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 Sara Murphy on November 6, 2017 at 9:17am

Debby.....I'm so sorry you have to deal with this health crisis on top on your grief.  Being sick is scary enough but when you don't have your spouse by your side for support, it's so much more overwhelming.  And for you to have to do this twice after the loss of 2 spouses is unfair at best.  We are all here to offer as much moral support as we can from afar but I agree with Marsha that you should let at least one family member know what's going on.  I would want to know if one of my siblings was sick despite what I have going on with my grief.  I don't know if you have siblings but if you do, they'll want to be there for you.

Sending prayers your way.


Comment by Marsha H on November 5, 2017 at 2:59am

Dear Deborah ...  You certainly aren't whining hon.  You have every right to express yourself to us and thank you for your honesty because now all of us can be here for you and encourage you.

I know everyone is terrified of the big 'C' word that seems to strike so many and so sorry you had to endure hearing that word twice with two different spouses.  I know you feel cursed, but when in grief counseling we were all told to get complete physicals from our doctors.  With all the worry of a sick spouse and our own fears no wonder our immune systems were down to almost zero.  I was fine re my physical, but lost about 30 lbs., and I'm petite to begin with.  Then 3 months after Ernie passed I had to go to the same hospital to have both my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed because they found a cyst on one of my ovaries and thankfully it wasn't cancer.  Still I've endured so much stress in grief alone as others on here that I wonder why I'm not sicker.  I've had strange rashes come and go and a bad stomach, but other than that I've been blessed.  So my dear friend it is not uncommon for your body to react to stress. 

Your doctor has caught this early and your chemo will probably not be long-term.  You have a very good prognosis as I researched it.  I am sure you know about lymph nodes and that's why they are taking some out so the cancer doesn't spread elsewhere on your upper body.  May I suggest Deborah that you go and talk to your family because that's what family does ...  they stick together and everyone in a family is going to have their own problems every so often and you would probably upset them more if you didn't tell them.  Love of family and friends (and yes, all of us on here) can create miracles and make you feel less alone.  So please reach out to your family and keep us up-dated.  I have no idea if you have a religion or not so please don't be offended if I pray for you each night.  You are family on here and a sister so tonight I'm praying hard for you.

You're going to make it girl and even though life doesn't feel fair I know things will get much better for you. 

Big hugs


Comment by deborah peck on November 4, 2017 at 11:22pm

I'm feeling really depressed and lonely tonight, really need Greg here. I haven't said anything but the day my husband had a stroke that started all this hell I had had reconstruction surgery that morning on my nose for camcer that they got all of it, I'm not even released from the doctors care yet and I noticed this big black place come up on my neck right under my jawbone so they did a biopsy and its melanoma. So now I have to have a much more extensive surgery with lymph nodes removed too and the irony of this is right after my 1st husband passed the same thing happened and I have this huge scar on my forearm from one side to the other, I just cant understand the fairness in all of this and since Ive had melanoma twice they are talking possible chemo too. I see the surgeon on the 15th.I know I should consider myself lucky that it was caught in time but I don't know how much more I can deal with, its just all very overwhelming. I'm sorry to be whining to you all , I just needed an outlet tonight, I don't want to talk to my family as they are all having such a hard time I don't want to add to it

Comment by Marsha H on November 4, 2017 at 5:25am

Dear Deb S ...  What a lovely surprise for me to read your post this evening.  Always cheers me up!  I know how we forget how addicted we are to keeping in touch by technology.  LOL

I am so happy you are loved by so many and part of it has been you reaching out.  I am so proud of you.  Often we forget others grieve as well; even friends.  Ernie best friend has never gone fishing since Ernie passed away and that sure got me thinking.  I felt selfish feeling at the beginning I was the only one hurting.

Unfortunately, no children, small immediate family that are fairly good, met some new friends, volunteer and go to Bible Study and at the end of January a girlfriend and I are going to acrylic painting classes.  Oh my! LOL  Fortunately, I've been deemed a good artist, but not sure how I will do with the acrylic painting (probably get more on me than the canvas.  LOL)

Think of you often my friend.

Hugs coming your way


Comment by Deb S on November 4, 2017 at 4:49am

Dear Legacy friends, I am sorry I've been out of touch. I've been in NC and was without internet for about a week. Yikes - that was a reality check! I did not realize how dependent I've become on the internet until it wasn't available to me.

Sarah, I am sorry I missed the milestone of Ken's birthday on the 23rd. I hope you did as well as can be expected. I was also sorry to read about the way you found out about Ken's aunt's death. It might well have been that everyone thought you had been contacted by someone else. I think you handled it well.

Trina, I also think of you often and wonder how you are doing. It was great to hear from you.

Steve and Chuck, Congratulations on selling the house. Wowsers! I can only imagine how busy you are trying to get everything done at warp speed. Post when you can. Steve, have you received any more results on what is going on with your wrist, etc.? It must be so frustrating to endure so many tests without any definitive results.

Mary Jane, I hope you are feeling better and the pneumonia is cleared up. I totally understand what you are saying about no energy and no desire to do anything. This has happened to me on a number of occasions. I finally started to embrace those times and permit myself freedom to do nothing. My mind needed down time to do whatever needed to continue to process my new reality.

Debbie P, Sometimes I really do not understand family dynamics. It is a mystery to me why some families choose to shut out survivors, especially when those surviving are there grandchildren. I've seen it happen in my own immediate family (my brother-in-law's parents made no effort to remain in the lives of his 3 very young children). It is their loss. It is fabulous that your second husband's family absorbed everyone into their family. They rock!

Kaela, Good for you for celebrating Halloween. I know this was not easy as your memories of Halloweens past were ever present in your mind. You still did it and this speaks volumes!

Marsha, I love reading your posts! You are always a voice of reason and I truly appreciate your generosity in sharing your thoughts on grief, family dynamics, and so much more. You rock!

Chicago Beard, I love that Rose's family recognizes that you are family and are accepting of your new relationship. This makes me smile.

To all, As I mentioned earlier, I am stymied to understand family dynamics. Fortunately, my adult children have been amazing. They are loving, caring and supportive. They follow my lead and are flexible while we determine what is best for us at any specific time, especially around holidays and birthdays and other milestone events. My immediate family continues to shrink however we do try to keep in contact and get together whenever possible. My sister and I are very close. She is here now and we spend about 4 months out of the year together. I have a huge extended family and stay in close touch with a few cousins. I also have a few close cousins from my husband's family. They do not refer to me as a cousin through my husband: I am referred to as their cousin. I love spending time with them. I inevitably learn something new about my husband which fills in a piece of the puzzle that might have been difficult to do otherwise. I agree with Marsha's comment about folks who drop off to the wayside. It happens so quickly. At some point in my grief process, I was able to determine who I wanted to stay in contact with and reached out to them. They too are grieving and sometimes unable to reach out themselves. I've rekindled many relationships this way. I've also learned to broaden my group of friends. I've met many other widows recently and find that spending time with them has been incredibly healing.

I'm thinking of each of you and hope you have a good day.  Debbie

Comment by Marsha H on November 3, 2017 at 9:12pm

Debbie ...  I am so very sorry to hear your second husband passed away as well.  I can't begin to imagine and it's so unfair.  I knew one lady at grief counseling that was going through the same thing as you.

We are so very blessed to have found real love even if it didn't last as long as we would like it to.  The big question for most of us is 'why us?'  I know now there is no answer to this.

I wish you peace and hope that your days ahead become more tolerable.

Comment by deborah peck on November 3, 2017 at 11:25am

Marsha so glad you found your love with your 2nd husband , that love will always be there, I have had 2 great loves in my life both ending in their deaths, I was married to my 1st husband for 15 1/2 and had three daughters then met my 2nd husband and was married 25 years and had one daughter that we adopted, Got married the 1st time at 17 yrs old, he was 21, I was truly blessed to experience true love twice when some never have that kind of love, just really makes me angry that I had to lose both of them, 

Comment by Marsha H on November 3, 2017 at 3:27am

Kaela ...  I am so very proud of you for going ahead with Halloween; carving the pumpkin and dressing up for the little ones.  That's why I still do Christmas I said before.  It's sort of like carrying the torch for our spouses.  They loved it so much and we carry on for them.  What a legacy!

Yes, unfortunately, most who have had a spouse pass away find one or the other family not all that receptive, but, they too feel grief and everyone goes through grief at a different length of time.  Sometimes I think because they see us reminds them of the one who has passed away.  I know given time Kaela that 'time' is the secret and one day things will begin to settle down.

You have taken such a huge step in your grief and that means you are stronger than you think.  I too shed tears decorating the Christmas tree (Ernie and I would celebrate our Christmas together at one minute after midnight and I so miss that.   I find that New Year's Eve is particularly difficult for me.  Still, we forge on and things will get better.

Comment by Kaela Roster Federle on November 3, 2017 at 1:29am

Marsha and Deborah,

Thank you both so much for validating my feelings about the holidays. I am just realizing they will be harder than I thought. Halloween was always kind of our holiday. When we were younger we'd go out and as we got older we didn't do much but we'd go out to dinner or drive around or walk around, watch movies, carve pumpkins, etc. On Halloween this year in the middle of pumpkin carving I just burst into tears and went to go cry in my room. I didn't think I wanted to participate anymore but I ended up finishing the pumpkin, putting on the costume and handing out the candy and I ended up enjoying myself.

Anyway, it just sucks. I am sorry again to hear about the family conflicts. I was talking to my mother-in-law tonight and she has been having a lot of conflict with her other son. Lots of tension as everyone is grieving. Sigh.

- Kaela

Comment by Marsha H on November 2, 2017 at 11:38pm

Debby ...  I am so sorry I got it confused and no, it wasn't your fault at all.  Now I understand!  Still, you are right you would think your first husband's family would want your children around so they could still have part of their son.  I know at this time so many things are coming at you and you're not sure where you're going yet, but just soak up the love Greg's family has for you and the girls and never mind about your first in-laws.  It is their loss! 

By the way, I was married before and the marriage last 3 1/2 years and then I met my soul mate Ernie and we were married for almost 40 years.  I feel so blessed to have met him and have so many fond memories of the two of us.  Some people never get that.


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