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 Barbara Sullivan on October 25, 2013 at 11:04am

Dear Mark A Mandel -- Thank you for the lovely description of the Jewish tradition and how you and your family and friends observed the unveiling of your wife's headstone.  It was a touching tribute and I think helped us all hope for the same kind of "magical" experience to ease our grieving.

I am glad you have decided to stay with us for a bit -- you have something to offer for those of us who do not have the "real-ness" of a congregation or family and friends, and I hope you will continue to share your experiences and the traditions of your faith.


Comment by Barbara Sullivan on October 25, 2013 at 9:34am

Dear Jane P, Marsha H, and Mike F -- thanks so much for your words of comfort and encouragement -- my sister is trying to make a decision about chemo -- she went through it for a year when her first cancer appeared and it was awful for her, so her inclination is to refuse it -- but, she has a 14 year old son, and she believes she owes him the fight for more time.  It's a decision none of us can help her make -- but after seeing what my Chris suffered, I am more in favor of the Holistic methods.  I believe in miracles, even though there was none for my Chris.

I don't know how to handle the new crisis with my sister and the on-going assault of grief for Chris -- sometimes I think that I can do nothing right -- and everything wrong -- for myself and everyone else.  But I am here, this is where God has put me, and I have no choice but to endure and hopefully learn whatever life-lesson I am being given.  Thank you so much, dear Legacy friends -- you cannot know how much you have meant to me. . . how much help I have received from all of you.

Comment by Marsha H on October 25, 2013 at 3:44am

Dear Barbara ... I am so very sorry to hear about your sister. I can't even begin to imagine what she is going through getting this type of news.  You are so strong Barbara and I know you will be there to watch over her, but sad you have to see you go through another tragedy after your husband's passing.  Life sometimes doesn't seem fair.  My brother has prostate cancer and we are hoping it has been caught early enough and we're on tender hooks.  How odd that after our spouses pass away many of us have had other family members or friends pass away shortly before our spouses or after.  As if grieving for our spouse is not enough we often are grieving for yet another.

Lean on us Barbara as we'll be here for you and prayers are coming your way for your sister and you. 

This is only a suggestion, but have several friends going through Chemo and have decided to stop as it takes away any quality of life and also destroys the immune system.  One of my girlfriends had a bad diagnosis with cancer to both breasts and gave her 6 months to live.  She went to a Holistic doctor and that was 20 years ago and she beat it.  Sometimes I feel if the person who has cancer believes in an alternative medicine along with counseling the mind is a wonderful healing tool.  I am only giving you food for thought to help you with your sister and it's at least some hope, but of course it's up to your sister and how you feel about it.  Miracles happen often.  Modern medicine today give death sentences and Holistic Medicine makes you feel you are doing something to help yourself and you are in control along with the mind helping to heal. 

I am the one that is the glue in both sides of the family as I'm extremely family orientated.  Sometimes I have to push, but it's worth it in the end.  Who cares who has the glue as long as it binds family.

Big hugs and prayers coming your way


Comment by Marsha H on October 25, 2013 at 3:29am

Mark A ...  What a beautiful tribute to your wife.  I had images of it and love the tradition even though I am not of the Jewish Faith.  I was in awe how gracefully and heart-felt your words were and kissing your wife's headstone.  I was in tears.

It's OK if you don't want to post here.  You are so lucky to have family and many friends as some of us aren't that lucky.  Some faiths just seem to be better than others I suppose.

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful tribute to your wife.


Comment by Marsha H on October 25, 2013 at 3:26am

I had a very strange day today and don't know if it's part of healing during the grieving process or not.  I am also trying to quit smoking which isn't an easy task.  Between thinking of my Ernie and things piling up so quickly I was in a foul mood today (unlike me) and nothing went right.)

I left a post here a couple of months ago saying I had joined a women's group (women helping women) and tonight went to a auction and then they had a meeting called 'uncluttered' telling us how we could unclutter our house.  Some good tips, but I thought to myself 'mmm, you don't mention anything about a spouse passing away and how hard that is to unclutter.' It was an unfair thought I had, but couldn't help but think about.  I just can't concentrate on these meetings and find constant chatter by speakers boring and generally (if Ernie was here) I would be right into it, but can't seem to get into gear.  I was sitting with 2 of my friends so that made it a little easier.

After 2 hours of the speaker talking we had a break and I went outside to have a cigarette where there were several people and two women came up to me and chatted and it felt good to be treated like a human being without being looked at as a widow. What happened next I'm blaming on trying to quit smoking and think that the extra oxygen to my brain has done damage. LOL  One of the women brought out gum and the other something liquid and said we should take it so we didn't smell of smoke.  I took the liquid (there is such a thing) and as she poured a bit into the palm of my hand I stuck my tongue on it and oh my, it tasted horrible!  Then I heard her say to the other girl 'yes, that Sachet is a beautiful smell!'  OMG, I had just licked up Sachet and I didn't have the nerve to tell them what I did. I had to rush into the washroom and clean out my mouth!  I can still taste it!  What a day! LOL 

Comment by Marsha H on October 25, 2013 at 3:17am

Carol ... always there for a laugh.  Sometimes laughter is the best medicine if we can muster it up and I know it's not always easy for some, but I mean no disrespect.

Oh boy, a flood from the ceiling.  Goes to show you how tight our government is keeping up our hospitals. 

Love you too!


Comment by Marsha H on October 25, 2013 at 3:15am

Dear Diane C ... I am happy you liked the way I had dealt with my brother.  We must also remember that others in the family grieve for our loved one as well although not grieving as deeply as ourselves.  I believe in good communication skills in as calm a way as possible and expressing feelings on both sides.  If the other person can't or won't express themselves then it's important you get your feelings out in the open and over with.  Then your brother can't ever come back at you.  Family is so important. 

Our weather has been warm and sunny during the day and cool at night and tonight a wee bit of fog.  I don't envy you the snow.  I use to love waiting for the first fall of snow (if we got any where I live .. generally stays on the mountains) but that was when Ernie was still here and he drove.  Now I have to learn to do everything on my own and pray a lot. 

Here's a good tip I use for weight in my car (Toyota) I use two bags of kitty litters and this way if you get stuck anywhere it can be put under the tires for traction and is much better than sand.  It's a thought.

Comment by Carol Kayser on October 24, 2013 at 11:36pm

Hi Marsha! Love you!!! keep on making us smile - it's great!  Hey the hospital had a flood today at work - not big enough to have us on the news but water was pouring out of the ceiling like a waterfall!!!




Comment by Carol Kayser on October 24, 2013 at 11:34pm

Hi Diane C.  Snow already!  I hear you about the car.  It's always a worry driving in the snow.  My husband always wanted to make sure I had the best car for the snow.  We lived on a big hill and people would slip and slide all over it.  He was off work for a couple of years after he had an accident and he would go out into the snow in the mornings and heat up the Jeep and clean off the snow, make it all warm.  Bless him, such a sweet thing to do.  Now I moved to a condo and have underground parking, I think that would make him happy that he knows I am safe in the snow.  I have a Ford Escape now, pretty decent in the snow.

Good luck with the new car - the Kia's are cute, but light aren't they.  Kitty litter bags would work too and then you can use them for traction if you need to.





Comment by MikeF on October 24, 2013 at 10:00pm

Dear Barbara:

I am so sorry to hear about you sister's diagnosis. A path that you never wished to follow again, yet here you are so soon. Although painful to you, your experience may be able to help guide your sister. Things that you learned, things that you wished could have been different, things that you are glad you were able to do, can be of great help to her in this difficult time. Although the course of her illness will be different than Chris' there will be plenty of commonalities.

I have lots of internal discussion about the course of events between the day that Molly was diagnosed and the day that she passed away. Whether I would have the strength to try to do things differently if I were presented with another illness, I do not know.

In my bereavement group I have heard lots of stories of people who had back to back loses.  From these stories, I it is clear to me that it is difficult to not suppress grief to allow a person to cope with an impending loss.

I wish you all the best.


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