WHEN YOUR HUSBAND HAS DIED – A Survival Guide

by Corinne

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apology WHEN YOUR HUSBAND HAS DIED     A Survival Guide

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The funeral was over.It was beautiful.Everyone said so.I think my husband would have been pleased.

 

 

Everyone had been so kind and supportive.The house full of loving people, food being delivered and family and friends so willing to help in any way.

 

My husband had been ill for five long years and the end was terrible.He had gone from about 200 pounds down to 70 pounds and was living in pain in spite of morphine and a cocktail of many narcotics.During the last week of his life I was praying that God would take him.So, when he died, at home, with all the family around him, I was grateful that it was peaceful and finally over for him.All I felt is relief.I had already grieved for five years and I thought that was the end of it.I didn’t know it was a new beginning.

 

 

If your husband died suddenly, you had a different scenario and you were probably living in such a state of shock and disbelief that you felt nothing at all for a long time.But, I can only write from my own background.As time goes forward, we probably start to share many of the same experiences.

It took a while until I started to realize how many things my husband took care of.Repairs, stocks, the bills, ANYTHING to do with cars –

I was driving home from shopping when I heard a siren behind me.It was a police car.He came to the window of my car.He gave me three tickets.Outdated plates, city sticker and an illegal left hand turn.

“What is it with you, lady?Why didn’t you take care of those things?”

I explained.Men do these things with cars.My husband died.He always took care of those things.

“Well, I’m sorry about your husband but you are the one who is going to have to show up in court.You’re going to have to get it together, lady.”

Okay.I will.

Then, he added, “Look, this is none of my business but I notice these things.According to the sticker on your car you haven’t changed the oil in 15,000 miles.You should take care of that.”

Thanks for telling me.I will.

He gave me the tickets but there was a sweetness, a caring in the way that gruff policeman told me to change my oil – a cop doing his job with kindness.It was an expensive experience but oddly comforting.And he was right.This lady had to get it together!

At first, I had a lot of attention from friends.I was included in activities just as I had when I was married.Then, slowly, it started to change.I was still invited to the big parties but not to the dinner parties or the pizza on Friday nights.That seemed to be just for couples.I still had a relationship with the “girls” for lunch and I spent time with my kids but it left many evenings open.

The absence of the stress and medical crisis I had shared with my husband for years had left this big void – a big empty space.I tried to remember what occupied my time before it all happened.I realized for the first time that this is a couple’s world.Going to a wedding or a big occasion was torture.There you are all dressed up sitting alone at an empty table with no one asking you to dance.

Did you get a lot of advice?I did. “When are you going to sell the house?It’s too big for you.”“Life goes on you know.You’re still attractive.Get out there and find someone.”“Watch out for the gold-diggers.They are looking for someone like you.”“Get involved in some activities.You’ll meet some new people.”

“You should join a widow’s support group.”“Have you thought about working at something different?It would be good for you to get out.”

“You should travel more.Get out there.”

Everything seemed to have something to do about getting out.I owned a travel agency at the time so I did have a job.But I found myself longing to go home to my big chair in the living room.I thought about that chair all day.It was a safe place.And I didn’t want to travel alone.

The thing that surprised me the most was the pressure from well-meaning friends, clients and family - to replace my husband- to find a man – almost immediately.I admit I thought about it.But the thought of “dating” was alien to me.Never mind finding one but what do you say to a date?I hadn’t had a date in years.And what do you do with your wedding ring?When are you supposed to take it off?My ideal situation would be to find a person exactly like my husband who would be deposited on my doorstep by helicopter.To go back to my old, comfortable life.

You might get the opposite pressure from your kids or your heirs.They tend to build shrines to your saintly husband.They might be horrified if you mentioned the idea of another man in your life even if there is no one in sight.

I’ve talked to a lot of widows about this and I hate to tell you this but it is about the MONEY.Their inheritance.They have seen stories on TV about scams.The nice and smart women who have been fleeced by con men. You have to assure your heirs that you are not stupid.That you are reworking all your financial matters to coincide with your new status as a single woman.And you will keep them informed of what you are doing.And as the cop said, you have to get it together, lady.

It’s an unpleasant task because the process brings us in contact with our own mortality.We all have this little secret.Everyone is going to die except us so there is no rush.

I started with conversations with my children.I wanted to know, of the few valuable things in my home, which they would want to inherit.You need to have that information when you make a new will.

And then, find out exactly what assets you have.Your husband may have handled all these things.I know mine did.If he had an accountant who did his taxes, that would be your first step.Otherwise, you will have to dig through his records.

The next is to find an attorney who specializes in wills and trusts.Not your friend who does real estate closings.A will is not enough.You will need a Revocable Living Trust.A lot of people are afraid of a trust because they think they will lose control of their money and their house.No.You are the executor and you can do whatever you want.Sell the house.Buy a condo.Trade your stocks.

Next would be to find someone to invest the money you have.You will be surprised at who will approach you on doing this for you.But do not give your money to your brother-in-law’s cousin’s son who sells annuities and promises you an income for life.At least, not until you do some big research.You want to deal with a large firm and with a broker who knows what he is doing.

Don’t start being a day trader yourself to save commissions.Probably, you don’t know what you are doing.Look for a broker who is a Certified Financial Planner.I was lucky.My son is a CFP with Merrill Lynch.I know from that how hard he had to work to get that designation.It is the Mercedes of broker levels and involves many classes, tests and experience.They are trained to look at your whole picture and will work with your accountant and attorney.Talk to a few and decide who you like.

Tell your heirs what you have done.Even offer to show them all your documents. They will stop worrying about you and someone stealing you blind.So much for someone who went through this process.It is not pleasant but when it is done it is done.

Time passed. I did get out a little.I met some single women.They had a life I didn’t know about until now.They actually got theatre and symphony tickets and went without a man. We had dinner together.Sometimes, just met for a drink after work.I had company.It was nice and filled in some of the gaps in my life.

I found out that I would not die if I went to a movie alone.I still missed my old friends and my old life but what they say about time healing is true.I started to “get it together.”I even went on match.com and starting dating. I found out that there are a few lonely men out there just like us. They were scared just like me.

I met some new widows.It’s a private club you never wanted to join but suddenly I became the authority on how to get through this period of suddenly being alone with the newer ones.A book I had written, Reflections from a Woman Alone came out and I was besieged with questions from everywhere by email, snail mail and at the book signings I did all over for months around the country.It made me realize how little help there is out there for us.We are the silent victims of life.People do not want to be reminded that this could also happen to them.

One last little piece of advice I want to add here.  There is a rumor that it takes you a year to get over a death.  Where that information comes from I have no idea.

I feel it takes as long as it takes before you even get to a point of feeling normal – whatever that means – again.  I don’t think you ever get over a great loss – but you somehow re-invent yourself as you go along.

Don’t let anyone rush you.  Things will get better.  But in your own time frame.

Please add your thoughts to our sisters who are waiting to hear from you. Your email is never shown. You don’t even have to use your real name.Just your real support. We need each other.

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{ 3803 comments }

Jeanine September 10, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Hi All,

I just had to chime in with another, “Me, too!” Here it has been over two years since my fantastic man died, and I’m still struggling with trying to do what he always did. He did so much…. and so well! I’ve been able to do some things, my family or friends have helped with others, and I’ve resorted to hiring help for those things that are beyond me, my family, and my friends. My man left a humongous hole in my heart and my life when he graduated from this world.

Like you, Kate, I’ve found that helping others is a great way to help myself…. is a distraction, plus provides a sense of having a purpose. Through a variety of volunteer work, plus prayer and Scripture study,
I usually feel balanced and peaceful. Some days, though, like today, I am ambushed by an intense longing to have Don back here with me…. sharing life with me. It is overpowering…. makes me think of how movies sometimes fade everything else into the background and make one thing or person the only item in focus on the screen.

For the past 18 months I and 20 other contributors have been providing information for a book about living (and dying) with pancreatic cancer, and it has recently been published. The title is “Pancreatic Cancer: It’s a Family Affair,” and you can find more information about it at: http://www.pcfamilyaffair.com, if you are interested. On the site you can see the book cover that my talented daughter-in-law designed, using my son’s and my hands in her design. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to pancreatic cancer research.

Blessings,
Jeanine

mary September 10, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Ladies, I had to share some good news with you. My youngest son, Brian & his fiance told me earlier this evening tthan hat they are expecting a baby! Although this was a major surprise to them they are very happy. They’re due May 4, 2011. Since she is still in college she’ll be taking winter/spring term off and then continue in the fall. I am really excited for the first time since… This afternoon I stood in the middle of my living room & asked Ed or God anyone for some sort of “sign” anything to show me a bit of light in my really dark world. Perhaps it’s a coincidence but ladies what better thing to give us all hope than a new baby. We have loved Lexie our granddaughter by son #2, Rick so very much. I can’t wait to meet our new grandbaby. Brian asked that I keep quiet until they get to tell the rest of the family – so far aside from her mom & dad I’m the only one that knows, so I thought I could at least share with my wonderful ladies. For the first time in a long while I feel Ed is with me smiling. I’m gonna be a grandma again!!! Thanks for sharing, Mary

Deborah Sullivan September 11, 2010 at 9:13 am

Mary,
Are you saying that BEFORE you even heard about the new grandbaby, you stood in your livingroom and asked for a “sign” and that the announcement of the pregnancy happened afterwards? If so, pretty darn cool!

Lori September 10, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Hello all–Mary! What exciting, happy news. It was no coinidence my friend, that was your Ed giving you a true sign. Being a grandma is wonderful. I have a granddaughter who just turned 1. She was only 3 months old when my husband died and I feel a little jipped she didn’t get to know how fabulous he was.

Hi Deborah, I always handled all the bill payments, etc. I know squat about cars and he took care of all of that. Thankfully, I have an honest mechanic who looks after the vehicles now. My husband also did 95% of the cooking. It’s not that I can’t cook, I really like to cook, but it just sorta evolved into his thing over the years. He also did laundry and mopped the kitchen floor. He drew the line at bathrooms though. I really enjoyed your story about your parents, thanks for sharing that.

Out of the blue I had a meltdown today–again while driving. Just like that I burst into tears. Grief is a funny thing that I probably will never figure out. The only thing I can do is let it ride.

Good night my friends.
Love, peace, and positive thoughts to all,
Lori

Deborah Sullivan September 11, 2010 at 9:36 am

Corinne – Now that I’ve told Mare how easy it is to pay bills on line, it got me thinking about your website. I’m really curious on how to add a photo to posts – I see a photo of you everytime you comment – can we add our own photo when we post/comment?

Corinne
Twitter:
September 11, 2010 at 10:55 am

Dear Ones – and Deborah -

I asked my brilliant tech guy from London.

Here is how to do it. Click on the link below.

Thanks, Andrew.

http://www.webuildyourblog.com/1519/add-image-add-blog-comment/

Karen September 12, 2010 at 8:23 am

Well, it has been 6 months since Paul passed and I have to admit, unfortunately, that I am having good days. But, I have to also say that I am still having some moments where I feel “Did this really happen, is Paul really gone?” Do any of you still get these days?

So many things I am learning to handle on my own. The first year is not just a year of grieving the loss (which is enough – by all means!), but a financial adjustment and ALSO just learning what he took care of that I must now learn. This can all be overwhelming. But, I am getting up each day, cleaning my house, going to work and socializing with some girlfriends. But, still different and still feel like not going out at times. Like my safe retreat of my home and m my animals.

Hope you all have a good Sunday. As best as it can be.

Deborah Sullivan September 13, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Karen,
I don’t know if any of the women on this site will want to hear this but, yes, even after Roger being gone seven years, I still catch myself yearning for him. That’s the best way I can explain this feeling that comes over me – it’s a yearning for him. I’ve been putting together some vacation scrapbooks of photos taken during trips several of my “couples” friends have taken in the past. You know how those photos stack up for years before you ever get them into an album. Yesterday, I was looking through some of these old photos and literally froze when I came to a stack of photos of Roger. I’ve since remarried, so don’t get me wrong. I’m incredibly happy with my husband, but still, I miss Roger. I don’t know if it’s because he was a dear friend as well as my lover but it’s like the very cells in my body still call out to him every once in a while. There just wasn’t anyone on this planet quite like him, and I’m still capable of getting quite sad when I allow myself to think about him and the fact that he is no longer alive on this planet. It’s like I’ve compartmentized that period in my life – that little corner of my brain where all thoughts and memories of Roger are stored. I still get angry when I about him and how unfair it is that he’s gone, that he’s no longer able to enjoy life.

Lori September 13, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Oh Karen, I have felt/feel exactly how you describe. The learning curve we all must face, the financial turn we take, all of it is overwhelming. I try to keep up appearances to the outside world no one knows how I truly feel and what I’m going through. I’m so happy I have this site to know I am truly not alone on this journey.

Love, peace and joy,
Lori

Linda September 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Hi Ladies- Wow! I have 167 emails! Most of them are garbarge but a signficant of them were from you.
My brain is constantly thinking ahead. I have stopped worrying so much about the near future because I’ve realized that this is not in my hands. I can not control it, and that really pisses me off
Well, more tests for Mark tomorrow. (For those of you who don’t know, my fiancee has lymphoma for the 3rd time)
Be careful what you wish for, right? When I was married I complained about the sex and how terrible it was. So I prayed for a man who, among other attributes, was fantastic in bed.
The irony is that he has not body fat that even a PET scan can’t read his tumors. So far we have gone through 2 CT scans and one PET scan. The man is built like a Roman God. (He is full-blooded Italian. Do you want to hear another irony? I am so afraid that I will hurt the lymph nodes in his groin, that I refuse to have sex with him.
It’s just a roller coaster of emotions. I am praying to find out the best treatment for him and he’s better in six months.
From what I am reading about his cancer……this is bad–real bad.
In the meantime, I will just accompany him to the hospital and study my courses. (BTW, I have no focus whatsoever. The hardest thing for me right now is ……I want to know already! Is he going to live or die???) How bad am I? I’m sorry,
Love Linda

Corinne
Twitter:
September 13, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Dear Linda -

My husband was ill with prostate cancer for five years.

Along the way, he would get much worse. More surgery. I would make the adjustment that he was going soon.

Then, he would get better. I would get hopeful.

Then, the last couple of months, he went straight down. No coming back. I was praying for him to die it was so terrible.

It was like being on a rollercoaster. It’s a horrible position to be in. You just don’t know how to keep making these changes over and over. It is so exhausting and you do feel guilty. Like – go or stay – but I cannot stand this back and forth.

Just make sure you are strapped in and hold on.

Unless someone else here has a better idea, I just don’t see how to advise you.

Kate September 13, 2010 at 9:11 am

Hi Everyone!

Linda, I can completely understand what you are saying. You are solution oriented. You plan ahead and you don’t like the unknown. All your thoughts are so normal I am sure. It’s like when I stood at the foot of my husband’s hospital bed when they were resuscitating him after his cardiac arrest and I was thinking ‘oh my god, who will marry me next, who will look after me’. I had to confess it to my counsellor and to friends just to get it off my chest.I couldn’t believe I could have those thoughts. I felt so selfish but I had flicked in to survival mode. Stop judging yourself. You can think, feel and say whatever you like. Please God may you get your wish.

Karen, you are six months and I am five months today. Just behind you a wee bit. I am surprised at how well I am doing but then I remind myself that I might be laughing, having fun, socialising, getting excited about things again and thinking less, but there are moments that just grab me and like you. I think ‘is this for real???’. I look at Steve’s photos and watch him speaking on video and think the whole thing is surreal. I knew that person so well but I’ll never see him again. My memory is fading and yet when Ruby grows up and asks me why she doesn’t have a Daddy, I’ll have to be strong and convince her that she’ll be ok. I just never ever thought I would be in this situation. Yet again coping with my lot in life. Moving on, taking control, pulling it all together and yet secretly fearing that if I got sick or died, what would my beautiful little fairy do all on her own. I don’t even have a will yet. Next on my list I promise. You’d think I would have learnt from Steve!!

Love to you all, you amazing women. xx Kate

Deborah Sullivan September 14, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Kate,
You’re absolutely right when you talk about survival mode. You can’t help but go into survival mode when you’re faced with going it alone. I probably remarried rather soon after Roger died because I was in survival mode. Thank God my Brian is a good, kind, loving man and loved me more perhaps than I loved myself at that time in my life. He literally rescued me without being one of those guys who does go around rescuing women, does that make sense? Plus, we’ve known each other for over 25 years now, so I knew who I was marrying and that we would make a good team, and that I truly did love him. Otherwise, I don’t think I could have married him. After experiencing the kind of love I had with Roger, I thought at the time that nothing and no one else would compare, but, boy, was I wrong. I’m living proof, ladies, that you can recover from tragedy and find love again. I am incredibly fortunate to have found someone who standing there all along. Brian is this incredible gift, and I know in my heart I will never, ever take him for granted because I realize how rare it is to find this kind of love a second time, especially so soon after losing Roger. I’ve said it before – I believe your capacity to love greatly expands after losing someone you loved so deeply. I know it’s hard, ladies, but you just have to be open to the possibility that you will one day be happy again.

Mary Lotus Butterfly September 14, 2010 at 5:02 pm

To all of my friends in the support of loosing our dear spouse.
Deborah Sullivan is right…I had to work hard on myself the last two years eight months. I am so glad for you Deborah that you found a way to open your heart, again and started living. Life is too precious.

Once the heart is opened again…it is a wonderful feeling. One can become whole again. I will always miss my sweet Barry. He makes me smile. Tears still runs once in a while, but I know that Barry would be proud of me. I am carrying on our dreams in helping others.

I am a Reverend and will be licensed thru the State of Florida. I am planning on helping Senior Citizens. I have worked for a facility for 26 years with healing thru my cooking. I am able now to extend myself further out to them, healing their body, mind and spirit. It is not the end for them…there is much more for them besides…playing bingo, eating and waiting for the end. I am planning on holding Sacred Circles and Meditation Groups from centers to centers.

Thru my place of work…I hope that my plans will be implamented for the Peace Flags making with the Seniors. They can still be part of the community, the society and the world. The Peace Flags will be flown at the Rosa Parks Museum in Mongomery, Alabama; the Panama City, Florida; then all over the country and who knows the world. Students are participating in the Peace Flag makings.

We all can help make a little difference.

One would not know that I am there, but One just might feel the slightest breeze from my wings.

Peace and Love,
Reverend Mary Lotus Butterfly

Corinne
Twitter:
September 15, 2010 at 9:44 am

Dear Ones -

New interview on line. Take a look at it. You will find yourself there.

Just click on this link and it will go right to it.

http://www.personal-growth-with-corinne-edwards.com/a-woman-without-a-man-video-interview-by-linda-mills/

Linda is a brilliant attorney. Not a talk show host. But she is fabulous.

We did this interview with no preparation. Just sat down and did it.

Love,

Corinne

Kate September 17, 2010 at 10:11 am

Corinne,
It’s so great to see you in action. You are amazing. I am all for you saying that women need to know what they want.

Hi everyone,
I have along, boring story to share. I found a new job. I was approached by a competitor. Everything felt right. The change, the fresh beginning, the energy, the professionalism. Let’s face it I have been with a bank in HK that has been struggling for quite some time. BUT they were very loyal to me in that they paid me for the 3.5 months I was on leave in Australia (my home) after Steve died. No questions….my salary increased in my absence, along with everyone else, and my bonus was paid, as planned. I was grateful. Humbled. Enough to make me feel that moving back to HK with my baby was going to be ok.

When I was approached by the new place (two weeks ago), I was open to talking. Very quickly I realised that it was the perfect opportunity for me to grow. I needed the change. Every day that I sit in my old desk, with the same view, the same voices, same lift ride, same toilets, same issues etc is a day that was not helping my progress. Every day I feel like life is the same as it was when Steve was alive. Sometimes (association of ideas) I think “Steve will be picking me up soon on his way home” (which he did each night) and then I realise “no he’s not, he’s dead”. So the new job represented a shake up. New office, new routines, new people, less familiarity, fewer reminders…change I needed.

After a lot of soul searching and an offer from a new CEO who completely understood my situation and offered me security, I accepted the new job and I resigned yesterday to my boss. He was caring, understanding, gentle and sad. I cried buckets in front of him. I was so nervous. After 11 years in the same place, I felt I was severing a strong tie and I was leaving them in a hole.

I went home and this morning set-up a meeting with another senior person who I knew would feel perplexed and maybe annoyed that I had left them after their generosity. He was lovely. He said “do what you have to do, my wife has cancer, we’ll miss you but we’ll work it out. This is life”. Hugs, tears (from him too), bye bye.

Then, although not as necessary, I made an appointment with the CEO to thank him for paying me through my compassionate leave and to explain what was behind my decision. HE RIPPED THROUGH ME. He said I have left them in the lurch, going to a competitor. He said “of course I can’t begin to understand what you have been through but I have given several people compassionate leave. My question is that next time someone loses a partner or family member, should I help them out”.

11 years service!! I explained that it’s deeply personal. Getting out of bed each day for a reason is important, it felt right, thank you for being so kind, what could you have done if I told you I was unhappy anyway etc.. He pushed and pushed, and finally I said, thank you for going to this level because you are making me fully explain what is happening here (I am crying, and shaking, and he is being relentless). I said “this is called survival”. I have a baby. I am the only income and do you really think I want to be working at all!!!!!

This man didn’t contact me once when I was grieving Steve in Australia. Maybe he thought others were doing his job for him and that paying me was enough but I said as much to him.

I have been offered more money but more to the point I have been offered it for two years minimum, in writing. That is security like nothing else right now.

You know I felt so great after I left that meeting and finally calmed down. I knew I was doing the right thing. Yes he was good to me, but there was a condition attached. My resignation was going to make him look feeble in front of his bosses, and when he calms down I think he will regret this. He has a child with very special needs. Has it made him bullet proof? Will we all not believe the sob story in the future? Will I become as hard and ruthless?

Am I opportunistic? Yes. Have I been loyal? Yes. Am I thankful? Absolutely. Am I stupid? I don’t think so.

My daughter’s future is now my life and for some reason I am welcoming change. Is anyone else?

xxx Kate

Karen September 19, 2010 at 6:49 am

The postings have been quiet.

I am truly struggling. Paul and I have always been the “fixers”, “doers” of the family. I know my son is going through his own hell right now with being newly divorced and to have sole custody and responsibility for a 2-1/2 and almost 4 year old; BUT, I can’t fix anything and don’t have the energy to step in. My parents (80′s) are still expecting to assist in taking care of him and the boys – being strong for them. I love them, don’t get me wrong, it is just that I am trying to find my way without Paul – financially as well as emotionally. I don’t know if people don’t understand. I think they think that because I don’t have Paul, I don’t have a life anymore (which in so many ways is true!) but I am trying to get myself out of bed each day and find some positive. Raising little one like t hat is exhausting and being around them is exhausting. I have been down that road (and raised my sons by myself and worked for 7 years) and am tired. Grieving is taking a lot out of me and I am trying to find good things in life to help me go on; but it seems like I am surrounded with SO MUCH NEGATIVE.

Please pray for me!

Karen

Terre September 19, 2010 at 7:15 am

Oh! Dear Karen: I have been noticing the quiet on the site as well. Would you be interested in telephone conversation with me? I would be more than happy to talk to you…knowing that we have something in common…by that I mean losing our husbands. I am able to call you you and at least listen with understanding, and above all else, love, time and giving you the peace of knowing there is a live human being on the other end of the line who can have immediate response to whatever is going on with you. Please let me know and I will post my e-mail for you. Love, Strength and Light to you. Terre

Karen September 19, 2010 at 7:37 am

Thank you, Terre. My phone number is 727-773-8877

I know that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel; it is just as to when it will come. I am so dreading the holidays. Being around all the “couples”. I have been through this before with divorce and it is no fun. This time it is worse because the one I lost I loved with all my heart.

Lori September 20, 2010 at 7:35 am

Oh my! I feel the same way Karen. I am really struggling–really struggling. I hate this, I hate this, I hate this! I just want my life back. It was 9 months yesterday and I ask God everyday why did you take my husband so young? Our children deserve their dad. I go through the motions and take care of everything. I truly feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. You are right, no one gets it. Know you are not alone.

Love & Hugs, Lori

Karen September 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm

I know that I (we) are not alone; but it sure feels like it some days. I have met quite a few women that have been through this, and they all say the same thing, “time” will make the hurt less. I wish I could fast forward the clock because I don’t like the person I am right now. I don’t like feeling sad, alone, confused. I used to think myself a strong and independent person – and I want her back. I question a lot of my decisions and I am also so clumsy! I hope that these things pass and I turn back into the self-confident woman I once was. I have to believe that this will happen with time. I pray every day for strength. I will pray for you also, Lori – hang in there with the rest of us.

Karen

Marilyn September 21, 2010 at 4:41 am

Hello, dear friends….

What can I say? I am struggling, as well. Just can’t seem to “pull things together” like I would like to. It will be five months since my husband’s death this coming October 7th. Daughter, Rebecca’s birthday upcoming on the 5th of October (her first birthday without her dad.) It just seems to go on and on and I’m absolutely dreading the holidays. Try to maintain the “I’m okay face,” but underneath is another story. Wish I could come here with more optimism, but I want to honest and up front with all my friends here, as well as to myself. It’s not coming together yet. When? Who knows.

Dearest friends, Lori and Karen….

When I read your posts, I know what we are feeling is normal. I suppose everyone copes in their own way to survive this terrible loss we’ve all experienced. For me, honestly, I feel like this happened yesterday, not a little over four months ago. The finances are overwhelming having to pay attorney fees to settle obligations with the state of California, medical bills that weren’t covered, home repairs, in addition to the regular monthly bills. It does feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders and I doubt myself with almost everything I’m doing right now. Never adapted well to change; maybe that’s the reason it’s harder for me to accept what has happened. I’m very sad, very depressed and, like you, want the life I had back, not this “shell” that’s been left behind for me to live. Apologies for the negativity, but this is where I’m at right now.

Dearest Kate….

I applaud you for your determination to seek a safe, secure life for you and Ruby. You’ve had so much to adjust to with the loss of Steve and the move to HK would have been enough for me, let alone adapting to a new job. I think you made the right decision. I’ll be looking forward to future posts letting us know how you’re doing. Sending you love and support, as always.

Always look forward to hearing from my friends. I want to be an inspiration for everyone going through this, so please forgive the lack of it…. but the struggle continues. I check this beautiful site every day and even though I’m not posting as much lately, always remember I carry all of you in my heart each day.

Love,

“Mare”

Lori September 21, 2010 at 11:17 am

Hello friends, I am better today, not great, but better. I apologize for my meltdown yesterday. I felt it was a safe place to meltdown however, if I cried and cried in front of my family or friends they would have rushed me to the pysch ward. I have those days every now and then and am thankful I can blurt out what I am truly feeling right here with all of you.

Love & hugs, Lori

Kate September 22, 2010 at 10:16 am

Lori, isn’t it amazing we do feel safe dumping and venting in this little neighborhood. Keep coming back. It makes me feel better doing it too.

Mare, you have been so quiet. You must be using your energy elsewhere. Your daughter will need you a lot, but don’t forget you need you too. WE need you too! Did you chase that mushroom lead? Thanks for believing in me. There have been several twists and turns since my last post but I am trying hard to coast above the pettiness. When you lose your husband, not much really can astound you.

Karen, I identify with the clumsiness too. Even my words stumble out of my mouth in the wrong order. I am erratic as well. Have you ever meditated or done yoga? Just wondering if it would help. My uncle, a hippy turned cosmetics guru who introduced Siddha Yoga to Australia told me yesterday that meditation is key to my healing. He said self discovery ensures long term happiness. I am going to give it a try. Would you even consider it?

I have six weeks off between jobs which is such an unexpected bonus, but because I told everyone to come and stay when I was in Oz, guess what, they are all coming to stay!! I cried buckets tonight missing Steve and wondering why I had to be the hostess with the mostess, but them I realised I might play vulnerable patient in need of TLC and see if it helps.

Love Kate x

Karen September 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Yes, as a matter of fact, I have considered Yoga. I am trying to get a friend who lost her husband in December to join with me as I thought it would be good for both of us. If she doesn’t, I am as I need something. Thanks and hang in there.

Marilyn September 24, 2010 at 6:43 am

Hello to my lovely friends….Hope none of you think I’ve forgotten you; I haven’t. I decided to go ahead with some additional home repairs that I wanted to do before winter. Hiring contractors is a true nightmare out here in California and what energy I had quickly dissipated. I’m in a hard place. So, please know I carry all of you in my heart each and every day. All of you.

How is everyone doing?

I was seriously considering listing my home for sale and moving from here. I did have the interior painted and recarpeted. Everything had to be moved outside for the carpet installation. I didn’t realize how disruptive the process was going to be. My husband’s urn and memorial were all transferred to the garage and we finally returned everything to its original place today. Very emotional. I felt like I had traveled back in time to May 7th, the day my Bob lost his battle with lung cancer.

Well, the fall season is officially here and soon the holidays. The thought makes me feel like I’m in a boat that’s about to go over Niagra Falls. I don’t know what to expect and will try not to overthink it. For the first time in 32 years, I won’t be cooking for Thanksgiving. This is all so surreal. I won’t lie to myself. I just feel really bad. I have to keep up “appearances,” though. Right now, I’m going through the phase of “last year at this time we were doing this” and “last year at this time we were doing that.” Little did I know what was ahead.

October 5th is our daughter’s birthday and I will do something extra special for her. This will be her “first” birthday without her dad and I know this will be one of the more difficult days to get through. It is what it is.

While the painting and carpeting were being done, my husband’s belongings were tended to. I wasn’t able to participate. I’ve come to realize you can change the landscape, but it doesn’t erase what was once so much a part of your life.

Your caring and support have carried me through many a rough day. Please keep posting and letting me know how all of you are doing. I will do the same. I may not be progressing as well as I would like, but I love to hear how all of you are coping and adjusting. Good or bad, it helps to know you’re there. I truly love my friends here.

“Mare’

Jeanie B September 24, 2010 at 10:19 am

Hey Mare & everyone

Yes I think we are all still here…reading and reflecting on how everyone else life seems to be going? at least for me anyway…. I read the posts when they arrive in my box and reflect on how close each person pain is so similar to my own…

Had a really rough nite…phone rang in the middle of the night (2:30am) my son is having an argument with his girlfriend and wants me to come pick him up (he had been out drinking)…
FLASHBACK ..4 months today my sweetie had his sudden cardiac arrest I received a phone call from the hospital almost at the exact same time…so of course this day has me down in the dumps.

Mare I understand wanting to have a “change of scenery” I too have been contemplating renovations but everything seems to take so much energy & effort.

Just a quick note to let all of you know that I am still here and taking it day by day….I have some tolerable days and some not so tolerable but each day brings about time and I’m told that “time does heal…” I truly hope so b/c I can’t imagine feeling like this for years to come.

Hugs and Kisses to all
Jeanie B.

Lori September 27, 2010 at 9:52 am

Hello friends, How is everyone? I’m doing ok. My 49th birthday was this past Friday and I told my children to just think of it as another day. Well my friends from work had other ideas. They decorated my office from top to bottom, made me a yellow cake w/chocolate frosting (my husband always made me this cake for my birthday), and took me out for lunch. I decided to take my children out for dinner and we went to a football game. It was an ok day after all. Surrounding yourself with people who genuinely care about you is very positive to one’s emotions.

How do any of you answer the questions: 1) do you have big plans for the weekend; or 2) did you have a fun weekend. Weekends are lonely times for me. I try to keep busy with laundry, football games, cleaning house, etc. but that was always our time together with our children. We always made Sunday dinner and all the kids were there around the table. I haven’t really done Sunday dinner since. It makes me sad to think about it. I did put up a few Halloween decorations outside and started to Christmas shop. Some days I have the strength to do these things, some days I just want to crawl into bed and never come out.

How have your days been?

Love & peace to all,
Lori

Karen September 27, 2010 at 11:08 am

I totally hate those two questions! I always lie and say, my weekend was okay. Or No big plans, just another weekend. But, sometimes people can be persistent and insist that I MUST do something for myself – REALLY. It will come; but, not right now. I have forced myself to do the family dinners every Sunday – it keeps me busy and helps occupy time. At the moment – that is what I feel I am doing – occupying time.

I think, for what is worth, that you are doing well. If you are putting up decorations and shopping for Christmas presents – I can’t do that yet.

Hang in there, hugs and prayers – Karen

Lori September 28, 2010 at 7:04 am

Hello friends,
It is a crazy, bumpy grief ride we are on together. I have to capitalize on the ok days to keep sane. Karen, if you would have asked me on Sept. 20 if I could put up Halloween decorations or start buying Christmas presents I would have said “no way”. That’s the crazy part, one week I can barely function and cry over everything (and it’s not PMS) and the next week it’s ok and I can do somethings. Make no mistake about it however, I cry everyday (some days sobs, some just tears in my eyes) I miss my husband so much.

Love to all, Lori

Karen September 28, 2010 at 7:11 am

I understand completely. It is crazy. I feel the same way. Some days I feel as if I have conquered it and I am fine and others for no reason at all I am so down in the dumps and cannot function or feel like I can’t fight my way out of a wet paper bag.

I do get tired of after 6 months people still asking me how I am handling it or can I afford my house or to live. This really drives me crazy. It is none of their business as they are not even close friends.

Gerry September 30, 2010 at 6:06 am

I don’t care about the questions from people or any of that peripheral stuff. It has been one year and I absolutely hate being alone. We couldn’t have children and I feel totally alone. I have friends but they have busy lives. I do work full time so that is good, I travel, exercise and volunteer , but it is this feeling of being in space with no one to be responsible for or to be responsible to, that I have trouble dealing with at all. Going to bed and waking up with no one caring if I do or not. I try to think of it as freedom but that isn’t working.

Marilyn September 30, 2010 at 6:43 am

Hello, to all my lovely friends….

This is a hard road to travel. While I sincerely put effort into being positive and upbeat, not only for my family, but for me, as well, I find there is no simple solution to “moving on.” Life without the man you loved and respected for 32 years is a void that can’t be filled in, not at this time, if ever.

Daughter, Rebecca had an emotional breakdown last Tuesday evening. My son-in-law and I found her on the floor in what was once Bob’s and my bedroom crying uncontrollably over the loss of her dad. This adds to my sadness. I knew something was “brewing,” because she, more or less, regressed and didn’t talk much about her loss. It all erupted Tuesday evening. I’m relieved, though, that she was able to release the emotions that have built up over the past four months. All of this made me realize I’m not the only one who suffers. Her birthday is coming up (October 5th) and we will have another “first” without the man we love and respect so much. Will try to make it as special as I can.

Still going through home repairs. Seems never ending. A lot of the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms no longer open because most of them have been painted shut. I’ve never been through anything like this in my whole life. You think you’ve hired a reputable service and then comes the surprises. What have I gotten myself into? It’s truly a nightmare !

Hard to believe that summer is over and we are in the autumn season. I always looked forward to October, not only because it was the month my beautiful daughter was born, but the holidays were around the corner. Can’t imagine what the coming months will bring. Try not to think about it too much, but know it’s coming. Also, Bob’s birthday is in November (the 21st), yet another “first” to get through. I heard a phrase once….”When there’s no way out, go through it.” What else can we do?

I’ve missed all of you and would love to know how everyone is doing. As usual, I’m struggling, as is Rebecca. You don’t realize how much someone fills your life until it’s taken away. I still see my Bob walking into the kitchen asking if I’ve made sandwiches. He loved my tuna salad sandwiches. I haven’t made one since May 7th.

Again, I’d love to hear from all of you, as would everyone else. Remember, you’re my little bouquet of flowers I carry with me each day. Will check the site tomorrow. Going to rest for a bit.

Hope to hear from all of you soon….
Love,
“Mare”

Mary Lotus Butterfly September 30, 2010 at 10:30 am

Hello everybody,

I read all of the postings all the time. Hang in there. The ride do get easier in time with working on oneself and extending oneself out into the community, society and the world…in helping others. Then, there will be a completeness…there will be peace and love.

I know that my Barry would be so proud…our love is not lost and forgotten.

It is not easy…a struggle at times. But hold onto your faith of God. Spirituality is not easy work at all. Surround yourself with your allies , spiritual people and good energy. It will put the darkness at bay.

I hold all of you in the Light,
Reverend Mary Lotus Butterfly

Kate October 1, 2010 at 6:58 am

Hi Mary (Lotus Butterfly), I do surround myself with spiritual people and I feel it has helped me immensely. I have been given a lot of support and confidence to move forward and I find myself laughing a lot, even with my darling husband Steve.

Mare, how is your sister? did you find the mushrooms? I’m so sorry you are hurting for Rebecca too. Sounds like she really needed that breakdown as much as you needed her to have it too. What do you tell her? I’ll need to know for Ruby when she is older. She just started walking and she says Dadda, Dadda, Dad, Dad, Dad, smiling at his photos a lot.

Lori, I am with you on the good and bad. Although for me it’s not a full day, it’s a moment, and I am quite surprised how many people try to make me upset. Almost like they want to take me to a deep place so I can really work through the grief. Their sad eyes try to penetrate my soul and beg for me to give them an inner feeling. Karen you probably relate to that too. But they don’t realise how much work I have done, and how much I don’t want to cry at that moment. I was in fact hoping to have a laugh but everyone wants to talk about Steve. I am going to run away for 4-5 nights soon. Leave Ruby and get stuck in to some yoga and meditation. I am sick of indulging in everyone else’s need to grieve. I need peace and quiet.

Gerry, we care about you. When you are feeling that void, remember one of us is likely to be feeling the same at the same time. It might not help but hopefully you will know that on one level, you are definitely NOT alone.

Love from Hong Kong to all your special ladies. xx Kate

niki October 1, 2010 at 8:51 am

Hi all,
I totally get what Gerry is saying about that lonely space… even though you do stuff… I think our society has become quite self focused and that doesn’t help as no one seems to be open to relationships that would be appreciated by us singles.
I recently went on a holiday kind of outback to see a younger male friend with another mutual male friend – thought it would be nice to spend time with these guys who I feel very comfortable with, and it was good, but I still find I have times of “flat line” – acutely aware that Joe is absent and towards the end I started to have a bit of a melt down – just happens. Spoke again through the week to the mutual friend and started to talk about stuff, but the mutual friend told me that I stress ppl when I talk about anything negative…. I’m not a negative person – and I positively wish I had hit him. Instead I said “Okay, I wont share those things – but it means that our friendship is limited” – I don’t think he gets it and I keep thinking of the saying, “don’t throw your pearls to swine”
But why do I put up with ppl like him? because there is no one else.
But … very glad to have this website to vent.
Take care,
Niki

Norma October 1, 2010 at 9:58 am

I’ve been keeping an eye on you all, but I’ve also been very busy with my studies. Still finding that hard to say.

I’m with Gerry, lonliness is the worst of it all. No matter how many people you surround yourself with, there is still one missing. Come back Gerry, vent as much as you need.

Love to you all, must get on. Strength and peace and love. The weekend is here again.

Normaxxxxxxxx
‘ :@

Gerry October 1, 2010 at 3:42 pm

We always invited all kinds of friend over to our house. I never did anything that was for couples only. Sometimes I think people don’t want you around because they didn’t do anything for my husband or even visit him. They just wish sorrow would go away and they see me that way too right now like I am sorrow. But I am really not so I joke and talk to strangers just to laugh. I definitely understand that I am not the only one going through this but don’t you feel like the floor just fell out from under you. Right now I am obsessed with the thought I don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone.

Paula October 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I read these posts and its like you have read my heart word for word. It just plain sucks, not only do you lose your husband, but you lose your social network as well. I too was so obsessed with not spending the rest of my life alone. It was like I was forced into living alone and no one asked if this was what I wanted, so living alone and being single was forced upon me….I hated it, it was my prison!!! When I felt well enough to do so I started dating like a mad woman….trying to open these doors and make sure I wasnt gonna be alone, couldnt stand it. I even so desperately met a man from another state, he came and stayed with me for a week…..I couldnt stand it….wanted my space back!!! At that moment, I made the “Choice” to live alone and now it was forced and not an awful thing. I was free!!!! I have since stopped dating…dont need to fill that space anymore….I am okay with having my own space and being single. I miss my dear Lawrence like crazy…..God I ache for him and wish he were here, but I have learned how to “feel” him and “hear” him! He is with us, watching over us! My life has new meaning and I know it is the first step to accepting a life without him. I know this is something I have to do so my son can have a happy life as well as myself! Lawrence would want us to live and enjoy our remaining time here….I know it is not the end, its just another chapter, our bond is strong and I know he understands the journey I have went through since he was called home…..

Jeanine October 1, 2010 at 5:13 pm

A friend recently sent me a book (“Life after Loss” by Bob Deits) that helped her cope with losing her husband to pancreatic cancer, and thought it would help me adjust to losing mine to the same awful disease. I haven’t read the whole book yet, but what I have read is enough that I know I can recommend it to you all.

One thing it emphasizes is that there is no ‘right’ way to cope with grief…. whatever we need to do is alright. Each of us will cope in a different way. Whereas some of you do not want to be alone for the rest of your life, I’m asking our Lord to help me become a strong, independent woman who embraces living alone. This is totally opposite of my previous life, where I thrived on being ‘as one’ with my Don. It has been over two years since he died, and I am slowly creating that ‘new normal’ we all have to create. For me, it means enjoying living alone, and is often ‘one step forward, two steps back,’ but I’m getting there. Like Paula wrote, it makes all the difference when living alone is our choice, rather than something imposed upon us.

Karen October 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I guess you are right. There is no “right/wrong” way to grieve. We all just have to learn to be comfortable with ourselves. I know that being alone these last 6 months+ has given me a lot of time to think. I know I would rather be along than settle for or with someone. I feel, like I am sensing all of you feel, that I had the best and I am not settling. I know what it is like to be truly happy and I will not settle for less, because I am worth it. So, I guess what I am saying, is that now that I am alone, I am going to try to find some ways, even if little, to spoil myself.

Hugs ladies!

Jeanine October 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm

“I know I would rather be alone than settle for or with someone. I feel, like I am sensing all of you feel, that I had the best and I am not settling.” Exactly how I feel! Thanks for stating it so well, Karen.

Lori October 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Hello friends,
Everyone is on the same page in this forum. I cannot believe what I’m reading–like I wrote it myself! It is so comforting to me to know I have people who know what this is like! I feel like a bobblehead doll nodding to all the responses. Thank you Corinne–this forum is my life perserver!

Love, hugs and peace to all, Lori

Linda October 2, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Hi Everyone – I went through a mini depression over the last month so I just stopped checking email. Mark is still sick. Because he is a disable vet (shot in the abdomen in Desert Storm) he is on disability with medicare and medicaid. Although he became a clinical psychologist, he doesn’t want to begin to practice until he know what he has.
Yes. That’s what I said. The “top” doctors can’t definitively diagnose him. It’s such a sham. They racked up $90,000 in September with cat scans, pet scans, laproscopic camera through his intestines and tons of bloodwork. These idiots are taking advantage while they can with the government’s money. All he needed was to biopsy one or two of the lymph nodes, but they (Northwestern) wouldn’t because they “know” that it’s lymphoma. Yet they did not use the right combo of contrast on the ct scan and they said he had too much muscle to see the imaging on the pet scan. So pissed. We are now going to another hospital this month for the biopsies.
In the meantime, this man is expelling green vomit and can not eat. High temp (104) and is beaten up.
Anyway, hopefully UIC (Chicago) will get to the bottom of this and we can save him.
Love to all, Linda

Debie Phillips October 2, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Thank you all who are sharing your stories/feelings. My husband died last week and your stories help.
.-= Debie Phillips´s last blog ..Trick-or-Treat Digital scrapbook page 8” x 8” =-.

Karen Schiffer October 12, 2010 at 9:38 am

Hi Debie. I was sorry to read that you lost your husband. I also lost mine. He passed on September the 29, 2010 from cancer. I feel like my heart is bleeding and I can’t stop it. May God place his arms around you and comfort you. I understand your pain.

Karen

Cheryl Harrell October 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Prayers for all just said. Sorry I’ve been doing more reading than writing but so much going on and so tired out. Griefshare ended and I am now going to a ladies Bible study at my cousins church on Thurs nites. I didn’t pick the Apples Of Gold one cuz it seemed more like for women who were married and how to be a good homemaker to them. I would feel so weirded out at that one. So I picked on about thoughts and lies.

The car goofed up on me one nite when I was gonna go to Grief share. I was terrified it was something really wrong. My mom took me too and from Griefshare. She called the car dealer to have them pick up and fix. Praise God, all that was wrong with it was the battery died and fortunately it was covered under warranty. No hubby for support on that one.

Griefshare starts back up sometime this month I think but I won’t be going cuz it’ll be the same time as the Tues am crocheting/knitting group at my cousins church and I don’t wanna miss that. I really enjoy going to the crocheting/knitting group. It gets my mind off of athings. A coupla other widows come to it too. Poor thing one of them is still having it rough having lost her hubby. Boy I feel for her. I miss Mike every day. I want him back and yet he can’t come back from heaven. When they get a night time Griefshare group back up, I’ll go again.

Our nephews wife told me they were having a birthday party for our little nephew and wanted me to come and they’d invite me come the time. Well my mom found out from Mikes brothers wife they had the party and I never knew about it. I know next time I see her she’ll ask why I didn’t come. Cuz they never told me when they were having it. Course I wouldn’t say that, I’d just say I wasn’t sure when they were supposed to have it. Well Mikes brother one day at church did tell me to come over and see the new nephew before he got too old. That was a surprise.

Every yr Mike & I would go to visit his sister and her family in Ohio and even after she passed a coupla yrs ago, we’d still go. On the way up we’d stop off at Hawks Nest State Park in WV a few days and enjoy it. My mom made plans for her and my dad and I to go last week. She had to cancel us out. Cuz she got an abcessed tooth and it made her feel bad. She went to he dentist and they did something to her and gave her meds for it. But she still felt too bad to go and the weather forecast for WV was for rain for the week. It was a dissapointment cuz I was so looking forward to going and then didn’t get to go. It’s not my moms fault I know it couldn’t be helped but still. Now that Mikes gone I’ll never get to go to Ohio or the reunion in KY again and it hurts. It’s too far for me to go alone and I have no one to go with me. My folks can’t go that far due to their age (80′s).

And if that wasn’t enough, the folks renting my house keep wanting to keep their dog in the house. My mom has been helping me with that. She told them it was in the contract not to have it in the house or to have bad breeds like pit bulls. They act all nice like yes’m we’ll keep it outta the house but what do they do but keep bringing the mutt back in. Sigh. This time they did it again and it was the last straw so they are gonna have to move out and we get new renters. This is causing stress on my mom. They should not be causing stress like that on my mom. And it’s bugging me too! In late Oct early Nov. my folks & I are supposed to go to Nags Head for 3 weeks. My mom said if the house isn’t rented by then then we probably won’t get to go. But do the renters realize they might keep me from going on my trip and cause my mom and I to have to look for new renters? And caused stress on my mom? I am not happy about this and esp if I lose my trip to Nags Head I am looking forward to. I could use prayers that is all works out good for my mom and I.

I heard Mikes and mines song on the 60′s channel on Sirius in my folks car. They have the Sirius free till Dec and after that my folks will not renew. Bummer cuz I love the 60′s channel. Anyhow they played Mikes and mines song which was I Love You More Today Than Yesterday by the Spiral Starecase. Made me cry. Anyway during the middle of the song a weird sound like emergency broadcast system came on for a minute in the middle of the song. I wonder if it was Mike trying to tell me something. Weird.

I still have those terrible nightmares about Mike. I dreamed for several weeks about him dyuing and coming back from the dead. At first in them I was upset cuz he was alive and never told me. Then the week after those few one nite I keept having nightmares all nite long where he came back from the dead but wanted to be with some other woman instead of me. Then I started having nightmares where he comes back from the dead but does not want to be with me but would rather be with other people. One nite I dreamed that Mike had a chance to come back from the dead but did not want to come back to me cuz he liked it in heaven better. Fri nite I had a nightmare where he came back from the dead and refused to be with me. I kept pleading with him to please come and be with me. The dream had dead grandma’s, aunts and uncles of mine in it and weird crazy dumb stupid stuff in it too. I wish the nightmares would stop. I would rather dream good stuff about Mike like we’re going places and doing things together. Sigh.

I feel so empty without him. I’ll be doing stuff I liek and having a nice time with friends but still deep inside I feel so empty without Mike. I’ll never ever get over him. The pain is too deep.

Hope everyone is doing okay. We’re here for ya…

mary October 4, 2010 at 8:44 am

Hi ladies, just wanted to check in. I am on a mini-vacation to see an old friend. Her husband passed away over 20 yrs ago & was Ed’s best friend. Since Ed died she has been a great support, we’ve talked on the phone most every night. I read all your postings & feel like you all are in my head. It’s been 10 mos today that I lost my heart. I too, hate being alone, but agree with you all I can’t settle. I’m not looking forward to the next few months, the holidays, the anniversary of his attack & death, all of our sons & my granddaughter’s birthday. I’ll put on a “happy face” then go home & cry. I have found though that some days are not completely horrible. There are some days that I can’t feel Ed at all then there are times when I’m convinced he is right beside me, I can sort of even feel his touch. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Well ladies we will all get through this. I’m not sure how, but I do know somehow we WILL!!! Cheryl, I love Nags Head! We rent a house down there every fall for a week. We get a different house every year & have loved them all. The only thing we make sure is that the house is oceanfront. I love watching the dolphins in the morning. This year we decided not to go. The boys just weren’t up for it without their dad, but the oldest is already talking about planning the trip for next year. I really hope you get to go this year, Cheryl & if you do say hi to the dolphins for me. Well ladies take care of yourselves, I’ll be back on soon.

Lori October 4, 2010 at 9:30 am

Hello friends, How was everyone’s weekend? Since weekends are a lonely place, I filled it with chores–laundry, cleaning, raking, cleaning gutters, painting, a hockey game and yes–I cooked Sunday dinner. I was inspired to do so by all of you. Now it is Monday and I am having a very sad day. Oh well, it is what it is. I know all of you know what I mean.

Love, hugs & peace, Lori

Kate October 5, 2010 at 11:18 am

Sorry you had a sad Monday Lori but good on you for cooking Sunday dinner. I said nothing but I wanted to encourage you.
I am off.. yep. I have had enough of people, sympathy and my mobile phone. I send so many sms’s to communicate with friends and family that I don’t even know whether I sent one or not. I am flying to Thailand tomorrow. Leaving ruby with my lovely mum for 4-5 days and am going to do yoga, meditate, see a counsellor, a chinese doctor who helped me get pregnant and stare at the sea. It might sounds lonely but I just cannot wait. I might regret the peace and quiet but I feel so well supported. I am going to a place where Steve sent me when he was busy working through Easter 2007. Somehow I fell he is taking me back again to heal. I was about to say “I wish he was with me” but I am getting beyond those comments. He will not be with me (perhaps in spirit) and I have begu to face it and deal with it. Maybe solitude will change me. Maybe I’ll go deeper than I have before. Maybe I will freak out. Maybe I am just about to find out what it’s really like to have lost my husband. I am not sure but I am not going to deny myself the opportunity to grow.
See you all next week with a full report.
Light and love and laughter for you all. Kate x

Jeanine October 5, 2010 at 11:33 am

My prayers are with you, Kate. I am looking forward to reading your “full report” when you return.

Jeanine

Lori October 5, 2010 at 11:36 am

Kate, Let us know how it all turns out for you. Maybe that’s just what I need.

Love, Lori

Marilyn October 6, 2010 at 5:22 am

Hello, dear friends….

It was daughter, Rebecca’s birthday yesterday. She had told me the day before she was not going to celebrate her birthday without her dad and to forget any celebration planned. Needless to say, it was much worse than I expected.. Things aren’t bad enough with losing your life partner and then you have to witness your children’s grief. This “first” held true to its anticipation. It was AWFUL.

On October 7th, it will be five months since I lost the love of my life. Honestly, it hasn’t gotten any easier…. the struggle continues. Sometimes, I wish it were a year from now and maybe I won’t feel as bad as I do currently. It’s so difficult adjusting to life without him. He was so much a part of it.

I’m preoccupied during the day with a lot of home repairs and the everyday duties that have to be done, but those late evening hours catch up to you. Then come the flashbacks….those haunting memories of his illness and the end result. I MISS HIM. How do you mend the broken heart that’s left behind? What do you fill the emptiness with? I read something awhile back….”We used to walk together; now I walk alone. That pretty well sums it up. Not only doing what you used to do as a couple, but now being responsible for his contributions, and there were many.

All your contributions help me cope. Please keep posting. I come here every day to see how everyone is doing. .

Love,

“Mare”

Karen October 6, 2010 at 7:38 am

I am working on 7 months. I still have bad days. I envy couples when I go out and long to be with him again. I busy myself with “things”. Thank goodness for work; but it is tough to concentrate and I have to work VERY hard to stay focused. Some folks at work don’t understand and it is tough dealing with them also. It is just plain exhausting to put it mildly. I long to be happy and somewhat carefree again; but, I guess it will come. I don’t have any answers – wish I did, so that I could help myself.

Karen

Lori October 6, 2010 at 7:48 am

Hello friends, The grief I struggle with is much worse when I factor in our children’s grief. Hands down that is the hardest part for me. Mare, I completely understand. The children’s birthdays were a very tough first.

Karen, I have also found some people just don’t get it and believe we will simply get over it. I personally, will never get over it–of course it will be easier to cope as time progresses, but I will never, ever get over losing the love of my life.

Love, Lori

Jeanie B October 6, 2010 at 10:45 am

Hello All

Its been 4 months for me and will make 5 months on the 24th of this month and on top of that this is my hubby’s b-day on the 19th is —or rather would have been my sweeties 45th b-day (oh WOW) not looking forward to that…already I have “well meaning” friends calling me asking me what am I going to do?….I’m not sure if they are expecting me to have a party or what?….each year we would celebrate our birthdays all month long (great fun when he was here but now : -(
Before this month came I was feeling OK…getting by and not crying so much…now I feel like I feel like i haven’t progressed at all.
its like a dark cloud is following me and I can’t get rid of it.. but I’m being more proactive in how I deal with this “dark cloud” and
to combat this feeling I have made several plans for the upcoming holidays…Thanksgiving & XMAS is usually at our house so I’ve decided that for Thanksgiving we will dine with others and for Xmas we will take a ski vacation… since we live in TX this will be a “treat” for us to finally see & feel some real snow…
hopefully with something “exciting planned” I can make it through the rest of the holidays.
Mare, Lori, Karen
I know how you feel and I know we all wish we could bring them back but since we can’t we have to go on; live our lives and try to be happy again. I know it is hard but nothing ever worthwhile is….I trust that God will keep each and every one of you so that you find peace & comfort as you struggle with what life has dealt us.

Hugs & kisses
Jeanie B

Lori October 9, 2010 at 6:51 am

Hello friends, Jeanie B. I know exactly how you are feeling. June was awful for me because it was our anniversary, his birthday and 6 months of being without him. It was the hardest month to go through so far (not looking forward to December–it will be 1 year 6 days before Christmas day). It was a bit of a blur.

How many times a week are you asked “how are you doing?” and prompted with the statement, “I just can’t imagine”? Too many for me. I’m doing the best I can, but I tell those that inquire I am doing ok. I never respond with words to their statement of “I just can’t imagine” but I want to scream sometimes, “that’s because it’s unimaginable! You are just happy you are not in my shoes aren’t you!” I would never say that however. I know they mean well, they really do. People just don’t know what to say.

That was a bit of random babble….

Love & Hugs, Lori

Cheryl Harrell October 9, 2010 at 8:54 pm

My Mikes bd was in June too and we got married in June too. I used to tell him he got me as a birthday present…

mary October 11, 2010 at 7:40 am

Lori, Have you ever gotten “I know exactly how you feel”? None of them have lost a husband. They have lost parents & siblings. I don’t mean to lessen their hurt, but it IS different. I’m 55 yrs old, I’ve lost a lot of close people. Your life changes every time you lose a person & you Do cry a lot. But when you lose a husband NOTHING is the same. The only ones that know “exactly” what we are feeling are those in the “club”. I sometime just want to scream!!! A woman in my grief support group said “I’m not Cheryl anymore, I’m Cheryl & Andy.” I never realized how much Ed did until he was gone. While I was on my mini-vacation last week I bought a car. A used car but a car none the less. I’ve never done that on my own before! Now I have to get the old one ready to sell. When I do get rid of it I know I’ll cry. Ed & I loved that car but… I am already dreading the next few months. The anniversary of our “lasts” (thanksgiving, black friday, our last time together as a family) then that terrible 6 days Nov 28-Dec 4th. I also think people feel that since it’s been over 10 months & since I put on a happy face that I should be “over it”. First of all I don’t want to be the person that brings everyone down & honestly I really want to enjoy life again. But I should be “over it”?!!!! Excuse me folks I was with the man for nearly 30 yrs – No I’m not “over” it I may never be over it. I will learn how to deal with it better but OVER it?!!! I really do like this sight, I can vent then go out & not scream at those people who “know exactly how I feel”. And ladies for those of you who pray could you say a little prayer for a woman who I ran into last week whose husband is seriously ill. She is very scared that she’s going to loose him & she may. He’s the brother of the woman I went to see & they are a really nice couple. We don’t need another woman in this “club” of ours. Thank you all.
Love to everyone
Mary

Zulaifa October 11, 2010 at 8:40 am

Hello dear ladies

I am writing after a long time. I thought I was getting better, and I am stronger, but it doesn’t seem to be so even after one year and almost ten months my heart is aching so much. I still wish I could wake up from this nightmare. Thank you for letting me pour out my heart.

Love and blessings to all!!!

Zulaifa

Jeanie B October 11, 2010 at 8:48 am

Hello Ladies

Zulaifa… I think we all have those days where we are doing fine then all of a sudden a song, a thought, a smell or even a memory flashes across our mind and WHAM…back in “black hole” again.. I’ve had days and even weeks where I am doing OK being that it has only been 4 months…(5 months on the 24th) and I think some months are especially hard when its a birthday or anniversary or any special moment we shared with our love one.
So take comfort in the fact that you are getting better but we all have “days”.
I know sometimes i just wake up feeling sad and alone and wishing my sweetie was here but he’s not and life still goes on.
I pray for each of you as I pray for myself that we continue to grow stronger day by day.
Hugs and Kisses
Jeanie B.

Lori October 11, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Hello beautiful ladies,
First, Zulaifa it is so nice to hear from you again. We missed you. You have a group of friends right here to help you.

Mary, Thank you, thank you for validating my feelings. It will be 10 months on the 19th and yes, people do see you putting on that “happy face” and thinking you are doing ok. There is a woman in town that lost her husband in July, he was only 42. She has 2 young children 9 & 5. I asked another sports mom how she was doing because she is her neighbor. The response was, “she seems ok!” I wanted to say, “oh, no she isn’t, she is putting on her “game face” for everyone, but I know for a fact this woman is not ok.” I didn’t respond, just nodded at her and thought you people have no clue. Losing your husband is completely different. I feel so alone and somewhat guilty I am experiencing things that my husband isn’t here to share them. Thinking forward to things makes me sad, living in the now helps me get through the day.

Love & hugs to all,
Lori

Marilyn October 11, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Hello, to all my friends.

I look forward to reading your posts each and every day. I haven’t been posting as much recently because I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but things feel the same for me….one big empty black hole.

October 7th……five long months without my Bob. I, too, didn’t realize all the things he did here until I’ve had to assume those responsibilities. Like Mary, I’ve sold our old mini-van and bought a newer used one. Dreading those upcoming holiday “firsts,” as well. I don’t think we ever will get “over it.” Our husbands were so much a part of our lives and well being. I was sitting in the living room yesterday looking at the fireplace mantle (his final resting place) reminiscing our 32 years together. So many memories and no new ones to be made.

My heart goes out to all of you going through this transition. I don’t know what the outcome for me will be. I wander through each day doing what has to be tended to; he never leaves my mind for a second. This is a void I can’t fill in and don’t want to. We had a great life together; we were happy and content. I woke up to him every morning and fell asleep with him every night. All of us now wake up differently.
Mary’s so right….When you lose a husband, NOTHING is the same.

Yes, we are members of a very exclusive “club.” No membership fees for this one, just love and understanding.

None of us are alone on this journey.

“Mare”

Mary Lotus Butterfly October 11, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Hi everybody,
It has been two years and nine months for me now. As I stuggle and bumping into rough times with work, I cry because I should not be there anymore. That is when I feel that my Barry left me behind. The past two weeks have been very rough to deal with at work.
Barry and I had made plans for a future and it all crashed over the cliff.

Luckly, I have support from my spiritual family and community. Thru my Ministry classes, I am working very hard to make a change in my life oneday…where I do not have to work for anyone and answering to the system. I hope that oneday, I can make the big shift and do spiritual work to help others and earn money to live on in another way, which would be more peaceful.

People say just quit the job, but how would I pay rent and bills, then. I do not want to go somewhere else and work…those places have problems and their issues, also. So, I have to figure a way to earn money and do spiritual work. At least it gives me a goal to work for.

I am an Ordained Reverend in the State of Florida. Hopefull, with God’s will…things will fall into place. I can only take one step at a time.

I do not think one get over it. It might just get a little easier to bear and not miss so much. My Barry will always with me.

Peace and Light,
Mary Lotus Butterfly

Kate October 12, 2010 at 12:36 am

Hi everyone,
I’m back. It’s 6 months for me tomorrow. Steve’s family arranged a blessing at his grave with their Greek Orthodox priest on Saturday and their Sunday church service focussed on him, after which his mum entertained 45 friends and relatives. I felt ok being in Thailand, but also removed from a weekend that was all about Steve in Melbourne. I knew they were missing me but I also knew I had to be alone. On Saturday night in Thailand, at the health spa where I was staying, they had a lantern ceremony. We all headed to the beach out in front of the resort and we each released a huge lantern, filled with hot air and a flame, with a personal message tied to it. It was beautiful. My first attempt ditched in to the sea, which kind of made me laugh, thinking Steve had a hand in that. But I blew my lantern kisses as it took up in to the starry sky and over a cliff top hoping it would reach my gorgeous Steve, the love of my life.
I spent my time doing yoga each morning, plus some massages and sessions with a chinese doctor who, through accupuncture, is helping my aches, pains and weight loss, not to mention draining my lungs and heart of sadness. He helped me get pregnant so it was special to see him, but also so sad telling him and other staff that since I saw them three years ago, I have been married, had a beautiful baby girl and then lost the man of my dreams. Their love and care was special. They refrained themselves from gushing silly comments of support and said meaningful and sweet things. Everyone of course says that God and our Ruby will give me strength. But I sense Steve is giving me a lot too.
I spent an afternoon on my balcony reading everything I wrote about Steve when I was there in 2007. It reminded me just how passionately and madly we fell for each other. He wrote things that, back then, brought tears to my eyes, and vice versa, but re-reading them sent me in to a spiral. I was on the bed moaning until I slept. I felt so much better having done it. I think my problem is that I have not had enough time to just think about Steve.
I can highly recommend the place. You are very anonymous. If that’s what you want. They have lovely therapists too. I did an interesting technique called NLP and did some tapping.
If any of you are interested in a decent break to clear your mind and feel the warm breeze and listen to palm trees sway and know that others there are all there for a reason too, while eating only healthy food and staring at the sea take a look at http://www.kamalaya.com
I also read Corrine’s book, which was excellent reading. It touched so many buttons and is so well written. Corrine you are very clever and the most amazing mother. Let alone wife! Julie was a lucky man.
I started another book called A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser. He lost a daughter, his wife and his mother in a car accident. He was driving. A drink driver hit their car. His journey and his reflections are so meaningful as well. I highly recommend that too.
I have to fly but Lori, yes, I know what you mean about feeling guilty when experiencing new things. Steve never went to Kamalaya. He sent me there to spoil me while he worked in the factories. How I wish I had dragged him back. There I was again, being spoilt and nurtured and I only wished it could have been Steve receiving all that care and love.
Love you all lots, Kate

Kim October 12, 2010 at 7:51 am

How long does one have to get the Pension transferred, the life insurance policy in place, the house transferred into the widows name, etc. Does everything have to be done within a month or within a year? Please advise. I’m at a loss.

Kate October 12, 2010 at 10:46 am

Debie P & Karen S,

Sorry I just went back and read your posts. I am so very sorry for you both. You are probably still in a fog or haze. Let it pass, don’t fight it. Take your time. I know the aching. Of course the flashbacks are different but the pain from the loss is immense. Take it hour by hour. Know that time is your friend, and so are we. I gained so much strength from this site in my first two months in particular. I still do of course but initially I woke up to it and went to sleep checking in to this site, and writing almost daily. Knowing that so many beautiful women shared my pain and grief was more comforting than any words that caring family and friends could say, despite their best intentions. My friends practical actions were also high on the helpful list. Surround yourself with people you truly trust and respect. Ask for help, even if you think you can cope.

In 5.5 hours my darling husband Steve died 6 months ago, unexpectedly from a stomach virus that attacked his heart overnight. Sometimes I still can’t believe this has happened to me. Most of the time I am just getting on with it and making a life for our 16m/o daughter. She is my “why”.

We are all here for you. We all dump, vent and share so keep reading. There is no other site like this one, thanks to Corrine.

I never ever thought I would be in this situation at 42 y/o but here I am and I thank every single woman who has posted here for giving me the perspective I needed to get on with living. I truly hope we can all help you through the frightening moments and provide you with a safe place to drop in to.

Love Kate

Karen October 12, 2010 at 10:55 am

Yes, this site has been a Godsent. It will be 7 months since Paul’s unexpected passing. I, like all of you, are dreading the holidays. The songs, prep and then the celebrating the holidays. It just doesn’t seem the same. His birthday is Dec. 2nd. Last year for his 60th I took him away for a special weekend, just the two of us. At the time I didn’t know he was feeling as bad as he was and just thought he wasn’t enjoying the get -a-way. He just wasn’t his chipper self. He had a habit of hiding the truth from me when it came to his health. This year his boss is doing a memorial tribute to Paul on his birthday and they are putting a plaque in the hallway of their office. This is a very special thing that they are doing. I have not gone to his office since before his passing and I still need to pick up his personal effects from their. So many hard things to do!! I can’t believe that I am over half way to a year! It doesn’t seem possible. I still miss his touch, his smell, his voice and his laugh! Hang in there ladies I will need you through the holiday.

Hugs,

Karen

Norma October 13, 2010 at 9:52 am

Welcome Ladies, stay and chat for a while. You wont find all the answers here, but you will find, love, strength and support.

Chucking my h’penny in. What pisses me off, are the women who say I know how you feel. ‘Is that because your husband has died?’, no I’ve just got divorced/separated.

How the hell is that the same as knowing how I feel? Are you insane?

Been feeling rough for a while, but busy with college. Its not long now until its been a year. A whole bloody year without my mum or my husband and I just feel like it will never end.

Love to you all
Nx

Karen October 13, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Nx – you are right. A lot of women who get/got divorced have said the same to me. I have been divorced also and IT IS VERY different. I even had one woman from work who was divorced have the nerve show up at one of my group grief sessions and say it was the same! I couldn’t believe it.

Hang in there. I am trying to weather the storm. Some days are truly rough and lonely. I wish I had answers. I have some supposed well-meaning folks at work tell me that it will take “years” til I feel okay. So helpful.

Thank you, ladies, for your continued support!

Karen

Marlee October 15, 2010 at 6:11 pm

My husband died 2 years ago from cancer. My whole world has been upside down ever since. I’m only 26. There is no support where I live. My days are dark and lonely. I have read every self-help book dealing with depression, death, lonelyness, you name it. But at the end of the day I’m still the same, missing my husband and having to go to bed without him, again.

Denise October 16, 2010 at 6:04 am

Hi Everyone
I still read the posts since a year ago when I joined but I do not write as much. It has been a year and 2 months since my belowved Husband Steven passed away of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. I still replay that night in my head, the suddeness and shock of it all still haunts me. I miss him so very much as does our daughter who is now 10. I still get mad and struggle with never having the chance to say goodbye. If I had one wish it would be for another hour with my Steven, to tell him all those things I never got to say and that is the hardest part. I just always thought people would get sick and you would have time to do all of those things, sudden death is so unfair…so different. In talking with some really spiritual support people it intrigues me on how some have such strong faith. To honestly believe that earthly death is the best thing that will ever happen to us. That God loves all of his creations, and one day we all meet in a perfect place free of pain, suffering, hurt, sin and sorrow. All addictions, disease, afflictions are removed and we become blissful, something that is just not possible on earth. So how do we really know that dying an Earthly death is not the best thing that will ever happen to us- we don’t know that, but those with strong faith and hope radiate this promise of everlasting life and those are the people we need to surround ourselves with. I have become one of those people this last year and so I pop in to let all of you know this. I have always been religious and spiritual, but this “tragedy” that happened before my very eyes has transformed my soul into honestly walking this earth, knowing with a very high sense of predictability, that are loved ones are in a better place. It is us who are left to linger on Earth (and suffer the loss) and fumble our way to understanding what exactly we should be doing from day to day? We come into this world with nothing, and we leave with nothing. It is what we do in-between those days that counts so we need to LOVE and support one another and share all of the compassion our Losses have created within us in order to help others. Yes I still hurt, and I am profoundly lonely, but I tell you that with Faith I know in my Heart and Soul that God took my Stevens hand, untimely as it was FOR A REASON. I still do not know that reason, and someday it will be revealed to me, but for now I must accept that God Loves all of his creations and he does not make mistakes. So in closing I just wanted to say to all that are old and new on the site, I really appreciate all of your Love and Support that you have given me this last year. This shattering pain that I have felt, is pain you all have felt, and I am not alone. We are not alone.
God Bless
Denise

Stephanie Davis October 18, 2010 at 5:27 am

well i think i belong with you ladies here on this site.. Hello, My name is stephanie davis and i lost my husband January 21, 2010. He died in my arms that night from a brain anurism. He was 39 yrs of age. I am and just turned 38. It was the worst night of my life. We never saw it coming and so quickly he was taken from me.
I couldnt sleep again tonight, it is 430 in the morning in omaha, neb. right now. I have a hard time sleeping ever since dan left me. So i thought i would get up and surf the web for maybe something to read about and maybe some one who can understand what im going through… and i found this site here.. I have to say that i just lost it when i read some of these stories. I know what your going through and how badly you hurt and feel lost and empty. I have to say that Denise , your story and situation and feelings are very similiar to mine.. I have a hard time doing anything with out him it seems like. I miss him so much it hurts so bad to think about even now just sitting here writing about it. I dont understand why God had to take him. And under those circumstances and so damn fast. No warning, no time to prepare, not a single sign..Just gone!!!!!!!why why why???? He had so much left to do, a wife and young children, why not some one old and wanting to go or a menice to our society..( a drug dealer.,,ect..)why my husband, a father , a uncle , a brother, a cousin, a son, and a hard and honest worker and a good faithful man.? Im angry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rosetta Sosi October 16, 2010 at 6:37 am

I am so thankful for this site. Before I found it, I thought that I was so abnormal, but after reading all the comments, I know I am ‘one of the club’. It’s been over a year since my dear Louie fell over on the kitchen floor before I was even out of bed…a massive heart attack. He had been doctoring for years, and always told me that I didn’t know how he felt, and that I just didn’t want to accept that one day I would be alone. I guess he was right, as so often he was. It was the third marriage for both of us, and as they say, “the third one is a charm”, and that he was. We had 27 wonderful years together, and I think that is what hurts the most…that there will be no more of those ‘wonderful years’. Like many people say, “get over it, get on with your life”. Only the people that I read about on here understand that it’s not that easy. We did EVERYTHING together, whether it was working on our apartment house together, or going for a ride in the country, or watching the news………EVERYTHING! Now that EVERYTHING is gone, and it seems everyone thinks my life should go on as before. Why can’t people understand?? I know they mean well, but they just don’t know until you go through it. I am so THANKFUL for this site, to know that I am not alone, that I am having normal feelings, and that it WON’T be the same, even after a year. Like many, my husband handled all the bills and paperwork, and I’ve learned to do so much the last year–not all of it good, but I’ve learned.
I’m lucky to have a very supportive family around me, but it’s just not the same; they too, don’t understand because none of them have gone through losing their spouse.
I am so thankful for this site and all of you on it. You don’t know what a comfort it is to hear that I really am NOT alone…..there are many of us out there, all going through the same pains, and loneliness.
God bless all of you, and we WILL make it.
Rose

Mary Lotus Butterfly October 16, 2010 at 8:19 am

Hello to Denise and everybody on this site,

Yes, it is about faith, believing in ourselves and being into our own being. My Barry saw me…as I had seen him. Barry and I gave each other such powerful gifts. I would not be where I am today at all, into my own personal power. I would have follow Barry and being quiet.

I still cry…because of the deep love that we carry. I release my Barry…so that he can be a free spirit that he is.

But, now I realized the wonderful moments of life. I carried on the dreams…I am a Reverend in spirituality and I just made another accomplishment…I am a Usui Reiki Master.

I pray for Archangle Michael and Archangle Gabriel to protect me and guide me. I pray to God for guidance and to keep the purity of my heart. I pray for peace, comfort and love for all of you on this site.

Love and Light,
Mary Lotus Butterfly

mary October 16, 2010 at 11:21 am

Denise, wow, I too, wish I could have had just a couple minutes with Ed to tell him everything he already knew, or maybe something profound. After his 1st stroke I honestly thought he’d be coming home that day, then in the ER I knew it was worse than I originally thought, but I still thought he’d be home in a few days. I made jokes with him & he laughed, then within hrs he slipped into his coma, 6 days later he was gone. You are soooo right when you say sudden death is unfair. I talked to him in those 6 days & did say a lot of things, but I have to be honest with myself, he probobly didn’t hear me, his brain was gone by then. You ladies are the only ones that really understand what I am feeling. The last few weeks haven’t been bad, I thought I’d at least gotten myself somewhat together. Then the last few days happened. I had trouble with my new/used car & was stranded on one of the busiest intersections in town. I couldn’t get in touch with any of our sons, it was horrid. Now the car is back & even though the mechanic says all is well I am very afriad to drive. Ed was going to put on a new roof on the house this past spring, needless to say it didn’t happen. SO after our recent storms it has started to leak. I can’t afford for someone to come & do it,& have no idea what to do. For the first time I’ve gotten mad at him for leaving me with all this, then I get mad at myself for getting mad at him… I wish I had the faith that some of you do. I really want to believe he is looking after me & with all those close people we’ve lost in years past. Sometimes I feel like he really is here with me, not just in my heart, but really here. Ed & I were like all of you, more than just husband & wife, he was my best friend, my rock, my soul mate & a REALLY NICE guy. If God does have a reason for all this I still don’t understand. Why take the good ones? There are men out there that abuse their wives & kids & they live to be very old. I know there are no answers to this, I just needed once again to vent & feel sorry for myself today. Somehow deep down inside I know we’ll all be ok someday, I’m just not sure when that will be. I just keep going back to what one of you said a while ago, if there is a heaven do we really want to meet our husbands someday & say that our lives ended when they left? I know Ed would be very dissappointed in me, he always said I was a strong woman. We’ve got to make it through if not for ourselves, but for them. Thanks for allowing me to once again vent ladies.
Mary

Lori October 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Hello friends, Rosetta and Marlee we welcome you with big hugs and open arms. Feel free to say what you feel anytime. We listen and know what you are feeling.

Denise–welcome back! I was very excited to see your post. I know what you are saying and I believe that too. I honestly think God took my husband because he “got life” and learned what he needed to learn here and has work to do “there” now. That doesn’t mean I am happy about it. I am not one to question Him either, but I figure He has big shoulders and was probably expecting me to be upset with Him. I would love to know what I am suppose to learn from this, what a 9 year old (and our other children) are suppose to learn from this, what our 1 year old granddaughter is suppose to learn from this. Where is God when we are all hurting and so sad? Why would He take a dad away from his children/grandchildren. This is what makes me the most sad and confused.

Oh Boy Mary do I echo your sentiments! I struggle with my new normal of figuring it all out by myself and wonder each and every day why the good ones go before the sex offenders, wife abusers, etc. I DO NOT GET THAT!

Karen, I cannot stand it when divorce is compared to death. Those people are fools to believe it is the same thing. I have not been divorced, but I am smart enough to know divorce is a choice and death is not. We all did not choose to be alone and loose the loves of our lives. It was thrust upon us without our say. Not the same thing.

I’m hanging in there, but struggling all the same. I miss him so, so much.

Love & Hugs, Lori

Kate October 17, 2010 at 11:47 am

To be honest I think it depends on the divorce. It’s not always a choice. If I woke up one day and my husband told me he was in love with someone else and leaving me (or had been having affairs our entire marriage, which has happened to my friend) I think the shock would be horrendous, and the rejection would be a major slap in the face on the way out.

I know there is one lady who reads this site who found out after her husband died that he had a mistress and that is a truly confusing twist to the grieving process. But most of us knew our husbands adored us and we adored them, so we can mourn them with dignity.

Of course there are people who want divorce when their relationship breaks down and they really can’t compare their loss to ours, but many of them are mourning a marriage that didn’t work. The have lost their dreams too. Some of them have to suffer while their partner parades a happy new life in front of them. They get bitter and twisted and can hate the opposite sex. The kids can favour the bad guy etc. Divorce can’t be compared because it can be equally as devastating, but different.

I have not had anyone say it to me, and God help them if they did, but I do sometimes think that I am suffering a more dignified loss than the loss some divorces create. I will proudly and pleasingly tell my husband’s children about him until the day I die. Some children walk this earth knowing there is a parent out there who doesn’t want to see them.

Denise, you and I both had Steve’s who had sudden cardiac arrests. I seem to have adjusted to day to day life without my Steve. I too feel he was taken for a reason. I think he was too gentle. He was an angel. He had worked hard enough, he’d been hurt and stressed enough in his 40 years. He’ll do a better job looking after us from above perhaps. It doesn’t make it easier but it makes it bearable. As I have said before, I think the hard part for me is yet to come, when my daughter is old enough to know she is different to most kids at school.

Night all and love always. Kate

Matt October 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Hello Ladies
I’ve been reading your post for about 6 months now & i have wanted to respond and comment but certain items of my wife’s death led me to hold back. One lady in particulary since it was mentioned here a couple of months ago but it has been re-visited so I thought i would make a few things known…
WHy i didn’t say anything about my wife’s death is b/cause she died of SCA (sudden cardiac arrest) and I was at the time with my mistress…no i am no longer with her the guilt has and still is overwhelming to know that my wife died when i should have been home.. I just wanted KATE to know that it DOES NOT mean that I didn’t love my wife be/cause I did i can sit & try to explain but thats not what I wanted to convey… I wanted to let her know that the other women (i think there were 2 of them…one died while with his mistress and the other found out after finding letters that were given to her by his office) anyway…Karen your words seems to me that you feel that these women should not mourn their husbands b/cause the rest of you feel like you knew your husbands “adored you so and you them so now you can mourn them with dignity”
As a man i can’t speak for these ladies husband but the fact that we cheated has NOTHING to do with our wives its ALL about us. wont go into details but I had to respond to let these ladies know if they happen to read Karen’s post that YOU MUST KNOW YOUR HUSBANDS LOVED YOU… grieve with the knowledge that if they could tell you one last time they love you… I know b/cause if the situation had been reveresed & it was i who had died I would have wanted my wife to know that i love her and I am truly,truly sorry,

Karen I may have read your post incorrectly and if i did then i apologize but that line just had me reliving the pain and hurt i caused bcause of my selfishness and i would want my wife to know that despite all of the circumstance she was the one I loved and one lady :LOVed the analogy of the burger and steak comparison,.,,.and so true

Corinne
Twitter:
October 19, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Dear Matt -

Your comment is of utmost importance. It must have been difficult to write.

I personally thank you for all the widows you have helped here.

Wonder if you know how vital your thoughts are.

Love,

Corinne

Karen October 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Today was a confusing day emotionally for me. My son with the two grandchildren (2-1/2 and 3-1/2) who is alone with them because his wife left him was having a hard day with the kids as he has a toothache and was in a foul mood. I help with them 4 days a week (Wednesday evenings, Friday evenings, most of Saturday and Sunday) I had a friend ask (whose husband died last December) if I wanted to go for a bike ride and walk through our little town. It was such a beautiful day, I said yes. Before I went my son called needing something and the kids were running around in the background. I guess I sounded a little disappointed that he was asking me over again when I had one day to do something good for myself. He got angry with me cause i was doing something. My friend said I should back off.

Then I went to my younger son’s for dinner. He had picked up Pauls belonging from his office. That was harder seeing than I thought. I am so angry with Paul for leaving me in the middle of t his mess. I feel so trapped sometimes like the walls are closing in. My parents, mostly my mother, feel I should be helping my son out as much as possible as he is having such a hard time. So not fair! I hate my life right now!!!

Sorry for venting I just had to get it off my chest.

Karen

Lori October 17, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Hello friends,
I agree and understand what you are saying Kate concerning how some marriages may end, but divorce, in my opinion, is still a choice. Someone–the husband or wife–is choosing to leave the relationship no matter what the circumstances. I believe they do mourn what dreams they may have had and I also believe (because I have witnessed it first-hand) the bitterness that can destroy people too. We are in a whole different situation.

My husband also died of sudden cardiac arrest and I wasn’t able to say goodbye to him either. I had actually just hung up the phone with him and he was absolutely fine. I drove in the driveway which was about 2-3 min. away from where I was when we last spoke and walked in the door to find him struggling. I honestly thought he was having a stroke. Everything was so sudden. I still think about that whole day and what I could have done differently.

Love & hugs,
Lori

Norma October 18, 2010 at 11:39 am

Hi Stephanie, welcome!

you’ve found us at last, what took you so long? Here we listen, we talk, we vent, we get angry, we get sad, we get happy, but above all we get together and share.

Come back and see us, we’d love to get to know you and who knows we might learn something from each other.

Strength and love to you.

Much love
Normaxxx

Terre October 18, 2010 at 11:59 am

Norma: I have e-mailed you and had no response. Perhaps you didn’t get my e-mail? Love, Terre

Lori October 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Hello friends, Welcome Matt–a man’s perspective is always insightful. Thank you for sharing. I am curious if you have children you are raising. Would you mind sharing your views on losing your wife? I think I could learn something from you. I am overwhelmingly heartbroken and sad and raising 2 younger children (15 & 9). We have 2 older children also (25 & 23) who are just as heartbroken as the younger ones. I miss my husband more and more each day. Today marks 10 months.

Love & hugs to all,
Lori

Kate October 19, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Hi Lori, I suppose what I mean is if I was on the receiving end of the break-up and it came as a complete surprise the shock would be bad enough and the loss, let alone watching him happily sliding into a new life, leaving me with the pieces to pick up, a nasty court case, possibly a custody battle etc. Missing my husband is extreme, but at least I don’t have the hate and bitterness threaded through each day. I just hate Steve for leaving me!! Not really, but I am having those feelings of disappointment like he has gone to the better place and left me to struggle. Left me because his job was done on earth. Because he knew I would survive. I feel he left me with second best. Maybe it is helping me in some way because today I thought, well if this is what he has left me with, I am going to do whatever I want. I am going to live completely by my code now, and if he is guiding me great, but I am not going to think “well Steve would have done it that way, so I should”. I am going to make choices that I believe in, and just hope that he is making them with me.

Matt I don’t mean to upset me. I wasn’t sure if you meant me or Karen. I am just one novice with loss. I am learning fast that so many people are suffering from loss on one level or another. I avoid judging as much as possible and I certainly don’t judge you for what you did. You had your reasons. It’s such a sensitive topic we are all discussing. I just hope we can all find a way to bring some carefree behaviour back in to our lives. I know when I drive a car fast with good loud music and my daughter laughing at me in the back I get as close to feeling like the old Kate as ever. I don’t care what people think of me, because they’ll never understand my mix of emotions anyway. And I also know that behind every face is a level of pain, it just takes the brave ones to talk about it.

Karen, can I ask if you have seen a bereavement counsellor? You definitely need to carve out some time for yourself. You are so giving and it’s time to give back to yourself. It might feel nasty at first, but your kids and grandkids will respect your boundaries over time and you’ll feel better on so many levels. Your parents… well, we all know they have different opinions to us but did they lose their partner? Put a weekly bike ride in your diary. You’ll start smiling more with that wind in your hair! I really hope you can.

Love Kate

Kate October 19, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Matt, sorry I meant ” I don’t mean to upset you ” (it’s not ALL about me).

Norma October 20, 2010 at 11:06 am

Welcome Matt! Sorry couldn’t resist.

As it’s been said, although it’s a “Widow’s” site, please feel welcome here. Another point of view is useful.

Have you ever asked yourself, if you would really have been at home that day? Or would you have been out doing things with a buddy, or even work? It’s natural to feel guilt, and even here, we feel a little guilty even those who were with their husbands when he died. It’s easy to punish yourself and not so easy to forgive. But truly, what can you do about it now?

Thanks for sharing – it was me by the way, who gave the steak/burger analogy. Me and Martin used to talk about it all the time, and knowing how my parents lived when they were together, it’s true, a burger is nice sometimes, but coming home for steak is always best. You will find your steak again, but perhaps you might think twice about nipping out for burger! :-)

Love and strength to you.

Much love
Normaxxx

Terre October 20, 2010 at 11:36 am

Norma: Still not hearing from you. Has your e-mail changed since moving in with your Dad? Trying to connect with you but not getting response. Love, Terre

Cheryl Harrell October 20, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Prayers just said for all. I could use some prayers and good vibes.m The folks renting my home are moving out (long story there) and it looks like some new renters are moving in. The woman wants to use my storage bldg I have behind my house to store some of my stuff in. My mom is taking care of renting it for me. Well the woman was asking my mom when could I move my stuff out. YUCK! I have some stuff in there that I cannot get rid of and means the world to me. Some of the stuff I have in there is photo albums of Mikes family and pics of Mike are in there. There are some of my record albums in there, some scrapbooks of some of my stars , some fanzines of some of my stars, and a trunk with some books and magazines of some of my stars in it. I’m afraid if I have to move the stuff outta there that my mom isn’t gonna want me putting the photo albums, trunk, records and fanzines in her attics. If I lose that stuff I will have a huge meltdown. It’s bad enough I lost alot of my stuff when Mike passed due to it accidnetally going to auction when it wasn’t supposed to or accidentally getting thrown out. Sorry to vent but this is worrying me. Surely my mom could put up with one trunk, a few boxes of record albums, and a box with some fanzines and photo albums in it in her attic. But you know what a neat freak she is and how she doesn’t save anything. Not a bit sentimental her, I bet lol. When ya lose a hubby, you lose your life too. Sigh… So sorry to vent. Hugs to all…

Lori October 21, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Hello friends,
Kate I agree with what you are saying completely. I can see how that would trigger the same emotions.

Cheryl, do not get rid of anything you are not ready to get rid of! Those others can just “stick it”. You should not feel pressure to do anything with Mike’s things that you do not want to do. I am sending you postitive thoughts & energy.

I have said it many times, but I am very grateful for all of you and your support.

Love & peace,
Lori

Cheryl Harrell October 21, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Thanks so much for the support. I could use more prayers. This time that the house rents. The folks backed out cuz the lady called my mom and said her hubby said he thought the house was too small. Well that’s also why I had it so cluttered when I lived there lol. I had hoped she would rent as she seemed like a good one being a preacher and a Christian. Mike would’ve loved a preacher living there.

Don’t worry I plan to keep my stuff. I went to the house today with my folks to go thru the storage shed while my dad sat in the car and my mom was cleaning up trash in the yard. The folks who had been living there moved my stuff all to the left side of it so they’d have room for their lawnmower and a tv and some other stuff. No problem there, that kept me from having to do that. I did go thru some stuff and take a few things home. I found my hair bun covers and my hair headbands. Thought I had lost those. So I got those and a Beatles cd and a Beatles 45 single I had weasled off my cousin yrs ago and took those back. Also took back with me a sweater, a shirt and a robe of mine that had been missing and I had no idea what happened to them and an album cover of my friend the singer that he had signed for me. I pleased to see a poster of him that he had signed for me was in there too. I found my photo scrapbook of Mike I had made up when we were dating and after we got married I typed on the front of it with a labelmaker He is now my beloved husband. Found out they had saved the top from my wedding cake and figurines that went with it. AWWW… And the photo albums of Mike and his family he had before he met me, and a photo album of pics of Mike and his family that his cousin had given us. And I found more of my records. Albums and 45′s and my diabetic cookbooks.

Now my mom is squawking about how I shouldn’t be saving all those records and how I don’t have time to listen to them. She didn’t grow up in the 60′s and 70′s so she couldn’t possibly understand. To those of us who grew up in the 60′s and 70′s our records are dear and precious to us. And the diabetic cookbooks, if I let them go I’d lose some good recipes. Of course my mom squawked about me keeping those. Why I don’t cook alot anymore. La, La, La, we hear your song but I am tired of the tune lol. Oh and I should be over him by now. I had to tell her I will never get over him ever. She just doesn’t understand.

I do love my folks to death and am grateful that they took me in when Mike went and that my mom is helping me with stuff like renting out the house. I sure hope I get a good renter.

I found out they are gonna have a weekly knitting/crocheting nite every Thurs at a collectable shop over in the next town. I want to go. I told my mom and she thinks I shouldn’t go cuz it’s not safe to go out after dark to that town. And I am alsready going to the crocheting/knitting group at my cousins church. She doesn’t realize it gets my mind off of hurting over Mike. I KNOW he’d want me to go.

And they played our song “I Love You More Today Than Yesterday” By the Spiral Starecase on the Sirius 60′s channel on the radio today. And when I ate out with my folks at a BBQ place, I ran into my best friend, the one who introduced me to Mike and set me up on a blind date with him. I miss Mike so much. I can so relate to this widowed lady in the crocheting/knitting group. I so feel for her. I know what she is going thru. We’re just surviving but not really fully living like others. I got made at Mike for a minute cuz he died on me. I’m not really mad at him or God. Just upset he died so soon. I need my buddy back. The one who went places with me and did everything with me. And now I can’t go to some places cuz there’s no one to go with me. Sorry bout the rant, but only ya’ll would understand. :)

But I could use prayers that the house gets rented soon and to a good renter. Hope all is going well for ya’ll. Prayers just said for you all. We’re here for you all. Hang in there… :)

Corinne
Twitter:
October 23, 2010 at 11:02 am

Dear Ones -

When we get all those forms to fill out – it can be bewildering.

Here’s a new post from my blog. A true story of my hassle with the VA. These are letters from my book, A Woman Without A Man.

(Actually, the entire book is true)

Thought you might enjoy it.

Click here -

http://www.personal-growth-with-corinne-edwards.com/a-woman-without-a-man-va-gridlock/

Love to all. And a special welcome to our new members. We are glad to have you here.

Even more special thanks to our members who have hung in for a long time. You give us all hope.

Corinne

deb1ie October 23, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Cheryl,
I understand completely what you are going through. When my Roger died, a very close personal friend encouraged (nagged) me to almost immediately get rid of some of Roger’s things like his bicycle, and some of our furniture, etc. I know he was trying to be helpful and it’s not as if he had to store any of those things at his house, (and I wasn’t going to be staying at his house either – I would live on in the same house Roger and I shared for another year before I decided to sell it and buy something smaller). It’s just that he picked this topic as a way of trying to help me, or he picked the topic of getting rid of some things just because he was secretly angry at me for being with Roger, I don’t know. The point is I look back on this point in my life now and regret being pressured into getting rid of those things. I wish now I had held onto those things. And I hate having to live with any kind of regret. It’s the worst kind of feeling to carry around with you. Loved ones can be our worst enemies sometimes. They mean well but it’s like they act like a dog with a bone and they just won’t shut up about something until you give in to them. Cheryl, don’t give in. Just let your mom rant and rave about her issues but don’t give in. She can talk about the stuff all she wants and complain about it to you – that doesn’t mean you have to do what she says or even what she wants just because you’re living with her. She’ll get over it – or if she doesn’t get over the fact that your stuff had to be moved into her attic, then so what. If you did give into her, you’d probably regret it later if not right away, and then she’d move onto something else to rant about to you, she’d find something else to focus on that she thinks you should be doing. That’s just human nature. Just turn a deaf ear to her and plan to have your stuff come to her house all along, get it? I swear sometimes people just need something to complain about!

Nancy October 25, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Hello all,
My name is Nancy and my husband died 4 months ago from a vain that ruptured in his chest and doctors were never specific as to what exactly caused it or how he died until the autopsy came back about 3 moths after his death. He died 1 1/2 months after our wedding, I am 27 years old and i have no friends. I really have no one to talk to or relate to regarding this loss. I feel like my life is over, I have alot of anger and hatred for god, I cant help it, its just there. That is the main reason why I have not gone to my local church for help. everyday i wake up with the hope that maybe tomorrow i wont wake up. I feel like there is no way in the world i will ever find someone who will ever love me for me again. I hate the fact that i am alone I have a little bit of anger towards my husband because i feel like if he would of just tried a little harder maybe he would still be here, if he would of fought a little longer maybe he would still be here. My life was just beginning, but now its ended.

I don’t know what to do to get over this, when i see other people happy it makes me very angry. I’m alone and lost I don’t know how to get out there and survive, I’ve never been the life of the party or a very outgoing person so this made me even worse. Every time i am at any event whether it be a family gathering or a party i fall. I become even more depressed then when my husband died I don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like my life is always going to be this way, that i am always going to be by myself with no one to talk to.

I’ve never met anyone my age who has lost there husband when the love is at its strongest point. Every woman or man I’ve met is older or have been married for years, so i cant really relate to them. I feel like I need help I don’t make alot of money so i can t really afford to go to a psychologist, I just paid for a wedding and a funeral in the last 4 months. I am basically here to see if anyone has gone trough anything like me or if anyone knows of any help i can get for cheap or free as this would really help me. I am living in the state of California and i hope to hear from anyone soon, thanks

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