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 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.

Comment by Barbara Sullivan on October 20, 2013 at 8:26am

Oh Helen -- I feel for you so!  How awful of your friend to say such a thing to you -- it was very hurtful!  She must have completely mis-understood your little story!  Please don't let her thoughtless comment ruin the progress you have made, especially the gains you have made since you have been speaking to the medical students about your grief.  

I have recently snapped at friends and family, when they have made comments to me, but, I hope and believe, NOT in such a personal attack -- and I have been careful to apologize, immediately.  I am such a jumble of emotions -- and will admit that I do not guard my tongue these days as carefully as I should -- fortunately, my family and friends understand and forgive.  

There is a book that has been recommended to me -- the title is "I Am Grieving As Fast As I Can".  Can't remember the author's name --but maybe it would help you.  My sister-in-law suffered relatives (from her side of the family) who thought she should "get over it" when my brother passed away.  She said this book helped her a great deal.

Just know that we who walk a similar path with you, understand and send our love and prayers.


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.




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