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 Diane C on October 21, 2013 at 4:49pm

Thanks Carol for your thoughts and kind words. I can not believe you had to put up with 10 if those blue fans at the same time. I have 2 and I think it sounds like an airplane in here. I did sleep ok, but I took a sleeping pill, because my nerves were shot and I was exhausted, but couldn't sleep. And you had to put up with this for 2 weeks..... wow, I am hoping they will get these things out of here tomorrow. But I see  the dehumidifier is still pumping out a lot of water. So it could be a couple days. I think the project mgr said the windows would be here on Thursday. But I am hoping they will start the drywall in my room before that. I guess this was one way to get the dining room cleaned and painted.

Yesterday Katie said "mom we are running out of room in here and that laundry room is way too small for the 2 of us". We laughed. When I told my co-workers this morning, they were in disbelief that another problem happened to me. Today, I am just shaking my head in disbelief, but I am not sitting here crying over it. There is not much else I can do at this point. Thanks for being there for me, as you always are!!

Hugs to you!!

Comment by Marsha H on October 21, 2013 at 2:03pm

Helen ....  It is normal for some friends to tell us to look back on the fond memories we had with our beloveds spouses because they don't know what else to say to us.  When in grief we are so sensitive and we have to realize that our friends who have not had a spouse pass away simply don't understand anymore than we did when we still had our spouses and heard of someone's spouse passing away. Your friend no matter all the advice she is giving you is trying her best to move you forward only because when you hurt so does she.  So many of us look back on those wonderful memories we had with our spouse and right now for some, we would give up all we have just to have them back.  Yes, memories can bring hurt feelings of loss. 

When a friend phones such as you experienced and it's upsetting you make up an excuse to end the conversation and get off the phone.  I have done that every so often as I realize my friend is trying to sooth me, but it's not helping. 

I believe I gave you a link regarding Post Traumatic Stress so print it out (hopefully you have a printer) and give a copy to each friend.  When my sweetie passed away that is the first thing I did ... I emailed and printed up about grief which explained what the griever was going through and what family and friends could do to help and what to say and what not to say.  Like people who grieve well-meaning friends don't have a brochure of instructions as to what to do in such a situation and it's a complicated situation.

You are stronger than you think Helen.  Instead of looking at the negative, look at the positive ...  you stood up in front of all those students twice!  You opened their eyes and hearts to what grief is about and it's unfortunately part of life most of us would like to avoid.  You should be proud of yourself!

Love & Hugs


Comment by Helen Duncan Hutchinson on October 21, 2013 at 11:25am

Having geared myself up to challenging my friend tomorrow about her cruel remark to me, I had another long phone call last night from another friend (who has never been married) and she always reduces me to tears as she tells me what I should be doing all the time and how it is time I could look back on my happy times with Morley.   She means well and I appreciate she has stood by me when many haven't but she just doesn't understand that all the happy memories I look back on I am so grateful to have had but at the moment they reduce me to tears as it still feels like half of my heart had gone and I  will never be able to share those happy times again with him because he just isn't coming back.   I realised I was far too fragile at the moment so decided I would not challenge my friend but just sit very silently and I think she would have got the message.   Wouldn't you know it, she just phones all sweetness and light to say she isn't going tomorrow so all the angst was for nothing anyway.   Perhaps it is all for the best.   I am so vulnerable at the moment that I cannot "take on" an argument which might have ensued without crying and I know she is sick of me crying because I "should be over it by now".   I wish she would take the time to read up on post traumatic stress and then she might understand why I am as I am.

Comment by Barbara Sullivan on October 21, 2013 at 3:53am

Dear Diane C --  You must feel as though the world is falling in on you!  How awful -- but I truly believe everything happens for a reason.  Soon after my Chris died, and while I was alone, we had a storm and three trees on our property came crashing down, one very close to the house.  I  was terrified.

In the 13 years we had lived here, through many storms, we had never lost a single tree.  I live at the edge of a forest and when we were building this house we made special efforts to protect the environment and not harm the trees growing here.

 I asked the tree man, during clean-up, if any other trees were likely to fall -- he said something rather profound, he said, "Ma'am, EVERY tree falls . . .  sometime."   

Somehow, losing those 3 trees, the clean-up and the changed view was a metaphor for life after losing my dear Chris -- nothing would ever be the same again, but somehow, I would go on..

At Chris' celebration of life memorial last month, I and my children and grandchildren planted a new tree . . . for him. 

I am so sorry for what you are going through -- but, as Carol Kayser said, "we get through it".  You are strong and brave -- you are resourceful -- you will meet the challenge, and you will get through it,

Love and prayers.


Comment by Marsha H on October 21, 2013 at 3:27am

Dear Diane C ...  Oh hon, do I feel badly for you!  I am like you and high winds and hard rain scare the wits out of me now that I'm alone as I have extremely high cedar trees at the back of my house.

I can't believe you are having all this trouble, but I will tell you that it was the construction crew working on your roof that made the fatal error!!!  Go after them and make sure they don't charge you for more work!  I just had my roof done in September and the day they started they had to pry up all the old plywood, then put tar paper on even before the shingles were laid.  Before they left they covered the roof with PLASTIC TARPING which YOUR construction crew did not do and that's the companies responsibility!!!  They made sure the tarps were secure because it rained the next day and I didn't have one leak.  You go after them Diane.  I know all of this on top of your grieving is so exhausting for you, but you've got the strength to put your foot down!  Go for it!

Hey, my house looks like a hoarder's house as well and I can't use the explanation of what you are going through.  I'm just cleaning out clutter and giving things to the Salvation Army and some goes to the dump and one has to make one mess to clean up another.

I hope none of your furniture is ruined?  Please go after the company that is working on your house.  You can do it!

Please keep us posted and I know it feels like you'll just get one problem resolved and another will hit, but it will all balance out in the end.  I went through some heavy duty problems since Ernie passed in 2011.

Big huge hugs & Love


Comment by Carol Kayser on October 21, 2013 at 12:33am

Dear Diane C.  so sorry to hear about your house:( that's miserable.  When I had my flood I had 6 of those large blue fans upstairs!  4 downstairs.   Eventually I just got used to them and could sleep, kind of like white noise!  It went on for about 2 weeks.  It's stressful and I understand your comment about how much more can you take.  The repairs take so long, I appreciate that.  I had stacks of stuff too but you know something, we get through it.  So just take deep breaths and spend time in the part of the house where you can relax, if that's possible.


Thinking of you, sending healing thoughts.



Comment by Diane C on October 20, 2013 at 7:29pm

Boy oh boy, I thought yesterday was bad..... We had a lot of rain yesterday and last night. I had a very hard time sleeping, not sure if it was the crappy evening I had or the rain and winds were playing on my mind. I finally got a couple hours sleep. Got up this morning, the rains had stopped and it looked like the sun was going to shine. I was getting my coffee and I heard this odd noise. I thought it was coming from overhead so I followed it. I looked into the dining room and there I saw water dripping from the ceiling, and in a flash the drip turned into a waterfall and the ceiling started falling in. A nice section of the ceiling was gone. Insulation and water all over the place. I started yelling and Katie, who happened to have come home this morning, was laying on the couch and jumped up to see what was going on. We had taken everything from Katie's room when the tree fell and put it in the dining room. So now we are scrambling to get the dining room emptied. Where in the heck are we going to put all this stuff??? We found enough room. I look like I am a hoarder with a path going though the house. The sun room is crammed full of stuff. All of my bedroom is in there. I am just in disbelief that this has now happened to us. What the heck else am I going to have to go through. I called the construction crew that has been working here and told them it was an emergency, to get over here ASAP. Of course all I got were voice mails not people. I then called the office emergency number and got a human. She said someone would call me right back. Within a half hour, I was called back and they said they would send out a crew. They had taken the roof off last Thursday and covered up the roof with tar paper. Well, with all the winds and rain, the rain got under the tar paper and came through. But it took all night for it to soak through the insulation and come through the ceiling. This is on them, so now the dining room will be part of the job. Not the way I would have liked to have gotten my dining room painted and redone. So now I have 2 industrial fans and an industrial de-humidifier running. It is so loud in here. I just hope and pray I can go to bed tonight and just go to sleep. What another trying day for me. I have not had a break since Rich was diagnosed in June of 2011. I think I have had enough and am ready to throw in the towel. How much more am I expected to take on? I know this is just a house and things could be far worse, but I think I have had my share of bad luck. And I am ready to move on from this.

Comment by Marsha H on October 20, 2013 at 2:05pm

Dearest Diane C ....  I am so sorry you had such a bad experience when you went out for celebrate the birthdays.  I know I've felt like you going to a restaurant where Ernie and I would frequent.  I do believe firstly it's odd that they aren't with us in that familiar place, but also agree it difficult to see other couples together laughing, talking like you did with Rich and I did with Ernie.  Sometimes I feel these things are placed in front of us no matter where we go.  I can go shopping and see couples, up on the dyke where I walk the dogs, or even look out my front window and see couples walking their dogs or holding hands and I shed a tear or two, but I keep going and it does get a little easier believe it or not.  I rationalize the situation and looking around a restaurant and think 'there is at least one person here who feels a loss or is lonely' even if they are sitting with someone.  I also realized I see a lot of women eating out together.  It makes me feel that I'm not alone in this.

I'm proud of you for hanging on to the bitter end even though it ruined your day. It takes courage and you managed to keep things balance which is exhausting. 

Love & Hugs


Comment by Helen Duncan Hutchinson on October 20, 2013 at 12:45pm

Thanks Mark and Barbara I will see if I can get the book.   I am not looking forward to Tuesday but feel that this time I have to challenge her (have let her off one or two snide remarks mainly about how well all the other widows she know are doing - good for them I say but it is three years for me and I relive his death nightly (which is why I have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress (not a life style choice I can assure you).   It might be the end of a 70 year old friendship but I would never in a million years say something like that to a friend  whether she was grieving or not so if she cannot see how vile that word was to use then perhaps the friendship has run its course.   I don't particularly want to be with a friend that I have to watch every word I say.   She has all these other widow friends that don't have PSTD she seems to think are better than me so perhaps this is one friend I don't need.  Thanks again for the understanding.

Comment by Mark Jackson on October 20, 2013 at 8:39am

Helen the author's name for the book Barbara mentioned is

Linda Feinberg.


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