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 Jan on October 29, 2013 at 4:35pm
Steve. I'm so glad you found this site. There are so many great people in various stages of grief that can help you through your journey. Please come back often. I don't write much but I read every post and it does help me. No one truly understands your pain unless they have lost a spouse.
Comment by Steve Levin on October 29, 2013 at 2:44pm


My name is Steve.  I suddenly and unexpectedly lost my partner of 21 years.  He had a heart attack last Friday while asleep.  I'm not sure how I'm feeling (numb, disoriented).  I  Ran across this site and signed up.  He was only 47 and in reasonably good health.  Friends have been awesome but it's not the same.  

Comment by Marsha H on October 29, 2013 at 2:08pm

Barbara ...  I  am glad you like the idea of the video that I hope your sister will make.  I only wish that my husband had left me a letter or video so I could have had that close to my heart after his passing.  We always have so many questions after they pass away.   I was lucky and did have a VHS of my husband's surprise birthday on a yacht and I heard his voice for the first time since he passed away.  What a gift! I remember every etching of his face, but had forgotten what his voice sounded like.

I am glad that your sister isn't coming to live with you until she absolutely needs to as it will give you a little more time to deal with your grieving process and give you a bit of rest.  I know so well how exhausting caregiving is. 

We're here for you Barbara and prayers are coming your way to give all of you the strength you will need.  If I can think of anything else I certainly will let you know.


Comment by Barbara Sullivan on October 29, 2013 at 10:34am

Thanks, MikeF -- I confess I am not looking forward to the day when I move my sister into my home.  I know from taking care of my Mom and Chris that, as you say, it is hard work.

I am grateful that, so far, she is feeling well enough to stay in her own home.  Her daughter, my niece, has said she wants to help take care of her Mom -- but she has a 9 month old baby,  just learning to walk, and has her hands full.  I can't imagine,  as time goes on, that her daughter will be able to manage a fully mobile little one as well as my sister's needs -- my sister agrees and has gently told her daughter that she would rather come to my house -- when the time is right.  But, I am sure that my niece and nephew will help, as much as possible.

For now, I am just cooking extra meals to be taken to her, or having her come for dinner with us -- I call her every day and  one of my daughters goes by to check on her, run errands, get her out of the house, or just sit and visit with her -- her daughter is taking care of the laundry -- and, her son helps with the housecleaning after school and on weekends.  So we have most of the bases covered.  I am taking her to her appointments, so far, and if she chooses chemo, I will be with her for her treatments and afterwards, when she needs help.

I took a look at and like the format very much.  Other care giving sites always seem to start out by telling you to remember to take care of yourself -- and, as you probably know, there is little time or energy left for that. probably has that advice embedded somewhere in the site, but it seems geared to offering more practical help as well.  Thanks for the reference.

Comment by MikeF on October 29, 2013 at 7:57am


Care giving is hard work especially when you have to do it primarily by yourself. I am sending a link to an online community of caregivers that I found helpful as I was caring for Molly.

Comment by Diane C on October 28, 2013 at 5:19pm

Hi Carol,

The weather here has been ok. Since the first snow, it has just been raining and cold. Last weekend we had high winds and rain. Don't think I wasn't shaking in my shoes... But this week it is suppose to warm up in the 60's again and then back down into the 50's. I guess I was just freaking out with the first snow. Never use to bother me, but that is just part of this whole new life style I have to get used to.

The roofers came out today and finished up with the siding. They even came last week and replaced the windows. Although they disregarded the security system that was in the old windows and just pulled the old windows out and put the new ones in. Thankfully my Dad IS my security company. He is in the process of selling his customers to another security firm, but he still helps out family. He is 80 years old and still getting around and working. But he did tell me yesterday that he was getting too old for this. I love when he visits me. He and Rich became very close in the last 10 years or so. My dad loved him as a son. And he loves to talk about Rich and the good times they had together. Every time he comes over he says something nice and helps me keep his memory alive. It is such a pleasure. Then I get a little depressed, when he leaves, thinking about him and all the good times. Just something else we have to deal with.

I hope you are doing ok. I know things are difficult for you too, but you have your little Abby to keep you going. Thanks so much for asking how things were going for me.

Take care Carol.

Comment by Barbara Sullivan on October 28, 2013 at 7:07am

Jane P -- Thank you!!  I will be looking up info on macrobiotic diets.  My sister has apparently been talking about that subject with someone because she has mentioned "macrobiotics" a few times.  She and I have talked about the fact that I will be her primary caregiver when the time comes -- she wants to stay in her own home as long as possible -- so it is important that I know as much as possible about this.

Chris had a fast-growing, aggressive type of cancer and he only had 3 chemo rounds before he was just too weak to continue.  He was diagnosed in January and died on April 10.  His white cell count dropped after his first treatment and he was given Neulasta injections -- which caused bone pain -- that really was the beginning of the end -- I didn't know very much at the time and I didn't have a lot of time to research treatments.  He refused radiation treatment and at that point the oncologist referred us to Hospice -- we were with Hospice only one week before Chris passed away.  

I hope to make it easier, less painful, for my sister.  It is horrible to be going through all of this, all over again -- but I am the only family member who is close and able to take care of her.  My daughters will help -- are helping -- and I thank God for them -- but, as the oldest and closest family member, I know that I must do this for my sister.  I will do anything and everything I can to give her more time and less suffering.

I was caregiver for my Mom for 6 years before she passed away and I lost my two oldest brothers in the past 10 years -- but Chris was always by my side, doing everything he could to help and comfort me.  I was strong because of him -- because he was there for me, always.  I can only hope that his strong spirit is still with me, lending me his strength, for, God knows, I have none of my own.

Thank you, Jane, for your encouragement, help and HUGS.

Comment by DesertDove on October 28, 2013 at 12:32am
Comment by Barbara Sullivan on October 28, 2013 at 12:09am

Mark Jackson -- Thank you for your prayers.  I hope you know how much it helps.  Every time you mention something Cathy said or did, I think, "What a gem she must have been in his life!"  I know you miss her terribly.  It is wonderful of you to put aside your own pain for a moment to care about my sister and our family.  

Marsha H -- the video idea is just what we needed.  My sister and I were talking today and she mentioned that her daughter had asked that they have a family photo portrait done -- I said I would do it for them since my sister did not want to go to a studio for it -- I am a bit of an amateur photographer -- but, I didn't think about a video!  Thanks for that idea.  As you said, we are mentally and emotionally exhausted.

Went to church this morning with my sister, two daughters and my best friend -- thought a lot about my anger issues and made a vow to do better -- I know I need to get my anger out, but I need to find better ways to do it than hurting the ones I love with a sharp tongue.  

Carol Kayser -- I would like to know more about natural vs chemo treatment, but I agree it would be better to pursue that topic in private messages.  Could you let me know how your husband made his decision and especially how the medical staff handled that decision?  My sister still has not indicated what her decision will be, but she was very interested in the information websites that Marsha recommended.  I think she wants to know more about alternative treatments and keeping generally healthy, but she also asks about things like massage therapy, meditation, etc.

Thanks to all -- and hugs all around.  You don't know how you keep me sane!


Comment by Carol Kayser on October 27, 2013 at 10:49pm
Hi Diane C. How's the weather for you now? Is it any better? What's the update on your roof? Are you on the east coast? I was watching the news about the weather in the east coast, snow! Have you been driving around?


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