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

Grief so great it hurts

Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Diamond Jan 31. 13 Replies

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

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Comment by Marsha H on December 4, 2013 at 2:34pm

Barbara ...  I am going through the same thing you are and it's been 2 1/2 years since my husband passed away.

The Christmas season seems to be the worst season of the year as it's time to be with family and visiting friends and most of us enjoyed that when our spouses were here.  Christmas is more difficult without our spouses because we had our set routines together and enjoyed being together as well as having help preparing for Christmas.  The things my husband use to help me with I have to do alone and it tires me out quickly.  Now we go Christmas shopping and notice couples shopping together, some laughing, getting excited for the holidays and it makes us feel more alone.

Right now my best friend's sister is in town unexpectedly and of course it's natural for them to want to spend time together, but I'm finding the routine I had with my friend is out of whack and I was shocked I broke down in tears because we had planned to do things together.  The lady's group I joined has so many functions going on and I just don't have the energy to attend because I'm exhausted and that depresses me.  Like you sometimes I enjoy being by myself, but this time of year and trying to struggle to get into some sort of spirit and having two evening buffet; one for family one for two couples. I just can't seem to get into the season of being jolly.  I try so hard, but have done more crying in the past 2 weeks than I have all year.  I have to fight not to become bitter.

I know the feeling of not having the same fun as the people you are with whether it's family/friends.  I just smile and that's as good as it gets as I'm also thinking of my husband.  It's possible your daughter and nieces were just so excited they just got caught up in their fun and possibly didn't ditch you.  It is a reality that some people want to have their fun because they don't know how we feel and it's human nature they want to be around those that do want to have fun.  It's always a kicker for those of us who grieve.

Right now I feel this year has been more difficult for me as Christmas rolls around than the first year of grieving.  I take the dogs for a walk just to clear my head, but I'm always daunted by seeing couples even on my walks holding hands, laughing or just talking and  I start to cry all over again.  There are no instructions to read about how long we will grieve or when we will get into the swing of a routine for ourselves and I find that the most difficult to accept.  I feel exhausted, somewhat depressed and left out.  I seldom get phone calls from friends right now or even an invite out for a coffee. Just a busy time of year. Do what I do Barbara and when out just smile off and on.  I know for many of us at this time of year our hearts are breaking.  I'm hoping 2014 will be more comforting bring peace to all of us.




Comment by Helen Duncan Hutchinson on December 4, 2013 at 12:29pm

Hi Susan

I live in Aberdeen in the far North of Scotland so it is very cold and dark now and we are awaiting the first snow.

I haven' read the Eben Alexander book though I have heard ot it.   I have a very good psychic who has told me many things she could not have known and I tell her very little,  She is a friend now and when I am with her, she soothes me and tells me Morley is waiting for me but I dread I could live another 20 years feeling like this ( I have been diagnosed with post trraumatic stress because of the way he died and there is no one in this area who can help me) and the moment I leave her, the scientist in me sneeks out again and tells me it is all bunkum.    I was just telling Barbara that the best Christmas present I could get would be to go and join Morley.   Apart from a very few friends who have been REAL friends I am ignoring Christmas and am not sending cards or presents.   Morley and I sent out around 200 cards every year to all his students all over the World and I thought I was so popular.   My sister and two inieces have not talked to me for 2 years.    I did say some things I perhaps shouldn't to my sister but it was in response to really nasty things she was saying about what I did for Morleys memorial service, where I put his plaque (his choice) etc.   I have apologised but no leeway was given for my grief and yet when her husband died. my husband and I took her away on holiday with us for 16 years until Morley died.    I now know I have no family.   Luckily neighbours have asked me to join them on  Christmas day otherwise I would be completely alone.    


Comment by Helen Duncan Hutchinson on December 4, 2013 at 11:58am

Barbara   There are one one or two friends left and mainly because they listen to me tell the story of the horrible way Morley died over and over and don''t judge.   I have bought presents and cards for them but apart from that I am not doing Christmas this or any other year from now on.   Morley loved Christmas especially being part of my big "happy family".   I have not heard from my sister and two nieces for two years.   My sister and I always had a snippy relationship and she said some unforgiveable things just after Morlley died (she criticised everything I did for him from the memorial service to where I have put his plaque (his choice)) and I am afraid I did respond probably saying more than I should have.   I have written and apologised but that has made no difference so I have no family now.   I see widows (since me) going out for Christmas meals with friends and laughing and I don't think I'll ever be able to laugh again.   I think truth is the post traumatic stress has left me stuck in the worst of my grief and I cannot move forward.    I cannot go christmas shopping so haven;'t bothered and I am not sending cards except to very few friends and just wish it was all over.   I cannot see myself every being able to lead any kind of normal life and just wish to go and be with Morley. His birthday would have been this Friday and one of my close friends is coming to his grave with me then.  I am going to a neighbours for Christmas lunch and doubt anyone else would have asked or even cared if I was alone that day.   Morley and I sent out 200 cards every year to former students but they are scsttered all over the World.   I feel just like you.   I go out with people to a play or something because I think I have to make an effort but cannot wait to get back to my own little house because if Morley is anywhere it is here.   My heart is truly broken and I don't think it will ever mend.   I think your friends wanting you to try on hats and be photographed and laughing about it  was crass to say the least.    They have obviously never walked in your shoes and have it to come yet.    I miss him so much it hurts and I just want to join him.   Now that would be the best Christmas present ever.

Comment by Mark Jackson on December 4, 2013 at 11:33am

First I want to say that I am truly sorry to welcome the new people here. It is sad that you have to be here, but this is a place where no one will judge you. You can shall we say "let it all out", there are only words of encouragement here. Even if you don't post it's nice to know your not going crazy. That someone else has gone through the same thing thatyour going though. I lost my wife Cathy about 2 months ago.


 This is one crazy roller-coaster ride we're on. I know exactly how you feel. I congratulate you on just getting out and  going Christmas shopping. When I set at home I feel so alone and wish someone would call to invite me out or just come by. I don't call because to me it feels like I imposing on them. Then when I do get that invitation to go out, while I'm out I get upset on the inside at everybody for having a good time. It's like how dare they, don't they know I've lost part of my life, my soul mate. How can they even think of smiling and laughing. Then I realize they've lost just a friend. They still have there wife or husband with them, by there side. Now I don't want to be there any more, as my grandpa would say "I've become a real stick in the mud" bring everybody down with me.

When I do leave I start to feel bad about the way I felt about my friends. The still have a life to in joy. Then I think  if Cathy was here we would be laughing and smiling with them, and then I feel worse. How many times have Cathy and I been the ones have a good time while someone else is in pain.

As you know there's no easy answer. I've read here that the pain never go's away, but it gets easier to deal with. I truly hope that's true. I don't know if any of use will ever feel whole again, I think there well always be a part of use that longs for our mates.

Just know that one day we will be with them again. In a place were there no more pain, no more tears, no sickness. They will be whole, and we'll be with them for ever and ever, never to be parted again. Until that time, hang onto that thought and  remember one step at a time.


{{HUG}} Here's a big hug because you need it.



Comment by Barbara Sullivan on December 4, 2013 at 8:03am

Why am I so offended that people, close to me, don't seem to want to spend time with me, when, in fact, I really prefer my solitude?  Why do I feel that I need my family and friends, more than ever before, but keep pushing people away?  

Yesterday, while Christmas shopping with my daughter, sister and niece -- they found some crazy hats from Cat in the Hat at a bookstore, and wanted us all to try them on and take a photo -- they were just laughing and having fun -- but, I didn't want to try on funny hats, and certainly didn't want to have my picture taken.  I was thinking of Christmas shopping with my Chris in other years.  I took their picture with the camera-phone, but refused to don the hats and pose with them.

I ruined their fun.  Then, I felt hurt when they "ditched" me, as soon as they could.  

Standing in line at the check-out in a home store, the lady in front of me started a conversation -- just pleasantries -- then she asked, "Whose wedding ring is that you're wearing as a pendant?"  (I wear my husband's wedding ring on a gold chain that I gave him for his birthday, and that he wore every day for 20 years.)  The chain isn't very long and sometimes it falls outside my shirt or sweater.  I almost lost it, right there, in the check-out line.  I'm sure that lady is pretty much cured of starting casual conversations in the check-out line.

Why am I such a mess?  And, when will I regain control of my emotions?  And, when will I stop being so needy?  And, when will I learn to forgive those who just want me to be "normal", again?  

Will I ever learn to laugh again?  Will I ever feel "whole", as a person, again?  

Comment by Marsha H on December 4, 2013 at 3:19am

Hi Susan ...  You mentioned in a post you didn't know how to respond to someone in an individual post to them so was just letting you know.  You're doing fine.

I hope you are having a little better of a day and I know it's very difficult for you.  Even after 1 1/2 years of my husband passing away I still can be very sensitive and have my good/bad days.

Comment by cheryl holbrook on December 3, 2013 at 7:39pm

To the new one who have found a way here, sorry to have to welcome you, but glad because the support is wonderful here.

I dont post alot but do try and scan through the posts and appreciate the sharing of each one and what they are going through. Its not always easy to share with others but it is a healing in itself.

My Mike passed 8 months ago and the holidays for me I would rather sleep through. In 8 months Ive been denied disability, recieved food stamps, denied medical, got a job - for 6 weeks and let go because I was not ready for the job, youngest left home, oldest son returned home from Air Force with family, had 3 funnerals to attend, youngest came back home,got medical today, ........(and on and on) lol. Its a true rollercoaster were on. There are always going to be ups and downs in life, Im trying to count this as one of my greatest feats to overcome. I tryuly believe that the Lord will see me through whatever he has in store.

Feel free to post anything you may feel a concern about, Im sure someone will say oh yes I too feel that way! *whew* :)

One day at a time ... Cheryl

Comment by Carol Kayser on December 3, 2013 at 4:23pm
Hi Susan. Yes, comments are coming through fine:)
Comment by Marsha H on December 3, 2013 at 2:54pm

Susan ...  You are so right that the hardest thing to do is navigate this world alone without our spouses and it's an uncertain path at times.  We have to take time to even realize what happened, then we try to figure out why (that will never happen) we go through the tears, some go through guilt, pure sadness, not wanting to be here at all, but joining our loved ones and a variable of other emotions.  The second year seems to be the one where we face reality.  We each grieve differently.  I talk to my husband and I also feel he is close so that gives me a sense of peace sometimes.  I know he was worried about leaving me, but, the greatest gift I could give him was to tell him to 'let go.' 

Your post was encouraging and thank for that.  Hope is what we all need here that one day our minds will clear enough to be at peace and enjoy life again.  Thank you for that.  Your friend is a wise and courageous lady and give us hope as well.

You are so lucky to have dreams that make you feel good.  I had nightmares and would wake up so unsettled and not feeling well and it would take me a 1/2 hour to get myself together mind-wise.  Sometimes when under pressure I can still have these unsettling dreams and sometimes I am thankful for having dreams I don't remember.

Comment by Marsha H on December 3, 2013 at 2:46pm

Hi Susan ...  When you want to post to an member on here you sign in, then at the top you will see 'COMMENT' and you put your curser in the empty box and put the persons name the post is for.  Example:  Marsha .... (then write your message.)  After you have finished what you're saying look just below the box you typed in and on the left it says 'stop following' and click on that and it will change to 'follow' and then go to the bottom right (in orange) where it says 'Add Comment.'

Hope this helps.


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