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



Sheryl McCormick said:

I have a picture of my husband on my desktop computer that was taken this summer while we were on a pontoon.  It was a sunny day but the picture doesn't have sunbeams coming down.  I can tell you more then once I will be working on the computer and then his picture pops up with sunbeams shining down - I had my son take a picture of it - I swear it is him trying to comfort me.



Jerry said:

   I never did much shopping alone,either my wife did it,or I went with her.This is a new experience for me.

It has been 14 months since she is gone,I dont cry often, but do talk out loud to her when I am alone in out house. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Jerry said:
   It does make sense to anyone going through this. Last night was my aunts 82nd birthday. My family thought it would be a good idea to take her out to dinner,my Mom who my aunt lived with for the past 16 years passed away 6 weeks ago. As the evening went on,I think we both got sadder and sadder,it was strange being out with out the people that meant the most to us not being  there.

Jerry our lives are forever changed with each  one we lose. The trick is to accept this. I miss my life of 14 months ago. I will never forget what a life I had with my husband, my sons are having a bigger problem than me  Dad could do it all. They now know he gave them this gift. I know I hope to someday soon to enjoy fun things again. Why can't we enjoy ourselves? Maybe inside we think (I know I do) feel like my husband is not having fun why should we?

One day at a time.

Jackie Rucker said:



Jerry said:
   It does make sense to anyone going through this. Last night was my aunts 82nd birthday. My family thought it would be a good idea to take her out to dinner,my Mom who my aunt lived with for the past 16 years passed away 6 weeks ago. As the evening went on,I think we both got sadder and sadder,it was strange being out with out the people that meant the most to us not being  there.
Jackie, I think people feel awkward around situations that they are not familiar with & don't know what is appropriate to say or do around us. Even my minister asked "How are you?" in the most caring manor, but as all of us here know, that question is a no- no. I looked at him & couldn't respond; he immediately realized his question was a mistake & reached out & sd "Hanging in there?" to which I was able to manage a 'nod' of yes. I go into tears everytime I'm asked that question. Before this happened to me I was clueless & I was not as supportive to others who had suffered deaths of loved ones as I will be from now on.

Jackie Rucker said:
Yes who would have thought goning to the store was a big deal. I have a question for everything since we're talking about crazy things changing in our life. What's wrong with people or friends who just stop calling you. Now that I am a widow I go out of my way to call people and keep up with those who need support. Never mind I just answered my own question. Everyoneof us will be in this position one day, I think some of us will just handle it better.
Jackie,  I think like Christy people just don't know what to say or do around us. I also think that they don't want to see us upset and cry.  I also think that people think we should be "better" by now. When people do come to see me, most of them I can see try hard not to talk about Neal. If I bring him up and talk about him they don't seem to know what to say. Don't people know I need and want to talk about him. When they don't talk about him, it makes me feel as if they are trying to pretend he was never here. Another thing while we are talking about this stuff, when people say "if you need anything just let me know." Don't they know it would be better if they just took the step and did things they know you need done. 

Christy said:
Jackie, I think people feel awkward around situations that they are not familiar with & don't know what is appropriate to say or do around us. Even my minister asked "How are you?" in the most caring manor, but as all of us here know, that question is a no- no. I looked at him & couldn't respond; he immediately realized his question was a mistake & reached out & sd "Hanging in there?" to which I was able to manage a 'nod' of yes. I go into tears everytime I'm asked that question. Before this happened to me I was clueless & I was not as supportive to others who had suffered deaths of loved ones as I will be from now on.

Jackie Rucker said:
Yes who would have thought goning to the store was a big deal. I have a question for everything since we're talking about crazy things changing in our life. What's wrong with people or friends who just stop calling you. Now that I am a widow I go out of my way to call people and keep up with those who need support. Never mind I just answered my own question. Everyoneof us will be in this position one day, I think some of us will just handle it better.
Linda, It's maybe wrong of me to say, but I think sometime that whole "let me know if I can help" deal is said just to make them feel better & not us. They can say  "well I offered to help" but like you said, if they really wanted to help, they would just do it! Larry & I have friends who after he died, before the funeral, they came over unannounced & cut my grass & weed-eated the yard- and I have a BIG yard! Our lawn mower was in the shop & it was looking bad. It was awesome! I felt bad they were working so hard on my behalf, but I was & still am, so grateful. That's the kind of thing a true friend does.
Linda and Christy and to all. I had posted all of those things that we have encountered. "if there is anything I can do",ect.. I have already posted how all of my wifes friends and family disappeared after she died suddenly. I have a bad heart and back and NOBODY came around to offer help,mowing or whatever. I had to beg for my grandson to help around the house and me coping. Its still that way and YES, the subject changes fast whenever LouAnn is brought up. People just DONT get it when you lose your spouse and what that has done to the surviving spouse.  Only here on this site do we all UNDERSTAND. It will be 2 years soon and I am going on with my life with a woman who has lost her husband and wants to live on. There will always be our grief and loss and rememberance of our spouse and through us THEY will always be here. Our pain will always remain no matter how we go on. I will always give...hugs to all. Hugs are good.
Great List, I love it. What I have been thinking...

 

#21 is hitting me right now.  I used to come home singing  "I'm on vacation, I'm on vacation" to Dale on the last day I worked before vacation when I came home. 

This week I came home and I was sad there was no one there to sing it to or to care that I was on vacation.  No one to share it with. 

It's almost 8 months that Dale passed away.  My birthday is this month and know he won't be here to share it with me.  Vacation season is coming up and no where to go, no one to go with.  People ask me what I am going to do on vacation....I just answer nothing, staying home. 

 

This week I plan on getting his headstone ordered.  I'm not looking forward to that either.  But it bothers me he doesn't have one yet. 

 

Work keeps me sane, yet a year ago I couldn't wait until it was time to retire and we could plan our retirement time.  When my birthday came around I thought of it as not a year older, but one year closer to retirement. 

 

All those dreams and plans gone. 


Nancy, I know how you feel. I had -HAD- 2 yrs. left before being vested & Larry had a new, better paying job, so he was going to let me quit my full time job & just work with him part time. We were going to travel... beautiful, wonderful hopes for our long life ahead. He was only 38 yrs. young. Those dreams are gone. BUT- we MUST build new goals for the time we have before us. Maybe while you are on 'vacation' the peace & stillness will allow those new possibilities to be recognized. We never know what is waiting for us but we should seek it non-the- less. My prayers & best wishes for you~ Hugs, Christy

Nancey said:

 

#21 is hitting me right now.  I used to come home singing  "I'm on vacation, I'm on vacation" to Dale on the last day I worked before vacation when I came home. 

This week I came home and I was sad there was no one there to sing it to or to care that I was on vacation.  No one to share it with. 

It's almost 8 months that Dale passed away.  My birthday is this month and know he won't be here to share it with me.  Vacation season is coming up and no where to go, no one to go with.  People ask me what I am going to do on vacation....I just answer nothing, staying home. 

 

This week I plan on getting his headstone ordered.  I'm not looking forward to that either.  But it bothers me he doesn't have one yet. 

 

Work keeps me sane, yet a year ago I couldn't wait until it was time to retire and we could plan our retirement time.  When my birthday came around I thought of it as not a year older, but one year closer to retirement. 

 

All those dreams and plans gone. 

I too agree with the list, but the one thing that I did not see or maybe didn't want to see was "going to bed alone"  that has been one of the hardest things for me, especially since the bed I have we had just bought three weeks before he passed away.  Things that seem everyday situations for other people have become a chore, one that I do not want to handle.  The one thing that I cannot bring myself to do is the yard work, that was his project, something that he was so proud of.  I have let it go and everytime I look outside I feel that I am letting him down. Fortunatly I have a wonderful grandson who is starting to take on the responsibility of the yard work. 

I never knew that there was a place that I could go to and see that I am not alone, that there are other women and men who are going through or have gone through what I am now.  Thank all of you for your support and caring.

 

Patricia A. VonBenken

Jackie Rucker said:

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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