Bereaved Spouses

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

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This might be a rough time for many of you. Do what you feel you need to do to get through it. Remember, someone is here almost all the time to talk to you.


Discussion Forum

Navigating Widow-hood

Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Michele Jul 21. 5 Replies

Finding the new normal

Started by Sharon Kinsey. Last reply by Frances C Younger Jun 24. 12 Replies

Grief so great it hurts

Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Bonny Jones Jan 22. 12 Replies

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Comment by RICHARD GRATTON on February 16, 2014 at 11:58am

Mike...Thank you so much for your kind words and insights....Reading the posts and comments here bring some comfort by knowing that I am not alone with all these feelings and that I am not (i think) going crazy....It has only been twelve days since losing my soul mate and the love of my life and the pain is sometimes unbearable.

Comment by RICHARD GRATTON on February 16, 2014 at 11:38am

Hello everyone...I'm having a very difficult morning today....The loneliness and heartache is unrelenting....I don't know how to face all of these emotions...I am seeing a grief counsellor tomorrow morning...I hope he can help me cope with my grief....I haven't been back to work since my Pam got ill almost four months ago as I spent all my time caring for her....They have been very understanding and caring as they are still paying me every week since October...I feel I have to get back to work but I'm afraid I won't be able to get through the day....I miss her so very much...

Comment by MikeF on February 16, 2014 at 11:24am


I am so sorry to have to welcome you to this group. 

I had a similar experience at the beginning of 2013. I lost my wife of 32 years to pancreatic cancer on December 29, 2012. I had been her primary caregiver and had only been back to the office two days since the doctor told us that the chemotherapy was not working on October 4. I worked at home as time permitted, but so much inside of me had changed in the roughly 3 months I was away from the office. Those first few days were tough, with many people offering condolences and my state of mind did not allow any real focus on the work. Things have gotten better, the focus has returned slowly. Part of my grief process has been adjusting to the fact that things that had meaning before no longer do and slowly building up new things that are relevant now. Prior to Molly getting sick, my job was a big part of my life. Now, not so much.

I strongly recommend trying to find a bereavement group in your area.  I found one through a local cancer support organization that has been very helpful in sorting through my feelings.  It has been helpful to be with people who are going through what I am, to listen to their stories and how they are coping.  It has helped reduce the sense of loneliness and make me feel more connected.

At this point, the most important thing is to make sure you eat well and get as much sleep as you can. Try to minimize work related stress, you have enough other things going on right now.

Comment by Marsha H on February 16, 2014 at 5:39am

Chicago Beard ...  I clicked on the link re my email sent to me from you and couldn't find your post and didn't want you to think I was ignoring you.



Comment by Marsha H on February 16, 2014 at 4:26am

Richard ...  It is true your family and friends can never feel the depth of your loss, but never forget that they are grieving for Pamela in their own way and also miss her a great deal.

I am leaving you a link and hope you print out the information to give to family and friends so they can have more of an idea of what you are going through and this information also teaches you what you can expect in grief and that you grieving normally and not going crazy.  I would also suggest that you go in an talk to your employer confidentially and express how you are feeling and perhaps give him/her a copy of the grieving procedure.  Most employers are supportive of your needs and perhaps depending on what type of work you do you can work from home for a bit.  If this is not possible be assured that your coworkers will be as kind as possible and may say things that upset you, but it's just because they don't have the words to take away from your sorrow like they would like to do for you.

 You are so very kind Richard to think of all of us in pain and feeling our loss as well.  Please keep coming back here so we can help you throughout your grief.  Realize you are not alone my friend.

The lack of concentration is normal for us all while grieving and eventually little by little you will be able to concentrate again.  You are experiencing 'brain fog.' 

I wish all peace in our hearts and we're all going to make it!

Big hugs (because you need it)


Comment by RICHARD GRATTON on February 15, 2014 at 8:05pm

I want you all to know how important it is to me at the moment to know that I am not alone. Even though I have some very supportive family and friends I know that they cannot understand the depth of my sadness and loneliness. I have to try and return to work but I am having so much difficulty concentrating or even caring about anything. Your words are very comforting . My heart broke (if it can be broken anymore than it already is) and I cried reading about everyones loss. I wish you all peace in your hearts and happiness in your lives. Thank you all so very much for sharing.


Comment by Marsha H on February 15, 2014 at 6:52pm

Richard ...  My deepest condolences on the passing of your wife Pamela and it's sad that you have to join this group, but you are welcomed with open arms, love, caring and support for we all know how you feel.  My husband Ernie passed away April 27, 2011 at the age 65 from pancreatic cancer.  It was a 7 year battle of immune system disorders that lead to his pancreatic cancer. 

Just like you felt Ernie and I thought we could beat this battle and never entertained the idea he would pass away, but in the end, we won some battles, but lost the war. 

Although extremely sad and hard for anyone to comprehend you were fortunate to have held Pamela in your arms, something that many of us never had a chance to do.  I thank God you did. 

My heart goes out to you on this journey of grief that each one of us must go through, but please be reassured the angels on this forum are here for you.  I can attest without them I don't think I would have made it to where I am today.  Even after almost 3 years after Ernie's passing I can still get teary-eyed or have a good bawling session ... special occasions, memories, pictures or even a song can set me off, but the pain eventually does lessen as time goes on.  For now Richard reach out and hold our hands as we help you get through the journey of grief.  Just say what you feel at the moment and no one on here will ever judge you and you'll be surprised just how normal your feelings are. 

Please know as lonely and sad as you feel you are not alone in your pain (I am on here right into the wee hours of the morning) and others will join in at different times of the day.  Also, never think you are going crazy or that there is no light at the end of this dark tunnel because there is. 



Comment by Carol Kayser on February 15, 2014 at 6:22pm
Dear Richard, so sorry for the loss of your dear wife Pamela. I lost my husband Jack to colon cancer 3 years 5 mths ago. As Barbara says this is the place to come to express your feelings. We have an understanding and compassion toward each other sometimes we don't find outside.
It's a step at a time, a moment sometimes of coping, one step forward and one step back. All perfectly normal along the path of grief.
Come back often Richard to share, we all have good and bad days and that's ok.

Comment by Barbara Sullivan on February 15, 2014 at 5:47pm

Dear Richard -- I am so sorry for the loss of your dear wife, Pamela.  My husband, Chris, was diagnosed in January 2013 with lung cancer (he was not a smoker) and passed away April 10, 2013.  Like you and Pamela, we didn't realize how little time we had left together.  We had hospice at home, as well, and I was with my Chris, at the end, as you were with Pamela.  

I think one of the questions we all ask is, "How will I go on without my best friend, my partner in life".  The answer, my friend, is -- one day at a time --and-- gently.  Be as kind to your self as you can be.  Know that you are not alone -- We are here for you, as are your family and friends.  But, we here on this Legacy site have all found that losing our partner is not like any other loss -- and the grieving is not like any other.   

At this point you are probably still in a fog.  Your heart hurts so badly you can hardly bear it -- but your mind just doesn't want to work.  It's okay to be easy on yourself -- cry when you need to cry.  You can expect that you will be okay one minute -- and in the next moment, you won't be okay, at all.  Just go with it.

If it helps you, come to this site and pour out all your grief, loss, pain, fear and anger -- or, just read the posts and know that you are among friends who understand how you are feeling -- even without words.

The angels on this Legacy site saved my sanity -- I am still struggling with my own loss, but I welcome you to this forum of friendship, care and understanding.

Sending Hugs, Richard, because, as Marsha would say, we all need one.


Comment by RICHARD GRATTON on February 15, 2014 at 3:00pm

Hello...I'm new to the group and would like to introduce myself....My beautiful wife Pamela, the love of my life, who I have been married to for 32 years, passed away on January 30,2014....She was diagnosed with liver cancer mid October, 2013 and little did we realize how little time we had left together...In those three months she fought really hard  but being diabetic the large incision from the surgery never healed so other treatments such as chemo and radiation were not an option....the cancer returned within weeks and the only option left to us was hospice...she passed away at home where I could hold her and tell her how much I love her.....Since then my world has been turned upside down...getting through the day has been the hardest thing I have ever done...the joy and happiness in my life is gone and I don't know to get through life without her....It didn't seem like anyone understood how I felt until I found this group of wonderful people who seem to understand the sorrow and despair I feel every waking moment. Even though  I would not wish this experience on anyone  , it's comforting to know that I am not alone and I hope to be able to share my thoughts and feelings with all of you. 


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