Bereaved Spouses

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

Members: 1315
Latest Conversations: 23 hours ago

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

Struggling with reality

Started by Corey. Last reply by Marsha H Feb 14. 4 Replies

Nine days and a whirlwind of emotions.

Started by Tiffany Phillips. Last reply by Sara Murphy Jan 27. 12 Replies

My love.

Started by brenda may. Last reply by Marsha H Jan 12. 10 Replies

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Comment by Diane C on March 6, 2017 at 11:39am

YAY Marsha.... I am so glad to hear that you had such a good appointment with your doctor!! I know how much you dreaded that appointment and can only imagine how much better you felt coming home after... I completely understand the going to appts alone. Rich and I did everything together, so even going for groceries is a challenge to me. I've been doing it alone for almost 5 years, but it still doesn't feel right after 25+ years. Guess some things will never change for us. Good luck on the dating site. Sounds like it will be fun for you. I for one am thinking I am starting to get used to the single side of things. Not sure I have enough strength or time to train another man.. haha. I would like the companionship, but after 4-1/2 years that hasn't happened either. So at 60 years old, I will probably stay single, unless an absolute miracle happens... Just not going to hold my breath. Take care and I am so happy for you!!



Comment by Marsha H on March 4, 2017 at 7:54pm

Sara ....  Thank you for your encouraging post and being there for me as I know your grief is difficult for you, yet you are so kind to offer encouragement. 

It's true I have a little more faith in my doctor and after he told me he was leaving well enough alone.  He even put his hand on my shoulder and said I was doing very well.  Although a blessing, like Harold, I still feel very much alone and it's exhausting to see a doctor alone or do any business alone or for that matter the simplest of things as I'm sure you know.

I forgot to tell all of you that my niece is going to help me with my profile for a good dating site, but I'm leery and I've never had to go this route before.  I don't belong to any site, but they come in on my emails and I have to say some of them are not all that good and I feel like I'm looking at a line-up at Sing-Sing!  LOL  Because my niece wants me to be happy and not so lonely I'll give it a try and be ever so careful and keep all of you informed of my adventures.  Please don't get me wrong that I'm replacing my dear heart Ernie because he'll always be my true love, but even male friendship to go out and do things is just fine with me.

Thanks again Sara.  I hope today is a kinder to you.  You and the others are always in my prayers.

Comment by Marsha H on March 4, 2017 at 7:33pm

Harold ...  Thanks so much for your post and I'm elated that I know my doctor does do his homework and everything worked out.  We do what we have to do to keep moving forward.  I have no choice, but to be on this medication and I'm very lucky at my age it's the only one I have to take one medication. 

I really appreciate all of you being here for me and it means so much to me.  We all understand each other while those who have not lost a spouse don't understand and feel if we smile we're doing just OK. 

I too find the loneliness the worst part of grief.  We long so much to have our spouses with us even if the gift of them was just for a couple of minutes.  Like you, I looked at my 6' 6" husband who had never been sick before and kept in good shape and asked myself how the heck this happened.  One will never know and it's a cruel part of life for sure coupled with growing older and trying to make up time to live some sort of a normal life.  Weekends for me are the hardest even though I too keep busy.  My problem is I feel on a Saturday night especially so many couples are doing something fun and I'm stuck in the house missing life.  I found out that's not necessarily true because I see houselights on and cars parked on the street so I don't feel quite so bad.  I generally have a girlfriend over on the weekends and can't complain, but the odd time they have other plans with their spouses. 

I know just how much you miss your lovely Diane, but Harold, I honestly believe she is there beside you and watching over you.  Just before I went to the doctors I said a prayer and also asked Ernie to be there with me because when he was still here if either of us had a serious health issue the other one came along.  I swear, he was there.  So my friend believe Diane is right there for you and hope is such a powerful word.  Almost 6 years since Ernie passed away and I still can't believe it either and the odd time I really feel he's going to walk up that driveway as if he's been away on an extensive business trip. 

Comment by Sara Murphy on March 4, 2017 at 3:16pm

Marsha.......I'm so happy this doctor took the time to read your history and make a decision based on you specifically.  I have to imagine it's just as stressful for the doctors in your area to have to abide by such strict rules that they forget about the human side of doctoring.  This was the first step of your building a hopefully trusting relationship with this doc.

Comment by Harold McKinstry on March 4, 2017 at 9:05am


So glad your Dr. took the time to read your history and keep you on the medication that has worked so well for you. Were always here for you, I along with everyone on here know how our world has been turned upside down by the loss of our loved ones. Even though the rest of the world figures we are ok and over it. All of us are looking for a way to keep moving forward, we all need a shoulder to lean on every once in a while. Like you the loneliness has been setting in, I keep busy do a lot but it still is my constant companion. Even though it's been over a year I still find it hard to believe that she is gone from me. I remember at her Funeral talking to her and  saying how the hell did we get into this mess, I am still saying it to this day. 

Comment by Marsha H on March 3, 2017 at 7:10pm

Dear Steven ...  Thank you for sharing so much of your private life and you have been through so much.  In fairness I'll tell you what I've been through, but firstly depression and panic attacks is genetic in my family.  Thankfully I am not depressed as much as fearing panic attacks which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

My anxiety started as a child as my father was an alcoholic and often the household was chaotic.  I loved my parents dearly and felt torn.  Little did I know how this would affect me while still being at home.  Because of this I married someone who I shouldn't have married and had fair warning from family and friends, but in those days you didn't live with your boyfriend and marriage was the only solution so to get out of the house (really believing I loved this man) I married.  I soon found out he cheated on me before the wedding and then continued doing so while married and after 3 years of this I filed for divorce.  In ways that's a type of grieving process too.  I couldn't believe what a stupid young woman I was.  However, what came out of it was my new-found independence and learning to live alone and stand on my own two feet.  I was blessed with a good job and even more blessed when a friend of Ernie's a mine introduced us and we knew immediately that we were meant to be together.  We were married in 1972 and we were so happy, but life had other plans for us and my father suffered a stroke in that year and we put aside our own lives to a great degree to help my mother out with my father.  Working long hours, just being married and then coming home I burned the candle at both ends and when my beloved father passed away Dec. 14, 1973 my world crash down around me and then the panic spells hit.  On top of all this Ernie's 25 year old brother took his own life even though we were there for him whenever we needed him and from then on the family was never the same.  I battled panic attacks for years and finally found a doctor that helped.  Later, my mother would succumb to Dementia and even though I knew she couldn't help it as her caregiver I was the 'bad person' in her life which is very common for Dementia patients.  My mother would pass away in 2004 never knowing I was her daughter and it did haunt me for a long while.  I was also caregiver for Ernie's parents and of course had to quit work to do so, but was glad to do it.  Little did I know as the millennium flew in and we were so happy together that not too long ahead I would be losing my beloved Ernie.  So, here I am trying to reinvent my life.  Behind each of us is a story; some with sadness, but also some wonderful memories and it's those times that made us what we are today.

I am so very proud of you for conquering all that you have gone through and I know your future is looking bright and happy once again.

Thank you for always being there for me big brother.

Your loving sister


Comment by Marsha H on March 3, 2017 at 6:20pm

Dear Chuck ...  I am so happy you are finally healing and getting better with each day passing.  Thank you for your kind thoughts and I know if you were able you'd help me all you could.

I find many doctors with a 'God-like' attitude and also not much compassion.  I know there are so many people who are ill, but here, each doctor (other than specialists) can only have 35 patients per day.  Still, my attitude is, if you can't take the heat stay out of the kitchen; compassion and listening to the patient makes a whole lot of difference.  I use to work in the medical field and I always calmed some patients down who were anxious and it makes a big difference especially when getting their BP done. 

The U.S. has far better doctors and more of them and here we don't have enough GP's to go around. 

Thank you so much for letting me know you and others encircle me and wish me the best of luck.  It seems to have worked my big brother.

Doctors seem to forget these mighty words, 'Do No Harm!'  I keep reminding mine!  LOL

You are a pip my big brother and always come through for me and I appreciate it.

Hope you are feeling much better and know that I think of you often.

Love your sis,


Comment by Marsha H on March 3, 2017 at 6:09pm

Dear friends ...  Just wanted to let you know that I saw the doctor today and he was a completely different man; said he had gone over my medical history and no problem staying on the medication I've been on as I'm doing well on it and he's pleased I'm active, feels I'm sharp as a tack (guess all my brain cells haven't disappeared) and doing all the right things.  I was so relieved that my legs felt like jelly and very exhausted now.  He gave me a prescription for 2 refills.  I feel as if a mountain has been lifted off my shoulders.

I want to thank you all for your loving care, prayers and understanding and I appreciate it so much.  You guys are my rock!



Comment by Charles E. Nelson on March 3, 2017 at 9:52am

Dear Marsha,

It's been awhile I've been off, but have seen the surgeon for a one month follow up and all is well, so now I can relax a bit and turn my attention to my family here, and especially to you. I wish so much I could be there physically for support as you go through this frightening time - I feel fortunate in my dealings with the medical community here during the time of my collapse, losing Larry, and my gradual stabilization and improvement. It is terrible that your new assigned doctor is so dismissive of your feelings and circumstances. How often we have heard on here examples of the callous and condescending ways we are treated by those who ignore our grieving, mostly because they themselves have not experienced it...yet. To have someone you need to confide in and depend on for your very health treat you this way is inexcusable in my book, and I would relish the chance to say so to his face.

Just as I you have given so generously of your strength, your advice, and your love to us all here, our family now gather around you wrapping you in our love and support.

So my dear sister, while we both know from where this distressing disregard of your situation comes, that knowledge does not negate the stress and anxiety it engenders. No one in any position of medical authority, no matter the country or health care system, should be oblivious to the way our grieving is inexorably intertwined with our physical health matters. In my opinion, anyone not insightful or experienced enough to recognize this should not be practicing medicine.

Please let us know how you fare today, and feel our arms around you as our love and prayers flow your way.



Comment by Steve on March 3, 2017 at 9:28am

Dearest Marsha,

I have struggled with depression my entire life, somewhere along the way a Doctor put me on Prozac when I was 37.  At the time I had been thru an ugly separation, it wasn't the separation, it was all of the things in my life up to that point.  Loss of my Mother at 5 months, loss of my sweet grandmother, grandfather, the separation and indifference I felt from my father and close family members because I was gay, and dealing with a partner of some 18 years together only to find myself trying to cope with his alcoholism which really blindsided me.  I also sought therapy at that time to help deal with all of the above.  Although I stopped the therapy sometime later I stayed on my medication, I look back now and realize I stopped therapy to soon and the medication became something that kept me even along with my job and meeting Mark.  In 1992 I fell and shattered my ankle and broke my leg, this required extensive surgery and a year of physical therapy to learn how to walk again.  I was also now taking pain pills on a pain management routine.  One of the side effects was depression, Mark never let me forget to take my meds.  After a while the Doctors weaned me off the pain pills, however, they did state that as I grew older I would probably have to go back on them.  They were right, as I grew older I found that walking and moving was good, sitting afterwards the ankle joint offered up unbearable pain just to get going again.  I put it off as long as I could, then in 2009 after my cancer surgery I was put back on mild pain pills and at the same time my lower back started hurting.  I had 2 places on my spine with degenerating Discs from a form of arthritis.  Getting up to walk was painful and usually caused me to limp until the ankle loosened up, this in turn put stress on my lower back and the whole cycle became unbearable.  In 2012 I was placed on a pain regiment by my doctor.  During the time between 2012 and 2014 I depended more and more on the pain medicine.  As Mark's health declined, I started taking less and less of everything, Mark would notice and fuss at me and I would start taking my meds again.  After Mark passed, I depended more and more on them and I didn't like it.  So I started weaning myself off of the pain med and I noticed that yes the same pain cycle was there but I could cope with it, Mark's loss hurt more than a physical disability.  I also became friends with this site and I also found a Church where I found new friends and purpose.  I was still taking the depression medicine, however, I found that as I began to deal with all the grief I pilled up around me and began to heal I thought that just perhaps I could stop taking my depressing meds.  So I started cutting back and in about 3 months I was no longer taking them and to my surprise I didn't feel any different.  I had discussed this my doctor before I started and she kept track of my progress and I kept her in the loop.  I am not sure where or how I was able to do this on my own, then I stop and remember that I was not alone, there are so many around me that were supporting me in ways that they had no idea or clue to what I needed.  I still have to take a pain pill on the rarest occasions and I struggle each day with the thought, go ahead, take one, you will feel better.  Marsha, none of us are prepared for what we all have had thrown at us and all of us are so different and yet we all share one thing, we need each other just to get by.  Please know that we all love you dearly and support you with hugs, prayers and a willing ear to listen.

With all my love, your brother Steve.


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