I have read some of the other posts and feel comforted knowing the way I feel is normal after all for someone who lost a spouse.  I decided to come up with a list of some of my most challenging things to deal with since my husband died 11/5/2010 in a car accident.  This is a list of my top 40 (in no special order).

 

Some of the hardest things to cope with after you lose your spouse:

  1. Lonliness
  2. Emptiness
  3. Not being able to hear them laugh; tell you everything is going to be okay or ask "what sounds good for dinner?"
  4. Never being able to feel their kiss or warm embrace again.
  5. Dealing with planning a funeral.
  6. Feeling so alone yet in a room full of people.
  7. Wishing someone would call to let you know they care.  Sometimes hoping no one will call since you just don't feel like you can talk without crying.
  8. Wishing someone would call to invite you to do something fun and be understanding if you were not up to it on that particular day.
  9. Having people say: "You are so strong." What choice do I have?  I can dig a hole or try to put one foot in front of the other one day at a time.
  10. People saying "Let me know if you need anything - I will be there."  and when you call they don't come, or cancel at the last minute.
  11. Dealing with insurance companies and waiting on them to process the paperwork!
  12. Dealing with the bills on your own income (if you are fortunate enough to have that).
  13. Hearing "You'll be okay - you just have to be strong."  I know I am not the first to face this type of loss nor will I be the last but I need to face it my way and in my time.
  14. For me reading posts from nurses that worked with my husband in the ER on facebook.  I am amazed at some of the things they say -  HELLO I am his widow and you asked me to be your "friend" I didn't ask you! I have learned how to block their comments now without denying them as a "friend".
  15. Watching television and reading the newspaper.  I hate it - it is so meaningless now to me.
  16. Thinking about all the chores that need to be done and wondering how I am going to get them all done.
  17. Not being able to depend on people who make promises to help and then don't come or show up.  Don't bother - it is easer to hear sorry I can't do it this time rather then "sure" and then be a no show.  That just reinforces how alone I feel.
  18. Not being able to sleep and not being able to get rid of that anxious feeling.
  19. Listening to people talk about their husbands that are still living and part of their lives.  Most of all negative comments but sometimes even the things on facebook like: "If you have the best husband in the world and wouldn't trade him for anything - someone who is always there for you, you love with all your heart, etc." repost this to your status.....    I am glad they are happy but it makes me sad...
  20. Hating the fact that I am irritable and depressed and not joyful.  This is out of character for me, yet feeling guilty if I do laugh and joke...
  21. Not looking forward to holidays, birthdays, vacations.
  22. Not knowing what the future is going to hold and scared to death of what the future may hold.
  23. Worried that I will get sick or die and cause my children more suffering.
  24. Wishing I could be the one who died - yet not wishing this pain on anyone.
  25. Feeling the loss of my title "Mrs.".
  26. Having the title "Widow".
  27. Worried about creeps calling me or bothering me knowing that I don't have my husband now and that I am "single".  Scared to even think of dating someone in the future or starting a new relationship.  No one can fill this void.
  28. Too sad to look in his closet and dresser and cannot even contemplate what I am going to do with all of his things.
  29. Scared to be alone for the rest of my life without my husband to lean on and talk to about the hard stuff.
  30. For me - scared to face the eventual loss of my mom, 6 yr old grand-daughter with muscular dystrophy, and trying to keep the two grandchildren with Cystic Fibrosis healthy so I won't lose them too.
  31. Feeling like no one truely understands.
  32. Feeling too overwhelmed to call someone - not even sure who to call or what to say.
  33. Having to walk the dog - my husband always did that (not that I don't enjoy it once I get out there) and feeling guilty if I don't.
  34. Watching my sons and grandchildren also grieve the loss of their father and grand-father.
  35. Crying in public when I see or hear something that makes me think about my husband and how much I miss him.
  36. Having to go to work and pretend that everything is okay.
  37. The looks I notice as I walk into a room full of people (their uneasyness). 
  38. The people that act as if they don't see you or recognize you at events so they can avoid having to talk to you.
  39. Watching the video cd we prepared for the funeral home.
  40. Hearing songs that we used to listen to together through the years and now when I hear them all alone I feel so alone....

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Replies to This Discussion

Great list, Sheryl!

 

41. Having to move heavy objects

42. Having to sweep the garage

43. Having to take out the trash

44. Having to kill the spiders

45. Watching people squirm if you mention your dead beloved

46. Everyone else is happy about Friday.... while I just want to get through the weekend until, thankfully, Monday comes and work distracts from the pain

47. Having to deal with the Internal Revenue Service

48. Reading all the advice about - "Go out!" "Develop a new life!" - going somewhere and feeling so, so alone - and deciding that staying home is easier

49. Not being able to hear Rod Stewart's 'Sailing' without completely dissolving into tears

50. Being expected to be like Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (a beautiful lady I admired greatly), who had be stoic and calm even though her husband was killed right next to her, with his blood, etc all over her clothing.  And, the picture at the bier, where she turns little John-John around and he salutes - I cannot watch that without bursting into tears....

 

Peace, comfort and healing be upon you all - Yaca Attwood Perkins

Wow how could I forget looking forward to the weekend after a full work week then feeling so alone once it is here!  Good additions....

 

Sheryl, you're right about all of these except # 31. You have found perhaps the one place where people gather that truely understand. As I say this I catch myself pausing to take yet another deep breath. The pressure/grief weighs so heavily, that breathing takes effort sometimes... I hope you have found some comfort in knowing others here understand. Hugs, Christy

Wow, you are all so on target -- and I am just discovering more that I could add to the list but won't right now.....just want to say thank you all for making me feel not so "off" in that I can relate to each and every one of these points.

 

And doing things that must be done (I don't know which is more intense, the daily or the annual) that we had done together that now I must do alone (and which is worse, being able to do them as they were done or having them change somehow so that they are not the way we had done them together - can't please, right?). 

 

And those songs, those songs that you want to hear but can barely hear - and what is worse, not being able to stop the tears?  Or when you hear the song/s that you usually cry to missing him/her and this time you are able to get through it -- or have to get through it -- without crying?

 

Oh, being judged on how we grieve and judging ourselves on how we grieve....we can never do it "right."

 

But one thing is right, our spouses loved us as much as we love them and they are as helpless to let us know that now as we are able to let them know, so we have only to hold onto them and each other and reach out where we can - wouldn't we want them to be helped with the spiders and the heavy moving and everything else?  Especially navigating the finances, we all need help.  And who will be there for us if we become very sick and/or when we are too old to do for ourselves?  It is not selfish to wonder that.  Who will do for us what we did for our spouses? 

 

You all hit on it all, and I just feel less alone reading your list.  I wish none of us had to know these things.

 

But thank you and forgive my rant - I just logged on after experiencing so many of the list - lol!  I should have waited to post, so forgive my raw nerve and know I appreciate your patience with me.

 

Everyone is so right. I bet we could come up with some more for the list, but I just can't now. Not that I want anyone of you to feel these things on the list, but it makes me not feel so self-centered for experiencing so much on the list. If I think about it a lot, I just feel so overwhelmed that I can't do anything. Today I started off ok, then as the day progressed I got more and more depressed. This is the second Friday my sister has said she would come visit me after work and not showed up or called. I am by myself all day long and was looking forward to having someone to talk to.... well forget that. I'll chalk that up to #17 on the list. I guess people are tired of listening and seeing me cry and talk about Neal. Thank you all for this web site. I know you all understand exactly how I feel.

I have gone through that so many times too - it really hurts to be stood up by family and friends at a time when you need them the most.  I am sorry you have gone through that with your sister twice.  I have been amazed at who I can depend on (very few) and those I thought would be there and I never see them or hear from them. 

 

That being said - I have been very touched by those who feel prompted to send a card to me letting me know they are thinking about me.  They seem to show up on some of the darkest days and mean so much.  I had someone that my husband and I have known for years but never socialized with come over and give me an oil painting of my husband and I that she created.  It is amazing and very close to a photo.  What a gift of kindness that was and work! 

 

Be encouraged to know as alone as we all feel there are some out there who truly do care and want to reach out to us but don't know how.  We need to educate them and that is partly why I created this list - I don't know if I will actually share it with anyone but I know now what to do for others like us! 



Linda Gordon said:

Everyone is so right. I bet we could come up with some more for the list, but I just can't now. Not that I want anyone of you to feel these things on the list, but it makes me not feel so self-centered for experiencing so much on the list. If I think about it a lot, I just feel so overwhelmed that I can't do anything. Today I started off ok, then as the day progressed I got more and more depressed. This is the second Friday my sister has said she would come visit me after work and not showed up or called. I am by myself all day long and was looking forward to having someone to talk to.... well forget that. I'll chalk that up to #17 on the list. I guess people are tired of listening and seeing me cry and talk about Neal. Thank you all for this web site. I know you all understand exactly how I feel.
One more thing I have had to deal with is a few people calling me with their problems (one fighting with her husband, another just depressed and texting me saying how she wishes she was dead, another wanting me to help with her child that has a disability, etc.)  I can barely take care of myself right now (it has only been 4 months since my husband died in an auto accident) and cannot understand why they feel I should have the strength to also help them.   I have a lot of compassion in my heart but now isn't the time for me to try to solve other people's problems.......
Oh yes, that too! I don't get it, my older brother can't/won't listen to me share my feelings about the death of Larry & how it has changed my life & how I feel about his young son growing up without his father, yet he spent the entire weekend- I am not exaggerating, going on about his ex-girlfriend & how he wakes up in a panic missing her,... I was so upset all weekend. Last week I took off work & drove from GA to NC to catch a break & instead I was dumped on. I can't believe it. My mother also has on at least two occassions tried to divert my sorrow by sharing her painful breakups with boyfriends she had over 30 years ago, things I really don't want to hear about & are troubling to know. It amazes me how people equate the death of a spouse to a relationship breaking up. People just don't get it until it's too late. Ignorance is bliss.
 I can relate to most of the items on the list. Maybe in time some will be able to be deleted,but I am sure most will reain for life.

Yaca Attwood said:

Great list, Sheryl!

 

41. Having to move heavy objects

42. Having to sweep the garage

43. Having to take out the trash

44. Having to kill the spiders

45. Watching people squirm if you mention your dead beloved

46. Everyone else is happy about Friday.... while I just want to get through the weekend until, thankfully, Monday comes and work distracts from the pain

47. Having to deal with the Internal Revenue Service

48. Reading all the advice about - "Go out!" "Develop a new life!" - going somewhere and feeling so, so alone - and deciding that staying home is easier

49. Not being able to hear Rod Stewart's 'Sailing' without completely dissolving into tears

50. Being expected to be like Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (a beautiful lady I admired greatly), who had be stoic and calm even though her husband was killed right next to her, with his blood, etc all over her clothing.  And, the picture at the bier, where she turns little John-John around and he salutes - I cannot watch that without bursting into tears....

 

Peace, comfort and healing be upon you all - Yaca Attwood Perkins

I know exactly how you feel. I feel all of the above and more. I lost my husband of 20 years on July 2009. It will be 2 years in July 2011. I did not realize how alone and lonely I feel. I really did not want to come back to this grief site because it is very depressing. But I realize I need this site because you all are the only ones that truly understand how I feel. My late husband's birthday is coming up and then our anniversary on top of that. I'm feeling very sad about now yet I know different emotions are meant to be vented out. I just hate feeling this way. I have a hard time sleeping through the night. I'm a single parent raising three children. I'm managing but it's definitely stressful at times. I thank God and for my children being their for me and definitely this web site. Sometimes I wonder where are the people I thought loved me, family, friends and everyone else. Since I lost my husband I definitely feel the intense lonliness .Please keep me and my family in your prayers. Thanks for letting me vent.

I will be praying for you.  I am so sorry that you have felt so alone and not being supported by your family and friends.  I am only about 5 months into this journey and already can sense the difficult feelings we must face due to our loss.  I am sorry that you are alone and trying to raise your children and deal with your own grief as well as theirs.  I am a grandmother that helps in raising two of our grandchildren and they were with my husband when the accident that took his life occured.  We are all trying to cope.  Prayers definitely help - this is the worst pain I have ever felt.  May blessings come to you today! My prayers (and I mean that) will be with you.

Sheryl

Dorcas Cummings said:

I know exactly how you feel. I feel all of the above and more. I lost my husband of 20 years on July 2009. It will be 2 years in July 2011. I did not realize how alone and lonely I feel. I really did not want to come back to this grief site because it is very depressing. But I realize I need this site because you all are the only ones that truly understand how I feel. My late husband's birthday is coming up and then our anniversary on top of that. I'm feeling very sad about now yet I know different emotions are meant to be vented out. I just hate feeling this way. I have a hard time sleeping through the night. I'm a single parent raising three children. I'm managing but it's definitely stressful at times. I thank God and for my children being their for me and definitely this web site. Sometimes I wonder where are the people I thought loved me, family, friends and everyone else. Since I lost my husband I definitely feel the intense lonliness .Please keep me and my family in your prayers. Thanks for letting me vent.
I hear you. All of the above I never took the time to put them in a list, but that would be my list plus some more. My husband Randy passed away one year ago in Jan. We worked together for30 years. Now I really don't know what to do with myself. After all the things on your list I miss most his hugs and telling me everything will be ok. I am not ok. I wonder when I can just be alright.

Yaca Attwood said:

Great list, Sheryl!

 

41. Having to move heavy objects

42. Having to sweep the garage

43. Having to take out the trash

44. Having to kill the spiders

45. Watching people squirm if you mention your dead beloved

46. Everyone else is happy about Friday.... while I just want to get through the weekend until, thankfully, Monday comes and work distracts from the pain

47. Having to deal with the Internal Revenue Service

48. Reading all the advice about - "Go out!" "Develop a new life!" - going somewhere and feeling so, so alone - and deciding that staying home is easier

49. Not being able to hear Rod Stewart's 'Sailing' without completely dissolving into tears

50. Being expected to be like Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (a beautiful lady I admired greatly), who had be stoic and calm even though her husband was killed right next to her, with his blood, etc all over her clothing.  And, the picture at the bier, where she turns little John-John around and he salutes - I cannot watch that without bursting into tears....

 

Peace, comfort and healing be upon you all - Yaca Attwood Perkins

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