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 9, 2017 at 9:42pm

Steve......I think it would be fascinating to sit around a fire with you and Chuck (sorry, can't call him Charley) and listen to your stories as you both have a way of setting the scene that really draws you in.  I knew Mark had difficulties with his family but didn't realize it was to the extent that he was written out completely.  My heart aches for him and the pain he must have felt.  I'm so happy he met you and got to live the life he was meant to live.  Nov 20 and 22 are good days as my best friends' birthday is the 20th and my sisters (twins) birthday is the 22nd.   Since those are happy days, then your closing and move will go smoothly.

Sending love and peace to both of you.


Comment by deborah peck on November 9, 2017 at 3:57pm

Dear Steve, your story moved me to tears and happiness, sad for Mark and the loss he suffered with his own family and sad for you for losing your love but happiness for you and your love now. I think destiny if a powerful force in our lives and this is the way it is supposed to be for you both and I only wish you love and happiness as you both embark on this new chapter in your lives, much love, Debbie

Comment by Steve G. on November 9, 2017 at 2:05pm

Moving part 3

Charley and I struck up an online friendship by posting on the grief site that we both belonged to.  Something about him and the way he wrote about his life with such honesty and purpose caught my attention.  He had a way of getting through the layers of protection I had become so accustomed with, and drew me out of my shell.  I wrote a short story sometime back called a “Trail of Feathers” in which I detailed out just how we were led to each other not by our own doing.  Our life together is a step along a path that we were both set on a long time ago and now a new chapter of our life together will begin later on this month as we finish up packing and moving to another state.  Moving to Dallas this time will be much different for me and a totally new adventure for Charley, I am returning to the city full of friends with an extended family that not only embraces me for who I am but also embraces Charley for whom he is as well.  Charley and I move forward not knowing how or where our parallel paths with take us, just as long as we are together.  Of course, our departed loved ones will accompany us and guide us as they truly both were involved in our meeting each other.   

November for most folks in the US has always been a month of Thanksgiving, today both Charley and I can give thanks for all of our wonderful friends and family that support us and love us for the individual personas that we truly are; indeed November is a month to be thankful for what we have and not to worry about what we do not have.  Peace to one and all, may God bless and keep you safe and happy.

As it stands now, closing on the house will be November 20, and we will be headed south to Dallas the morning of November 22.

Comment by Steve G. on November 9, 2017 at 2:03pm

Moving part 2

Mark, as with most young males of any family, was pressured to attend college, get married and have children.  Mark knew at an early age, as most gay men are aware of, that he was different; sure he wanted to finish college and have a career, he just did not want to get married and have children. Mark did get married and fathered a son and as he tried to live a false life just to please his family he found out all too soon that he could not live a lie.  Mark and his wife agreed to separate, upon telling his family and the reason why, their response was to discard his wants and to further pressure him to stay married and raise his son.  His family would not accept any other alternative and when Mark pressed his position that he would not they actually offered him a large sum of money to help change his mind.  Mark declined their offer and his family discarded him as he were a used paper cup, canceling his inheritance, his trust fund and broke all ties with him telling him that he was no longer part of the family.  They in turn finalized his divorce, made it impossible for him to have any contact with his son and left him with nothing.


Mark accepted his fate, he dusted himself off and moved on.  Mark and I met and through all the years together he never once regretted his decision, however, his feelings for his family never improved.  Just before his passing he made me promise that I would not try to find anyone in his family ever, no matter what may happen to him.  I have kept his promise and will continue to do so, I remember the day he died and during my grief I felt as if I were grieving for both of us.  His loss of his family and the fact that they never knew the wonderful person he really was and of course my own loss of loosing my best friend, my soul mate and my one and only true love.  I often think of Mark and try to understand the depth of the pain he must have felt being tossed aside by his family as if he never existed to them.  


November will always be a month of much reflection for me and now one of joy as well.  A little over a year ago while writing my daily post to the online grief site I was a member of, I discovered a gentleman on the site that had also lost his partner, actually he lost his husband, they had had a civil union a few years before.  Little did I imagine he would be the reason that I would pack up my belongings, retire from work and head my little red car for New Jersey.

Comment by Steve G. on November 9, 2017 at 2:01pm

Moving Part 1

One year ago this very month I left Dallas, TX heading north for Bloomsbury, NJ, I had spent the entire month of October packing and saying my goodbyes to all my friends at work and at church, I was finally retiring from work.  Everyone thought I was a little crazy when I told them where I was retiring too, I could tell this from the way they would ask me “why New Jersey”.  A few very close friends knew exactly why and were not at all surprised by my sudden decision to leave work, pack up my apartment and head north.


Three years ago this very month I lost my partner of 25 years to a neurological disorder that caused him to have seizures, his symptoms were very similar to Parkinson’s Disease.  Mark knew that his disorder was a hereditary defect affecting only the males from his family history.  Mark and I had 25 years just like any other couple, we had our share of joy and disappointments, but through it all we persevered and we loved each other very much.  All those years together we seldom argued, oh we had our differences, we just decided early on that life was too short to let everyday ups and downs to take over.  Mark was the one that taught me to relish each day, to be happy and not to regret  anything; this was the basis of our success, just one simple rule, to love each other as if it were our last day together.  I was the one that found this more difficult as if it was something foreign to me, but Mark would pull me around to his way of looking at life and it is because of him that I can move forward through life now without him by my side.


Mark’s past and family history was much different than my own, and yet we both shared one common factor, our families labeled and to some degree judged us for who we were not.  Biological families have a tendency to view us by the standards to which they have lived their lives instead of just accepting each other as the same person we have always been, such as cousins, brothers, sisters and so on.  As we all grew up together we each had to find our own way through this life by making the decision to be the best person we could be, not by choosing our life based on those around us but by examining ourselves, understanding ourselves and then moving forward to be the person that we were and not the person everyone expected us to be.

Mark came from a very wealthy family, his mother was an accomplished British archaeologist and his father was a member of the US Ambassador team servicing various parts of Europe and Africa.  Mark had an older brother and the two of them, along with their family, traveled and moved from one country to another.  Mark’s stories of his childhood were fascinating and yet shrouded in underlying currents of sadness and happiness associated with growing up always on the move.

Comment by deborah peck on November 9, 2017 at 10:55am

I don't think I realized how much Gregs passing had an affect on extended family until I went to  dinner with my sister last night and we were discussing a candlelight ceremony that the funeral home is having for my husband and others this month, and how we always go to a ceremony for her baby who passed from sids 17 yrs ago, every year we have gone to this and she tells me she doesn't know if she wants to go this year and I ask why, she tells me that in all these years Greg was at every one of these and starts crying and says she doesn't know if she can do it knowing he is not here, truly touched my heart and we both cried a little sitting in the restaurant , its funny how you get so wrapped up in your own pain that you don't notice others are hurting too

Comment by Mary. Jane on November 8, 2017 at 10:13pm
Ok this post is for Chuck and Steve and anyone else who believes that FEATHERS can be a sign from our loved ones.
Melinda and I were in Virginia Beach VA, it was our last full day, and we were determined we were going to wade in the Atlantic we,d walked down the few steps to the sand, and I hesitated for a moment at the base of the small stairs, stepped onto the sand, and a FEATHER (a rather large one) floated down from the sky, and landed right near mt bare feet. I hesitated a moment, then picked it up, and put it into my small purse..and continued on to the water to walk in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean which I had never been in. Melinda (daughter) wAs rather horrified that I kept it wasn,t pretty, a bit ragity, but It had floated down from the air and landed an inch from my bare feet. I told her it was from her dad...and took it home with me. Was it from Bob?
Comment by Mary. Jane on November 8, 2017 at 5:07pm
Oh Deb P. THankyou so much! You can,t imagine how much better your reply made me feel.
Comment by deborah peck on November 8, 2017 at 3:42pm

Mary Jane, I do the same thing on here and its always at night when I too am lonely, Thank God we have someplace to talk even in the middle of the night so blather away anytime

Comment by Mary. Jane on November 8, 2017 at 12:05pm
To DEB P. I am so sorry to hear about your cancer..but in a sense, it is fortunate it is a cancer that isn,t hidden somewhere inside your body, where it can grow for years without you knowing anything about it, until it is too late. I know you will have to go through a lot, but you will b ok, and all of us here will b praying for you.

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