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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Bad day

Started by David Heggi. Last reply by David Heggi yesterday. 2 Replies

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Started by denise. Last reply by Marsha H Oct 25. 4 Replies

Need Advice:Grief and Chronic Fatigue

Started by Kaela Roster Federle. Last reply by Kaela Roster Federle Sep 25. 27 Replies

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Comment by Deb S on March 20, 2017 at 3:42pm

Chuck, I LOVE your posts! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

Your observation of your friend comparing the loss of her relationship via divorce to your loss strikes a cord. I've also had people make the same comment. On occasion, I offer my 2 cents as a former divorce attorney, as someone who has been divorced, and as someone whose spouse died. There is no comparison. As my sweet husband might say: it is like comparing apples to oranges!  Perhaps it is a good thing that you did not have the ability to respond to your friend that day. Given time, she will know the difference. Until then, your 40 year friendship is preserved albeit with a newfound realization and understanding that she just doesn't "get it".

Happy First Day of Spring! Hopefully, your NJ temps will make Steve comfortable until the two of you decide to seek a warmer climate on a full time basis.

BTW, I am trying to intentionally slow down and give myself time to adjust to reality. I continue to dream about Bob every night. I am going through many of his work papers now. It is bittersweet and therapeutic to review years of work calendars which memorialize our work and personal schedule. I am ready to part with the work portion but am holding on to the personal history. That works for me right now. 

Love, Debbie

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on March 16, 2017 at 9:33am

Hi Sara,

I am feeling like you...Spring can't come soon enough, and poor Steve, who grew up in Florida and lived in the South all his life looks a bit like a caged animal, pacing around looking out the windows at the snowed-in driveway, asking himself what on earth he's doing here in the cold!!! We will address our final location once he helps me close Larry's estate and sell the house, but you can be sure it won't be in the snow belt.

Thank you for parsing our my meaning in my somewhat cryptic post - I suspect it may have been a bit confusing when I tried to explain my friend's complete lack of understanding of who we are on Legacy, and how we interact and offer support for each other. She actually said that day that she and I were in the "same boat" - me grieving for my lost love of my life Larry, and she for her failed marriage. I don't mind telling you that I it's a good thing I was so tired and emotionally drained by that moment, or I would have lit into her in a way the likes of which she had never seen over our 40+ years of friendship.

It has always been the case  for me that when I stopped looking frantically for something I thought I wanted or needed to be happy, only then would I slow down and realize that often the miracles, large and small, that surrounded me were not only enough, but actually a wealth of treasures I had been overlooking all the time. Sounds a bit like Dorothy at the end of "The Wizard Of Oz" I know, but none the less true.

Be safe, my dear friend, and keep warm - soon this snow will be but a memory as we move on to another season of rebirth and renewal - I pray that it is for us all in this family also another step toward our finding peace and an equal renewal of our will to go on, even in our grieving.



Comment by Sara Murphy on March 15, 2017 at 10:08pm

Tiffany......It's so hard when our friends and family get back to their own lives, a little at a time.  They have no choice but at the same time, we can't understand how the world is still turning when our worlds have stopped.  Nothing makes sense anymore.    I'm so sorry his mother is adding to your grief.  I understand she is grieving too but she can't just assume ownership of his stuff.  I don't know you're situation other than you hadn't gotten married yet but I think maybe it's time to put your foot down if she asks for anything else.  You may not realize right now that you'll wish you had kept a certain something down the line.  I agree with Mary Jane.  This is about you and you need to do what's best for yourself. 

Comment by Sara Murphy on March 15, 2017 at 9:57pm

Hi Chuck.....Yes, we got a little more than a foot of snow with this latest storm.  2 blizzards in 1 season so I'm ready for spring now. 

I have to say I don't get the comparison your friend was trying to make between Legacy and a dating site.  I've never used a dating site but I don't imagine there are any group conversations and connections at the level we connect here.  I see dating sites as superficial such as with the unrealistic photo you mentioned.   I do hope your friend finds happiness but money can't buy happiness so I do suspect she'll need you again.

I'm happy that you and Steve get to walk through your journey's with each other.  To have someone who truly understands your grief I think is key.  I'm no where near ready for another relationship but if the day ever came, for me it would have to be with a widower.  I would need someone to understand that Ken is my end game.  He is the soul I'm looking to reunite with.  Only someone who's been through this could understand that feeling.

When the time is right, please tell us about your first face to face meeting.  With your style of writing, I'm sure it'll be a hoot.

Love, Sara

Comment by Charles E. Nelson on March 15, 2017 at 1:15pm

Hello All,


First, I hope everyone affected by the storm in the Northeast is doing OK – Sara, it would seem you got the brunt of it, although we got our share here.


I’ve been following the recent discussions and am always moved by how our sharing of our experiences helps each other. I hear myself frequently in the posts, especially from those who are so new here with their losses so recent.


If I have anything to contribute, it would be my experience soon after joining this family, almost 15 months ago. An old friend came for the day after learning of Larry’s passing and my hospitalization and illness. It happened to be on the date of Larry’s birthday, which is November 13. I didn’t tell her that  until she had been here awhile, and we shared many tears and hugs for several hours. She intuitively let me ramble and share story after story about our 32 years together. I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through that day alone.


Eventually talk turned to her life, and she revealed that she was in the early stages of divorcing her second husband, and was already considering joining an online dating site. She needed to feel loved, respected, and appreciated and felt her best way to do that was through finding a mate. We have the kind of friendship where we rely on each other for advice, so she wanted my input on the initial post about herself she was writing, as well as her “screening parameters” and her choice of photos.


Being rather protective of her feelings, I tried to push one thought only regarding the entire enterprise, which she seemed to be addressing like a job interview, complete with a dazzling resume and glamour shots of herself. This was not the woman I had known since our teen years, so said I thought that if she just wrote from the heart everything she had said to me about how she felt and what she wanted from a partner, posted with a few photos as she looked right that minute, dressed stylishly but comfortably, without tons of makeup, then anyone who responded would be more likely to suit her personality. In a nutshell, be completely candid and herself!


She appreciated my point, and promptly discarded my suggestions, going for photos that hardly resembled her, and shockingly was quite disappointed when her first few meetings didn’t go well. She also was explaining to me how she took particular note of the background details in the gentlemen’s photos - homes, cars, and clothing - to determine their financial status. I tried to keep still about my feelings, but when she kept comparing her efforts to my being on Legacy, and my developing friendship with one man in particular whose situation mirrored with mine, I finally spoke out.




Comment by Charles E. Nelson on March 15, 2017 at 1:14pm

page 2

Here, we are all struggling with the worst loss of our lives, and connect by offering listening ears, open arms, and no judgments or expectations – our purpose is simply to help each other survive one more day. There is nothing we desire from this family but acceptance and understanding. Sadly, my words fell on deaf ears. Since finding a well-off man and finalizing her divorce, in that order, I haven’t seen or heard from her.


So what is my point? Just that we all walk a path that will forever have an empty space beside us – at least in the physical sense. Larry has been with me every day since that awful day almost two years ago. He calms me, protects me, and guides me when I am so turned around that I can’t see straight. In my heart I believe that is so for all of us in this uncommon family – just as I believe that no matter what we feel and say now, the events ahead for us - the twists and turns our paths may take - will be right for us if we only keep true to our love for our spouses, patient with ourselves, and always honest with the world, whether they like it or not.


As for me, this way of making my way along this lonely path has brought something I never would have dreamed possible. Now when I look to one side, I am still alone, but when I turn my head and look to my other side, I find someone there, walking with me, sharing the tears and the smiles, and always understanding what I am feeling, because he himself is on the same path with those same feelings. “Why I am so blessed?” I ask every day, with only a quiet whisper in my ear answering “because you needed each other”.


I may soon write about the first face to face meeting, with all the funny and tortuous things we both went through leading up to that moment. For now, I only want to say to you all that your support, your encouragement, and especially your friendship is the only thing that has brought me through to this point, and continues to do so whenever I start to get shaky and uncertain. I wish for everyone here only that you stay strong, believe in yourself and your absolute right to grieve and eventually start healing in the way that is uniquely correct for you, and keep others from impeding or derailing that process, whomsoever they may be, or however noble their intentions.


Peace to you all today,




Comment by Mary. Jane on March 14, 2017 at 3:59pm
Hi Tiffany. My name is MaryJane, and I have basically lurking here for a few weeks, reading the posts, and getting up the courage to post. After I read YOUR post, I just HAD to comment. I don.t know the circumstances of your husbands death, nor is it my business as to why you haven,t been at your home...but the idea your MIL wanted his Christmas gifts back, but let you keep some of his shirts just STUNNED me! It you want to take his shirts off the hangers, and sleep on top of them..THAT IS YOUR BUSINESS!! However you choose to grieve is up to YOU not your MIL!. You don,t have to do anything with his items that YOU don,t want to do..even if it takes 50 years!! My husband died at home,a year ago, and I find my home to be comforting to me, because I still feel him there..and part of me enjoys being alone and I tend to talk to him all day...but this is about YOU, and everyone's circumstances are different. You grieve in your own time, in your own way, and don,t let anyone else tell you different. For myself, with Bobs clothes, I find it comforting to cuddle his robe, as it still has his smell...and I have no intention of emptying out his clothes anytime soon. (I did toss a few items he never wore, or that he DIDN,t care about, and even THAT took me about 6 months. I also TALK to him all day, sometimes I breakdown, but the important thing is you take as much time as you need for yourself. There is no expiration date on grief or love. Please remember this is about YOU,and possibly any children you may have not your MIL.
Comment by Harold McKinstry on March 14, 2017 at 3:36pm


Two months isn't very long sorry for your loss and the pain of it. I have staid in our house, lots of reminders of Diane, not quite as painful as it used to be. It's been over a year I haven't done anything with her clothes, no hurry I guess. I have sold her 3 sewing machines and donated some of her craft stuff. We never got the chance to exchange Christmas Gifts either. Things have got somewhat better after a Year, I still hurt and miss her everyday but I also have some good days and smile about something that reminded me of something about her. I'm sure you will to eventually too. Try to hang in there.

Comment by Marsha H on March 14, 2017 at 3:35pm

Tiffany ...  I do understand how you must be feeling.  When Ernie passed away and we had his Celebration of Life, I had a few people over, but after they left there was just silence in the house.  Thankfully, I was not only in denial, but exhausted and slept for a good part of the time. 

It has been almost 6 years since Ernie passed and I still miss him so much.  I miss him hugging and teasing me and those conversations of how our day went every evening he came home from work.  I keep a radio on or the TV just to hear a human voice.  In these 6 years the feelings of loss are not so intense, but not for once instance do I forget my dear Ernie.  He grew up in this town and everywhere I look there are reminders of him.  I think I told you I had to sell his truck/camper and also his boat and I sure choked up even though the people that bought them would put them to good use and I needed the money.  I finally convinced myself they were 'just things' and the 'things' I'd give away in a Nano second if I could only see Ernie one more time.

When I finally cleaned out his side of closet I came across some clothes I bought him he'd never worn and a few Christmas gifts he hadn't even used. 

I don't understand how his mother ended up with almost everything your sweetheart had as you were together and most should have been yours and a few things to sentimental value to his mother just to be kind to her as she lost a son.

It stings when you see the same vehicle all over town and thankfully I don't have to put up with that.  The people who bought the truck/camper and boat don't live near me at all so I can breath some relief.

Tiffany each day that goes by you get a little stronger even if you don't believe you are.  I know just getting out of bed some mornings takes all the energy one has to face another day without our spouses.  Oh yes, I still have a few cries here and there missing my spouse like crazy, but found keeping busy or going for walks with a friend or just my dogs helped me a great deal. 

I pray that today is a much better day for you and please keep coming back to Legacy as we're here for you.

Comment by Tiffany Phillips on March 14, 2017 at 11:13am

This weekend was the first weekend I stayed back at 'our' house after 2 months.  First night was ok, I had people there with me, but the next couple nights got harder as less people were there, until Monday when I was alone.  I miss him so much, not having him in the house, or on the couch w/ me, or even just knowing he won't be home later.  I have his clothes in my closet still, those will stay there for a while.  I was looking through them this weekend and straightening them up some, only to break down because I realized that the shirts I'd gotten him for Christmas, some if not most, he hadn't even worn yet.  I would have loved to see him in them.  His mother wanted most everything back, but I was lucky to be able to keep the shirts.
I had just gotten over the fact that after 3 years, his car wouldn't be in our drive way anymore.. His mother sold his car to my neighbor.  Now I see it driving all over town all the time.  I know they needed the car and she needed the money, but God does it sting.  It's like I had just gotten over not having it there only to have to see it everyday, and know it's not his anymore.


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