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, 2019. 5 Replies

Finding the new normal

Started by Sharon Kinsey. Last reply by Frances C Younger Jun 24, 2019. 12 Replies

Grief so great it hurts

Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Bonny Jones Jan 22, 2019. 12 Replies

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Comment by deborah peck on June 26, 2018 at 11:17am

dear Stephanie, it takes a long time to feel normal again, if that is even the right word. Its been 1 year this May for me and its still not sunk in yet, or maybe I wont let it, sometimes I feel like I have a grip on the reality of it but then I find myself pretending he is still coming back,I was 60 when my husband passed but a friend told me to go to the social security office to see if I could qualify for early retirement being 60 or over and yes I did to my surprise but be careful because staying at home is really hard all the time and am now looking for a part time job to get me out of the house more. My mom passed too after doing chemo and radiation, something I wish she hadn't done so maybe she could've enjoyed what time she had left more, everyone wants more time but sometimes that isn't whats best for them or us but as thye say hindsight is 20/20

Comment by deborah peck on June 26, 2018 at 11:09am

Mary Jane, I am so sorry you are feeling so alone, can we help in any way, I know its so hard to figure everything out after our husbands passed but you are not alone, we are here for you and am rooting you on. Im sorry your family isn't helping more, you are very lucky to have such a kind neighbor to help you out. I am praying that your test comes out fine and will be over soon. I am here if you ever need to talk, your friend Debby

Comment by Mary. Jane on June 24, 2018 at 8:17pm

Hi kids. I am having a very hard time lately I know the cause..the upcoming colonoscopy.. it is a week from tomorrow...and my friend is going to take and stay with me etc..and, yes, I am living my life is my usual terror of everything..but last week I decided SHOULD ask my niece, who lives 40 minutes from I called her, and ran it by see if she would take some time from work to take me. Yes, I know it was unrealistic, but SHE’S FAMILY, and I knew she couldn,t...cuz she said she already took a day last week, and wanted to ask for another day next week..bla bla bla..and she offered that one of her 3 adult children could take me...which, for various reasons, good ones that I wont bore you with, I declined..and told her never mind, my friend said she would take me..but my point is, after I hung the phone up, I was overwhelmed with  a horrible feeling of being completely and utterly ALONE. 

And it hasn’t, gone away. I DIDN,t even feel this desolate after Bob died. He was always there when I needed a medical procedure, or went to the Emergency room...and after my daughter left a few weeks ago...she really purged the house ..all his books, collectibles, etc are gone......and now I have to finish and toss his stuff, including his ART  supplies out...and seriously downsize etc...everything in my life has or will drastically change . Every single thing and My two major terrors are something will happen to my daughter and my beloved cat. This is the world I have created for myself. 

thanks for letting me vent.

Comment by Stephanie Hughes on June 23, 2018 at 1:54pm

Thank you Charles for your kind words, and all who have posted to my comments! You are so blessed that Larry's on was compassionate enough to allow you to make the tough decisions. I hope he is still a part of your life. 

I am so sorry that you and Larry had to fight the same indifference that Rick and I fought. I fought to get the genetic testing done to give us a chance. They came back with an OK for Keytruda ($13000.00 per infusion) The day he died, 12/20/17, we went to the cancer center for his fluid infusion.....they surely knew how bad of shape he was in,  but they continued anyway. (***TMI***)    Three days before he died, he was getting fluid and chemo, and he was vomiting a huge amount of brown fluid, but no one said anything to me  like : HEY- your husband's organs are shutting down!'.     Nothing from them. Later that same day at home, when I saw he hadn't moved in 4 hours, I said that's it- time to go the ER. He chose to go to an new hospital in another town where we never had been, but it's where his soon to be daughter in law works. He knew he was dying, but because of his tremendous love for me, and always wanting to protect me,  he didn't say a word. 

I've never heard a peep from the cancer center....nada.

At 6 months out, I am still going through the waves of grief. I see a private grief counselor, who lost her husband to suicide, so she really get 'us'. She is also a licensed Death Dharma and does counseling at hospice centers in my area. I am in good hands, but I still feel numb. Of course not as bad as in the first 4 months, but still I find no joy in anything. I go along, day to day, working M-F in a stressful, toxic job, but I have to work. I'm only 61, and I can't retire yet.  I am getting 4 years of deferred maintenance done on our house and yard (still say OUR)  and that should give me some comfort and joy, but I feel nothing. I tell the contractors and my neighbor who is helping that everything looks great, but in reality, I could care less. I am so tired of being SAD all the time. ***sigh***

I have so much to say, but this is enough for now.   Thank you everyone for taking the time to read my post, and most importantly, PEACE to everyone here.  


Comment by Charles E. Nelson on June 23, 2018 at 11:32am

Dear Steph,

Six months is such a short time for our grieving, and I hope the feeling that this is therapeutic for you continues as your journey moves forward. Please don't worry about leaving anyone's name out of your posts, as I at first had to keep a "cheat sheet" next to my computer to help me recall members names, those of their spouses, and what they had told hereabout their losses.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Larry also passed as a result of side effects from his treatment for cancer. He developed blood clots resulting from the immunotherapy as we were warned might happen. They broke free and went everywhere, with one right over his heart, another poised to travel to his brain. That last one did so and caused his stroke. His family were actually debating having him undergo brain surgery while he was unresponsive in the ICU. This was never shared with me at the time while I lay in a hospital bed just two floors above him waiting to be brought down to see him. Thank God his youngest son convinced them all that this was not what his father would want, and they let him go.

I go around in circles now wondering what those last months would have been like had Larry not partaken in the trial, and if he would have been more comfortable without the itching, rashes, nausea, and all the other discomforts that so bedeviled him. What bothers me most I guess is the way that after he passed, the " oncology team" surrounding his treatments were so matter-of-fact about his passing, and never reached out to me with condolences at all.

OK, enough of my complaining. Just know that I understand and share your feelings Steph. The less charitable side of me wonders how some of these pharmaceutical representatives would advise members of their families regarding these treatments. I see the drug that Larry was given now advertised on TV every single day. You can't imagine - no, I'm sure you can - the sudden jolt I get every time being slammed back to seeing him going through all that. The happy healthy-looking actors on the commercials give false hope to anyone expecting such miraculous responses in their loved ones, but maybe that's just my bitterness talking.

I'm glad that you have joined us in this family, and thank you for putting words to something I have trouble expressing - even to myself. You have greatly helped me in that.

Wishing you a peaceful weekend -

Love, Chuck

Comment by Stephanie Hughes on June 22, 2018 at 12:02pm

Mary Jane

I am so sorry you are facing this fear of colon cancer-we all pray that the tests come back clear- maybe a polyp at the worst. And I am also alone, no family- mostly deceased. I did invest in a Life Alert system since the dogs don't seem to be able to call 911.

Deb-I pray that your skin cancer can get into remission if it's advanced, and if it's in the early stage, the doctors can stop it in it's tracks.

Chuck-I too am trying to catch up on all the postings, and everyone, please forgive me if I leave out your name. I am new here, and I sneak in reading while I'm at work- it's more therapeutic than my job!

I have mentioned this before on my 2 other grief/bereavement websites. I wish all of who now belong to this club no one wanted to join could all agree on a location somewhere, and we could all pool our monies together and build our own Grievers Village. That way we could all help each other, share in the grounds keeping, trips to doctors, etc. Sort of a Baby Boomer Griever's commune! 

Peace for now - I need to get some work done!


Comment by Charles E. Nelson on June 22, 2018 at 8:18am

Dear Mary Jane,

I am so sorry about the fear you are experiencing facing the possibility of colon cancer. I am praying that the colonoscopy reveals no signs of such, and gives you the chance to relax and calm down the EBS. All the many things going on in your life right now are so stressful that it is no wonder the EBS acts up, making everything else more difficult - like a circle in a circle as the song goes. If Steve and I could be there across the street to relieve you of some of the labors of moving we would do so.

I'm fighting this week my natural tendency toward depression and anxiety, and trying to analyze what combination of factors is making me have such alarmingly scary dreams. I feel listless and unfocused by day, edgy and restless at night. Being in Texas for the start of my first hot summer here, with all the attention directed to the state surrounding what's been going on, has me feeling like I've moved to another planet. Steve and I are far north of the border, but the effects of all this are far-reaching, and Dallas/Fort Worth is very much involved it seems. I don't equate my own distress with your serious EBS issues, but it does seem to be magnifying my grief to the point that I can't stop thinking of Larry and how much I miss him. In many of my dreams I am fleeing some unseen threat, and I wonder if it is my own grief, or the possibility of ever being separated from Steve. 

Anyway, I'm sending you a big hug and hope this weekend will bring you some calm peaceful moments and relief from your symptoms.

Much Love,


Comment by Charles E. Nelson on June 22, 2018 at 7:51am

Dear Sara,

Move over dear, because I too am behind the curve playing catch-up. Addressing Patty's wondering if it is better to know of our impending losses, I can only offer my experience after Larry and I were told in late summer of 2015 that his melanoma had metastasized to his lung and was terminal. We were only offered the possibility of buying time through his enrollment in a trila study of immunotherapy drugs, not knowing if he would be in a control group with placebos. He never said it out loud, but in my heart I believe now that he agreed as a way of making his passing something useful for scientific research hoping his small part might one day save someone elses' life. That's who he was, and thinking this way allows me to get past the memories of the horrible side effects he endured.

Our last months together were not easy ones for either of us, and particularly his November birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas were truly exercises for me in digging deep to put up some front while inside the ticking time bomb was tearing me apart.

Larry had to pass on doing an antique show he always sold at over Thanksgiving weekend, which alerted his many friends in the business that something was awry. Several hastily planned a huge Christmas party for the gang and their spouses, and Larry was told by the hostess that I was expected to attend and would be fetched and dragged there if I tried to skip coming. I sat on a couch between two of his dearest friends whose job was obviously to keep an eye on me in case I broke down sobbing or something equally upsetting. I made it through with constant refills of my wine glass and a few choked-down bites of the lavish spread they had arranged. Larry and I both knew in our hearts that this was their way of saying good bye to him, and he actually had a very good evening. I didn't.

So, knowing we were near the end wasn't great for me, and for reasons best left unsaid for the moment I think it made our final months much more stressful and difficult for Larry. That is what I regret more than anything else, and need to reign in my thoughts quickly when I begin down that dark path.

Thanks Sara for letting me get that out - I don't think I've told that here before, and it helps to do so now. Hope your weekend is calm and peaceful.

Hugs and much love,


Comment by Charles E. Nelson on June 22, 2018 at 7:16am

Dear Marsha,

How true are your words that we all wish we were able to be physically there for each other, especially when someone needs help with transportation, house or yard work, or even just sitting quietly and pouring our hearts out while someone holds our hand.

That said, being able to come here and read everything posted remains for me a way of keeping myself centered, focused, and sane. Well, that last bit is debatable. This week the world once more made me question where people's hearts have gone, leaving me pining for the innocence and simplicity of my childhood. I do indeed notice that so many of us have health issues, and am in agreement with Stephanie that stress plays a role in that. Also, we as a family aren't exactly spring chickens for the most part, but i don't mean any offense please - I'm 64 but most day feel 20 years older. One thing I hope happens someday is to look you directly in the eye in person and tell you exactly how much you mean to me before grabbing you in a hug I've been storing up for 3 years now!

Have a peaceful and calm weekend dear friend, and Steve and I may be asking you to scout out houses for us up there, if you get my drift.

Love, Chuck

Comment by Marsha H on June 22, 2018 at 6:23am

Mary.Jane.  So sorry you are having difficulties with someone just being with you.  Even though it's been 7 years since Ernie passed away there are times I get very lonely when home.  I am active out of the house, but once home it's so lonely.  Bless the heart of the wonderful friend who drives you where you need to go.  If I could I would swing by your house and give you a ride on my broom!  Wish I lived closer to help you more.



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