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 Chicago Beard on November 2, 2017 at 10:33am

Have been reading the posts about not being included in family affairs once our loved one passed away. That is one area where I was blessed. I was treated the same even though it was my Rose that everyone liked more than me. Everyone has also accepted my new relationship with no issues. I am fortunate in that regard.

Comment by deborah peck on November 2, 2017 at 10:04am

Dear Mary Jane, I hope this finds you feeling better, Ive found that when I am tired or sick I have a lot harder time of missing Greg, I think its because when we are sick we just cant cope as well and also its hard to do it alone. I know the holidays are hard no matter how much time has passed. I love Christmas and usually put up 3 three trees and sooo many decorations, not sure how I will be able to do that this year but I am doing one tree on my porch in Auburn Tigers decorations to honor Greg as that's his favorite football team, hes from Alabama originially, , but we all know WE will get thru it somehow.  love Debbie

Comment by deborah peck on November 2, 2017 at 9:53am

Sara and Marsha, I too experienced the same thing when my first husband passed away, I could never figure out why his side of the family didn't include me in anything or our three little girls, I think its a constant reminder that they aren't around anymore so its easier for them not to be reminded by seeing us. I thought it was very sad when they had such a part of him in our girls, I don't understand it except to say they missed out on a big part of my husband

Comment by Michael Smith on November 2, 2017 at 7:08am


our oldest son got married 8 months after Melanie passed. towards the end of the reception my family started getting together for some family pictures. When i looked across the hall I saw melanie's family doing the same thing without including me. Her brothers wife was the person to notice that I wasn't in the pictures and they called me over. A couple months later I saw that her mother posted a picture on facebook of her Family. It was one of the photo's taken before I joined them. They still tell me that I'm part of the family but I'm usually the last to hear about anything. I always felt like an outsider and now it seems to be coming true.

Comment by Marsha H on November 2, 2017 at 12:30am

Sara ...  Something similar happened to me within a few months of Ernie's passing.  It's possible they thought they were doing the right thing, but since Ken has passed away they may have thought it was too much for you to handle.  That being said, they chose the wrong way to do it and should have let you know.  I really don't think they meant any harm.  If there are other incidences that have come up and you weren't included then you need to talk to the family in as calm a manner as you can and let them know how you feel.  I find communication so important and when something like this happens to me I go to the source and let them know I don't appreciate being left out of things regarding family considering they consider you family.

Comment by Sara Murphy on November 1, 2017 at 9:51pm

I'll tell you all about something that really annoyed me last week.  Ken's aunt passed away on Wed 10/18.  On Monday 10/23 I texted Ken's brother to ask if he could help me with something.  He said sure and asked if he would see me at the funeral on Wed.  My reply was that I had no idea what funeral he was talking about.  So on Monday I found out I needed to go to a wake on Tuesday and funeral on Wednesday and if I hadn't coincidentally texted my brother in-law I wouldn't have known about either.  I then emailed Ken's cousin to offer my condolences on his mother and talked to 2 other people who already knew and everyone assumed someone else had told me so the end result was that no one told me.  That's what I'm angry about.  Everyone likes to say that I'm still part of the family but when family things come up, I'm not included.    That's my griping for tonight.  I wish everyone a peaceful night.


Comment by Sara Murphy on November 1, 2017 at 9:40pm

Hi Michael......I have my 2 yr anniversary coming up in January and I expect it'll be similar to yours.....I'll keep busy but no one will call.  I will however post something on Facebook because  I want to make sure Ken is never forgotten.  I do know his friends think about him or at least I assume they must but since very few people mention his name in my presence, I can never be sure.   Marsha is right, everyone goes back to their lives because the loss isn't the same for them however they seem unaware that it's truly life altering for us.

Comment by Marsha H on November 1, 2017 at 4:06pm

Michael ...  What you are going through is very normal  My husband passed away in 2011.  I went to grief counseling and they told me the same thing, that family and friends would be there for only a short time and then they would get on with their own lives.  Unfortunately, others may miss your spouse, but they accept it because they can and we are stuck missing our spouses experiencing a great loss.  We all grieve at our own pace.

I was shocked when long-time friends of 40 years dismissed me eventually simply because I was 'not a couple' any longer and it hurt my heart to the core.  I felt so alone and it was difficult coping with Ernie's death so I do understand the 'no phone calls.'  What you do is call those people back!  They have no idea what emotions you are feeling at the time and so it's up to you to reach out.  Do it when you feel like it and not because you have to.  When you are up to it volunteer even if you work because giving back seems to speed the grieving process. 

My communication with Ernie's family is also strange.  There is just his sister, her husband and 2 grown children.  I didn't have them keep in touch with me for a long time and realized while I was grieving so hard that I forgot how his sister must have felt and was going through her own grief missing him.  Now they have me over near Christmas and my grown niece keeps in touch with me.

I have a very small immediate family and they have done the best they can with the time they have.  I sit sometimes and often ponder how I can improve my new lifestyle as much as I don't like to admit I'm not keen on a new lifestyle, but it's a necessity. 

I promise you Michael as time goes on you are getting stronger and will have a future even though you don't think so now.  Every day you get up is a day stronger. 

Just a big hug to let you know I care as do others on here.



Comment by Marsha H on November 1, 2017 at 3:57pm

Dear Mary ...

Just from my own experience as tough as it is to go through grief we have to go through it and as I got my feet on the ground 3 years later I realized grief made me stronger in many ways.  Oh yes, I do have my bad days sometimes and there are times I have no energy or feel like I want to do anything.  When our spouses were with us we had a reason to do things and it's a shock to come to the realization they are no longer with us.

Pneumonia as you know can knock the socks right off you so I think you being tired and also feeling as if you have no emotions left is the aftermath of your pneumonia complicated by grief. When we are sick we get depressed and I've been there before and ask myself, 'what's it all about.'  When you get the energy please see your doctor to change your medications for your osteoarthritis.  When in grief holidays are like a bad nightmare no matter if we have family or friends around to try to cheer us up.  I found after the 3rd year I was able to enjoy myself a little better, but our minds reflect back on when our spouses were with us and our world was complete.  Your weight loss of 7 lbs., is nothing to worry about and caused by the pneumonia.  Eventually that weight will come back.

When Ernie first passed away I use to trick my mind thinking he was at work and would be coming up that driveway at 4:30 PM and I still have his work jacket and baseball cap on the hook in the hall.  You are now in part of your grief where you have accepted Bob's death and it's not pleasant, but it's the start of the healing process of grief.  Not being able to concentrate reading or even watching TV is very normal.  I would watch TV and wonder what I missed!  I couldn't' read a book if my life depended on it.  Gradually concentration does come back.

From going to Grief Counseling they recommended that those who are grieving for their spouse don't dull the grief process by taking antidepressants, but for some, they need it.  In the past I have been on antidepressants with no ill side effects.  If you decide you need them talk to your doctor , but sometimes an individual has to find the right antidepressant.  Yes, they do work.  Be sure to ask your doctor for an antidepressant with the least side effects.  Generally your doctor when he puts you on antidepressants will check you every so often to see how things are going and it's on a short-term basis so you won't have to be on them forever.  They get you over a hump so to speak.  Antidepressants are not scary if you work with your doctor.  Because you are on other medications your doctor will give you the right antidepressant so it doesn't interfere with your medications you are taking now.  I also found while grieving I had all sorts of aches and pains I never use to have and realized when we grief every muscle in our body is tensed up and magnified. 

I am a smoker as well, but leave doors open and don't go outside.  I also have an air filter going all the time.  Yes, I've been where you are where I just don't have the energy to do much, but slowly I began to get my strength back, did more things and eventually volunteered.

Mary, I know right now you think it's the end of the world and I don't blame you, but most of us have been there and each day you get up even if you do nothing just makes you stronger.  I promise you when it's your time to move on you will and the heartache you feel in grief now will slowly ebb.  You will never forget Bob, but you will be able to cope better.

Prayers sent your way my friend.



Comment by Michael Smith on November 1, 2017 at 1:34pm

Last saturday the 28th was the two year anniversary of Melanie's passing. I kept myself busy but almost lost it a couple of times. I was told by a good friend right after her death that as time goes by people will stop checking in on me. I didn't receive a single phone call. My communication with her family is strange and hard. I miss her as much as ever.  I don't know what I'm trying to say.

Mary Jane I have been taking Zoloft since before Melanie passed. It really helped me in the beginning but I wonder if i need something else. 


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