Bereaved Spouses

A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.

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Just a reminder to all of you over these next few days. The weather reports all over are talking extreme heat. Those of you out West have even warmer temperatures than here in the Midwest or East. Please keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Hopefully all of you have air in your homes. If not, please find a friend or relative that has air and see if you can go there. Otherwise, find out where the cooling centers in your neighborhood or town are and use them. Please take care not to over exert yourself and check in here.

Discussion Forum

I feel lost

Started by Kim Henry. Last reply by Pam Wetzel on Sunday. 9 Replies


Started by Michelle. Last reply by Dorothy Facciponte on Friday. 15 Replies

Survivor Guilt?

Started by Vickie. Last reply by Tonya Janowski Oct 19. 9 Replies

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Comment by Jan 4 hours ago
Renae, I know exactly how you feel. When my husband died suddenly in the hospital I just wanted to bring him home with me. I knew he was gone but I just wanted him to come hone with me. Crazy thoughts. I have family in the town I live in both sides his and mine extended invitations for thanksgiving and Christmas. I just can't do it. Tomorrow I'm going to sleep in and not go anywhere and for christmas I'm taking the kids and going somewhere away from home and family. Running away. We did the same last year and actually had a nice time.
Comment by Renae McKee 5 hours ago

I am so numb right now!! I wish I could just crawl in a hole until after the Holidays. I really do not want to be here anymore. My heart is so destroyed. I wish I could open his Mahogany Urn and put him back together!! I know that sounds crazy, but you really find out who stands by you during your time of grieving & for me it is very few. It makes me ill everyday that I am alone. 

Comment by Wilela Trip yesterday

Chicago Beard - Oh the poor girl.  I had C-Diff from a dentist!  But I wasn't sick with something as untreatable as stroke.  It still took me a long time to get over it.  I"m so sorry that Rose had to suffer from C-Diff along with a stroke.  It must have been a terrible way to die.

Comment by Marsha H yesterday

Hi again Pam ... 

As promised I'm sending you a good link as to what to expect in grief and what feelings are normal.  Not everyone gets all these symptoms.

Print this out and give it to family and even your doctor.  If your doctor doesn't look interested be nice, but firm because they should be reading it as they have many patients going through grieving.  If you don't have a printer then send the link to your son and have him print off 2 - 3 copies.  Keep reading it so you know what feelings you have are very normal during grief.

God Bless

Marsha H.

Comment by Marsha H on Monday

Hi Pam ...  No problem at all and I do know how you feel because I sure have had those feelings when I was in raw grief.  Most grief counselors will tell you to get a physical because grieving takes a lot out of our bodies.  It doesn't mean we are going to die, but some people can just 'feel sick', nauseated, can't eat or sleep or eat too much and have insomnia not to mention aches, pains, strange mental thoughts.  It is very normal the thoughts you are having and most go through it.  It's the shock of knowing you cannot turn to your spouse to talk about every day things or if there is a problem to be resolved and we instantly feel alone.  It's not true we really are alone and there is either a family member or a friend who can help you stay calm when you have these thoughts.  Describe your feelings to your doctor 'I feel like I've been ripped up by a tornado and suddenly dropped down in an unfamiliar world.'  If he/she doesn't get it then explain that since your spouse is gone you are not only grieving, but having to do some things on your own that your spouse use to do for you and the red tape of taking your spouse's name off legal papers is devastating.  When I use to get scary thoughts I'd ask myself what was the worst that could happen; put in the hospital, die in my sleep, but one thing I knew it was all part of the grieving process and no, you aren't going crazy.  It is more common than you think for people grieving to experience panic attacks and as time goes by these should disappear.  Please don't be angry at yourself because it's quite normal being fearful.  I am going to go into my file on my desk top and will leave you a link to go to and it will explain what symptoms some individuals can have during the grieving process and it wouldn't hurt to give your family a copy and your doctor.  Grief is the most misunderstood normal human emotion because in past years people suffering from grief hid it, but no more! 

When I start going to scary thoughts I pray to God and I can't tell you how much strength I get from that and those scary thoughts are lifted from me.  I also still talk out loud to my husband Ernie which gives me some peace.  Each day you get through Pam, you are getting stronger and eventually you will realize that you are also getting stronger.  Just ride those scary thoughts out by praying, talking to your spouse or a family member or good friend.  You are in more control than you think.

God Bless you too Pam

Marsha H.

Comment by Pam Wetzel on Monday
Marsha H. Thanks for answering my post. When I get very anxious I think negative thoughts. I have one now that I think I need to be in the hospital. I know that's not true. I was in the hospital in August and they don't do any more than my therapist does one on one. Also it just gave me a bill to pay. With dbt therapy I can calm it down and then I'm thinking ok again. How do you stop scaring yourself with these thoughts? That's all they are is scary thoughts and I know that. It makes me so angry that I do this to myself. God bless you! Pam Wetzel
Comment by Marsha H on Monday

Dear Pam ... I guess it's the Scottish/Irish streak in me.  Ha, ha.  Seriously it just takes time hon and each day to each month you manage to get through you are getting stronger even if you feel you aren't.  It common in raw grief to have a good day(s) and the suddenly the bottom falls out and the grief over-shadows you, but this is also common and eventually these times will fade further and further apart.

I was glad to hear you and your son had a good cry together as it's the crying that releases all the tension.  Your son lost a father and you lost a husband and I am sure your son feels sad for you.  Never let anyone tell you how to grief or you 'you should be over it by now.'  Grieving is a part of life and tends to make us much wiser and stronger individuals giving us the wisdom of empathy for others around us.

I sympathize with you in the fact you have never been alone before, but you really aren't as you have your son and also have all of us on this forum.  It is very common to promise yourself that the next day you will practice the dbt skills or do other things, but that too is common to break such promises because grief drains the energy right out of an individual.  Rest when you need to, eat as best you can, drink lots of water and go for walks if you can.  by going for even short walks it helps the brain chemistry and the adrenal gland slow down and you will feel somewhat better.  I try to get my dogs out for a walk every day weather permitting.

I still feel it's possible your doctor is lowering the dose of your medications for panic spells too fast and I would have a good talk to him/her as to how you are feeling.  It's important you can go through a day without a panic attack because you need all the energy you have to conquer grief.  You don't have to be on these medications forever.

How do I do it?  If I didn't take Kolonopin I would have severe panic attacks as it runs in my family.  Mostly, I started out with baby steps in my grief until they reached stride level and I was able to be around family and friends without crying as much and I invite my friends and family over.  I start with 'I don't care attitude' meaning that if I have people over or go out with a friend or to a family dinner and get teary-eyed I just cry and get it out of my system at that time.  If they don't like it too bad.  Oh boy, you are going to be so surprised at just how sassy you can be when you are going through that tunnel of grief to the light at the end of the tunnel.  Crying is a good thing so don't let anyone tell you not to cry or 'get a grip on your grief.'  So far Pam, you are going through normal feelings of fresh grief.  I am proud of you for what you are doing and it's going to get better hon.

Hugs (because you need one)

Marsha H.

Comment by Pam Wetzel on Sunday
Marsha H. You sound like a very strong person. I would like to get that kind of strength. Yesterday was an awful day for me. I cried most of the day over my husband. My son came over and we talked and cried together. After he left the anxiety started. I know what I need to do to calm it down but I let it scare me. I have never been alone in my life until now. I don't seem to be very good at forcing myself to get through things. Every night I tell myself that tomorrow I'm going to do better and really practice the dbt skills even better and when morning comes I'm back to my anxious feelings. When I am positive I can really do well. How do you do it? Thanks!
Comment by Marsha H on Sunday

Dear Pam ...  I can understand your doctor lowering your anxiety medication, but, I also know that our minds need to be clear of panic attacks in order to concentrate so I hope he has a counter attack plan.

Grieving is a process as most of us know and we are all different in our grief.  I was fearful all the time when Ernie first passed away and most of my family has passed away and I have no children so I'm pretty much on my own re day-to-day life.  As time goes by whether we realize it or not we get into a routine and I found I got so angry at how crippling grief was that I decided not to let it beat me.  I do struggle trying to make new friends (not an easy task) and since I'm retired and working it's not as easy to make new friends, but slowly things begin to happen.  It has been 3 1/2 years since my beloved passed and it does get a little easier.  Oh yes, I still have my days of frustration over missing him and have my cries, but they are much fewer than I was going through.

One night I sat in the living room where it was quiet and remembered what type of person I was before I met Ernie and that I could get some of that independence back into my life although it's never quite the same since I've gotten older, but I know I can be independent and actually feel stronger for it.  I ask myself what is the worst thing that could happen to me and although I grieve to a point and really miss Ernie, there is just not much I'm afraid of any more.  I have been chewed up and spit out by grief and sometimes anger over forces you to concentrate on the future to try to find some peace and kindness in our life.  It will come for you Pam and you won't always feel this heart rendering grief.  You seem to be going in the right direction by going to church and grief counseling and that's a darn good start Pam.  I'm proud of you.  Getting out with family and friends as often as you can also helps.  I have to admit my own faith has been shaken and I'm trying hard to believe again.  I prayed so hard I wouldn't lose Ernie yet I did so I went through the anger stage of that at the beginning of my grief.  Now I have accepted it and prefer to think that my love was due to go to the heavens because his work was done here.  I try to honor his memory by keeping my promise to him I would be OK and so I try.  Sometimes I get frustrated and sometimes I manage to laugh, smile and joke around.  It depends on the day and what is going on in my life. I believe when our spouse passed away they did take part of us with them and although we will heal from grief we will never be the same person again.  We will function and learn to laugh and enjoy family once again.  It takes time. Your children lost a father, but you lost the love of your life and you should explain that to them.  Tell them to look at their spouses and then visualize not having them there suddenly.  That does get them thinking.

I hope you are having better days Pam.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Marsha H. 

Comment by Chicago Beard on Saturday


I do not remember if she had a MRI. While in the hospital recovering from the stroke she developed C-Diff and the treatment for that reigned havoc on her diabetes and finally her body shut down.


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