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.


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My love is gone...

Started by Chris Sky. Last reply by Mary. Jane on Sunday. 15 Replies

I used to love long week ends.

Started by Sandfly. Last reply by Marsha H Jun 6. 2 Replies

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Comment by Todd B. Goodrich on October 20, 2016 at 5:37pm

Hi Marsha,

I feel for you. You are so appreciated here by all of us. We love you :-)

Hugs and prayers to you our dear friend!


Comment by Marsha H on October 20, 2016 at 4:21pm


I have just been beside myself over my family treating me as if I don't exist until special occasions come where gifts are given (of course.) 

I have no children and as most of you know one sibling, my brother who is 68 years old.  He never calls me or asks how I'm doing and yet when I do see him on those special occasions he hugs me and says he loves me, but to me, actions speak louder than words and it means nothing to me.  How can a brother know his sister is all alone and could use a little help every so often or a simple phone call every so often to ask how I'm doing?  I can't figure it out.  His wife does come over most weekends, but it feels she just wants to get out of the house and plant herself at my house.  She can be moody and treats me as if I don't have a brain in my head; never asks how I'm doing and says little about her own family.  When I talk to her about the volunteering I'm doing or other things I never get 'that's great' and a glaze comes over her eyes and I know that's a sign of disinterest.  I have always been encouraging with my family.  I've stood fast a couple of times during the summer months and invited myself over to their house.  Yes, 'I invited myself!'  They seemed OK with it. 

My nephews lives 1 1/2 blocks from me.  One nephew has a live-in girlfriend and they have a 1 year old daughter who I adore and I've made it plain to family.  I use to go for walks with her mother and been invited over just a few times.  If it weren't for my nephews girlfriend I would have never seen my Great Niece.  She's growing so fast.  Now my nephew's girlfriend is working and he's playing 'Mr. Mom.'  I told him to call me sometime and we could go for a walk or come and visit me and have a cup of coffee or, if he had problems with the baby just to call on me and I've offered baby sitting services.  So far I have heard nothing from him.  He rushes out to his parents all the time which is a 40 mile drive one way.  

My sister-in-law has told me that my brother and I were never close which is not true.  We are close is some ways, but of course he raised his family.  We were close as children, he raised his family and then we became close again when my mother was in a nursing home with Dementia and it took off from there.  Then she added, 'You're just the aunt!'  Those words she said stung deeply and my heart is broken.  When I go to their home on special occasions I don't really feel it's from love at all, but guilt 'a must do.'  I have to admit her biting words made me feel like I was an orphan.  What have any of them learned when they too missed Ernie and had missed 4 years out of his life through a misunderstanding on my one nephews part.  I'm tired of entertaining and having people plunk their butts on my sofa not wanting to go out anywhere or not feeling wanted.  I understand people's lives go on and it's not all about me, but asking to be included as family every so often or a phone call once a month isn't asking much.  I've considered it's easier to walk away from family as I feel my sister-in-law would like life as it was without me included.  Staying only hurts me more when you get no feedback and I'm ashamed of how my family is acting.  I am a good listener and they know they can talk to me at any time as always.  I am always cheerful and informative when talking and just simply get tired of the secrecy in my family and the undignified way they treat me. 

Thanks for listening and I just had to vent. 



Comment by Sara Murphy on October 20, 2016 at 9:19am

Harold, I totally understand where you're coming from.  I didn't realize there was such a thing as feeling normal until I lost Ken.  I often say to him that I miss touching him, holding him, talking to him etc.  The feeling of normal I felt with him by my side.  Now nothing feels normal, nothing feels right.   The guilt of living hangs on and probably always will.   Ken wouldn't want me to feel guilty but he doesn't have a say here.   Like you, I think what would I want for him if roles were reversed.  Even though I would want him to continue doing the things he enjoys, I now know he wouldn't have been able to do that if he lost me.  I guess like Chicago says, we have to hang on until we get through the worst of it.

Comment by Marsha H on October 20, 2016 at 4:46am

Harold ...  You seem to be in the same frame of mind as myself.  I have been working hard around my home and my back is sore as well and that's when I was reminded I needed 'Ernie's tender loving care of a massage.'  How I miss that.  He always made me feel better, but I gave back to him in return.  Our spouses made things seem just fine when we didn't feel they were.  Now we are hit between the eyes we are truly alone with them and miss so many things about them.  I get hugs (I'm a huggy person too) but, I can't remember the last time someone held my hand or even put their arm around me.  I miss that from Ernie as you miss it from Diane.  I was the strongest between the two of us in most emotional issues, but Ernie gave me wisdom and strength; a hug, kiss, hand holding after nearly 40 years of marriage or a warm arm around my wait.  Those are the things I miss and I too feel extremely lonely and realized this year like you, I'm strictly on my own.  I am trying to figure out what to do about it, but so far a light bulb hasn't gone on for me.

I hope you are feeling a bit better Harold and know that some of us are going through just what you are.  Try to remember Diane is closer than you think as my Ernie is.

For instance, yesterday I sat and cried feeling so over-whelmed because I we've had heavy rains here in lower mainland Vancouver, B.C., and I needed my gutters cleaned, but it's costly and I also needed my A/C out of the window.  I have no help and I felt useless, my dignity taken away and suddenly, my next door male neighbor that Ernie and I have known for a long while phoned me up and came over on his own and cleaned out my gutters and on Wednesday he came and took my A/C out and he is going to try to come over tomorrow and  putting new weather-stripping around two doors in the house.  I often wonder if Ernie in some way isn't still looking out for me and doing a little butt kicking.  LOL



Comment by Harold McKinstry on October 20, 2016 at 12:56am


I can appreciate the pain, hopefulness and grief you are going through. It is especially hard when the shock wears off, I think it is cruel but necessary to go through the pain and heartache, to find some manner of peace and happiness. It will never be as good as it was but we all need to find a reason to keep moving forward and find some enjoyment out of Life. Diane's first husband passed away, I tell myself she did it I can too. Also I ask myself what would I want for Diane if I had died. There are days that nothing matters and I just want to give in to everything, I allow a short Pity party, but then just keep trying to do the right things and put one foot in front of the other. That's the only thing I have found that works for me.    

Comment by Chicago Beard on October 19, 2016 at 10:07pm


I hear you. It does get overwhelming at times when we want to turn to our loved ones for the insights they would give us. For me it felt like being torn in half and that I was kind of flailing. Putting one foot in front of the other is pretty much all we can do. As you are finding out, whereas it may start getting better, it never feels like it gets good. Hang in there. You will get through this like we all have and do.

Comment by Harold McKinstry on October 19, 2016 at 6:57pm

I'm sure most of us have said I lost my everything when my spouse died. Sometimes little things bring home how much that means. My back has been bugging me, I remembered how Diane would go for a massage and feel better. I went the other day and found I enjoyed being touched by a women as much as the pain relief. Not in a sexual way either, I have got a random hug here and there but realized it's been eight and half months since I had a kiss hug hand hold whatever from Diane kind of blew my mind. My Mom was in the hospital again, three times in the last month. Diane could always tell when I was stressed about my Mom and would come to me and hold me and tell me it was alright I didn't have to handle anything alone anymore she was there for me. That's all I have been thinking of I wish I could still have some Diane Therapy. The only person I have to help me is me, I have never been that great at taking care of me Diane yes me not so much. It's made me feel that much more lonely knowing I am back to handling everything on my own again.     

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on October 19, 2016 at 3:09pm

Dear Sheri,

I couldn't have said it better than Chicago Beard and Marsha - so I only add that I remember as if it was yesterday the feelings you are having. Some time ago I wrote a piece comparing the way we get through the days to walking a tightrope - I called it High Wire Act, and it may still be here somewhere if my past posts are still listed. I described the feeling of always having to concentrate on keeping my balance and ignore the distractions of comments and actions by people around me, who through no fault of their own would sometimes make things worse for me with their attempts to help.

The only place where I ever found real help, where  I soon recognized that my feelings were truly understood, was right here with this supportive family - my safety net as I referred to them in my post. All of you are still my safe place to bring my fears and feelings of loss and sadness, and I hope you Sheri feel that way too, because as you go through these struggles - and I do believe that as the shock of our loss abates it is replaced by unimaginable feelings of grief for which we are completely unprepared  - we will be here with you doing everything we can to offer our support and our understanding. 

I send my prayers your way, and wish you peace today and through all the rough days ahead that you face - days that,  with this family by your side,  you will never have face alone.



Comment by Marsha H on October 19, 2016 at 2:21pm

Dear Sheri ...  I caught your post to Chicago Beard and I just wish I had a magic wand to stop the intense pain of grief over the loss of your husband.  It takes me back when Ernie passed away so I know exactly how you feel.  I use to sleep a lot and curse when I had to wake up and face another day without him.  I would keep my blinds closed and sometimes not even answer my phone other than from my immediate family.  A lot of it was fear going through life without him and how was I going to manage alone and financially.  Through your heartache now it's difficult to believe that one day on your own time reality sets in and each day brings you closer to reinventing your own life and the tears and intenseness of grief grows further and further apart although of course you will never forget your spouse.  By my second year I got in touch with a financial advisor to help me through financial issues and the 'what's' and 'what not to does.'  I was able to ask family and a few friends over for entertainment and forced myself.  The first time I did I can honestly say I didn't enjoy it as they were all couples, but by the second time I grew to enjoy it.  I surprised myself by actually laughing.  It seemed I hadn't laughed in years.  As the years went on (now 5 1/2) I went out more, made plans with friends and since I'm retired with no children I chose to volunteer.  I have good and bad days still, but I remind myself so do a lot of other people.  I still can have a few rough times when I see couples together or couples going on holidays, but I'm stronger now and I'll get through it some how.

You were so right when you said it makes one wonder how all of us get through such a difficult time of grief and to me, we're all warriors of grief and we will win the war. 

You are in my prayers Sheri so hang on with all your might because better times are heading your way although I know it doesn't feel like it right now.  Remember, as painful as grief is what you are going through is very normal.



Comment by Chicago Beard on October 19, 2016 at 11:28am


I hear you and feel for you. The first year is the worst. I felt confused and lost. Everything felt surreal. I wanted the world to just stop and let me catch my breath. Of course that does not happen. As time passes the pain is not as acute and you find yourself actually enjoying things again. You never stop missing your loved one but you can move on. They can never be replaced but their memories and what we learned from them can carry us through.


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