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 Helen Duncan Hutchinson on October 20, 2013 at 7:05am

I want to welcome all the new members although I know this is the last place you want to be  as it means you have lost the most important thing in your life.   I have not posted recently as I have been as low as I can be, I feel almost back at the beginning of my grief.  The reason - well some of you will know I was asked to speak to medical students about grief and how compassion for the one left behind is crucial.   I did it and for a while felt a little better as I know Morley (my husband would have been proud of me).  They say pride comes before a fall well my fall was precipitated by of all things a comment from one of my oildest friends    I know she thinks I should be better by now and I have had one or two snide comments about widows she knows who returned to normal life much quicker than me.   I would bet they all have families (we didn't but I had a sister and two nieces who have turned their backs on me).   I own up to saying some things I| shouldn't have at the beginning of my grief when my sister was criticising everything I did for Morley.   I never said anything to her except in retaliation for some nasty comment she had made but never the lerss I love my nieces dearly so wrote and apologised and went up to my sister to apologise and was  shown the door since when I have had no contact with any of them which means I am suffering two griefs. loss of spouse plus loss of family.   I have always known one of my friends is very much on the side of my family  and she cannot cope with my grief for Morley so I have tried very hard for the past 2 years not to speak about them at all and just sit and listen to the two of them chat.   We meet every week for coffee at one of the shopping malls   However last week an opportunity arose for me to tell a funny story about Morley which I   thought was safe.   Morley and I were invited out to a lady we met at exercise class when she could no longer come and she and Morley had become bosom buddies because her husband (whom she loved deeply and who had died several years ago).and Morley had been on the same Fullbright scholarship to Harvard ten years apart.   After coffee, they sat at one end of this large room looking over her scrapbook of that time.   I was really happy and delighted for them both as Morley was also enjoying memories of his time at Harvard.   When we left I said (jokingly) that next time I would just drop him there, go to the nearest small town and mooch around for a while then come back and pick him up as it was so obvious she really wanted to see Morley and I had to be there to do the driving (Morley would not drive because he last the sight of one eye).   I honestly meant it as a joke (against me) and this friend turned and said, "but of course you are always the martyr Helen."   I was so hurt at such a cruel thing to say to me that I sat completely silent and then left in tears.   I will have to challenge her sometime  (this week) about what on earth she meant.   Her friends who do so much better than me do not have post traumatic stress and that is not a life style choice but is as a result of how Morley died and what I had to do to his body before help arrived (I actually saw the life leave his eyes).   I relive that death nightly which is why I have been diagnosed with PTSD.   How can one of my oldest friends want to hurt me with such a vile cruel word.   This completely destroyed any good talking to the students had done and this week I have virtually never left my bed and been in tears almost all the time   That was what I was like when Morley first died.   How can I ever hope to have even peace of mind when something like this comes and smacks you in the face when you are least expecting it

Comment by Diane C on October 19, 2013 at 5:23pm

Oh, what a big mistake I made today. My mom wanted to take my daughter and I out for dinner to celebrate our birthdays. Mine was September and Katie's is November. We decided last week to go tonight. We picked a nice quant little local Italian restaurant. This is a place that Rich and I have frequented many times for special occasions. Little did I know that today was Sweetest Day. We got there early, and there were only 2 other tables. When I looked at the specials I realized that it was Sweetest Day. Then lots of "couples" started coming in to eat. There were lots of couples. I got so depressed and wanted to get the heck out of there. I tried to keep up my end of the conversation, but it was so damn hard. We never really celebrated the "Hallmark Holidays" so it isn't like Sweetest Day was a big deal. I think it was more seeing all the couples and knowing that Rich and I use to come there for special occasions. Damn. I wish I would not have gone there today.

Comment by Marsha H on October 19, 2013 at 4:35am

Diane C ... Thank you so much for the nice compliments, but you have also lifted my spirits many times when I've been down and others have done.  I find it was meant to be that this lady and I were meant to meet because we are grieving and it's nice to open up and be ourselves.  Perhaps the grieving we go through is a lesson where we 'pay it forward' as this lady is so sad, grieving for her son and lost and lonely even though she has her spouse and 2 other sons.  You can see the sadness in her eyes, that haunted, lifeless look just as I have experienced.  Perhaps we can help each other and learn to laugh again.

I hope you are right Diane that the antidepressants do work and I get some meat on my bones (my dogs are beginning to drool when they see me after coming out of the shower. LOL)  I do have a terror of trusting these types of  medications, but I'm at the point that I have to do it or give up.  I simply can't go on like this.  I have no self confidence and tired of people pointing out to me how thin I am as if I didn't know! 

I hope you have a great weekend and thank you my dear friend for always being there with an up-lifting post for me and I really appreciate it.

Prayers flying your way.

Love & Hugs





Comment by Marsha H on October 19, 2013 at 4:27am

Wilela ... once again thank you for being so candid and encouraging me to take the antidepressants.  I've been on them years ago and did manage to taper off once the brain chemistry had a chance to balance out so you stand a chance of getting off them eventually. 

I am so sorry you have had so many surgeries and between grieving for Brian both mentally and needing him to help you out I can understand the fear, frustration and depression.  I live alone and no one to be here that can fight my battles at a hospital should I need one and that scares the heck out of me because I've been there before.    will try the antidepressants and pray that they help.  My brother has major health issues and is on antidepressants and I can see a huge good change in his personality so hope I'm as lucky.

I can't even imagine you trying housework because I find it daunting and I although I have back/rib pain it is nothing in comparison to what you have gone through.  I hope you are able to get some cleaning ladies in to help out. I'm trying next year to get my ducks in a row and try to make life a little more tolerable for myself.  I am hoping things come together for you as well Wilela. 

Wishing you a good weekend to my friend.



Comment by Carol Kayser on October 19, 2013 at 12:26am
Dear Charley. Re your stepdaughter - I was just reading Marsha's reply to you and I entirely agree with her comments. My husband lost his mom when he was 12, his oldest sister 17 and his youngest sister 7. His dad re- married twice. His last marriage lasted 30 years plus. His wife Wendy is our children's grandma. After he passed away one of my husband's sisters said she had no desire to ever talk to his wife again. Ever. She said she wasn't her mother and she didn't need her in her life. That was it. To this day his wife still holds out hope.
So this happens over and over, sadly. When there is a grandchild involved though that is so sad. You need that child in your life and the child needs you.
Just give it some time. Hopefully she will come around.

Comment by Jan on October 18, 2013 at 10:04pm
Charley's step daughter probably doesn't know how she fits in your life now. After my husband passed his dad called me just like he always had since he retired as if nothing changed. I thought how wonderful he is still my dad when I secretly was wondering what my relationship with my in laws will be like. I was sad that I was no longer technically their daughter in law. The step daughter may have the same feelings or concerns.
Comment by Diane C on October 18, 2013 at 6:44pm

Hi Charley,

Sorry to hear you have having family problems. Sounds like your step-daughter needs her butt kicked. I feel so bad for you that she is behaving so horribly. Some day she will realize that this was not your fault and her behavior towards you is uncalled for. Shame on her for denying you the pleasure of being with your granddaughter. I pray that she wakes up soon and realizes that you both need this child in your lives right now. Good luck Charley, know that we are all behind you and feel free to express yourself here. Hugs to you!!

Comment by Diane C on October 18, 2013 at 6:39pm


That was the nicest gesture you made in keeping the vacation plans and taking your mom with you. You both need some vacation time away and try to get yourselves through this horrible ordeal that you have both had to experience so soon after the other. I have no idea how you go about going through the loss of your Dad and your Husband in such a short period of time Lots of thoughts and prayers your way!!

Comment by Diane C on October 18, 2013 at 6:36pm


I am so happy that the lady you met this summer has found you again. It sounds like she really needs an understanding friend right now. Bless you for opening up to her and taking her in as a friend. You are so good at that. Being a good friend to others. I would have never made it through my dark days without you in my corner and all the others on this site.

I wish you luck with the Celexa and I am glad to hear that your girlfriend will be there if you need her. I know you have had some bad reactions to other medications, but I hope and pray that this one works for you as well as the last one did. My doctor just retired in Sept. so I full know what your are  going to be going through with your doctor soon. Take care Marsha, you are always in my thoughts and prayers!! Love and Hugs to you!

Comment by Diane C on October 18, 2013 at 6:30pm

Hi Robin,

That was a huge change for you to experience. For the longest time I could not even say my husbands name without breaking down and bawling. You will find that things become easier for you as time goes on. All of a sudden  you will realize, wow, I just got through this or that a little easier than the last time. We will all still have our moments of crying and break downs, but it does ease somewhat. I remember the first time I called my bereavement counselor and I am sure she had no idea what I was saying I was sobbing so hard. I had to try to calm down and then call her back. That is what life is like for me now. When something is so difficult to deal with, I just give it time and try it again. Sooner or later, I can conquer the situation. I know you are trying to be strong for your in-laws and I applaud you for doing it. It has only been 3 months for you, so just be patient with yourself. Hang in there, you are doing good. Hugs to you!


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