. Together 34. I am devastated .. How could this happen ?? What happened !!! ?? I don't remember what happened in the year that is almost over. Like you I am making decisions that I can't even comprehend .. I am numb I don't even know my name half of the time .. I go to sleep crying and wake up crying .. Although I have lots of family and support. .. I feel so so very alone .. He died in iCU after 11 days. The funeral parlor was horrible place for me I went in the morning. I could not handle it. I went home. Until the service started 4 hours later. ... Somehow I felt a little peace when I went back. Why I don't understand. I guess the initial shock was over .. This man was my whole life We were one person .. I really do understand. That you cannot take those jobs. How can you ? I would feel like you were moving on without him and you certainly could not focus .. I understand about not wanting to go outside to even get groceries and I really do feel that. You could have a million people around you and Your all alone ... I cannot tell you or help you or give advice because I feel your pain .. I feel the heaviness of your heart. Everybody says it will get better ( they just don't know ) I don't even want to answer the phone half of the time .. I am hoping I don't fall into deep depression. That is the last thing I need ( but antidepreesions pills are not helping me neither ) The world seems so lonely and I am beginning to doubt life What's left ? God took everything I believed in. I know this letter probably won't help you whatsoever $6. I just want you to know. That your not alone. I will pray for you

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      CanInsure 4 years ago

      Sorry for your loss.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      thank you for your experiences. I lost my husband of 38 years August 9th. He was laughing and kidding with the guys at work and just dropped dead. He was 61. I am going back to work monday, as a hospice nurse. I took some time off to take care of things, to be by myself and to try to make sense of it all, to reset my life which has been blown apart. I am feeling a little better, one day at a time. But am afraid the pain will come back and hit me like a tsunami when I am not looking. I am blessed to have good friends and my sisters. I took a trip to talk to my elder aunts who both lost husbands a few years ago, and spoke with friends that are widows. But it is still something we have to go thru alone. I appreciate each of your postings, and learn from all of you. I did laugh today- my crazy sister dressed up like HoneyBooBoo and took a pic of herself and sent it to my phone. She has called me everyday, she has listened to me sob, and has talked me down from the ledge a few times. I pray you may have someone in your life to do the same.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      It was so "refreshing" to see a current posting by others in my situation since I feel so alone all the time. Lost my husband and best friend to cancer after less than a year about 9 months ago...been a nightmare from beginning (diagnosis) to end but I think it's actually been worse over the last few months. The reality has set in for me and my kids. I've gone for help and it is good but nothing else makes any difference other than keeping busy at work or with some friends. I just feel like I'm taking up time and space at this point with no real purpose other than settling his affairs. Also, I'm 55 so it appears to me that most men in my age group want younger (50 or less) women and I'm too young to find a lot of other women in my situation. Feel free to comment.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      i am a 30 year old widow for 4 months and two weeks my husband of 11 years passed away in his sleep we have created two children together my oldest is 4 and yougest just turned 2 on saturday iam at a point were idk what to do? i miss himm so much and it seems to get worse at first i think i was in deniel like he was out of town or something me and my son and mother n law just started grief counseling and relized we are not alone and my son has been asking more questions ..i don't know how life will be and i am scared to be alone (been living with the in laws)..i have already enrolled back into college to keep busy and buy that house we always wanted ..for now iam lost..how long will this emptyness last..

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Oh my word, its like reading my own letter, exactly what you are going through I have experienced and nobody seems to understand, they just want to fix you and I find it so patronising. It was nothing you did wrong to place you in this position of being so needy and yet why does one keep getting the feeling that that is how others treat you. Especially church folk, I find they come from a position of strength and are so quick to come with a solution for you, 'why don't you do this' or 'have you tried this' or ' you should do ....' As if you never had a family and brought up children or ran a household or any of the things you managed to do before being widowed. My husband also died of cancer, mesotheliomia cancer of the lining of the lungs through asbestos poisoning (2 years ago) and although I have good days most of the time it is the financial strain that gets me down. I have started a bed and breakfast and it is very very hard work. But with Gods help I am getting there.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for column. I enjoyed reading it and it was very helpful. I lost my husband three months ago in July and feel more lost everyday. Every day is a struggle. We met after high school and were married 32 years. There were good times and bad - of course but we made it work. I started going to therapy session when my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He suffered for about 18 months with that horrific disease until he passed away in hospice. The last two months of his illness were really, really bad. People have said a lot of stupid things. A lot of the same ones listed. The most ridiculous I heard after he was diagnosed was from an old high school friend. Her response was "Well if he is saved then what is the problem? He will just be going home." I almost smacked her upside of the head. Seriously ! The pain is not just emotional but physical as well. I feel like I am going crazy. I wish we could wear black arm bands. I also vote to bring back this custom. I might start wearing one anyway. Sounds like a good idea. I don't know what to do or where to go. I am forced to make difficult decisions and I just do not want to make them and have no idea how to make them. I warning light on the dash of the car went off the other day and I just burst into tears. Little things have become monumental tasks. I try to make small goals to do something everyday. But some days I just can't do anything. I dread leaving the house, going to the grocery store and being anywhere where there are a lot of people. I still try and take my little dog on a walk every night. Sometimes I have to force myself but she enjoys it so much. That is something my husband and I did every night so again even that is hard by myself. I feel as if things should be getting better not worse. I am still going to therapy and the therapist insist everything I am feeling is normal. But, I don't feel normal. My kids try to help but they are grieving as well. My daughter is condescending and my son bossy. I understand they are just trying to help their mother in the only way they know how. Friends and family really do try to help but I feel like I am withdrawing into my own world. It is true that when people ask "What can I do? or "How can I help?" even if you knew what to ask for - you don't. I don't want to burden other people with my junk. I do not want to talk to anyone. Sometimes I just want to pack up and start over somewhere else. Away from the memories and the pain. Away from the stress of no money, bill collectors and probate legal issues. I have been offered two jobs but turned both of them down. Every single person I know told me I was crazy to turn them down. I know I have to go back to work but don't want to and am not ready. And other times I just want to be left alone. Even though I already feel so alone and so tired. When will it get better?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: So sorry, Antoinette. I lost my husband of 13 years on July 3, 2012. We were flying home from a vacation in Orlando. He was laughing and talking to our 11-year-old daughter and just stopped breathing. That was it. He died. We will survive, and the amount of time it takes to grieve is OUR time. It will never go away. It will always be sitting there waiting for us to deal with it. Be kind to yourself. Again, I am so very sorry.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi alice.

      I'm saddened to hear your story and everything you have mentioned I can relate to.

      I'm 27, and recently lost my partner suddenly whilst 8months pregnant with our son. We also have a 4yr old daughter.

      I feel far to young to be dealing with this pain and like you am struggling to find support groups for younger widows.

      I feel constant pressure from people judging me, everyone gossiping about how I am coping. When in actual fact they have no idea, my life has become one big act. Nobody knows how I feel as I refuse to show my weakness for people to gossip over.

      The only reason I've got this far is because of our children. Our gorgeous daughter and our baby boy who will never meet his father.

      I'm sorry if this message doesn't make much sense but I was drawn to your comments and I guess I'm looking for hope that I'm not alone in what feels like the most unbearable pain :(

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Sorry I forgot to mention Im 27.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi

      I recently lost my partner suddenly whilst I was 8months pregnant with our second child. He is now 14 weeks old.

      I was just wondering if you had any advice at all on how you deal with the immensely difficult task of supporting your daughter though the loss?

      We also have a 4yr daughter and although she initially seemed to cope well I am now finding that she's increasingly becoming distressed particularly at night. The loss of her father who she was extremely close to very closely followed by the birth of her brother has really put immense strain in her and she now acts like a 15year old. Can you recommend anything at all to try to help her regain some kind of normal childhood?

      Thanks in advance.

      Corrine

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I just lost my husband on his birthday on August 19th. After going out to celebrate his birthday he went to sleep and never woke up. I spent almost 16 years with him and let me tell you we were one person. When I inhaled, he exhaled. I am 35 and all I'm thinking is how do I live this life for the next say 40 years without him? Everyday is a struggle but I somehow have to keep moving for my kids. It is so true people who you thought were your friends disappear and there are those who totally surprise you and are there for what ever you need. You do worry do I talk so much about what I'm feeling that people are probably sick of hearing it but I say the heck with it! You are going through something that a lot of people don't understand how you feel. No one can tell you when it's time to move on and get over it. You lost the closest person to you, how do you put a time limit on your pain? If you do receive life insurance please be mindful on how you spend it. This is to help you financially for hopefully years to come. You have to remember you are a single income now which besides emotional stress this can be another life altering mess and once the money is gone its gone. And yes, avoid giving loans to those who find out you have come into money better yet keep it to yourself. I have done just that because at the end of the day we are responsible for the finances left behind. Last thing to remember....EVERYTHING! The good and the bad times and don't beat yourself up for any of it. You two lived life! Bless you all!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Six weeks ago I became a widow. I lost my 24 year old husband, I was 25 (2 weeks later I turned 26) and our son was 12 days old the night that he was taken from us. I have searched everywhere for young widow groups etc so if you happen to know of a good one, I'm up for any suggestions. I read so much about other young widows but there seem to be hardly any around our age. I realize no matter the age that it all hurts so deeply and losing your spouse is devastating. I never imagined experiencing such tragedy, the overwhelming darkness that surrounds the situation of young widowhood. The heart peircing pain of losing the love of ones life. I still shed tears for my son and my hero, our dear Travis, who was violently taken from us by armed robbers. He was bravely gaurding the door with only his bare hands keeping two men out of our apartment. The gunman shot him and they ran. I'm so side tracked I don't even know where I was going with this. I'm sorry for your loss and truly understand your pain. So many say they understand but only other widows can really say that. I've had people compare this sudden loss to a divorce or treat it like a break up, but we were in love, and we were so happy about bringing our newborn son into this world an taking care of him together. my son is the only light in my life and only reason to keep on living. He doesn't have his father any more so all he has is me. Anyway, I feel that widowers should stick together and shed some light on society that we are still people, just people going through a hard time.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am a young widow, 24 years old. Lost mine a month ago, and the pain is indescribable and reading this really made me understand things better, i know it will become better eventually, but i think that people who know someone who has lost there partner or someone, that they should read this. People are so cruel, and yes, i found out wuickly who is my true friends, but i will do what i have to now, and give myself real time to grieve however long it may take. i still need to be a mother to our 4yr old daughter, thank you for posting this

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      My husband passed away less than 2 weeks ago unexpectedly. He IS my soulmate, my best friend, and the only family I have. He was a very, very good man towards everyone.

      Talk about people being cruel! My "strongest supporter" backed out after only 2 days of support because she was " too busy." Didn't even send me a sympathy card.

      Our dear neighbor didn't waste any time asking me out...the same day my husband passed away! NO, thanks!

      Because I have chronic medical conditons, I had a short private viewing. Nevertheless, I received only ONE sympathy card, and only ONE bouquet of flowers was sent to the funeral home. I am grateful for those gestures. No one came to my home.

      Anyone who said: "if there is any thing I can do....," couldn't even be bothered to sign the online obit Guest Book, which was my only request. One person did sign, but so thoughtlessly, that it was embarrassing and it hurt.

      My only local support came from complete strangers: Hospice, (who we were not even connected with), and from a Church member organizer, who I never even met, invited me over the phone to come to grievance gatherings.

      Fortunately, I have a cousin in Europe who was supportive, and a Priest friend in CT, who was also supportive. I am grateful for them.

      The things that hurt is that my husband was a very good man towards everyone, and he deserved more respect and acknowledegement from people we know. Also, it was unfair that he was taken out of this life when he had just retired 2 years ago. We were just about settled in to our new home in FL. We had looked forward to many years of enjoying life after all the years he had worked so hard to get what we have. Also, he took care of me with my ill-health.

      I say to other people: People who are grieving are hurting very deeply from a very painful wound. It is a very, very sensitive time. So don't add salt to the wound with your insincere sympathies, or meaningless comments, or any of your thoughtlessness.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      IM 36 AND HAVE BEEN WIDOWED TWICE IN SIX YEARS I HAVE 2 KIDS AND AROUND WHERE WE LIVE HALF THE PEOPLE FEEL SORRY FOR US AND THE OTHER HALF CALL ME THE MERRY WIDOW .A TERM I DON'T THINK WILL EVER GO . PAUL AGED 29 WENT IN HOSPITAL WITH A CHEST INFECTION DIED 4 WEEKS LATER.FROM RARE BONE CANCER.

      11 MONTHS LATER I ACCIDENTALLY FELL FOR GARY AND STARTED ALL OUR LIFES AGAIN. EXACTLY 6 YEARS LATER ALL BUT 3 WEEKS ,GARY PASSED AWAY FROM A MASSIVE HEARTATTACK AT EASTER . WHICH HAS BLOWN US OUT OF THE WATER . TWICE IN ONE LIFE .

      I DON'T WANT SORROW JUST WOULD LIKE TO NO IF THERE IS ANYBODY IN THIS WORLD THE SAME AS US .I HAVE CONTACTED VARIOUS AGENCY IN THE UK AND THEY DON'T HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH US THANKS FOR LISTENING tanya

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      sflawrence1 5 years ago

      @Country-Sunshine: my husband retired in sept we were going to travel and see places . in April they found the lung cancer stage 4 ON july 19 he died Yesterday was a month since his service and i had a terrible day I think I cried all day I have been trying to stay busy but i injured some muscles . so it was also the first time i have been in physical pain without him around to hold me and tell me everything will be fine you have about a month on me on time I walked down the coffee isle in the grocery store Sunday to get coffee I do not drink coffee he did .

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      i have no great advice just take one day at a time i have just completed my first month i have days a break down and cry for hours i have days i can laugh about things we did together i do not like the feeling of unsurity I am a person who has everything planned not any more just call me scattered brain i am 58 i was married to my third husband 17 years. fir experience 2 divorces they are a walk in the park compared to this . some days i question my sanity pray for me

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I am just at the 2 month point of being with my husband George at age 47. Labor Day Weekend would be our 23rd Wedding Anniversary, we were together for 27 years. I love your writing. Your words sing to me, resonate deeply in my soul, aching heart and confused mind. What I am supposed to be doing? Feeling? Thinking? This is just INSANE! I had to drive one of my husband's best friends home because he was drunk and he couldn't keep his grubby hands off of me, had to kick him out of the car. YUCK! I just ordered some black arm bands. I wore them from a torn up sheet at first and it was great. It really sent a message to be delicate with me. Leave me alone. I want to wear them for the next year. That's a good number. Thank you for being so bloody honest. I need this website! Thank you.

      Sandy W.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I didn't think I would ever be the the one that would had experience an lost like mine! I lost my husband of Colon Cancer in September 2011, and have an beautiful 3 yr. old daughter. The annivesary is coming up on Sept. 5' and I feel like I need to plan something Big for me and my little girl to get away- so it will not be harder, being at home alone where he passed. Any suggestions?

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for the very good info. Please keep posting, because your advice is helpful. I lost my husband to melanoma five years ago, and I'm still staggering with grief.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I lost my husband six weeks ago He was 49 cardiac arrest I'm horrible how r u holding up they say time heals I doubt that

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: i know this was a while back but how are you today. on june24th 2012 my husband passed at 49 of sudden cardiac arrest we were togethter 24 years i am in this dark place and all the nervous and anxiousness its llike a black hole that i am in i have no joy in my life if have two kids one is older and i miss him so much did you ever get the joy back

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Aloha! My husband passed away after an 11 month fight against anaplastic thyroid cancer. He was 34. We've known each other since 11. He and I were together for 7 years. We have a 9 month old son that keeps me distracted everyday. My husband was my world. He is my air, the other half of me, my everything. I know that sounds weird considering we have a child and our son should my everything. My husband and I had our ups and downs in our relationship, but it never was about him and I. It was always the "other women" in his life affecting us: his grandmother, mother, daughter, and ex-girlfriend. But at our core, we were strong.

      I miss my husband soo much. My heart is broken. There are just two things that get me through the day: our son (again he's 9 months) and knowing that the love of my life isn't in pain.

      Many people who see me out and about are surprised that "I'm so strong". I'm not as strong as they think I am. It's those quiet moments that are torture for me. We did EVERYTHING together. Now, doing anything by myself is awful.

      I've been reading online and researching about others going through similar situations. I've also started reading "90 minutes in heaven".

      I take every moment as they come and everything else day by day. I'm going to meet with the police psychologist (my husband was a police officer) to sort out my feelings. Also, I was supposed to start work 15 days after my husband passed. Yeah right! And, because I was on my husbands medical, it expired 14 days after he passed "because he was no longer on payroll". My son and I are now on medquest....quiete a humbling moment after working and always having medical.

      I will always love my husband. He made me feel beautiful, loved, and just wanted. I don't think I could EVER love another man the same. I miss him......

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: becca, I know how it is with kids. My husband was my soul mate. We had almost 28 years. Rob died on April 29, 2012. It sucks!! I still miss him. Our three kids miss him very differently so what works for one of your boys will not work for the other. I am 46 and he was just 50. I have gone through our son's 17th birthday, first mother's day, first father's day, first July 4th, and worst was the first anniversary he wasn'there for. I chose to take a girlfriend (whose birthday is July 3rth & was our anniversary) to lunch for her birthday and go out with some girls from work for dinner. It was the best thing i have done for myself. To celebrate life on a day that could have been horrible. it was hard but i know Rob would have wanted me to do something for myself.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      July 29th will be 3 months since my husband died. A friend said she thought i needed to talk with someone so I am seriously considering it. I have been very lucky in how great my support group (family, friends, etc) has been. I was widowed at 46. My Rob was 50 when he died of a heart attack in our family car. I had to get a vehicle righ away. It seems like Murphy's law is alive and well. I have a great gift in that i know where Rob is...WIth our Heavenly Father. It is an ocean of feelings and there is no real guide to help. I know God has a plan for me but i am not ready for it yet.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks Tanya, for sharing your experience. I lost my husband last December. So much of what you say is true! It's a comfort to know I am not alone.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi I don't know why I sent my email address instead of my name - sorry instead of Kingsbbp@agnet.co.za please just record me as Alma. Thanks. Thank you for this website it has made me feel so much better..through what I am experiencing. lots of love and appreciation

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for reassuring me that I am not so needy. I lost my husband on the 24th January - a tragic story but enough said. I am just finding it very difficult to move on because of closed doors - however maybe they should remain that way and I have other doors opening and blessings from my family and very close friends who comfort and sustain me. However it is the feeling of being totally dismissed by some friends - so very hurtful but maybe they have their own issues. I just know that I have come to acceptance and I give thanks for my own life. Every meal I prepare alone I enjoy and I give appreciation; I look at my world very differently; I see, witness and am aware of every moment to moment experiences and feelings.. My family, my garden, my pets, my work - in fact my whole life is open and alive with all possibilities if I just respond to it and let go of all hard places in my heart... - all the inspirational books I read allows me to show gratitude for my life. I also have connected in a deep way with God and have kneeled to pray to Jesus and you know my life has become calm and more manageable. We are definitely supported, loved and understood; How would we manage without God's Grace to face everyday, through the trauma of such sadness and loss if we were not given the Divine strength? It is such a mystery but it is so powerful and real. I have lost loved ones in the past but the loss of my man has been the biggest challenge ever...

      I just want to wish all those who are grieving to be kind to themselves; never to judge themselves through this process and to find themselves in a better, stronger and loving place where they can once again enjoy life fully without the sadness. God Bless

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: My Soulmate of 25 years was killed on the way home after falling asleep at the wheel. He talked me into moving to his home state. we packed up the house 2 kids ours together was 19 (ours) my son that he claimed and raised as his own 26 & a cat & chihuahua.TEN months later he is gone. never would I believe this superman would leave me! Its been 6 months it feels like hours ago. I think if only I would have been with him I could of saved him or go with him . Now Im without him the pain and grief takes my breath away.Im also so mad that he broke his promise to me. That he would naver leave me, He is the only man that I have truly loved . Tomorrow is his birthday.7-12-69 @ 8;28 AM. I just can't find a word that describes the hurt pain loneliess sadness guilt anger I feel. Can't wait until we will be together again ETERNAL LOVE.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      My husband passed away 2plus years ago it is the worst thing in the world. People do not make it easy they think enough time has passed and because you take care of the things you need that you are fine and should be over it. Only those like us know how hard it is and truly get it. They are real when you talk to them they may still be in your same bubble place. People say he meanest things. Why do people you thought were friends no longer communicate with you? Family can really suck they pretend to care but only talk about you and make assumptions but do nothing for you? It is no ones business how long need to deal especially if they cannot just be there or bring you food etc, why is it people cannot think of something nice to o on their own. Why do people think if you do not ask you would not appreciate kindness and emphay cards or letters of kindness really do mean a lot How would we know if someone is thinking of us if they do not tell us? We are not so conceited to believe someone is always concerned for us It is nice for someone to give a hug or kind touch without saying a word those people seem the most sincere. Just because you don't ask for help there are things people could just do. I am sick of hearing how strong I am and doing a good job they hve no idea how hard it is to loose your whole world way to young and struggle with what to do because your plan was to do it together ,people show up for a visitation or service nd all go home to the life they choose. I did not have a choice nd was put in this situation out of my control . People should quit making themselves feel better by pretending they are trying to help but they are just making conversation for their own benefit. Try to think of something that might help you in a tragedy and do that for someone quit thinking you know when you never lost a spouse. It depends on the real tuinship you had to how you cope Yes some people move on quickly that does not mean everyone will nor they will ever want someone or could ever find someone else I say good for you but quit thinking I should be seeking someone that is not in my realm of thinking. I am not saying never you do not know but not for now. Try to talk to someone like us if you can that is the only thing that has kept me going sometimes because they get it and make you know you are not the crazy one it is the ones that spread lies about you that need help. Older people have grown children that come in nd help with finances, maintenance etc but when they are not yet out of the house they are still kids and you are still taking care of them and you have it all to tke care of alone nd no one to talk to about anything. It will if ever be a long time before my kids would feel any consideration for me as a person and not their caretaker. Why can no one think of you as a person ? Many cannot be your friend without your spouse or treat you as a person. You realize very soon after the passing how alone you are and it is no fun. People think because they want you to move on you just can well you cannot just do it. You do not get to choose when things trigger emotions etc. I keep taking care of things but does not mean you are not tired of always bing responsible alone! As they say you really find out if you had sny real friends. We get your life goes on do not assume ours is ok talk to us and about our spouse. The special days are still that to us those days do not change. All occasions are hard for me people could invite you and care if you are alone but most do not. Quit saying people just do not know what to say - seriously!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I met my wife when I was 17, and for the next 26 years she was my best friend. lover, and my great love. I woke up each day looking forward to just being with her. When she died, our two sons were adults; our youngest is disabled. Ten years have gone since I watched her take her last breath.

      For me, this has left me haunted. Not with a ghost, but of memories made, and hopes and dreams never to be. At night, my dreams are filled with another life where she did not die. I sometimes wonder if I am haunting her, or her memory is haunting me.

      Do not misunderstand: I am at peace with her death. I know she is gone, and I will not see her again; people die, that is the way it has always been. I do not fixate on her; no emails to her old email address, no shrines, no walls of photos, no wallowing in grief, no hanging out cemetery, no deification (she was no saint and I loved her as she was:-).... but I am haunted.

      This is not how I want life to be, but it is not a matter of letting go because there is nothing to let go. The memories are there and I can do nothing to change that fact.

      My theory is that once memories are hardwired, they remain. Dreams reinforce these, and prevent memories from fading. Memories can be fluid, and they can fade totally if not reinforced.

      This is my experience. I have no advice or solutions. Life does go on. I have loved since and have had lovers. But it is an altered life, and one that has never been as bright. This may change for the better at some point; I do not know.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Tanya, Thank you so very very much for this post. I was widowed at 43. ALL of the things you describe happened to me too. The jerk who left his wife who showed up at my house 2 months after Joe's death and announced he wanted to marry me. Then I called his wife to tell her what he was doing, and she has spent two years calling me a whore to anyone who will listen. The people who have told me I am sick when I ve still cried.

      After 2 years I decided to date a wonderful guy, so wonderful that we are now considering getting married. Ive had pamphlets for treatment programs for prostiutes dropped on my doorstep. Losers who want to borrow money, yes we had life insurance, then get mad, and very mad, at me because I say no. Older men, late 60s and 70s, who ask me out on dates, and when I turn them down call me a slut, a whore and "used goods".

      It was so bad I was kicked out of a restaurant in my small town by the owner who called me a husband killer.

      But life goes on. My love for Joe is eternal. It did not end at his death. Thankfully my boyfriend understands and respects this. Thank you again for your comments. This has been a long and painful journey for me. I am so sorry for your loss.... And to Joe-I still love you baby. Always.

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      Author

      babyleaps 5 years ago

      @WendyMarsh: Wendy, you'd be very welcome to use whatever you feel could help others. Hugs, Tanya

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      It's been nearly 8 months since she'd left me.I had 21 days to get out of our home.My connection with the in laws and step children has been horrible since the day i had to moved. Greed and selfishness has played out for them.I have learnt that losing a partner, but, we lose ourselves in grief, you lose all sense of reality and your control slips away... it's ok though ... we're strong individuals and sometimes we have to let go of control... but to just breath and take one hour at a time, its not too bigger responsibility.. Its just a step at a time..like learning to walk again.xox

      Thank you for this site, i have cried my heart out because i couldn't identify what has been going on for me..This "read" has made me see things in the eyes of some one who knows my journeyâ¦I had to laugh at the dumb comments people have said to me, i soo get that a lot...sobbing my heart out, but not wanting pitty, just some relief⦠Lucy from New Zealand

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      spellbindingsis 5 years ago

      Wow Wow Wow.....I don't know what made me look at a lens in reference to this subject matter but, am I glad I did....heck yeah. You are giving solid tips on things that 90% of ppl will need to know. Most are in LTR, Married...and sooner or later one of them will die...It is scary and unimaginable but, to read your words knowing you made it through hard as hell but, you can get through it in time is comforting. I don't know what it is like to lose anyone I adored as much as you do your partner in life...I've never lost anyone really at all. I have a few friends that have a very good friend whos daughter drowned at 3yrs old....I didn't know wth to say...I just said I was here and we talked about how much of a wonderful little girl she is and memories...You know ppl that are around those whom have lost loved ones are confused what to say but, it isn't about them this is about the pain & hurt of those left behind. Reading this will help me in the future. Thank you for sharing such a personal story.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm 38 years old and just lost my husband a week ago he was only 44 and died suddenly. I feel so alone and I hurt for myself but our boys. My husband was my first love and it hurts so bad. I hope things do get easy over time but it seems like its going to be a lifetime.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      My husband of almost 9 years died two weeks ago in a tragic accident at the age of 32. I am 39. Every moment is pure agony. I have to live for my two children who lost their father. But my deepest darkest wish is to be buried with my husband. No one has or ever will love me like he did. People often romanticize the newly deceased, but my husband was truly a kind, funny, perfect companion and father to our children. He never said anything bad about anyone. His love changed my life and we both felt the best decision we ever made was to marry each other. Now, I know why prisoners beg for death during torture. My heart is dying.

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      SmartyGirlRenee 5 years ago

      such a valuable lens. thank you for this on valentine's day and everyday

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I lost my wife to cancer after she battled for 12 years. We wear married for 26 years and together for 32. Much of what you say is true. Less so in the spouse fix-up department for Widowers. But the stages of grief , the unexpected feelings of depression out of the blue. It has been 90 days and with Valentine's Day coming up it will be another. Friends and family mean well but they slowly withdraw as they reallize they have other commitments or your having trouble moving on. They all say it takes time. Call me anytime means if I am not doing anything, But the true gems as you describe are priceless. At times we withdraw from them but they are always there when we need them, a close circle of my wifes friends fill this role. With men it is harder. Delaying decisions is also a wise choice , but a constant remider, changing car ownership, checking accounts, life insureace. Even getting a Jury notice 90 days later triggers emotions. The good news is I think I am starting to come to terms with everything but that is this week. I wish everyone the best in this journey, it is not easy and most likey the hardest experience you will ever go thru.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm losing my husband to terminal cancer. There's just no way to say it except the vultures have started to come out of the woodwork. I have people trying to move in with me who I don't even know, they have no income and currently have no place to live, in laws trying to bully me and get money out of me already, even trying to get some of my husbands things, husbands acquaintenances trying to get closer, wanting to hang out at our house. I'm not stupid, I know what they're doing. I've had to shut our house up, lock it up completely, move our little dog to a kennel and move to the hospital, I can't even go home to pay our bills or take a shower. I expected some trouble like this, but not this soon and this bad. My husband says he wants me to put he house up sell it and move, but I won't spend my time dealing with that right now, I want to be with him. I'm tougher than everyone thinks, I won't tolerate this. For now my time is for him. And after I will move, I'm done with these people. On a better note, I love the photo, beautiful couple, and I must say too, that it reminds me so much of me and my husband when we first married.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I to am a young widow & would like to thank you so much for you thoughts, its as if you were taking my thoughts and writing them down.

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 5 years ago from Texas

      Very good advice, and I'm sure all widows can identify with your thoughts. I'd like to say it gets better, but for me, it just changes a bit. I lost my husband suddenly on June 10, 2010, and still think of him every day. Just last week I had the thought "Enough of this! It's time for you to come home!" I have gone over the last days before his death hundreds of time, wondering what I could have done to make the outcome different. I do recommend some sort of counseling; I went to a hospice support group, and it helped a great deal. Mostly because you realize that you aren't going crazy! Bless you for writing this, and hope it helps others!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I needed this tonight... thank you so much. I am not as young as you were -- I'm 59 -- but I also lost my husband to cancer in June. We were married 22 wonderful years, and I miss him so very much. Everything I see and hear and touch reminds me of him and what we shared. It's encouraging to hear from someone who has been through this that things will eventually get better. The advice you received from the Hospice chaplain is encouraging as well -- based on that guess I'm doing pretty well... ; ) Thanks again.

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      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      Such a kindness of you to offer these heartfelt truths to those who mourn and to those who wish to be a help at such a time. Surviving a death of a close one is a huge challenge.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for this kind and very very true words. I'm 4 weeks into an unexpected widowhood and well, I'm 24. I can already categorise the people around me and I'm crying at pretty much anything and everything (including writing this). Knowing that I'm not alone going through this hell is comforting and makes me feel slightly more "normal" whatever the hell that is. Thank you for this site xx

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      This article has many good points and is somewhat reassuring. I am so overwhelmed with the sudden death of my husband. Thank you for posting this.

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      bradys2174 6 years ago

      I'm actually hoping for some advice.... my friend died in a motorcycle accident a year ago this month we were in a bike club together. Out of support for his family and wife I offered my services to the family as a person to count on a "gem" I knew my buddy and would want to preserve and help his family.... over the course of the last year, his wife and I became close through the grief and began a relationship.... though I stated to her many times that this may not be the right time, she insisted on us being together. I respect his memory and help her see that it's ok to live again. we talk about him often and I help encourage her to stay in contact with his young daughter from another marriage.

      Over the last year though i've seen her become self destructive with alcohol. this drinking problem has gotten so bad that she may be sober 1 day a week, she is on meds for migrains that plumeth her into a deep depression. i've cried with her, held her, flushed the pills from the attempted suicide, taken the gun she wants to kill her self with.... etc... Since we began this relationship, i've come to her house twice to find her drunk with other men in her bed.... always somewhat remorseful after the fact it's hard now to keep going on with this behavior... I'm hurt now which limits my ability to be strong for her. I feel like she's not even begun to grieve over her husband with numing her pain with alcohol and occasional marijuana... I have love for this woman now and try to discuss with her how her husband would want her to live.... as of now i have broken contact with her the last few weeks and the 1 yr anniversary is approaching... i'm fearful that she may be thinking of suicide... i'm at a loss, she's become hurtful and manipulative through the alcoholism.... the lies never end.... there's not many people in my network that understand grieve and losing a husband.... I don't know how compassionate I should be anymore..... what is your take on this and how the grief is being handled ??? I have made attempts to get her to go to counseling and even made altamatums... she's just not ready... I'm worried for the worst .....

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      bradys2174 6 years ago

      I'm actually hoping for some advice.... my friend died in a motorcycle accident a year ago this month we were in a bike club together. Out of support for his family and wife I offered my services to the family as a person to count on a "gem" I knew my buddy and would want to preserve and help his family.... over the course of the last year, his wife and I became close through the grief and began a relationship.... though I stated to her many times that this may not be the right time, she insisted on us being together. I respect his memory and help her see that it's ok to live again. we talk about him often and I help encourage her to stay in contact with his young daughter from another marriage.

      Over the last year though i've seen her become self destructive with alcohol. this drinking problem has gotten so bad that she may be sober 1 day a week, she is on meds for migrains that plumeth her into a deep depression. i've cried with her, held her, flushed the pills from the attempted suicide, taken the gun she wants to kill her self with.... etc... Since we began this relationship, i've come to her house twice to find her drunk with other men in her bed.... always somewhat remorseful after the fact it's hard now to keep going on with this behavior... I'm hurt now which limits my ability to be strong for her. I feel like she's not even begun to grieve over her husband with numing her pain with alcohol and occasional marijuana... I have love for this woman now and try to discuss with her how her husband would want her to live.... as of now i have broken contact with her the last few weeks and the 1 yr anniversary is approaching... i'm fearful that she may be thinking of suicide... i'm at a loss, she's become hurtful and manipulative through the alcoholism.... the lies never end.... there's not many people in my network that understand grieve and losing a husband.... I don't know how compassionate I should be anymore..... what is your take on this and how the grief is being handled ??? I have made attempts to get her to go to counseling and even made altamatums... she's just not ready... I'm worried for the worst .....

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you so very much for sharing. My husband went home to be with the Lord four months ago. Everyone has returned to their lives and has pretty much left me alone, with the exception of my son. I feel so lost and alone. My husband was the center of my life, all my relationships were built around him. Now that he is gone, so is everyone else. Great advice regarding the finances.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      You spoke direct from the heart. Everything you wrote about, I experienced. I became a widow too at 46. I suffered little of life's loses until the death of my husband, and left me devastated. In God,s time...

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      WendyMarsh 6 years ago

      Tanya, I'd like to feature your lens on my Widowhood 101 lens. You have so much great information here!

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      WendyMarsh 6 years ago

      Thank you for this, Tanya! I'm almost 2 years into unexpected widowhood. My husband was 54 and died of a massive heart attack. The 50's is an awkward age to be widowed; I'm not in the "young widow" category, and yet not at an age where widowhood is more to be expected. This site is full of excellent advice and insights.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you...it helps to read what you've written.

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      hysongdesigns 6 years ago

      thank you for this. I lost a good friend, husband to my best friend in the world 20 years ago. Yea, people say some really stupid things because they just don't understand the situation or what you are feeling on the inside. I'm glad I happened upon this because my very same very best friend's 3rd husband is currently battling cancer. It's not a case of 'if' it's merely a case of 'when'. This gives me some ideas of things I can say and do better this time around than last. Thanks.

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      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      This should be very helpful to anyone going through the loss of a spouse. Well done.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you so much! I am hurting and my husband died on 12/31/10 of a heart attack-39 Years old. I miss him sooooooooo much. We have 2 beautiful children. I didn't find out until after he passed that our relationship wasn't perfect. His mistresses were at the funeral. :( It is still hurting to this day but I wasn't perfect myself. The disappointment is numbing and I don't know who to trust for I know many of my his family and associates knew. This advice helps though...I must know that I will heal. I am so in love with love that it hurts not to be in love with anyone but I don't think I could stand it right now. My trust factor has ceased and money is rooting much evil around me. I continue to pray and have those good days/bad days. Thanks for the book suggestions, I will definitely look for them tomorrow. God Bless you and thanks for all of the advice.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Dear Tanya,

      Thank-you for taking your time & energy to share your story as I find it so helpful after unexpectedly losing my husband at 33. Six years have passed and things are better but still hard at times. It is reassuring to know others like yourself have made it through and are well.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      This Web site is so wonderful. Seven years after my husband passed away, I have finally started my own blog - it is amazing how the thoughts, experiences and feellings of young widows seem to be the same regardless of where they live or how their spouse died. Here's my most recent post -

      www.sosorrynot.wordpress.com

      A friend of a friend, who lives in my neighborhood, has two boys and a husband who went through a lot of the same stuff as my husband: lymphoma, blood clots, 6 months in ICU, and she has one boy who is the same age as my youngest and a second who is younger.

      She is wonderful. Our kids aren't close - in fact they seem to ignore each other for the most part, but have a good time when they are together.

      So Friday I was walking into Whole Foods and ran into her. She had just had a friend tell her she needs to "come down to reality" about the guys she will or will not date. Funny, because I had a similar situation with someone who I consider my best friend.

      Here's the bottom line. My widow friend gets it - that I was very happy being married and don't want to settle for less. I may not find someone like my late husband, but I can sure try to find someone who I care about as much - even if it is in different ways.

      As we were talking, we both wondered why we had never become closer friends. For me, it is because seeing her is a big dose of reality that, at the time she moved into our neighborhood, I wasn't ready to face. But now, seven years later, I think I really need her.

      She said - we make it look easy on the outside, but inside we are still a mess. It doesn't matter that it is seven years later. When you lost your best friend, who also happens to be the father of your child, the hole in your heart is always there. Life goes on and gets different, but not better because our spouse died.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      My husband died on 1/1/11. We had been married for 30 years. I still cry several times everyday. I feel like I am never ever going to stop crying. I miss him so much. Can someone reply and let me know that this is normal and that it will get better over time?

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      This might be a long one and I hope it gets to you. My husband was killed in Iraq about 7 yrs ago. I was 22 with 3 children under the age of 3 (one was only 7 wks old). I was very young, confused, and mostly scared. At that age was I not only dealing with the grief of losing my husband but was also very frightened as to how I was going to take care of my children and myself without him. I was the blow through the money, neglect her children, potato chip man eating girl. Well, at least that's what everyone believed me to be. What actually happened was I blew my money on people in my life to keep them close to me so I wouldn't be alone. I even went as far as paying people to stay over at my house so I could sleep. I also tried to buy peoples love. My childhood was lets say less than perfect (my husband was the first healthy relationship I had ever experienced). Now as far as neglecting my children the first 4 months after he passed I could hardly look at them. I was ashamed, scared, angry, and hurting. I could hardly take care of myself and living in my own skin was more than I could bear let alone seeing them hurt the way they had. I left them in the care of my mom and family friend who stayed with my mom to help her with them but not as a friend but because I paid her and boy did I pay her well. I loved them so much I hated that I felt as if I had done this to them. Now the men thing well I was simply in my mind trying to fill a void...a hurt....a loss. The kids had no father and I had no husband. Stupid me all these guys only wanted me for one thing $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Seven years later... I started FINALLY going to counseling after 6 yrs I finally started the grieving process 6 yrs later!! Three months I was in and out of the childrens lives. Two years I was in and out of relationships with men. Three years I consistanly moved around every six months or less up until just two years ago. Sad right? But I have been in the same relationship for three years. I have lived in the same house for two years and I have had my children full time with the exception of that 3 months. The whole reason for me saying all of this is that even though there are way more positives then all of the bad that obviously happened for a reason, to this day I STILL get reminded and judged for my behavior STILLLLLLLLLLLL. I hate it. I hate it so much that I no longer have a relationship with anyone in my family or friends. I have all new friends. Funny thing is my therapist is in total agreement with me. Those people MY FAMILY have no idea what it is like to experience what I had. The feeling, emotion, loss. Them being so judgem. only hurt them in the end. They are the ones who have lost. I am a beautiful, smart, caring, responsible, loving, bright widow. I am a daughter and a sister to no one any longer. I am only a friend and most importantly a mother. I don't think I will ever be truly okay with it but, I'm finally happy. Broke : ) but happy!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you! Just what I needed tonight~ I'm a 52-year-old widow whose husband of 31 years died suddenly 3 months ago.