How to Get Through the Day When You’re a Grieving Widow

When you’re grieving, they tell you to take it “one day at a time.” But how do you get through the next hour? These tips and prayers for grieving widows are from Kathleen, who lost her husband after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Practical Tips and Prayers for Grieving WidowsRead Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore HickmanIf you feel helpless and hopeless – and can barely believe you’re a widow or widower. She has incredible insight, hope, and understanding about the grieving process. As a grieving widow, you may find yourself unable to read an entire book about healing from grief; the daily one page entries in this book will comfort and support you.

Here, Kathleen offers tips for widows who are grieving loss, and describes the grieving process and the pain she felt after her husband died. She’s a writer who has found ways to remain strong and happy, despite her grief that she lost her husband. I offer a prayer for grieving widows at the end of this article.

There are no easy tips on how to recover from loss and survive grief. You are on an individual journey that you must walk alone. Nobody can know exactly how you feel. But take heart! Other widows understand what it feels like to lose a husband after years or decades of marriage. So you aren’t fully alone.

We’re all just walking each other home. After I share a few practical tips, Kathleen offers her story of life after losing her husband to Parkinson’s Disease.

4 Ways to Get Through the Day as a Grieving Widow

There’s no “normal” response to death. Everybody is different, which means you’ll grieve differently than a family member or coworker. Accepting yourself and others’ response to death is an important part of the grieving process!

These tips for grieving widows can help you accept other people’s ways of mourning, and identify your own “best ways” to grieve. After the practical tips is Kathleen’s experience with the loss of her husband, and a prayer for grieving widows.

1. Talk to other people – join a grief support group

Being with people who have experienced similar losses can help you cope with your grief. Just knowing you’re not alone can be reassuring; spending time with people who care helps you deal with your painful feelings. If you don’t find the bereavement group to be supportive, don’t be afraid to try a different one.

And, joining a grief support group when you lose your husband will show you how others cope with loss — which will help with your own mourning process.

2. Learn how “cybergrieving” works

prayers help for grieving widows

Practical Tips and Prayers for Grieving Widows

Many people are now using sites like MySpace and their own personal blogs to deal with their feelings about the death of a loved one.

To deal with grief, visit the blog or website of your loved one and write to them on it. You can write poetry, letters, songs, or even a one-liner, simply stating how you feel and what you think. This tip for grieving widowers or widowers involves finding different or unusual ways to let go of someone you love.

3. Let go of the past slowly

Feeling your grief, anger, guilt, and all your emotions is important. Let yourself grieve. You may feel like your heart will break or you’ll fall into a black pit and never get out – but you have to feel your feelings before you can heal. Letting go of the past through expression of your feelings is healthy way to grieve when you lose your husband.

4. Remember that time doesn’t erase grief, but it does lighten it

Time does heal when you’re surviving the death of your husband. Whether it completely heals ALL wounds is a different story, but it does dull the pain a little. Your feelings of loss and sadness may never go away, but with time your heavy burden of sadness will lighten.

Sharing your experience with grief is one of the best ways to heal. If you’d like to tell your story of how you lost your spouse, I welcome your comments below.

How Kathleen Rediscovered Her Strength as a Grieving Widow

Guest Post ~ Kathleen Airdrie

My husband bravely, but with sadness, faced the truth of his fading good health and active life.  He was a man who loved the outdoors, our canoe journeys on the rivers and lakes, and our gardens.  A musician, he entertained at community events that included wedding receptions and charitable functions.

The diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease was frightening because we knew that there was no cure.  Throughout the following six years as his condition worsened we cried together often.  Deprived of his balance, he couldn’t enjoy the canoe, and with the tremors increasing and his strength lessening, he could not play his fiddle. We faced it together, in our home, until pneumonia ended his life one cold February day.

After his death, a profound sense of loss overwhelmed me.  Family members were helpful, but I had the terrible and terrifying feeling of being lost – away from myself. I could hear their voices, understand the actual words, but not really comprehend enough to participate in real conversations.

My meals were merely snacks; enough to sustain me. Sleep was fitful.  The loneliness and pervading sense of loss weighed heavily on me. A wonderful friend who truly listened to me and was supportive during my darkest days, shared my first ‘breakthrough’ moment with me. About three months after my husband’s death I told her that a family member reacted angrily to my response that I was just sort of coping.  Raising her voice, she told me to ‘get over it’.

I told my friend about how that remark made me sad, but mostly angry, then suddenly realized that the spark of anger was something I’d not felt since my husband’s death.  We saw that as a hopeful sign.

tips prayers grieving widowsWhile giving all of my attention and energies to the gardens that summer I gradually regained my physical and emotional strengths. I began to eat better meals and sleep through most nights.  Sometimes I sat in the garden and cried then continued the work with my renewed sense of purpose.  While walking through my gardens a friend commented, “I know how difficult this year has been for you.  Your garden is your victory.”

From that day I knew that I would be all right, or as all right as possible under the circumstances.  No longer a recluse as I was during those awful months, I became involved in a few community activities again and travelled occasionally to visit family members.  Most importantly, I was taking care of myself.

Now, it’s not all sadness, it’s not all loneliness, it’s not all wonderful or humorous.  It is a combination of all of those, as are most peoples’ lives.

Kathleen’s tips for grieving widows:

  • Tell a family member or close friend what you need, whether it’s a good meal, a good listener or help with daily chores.
  • Try to acknowledge the legitimacy of your feelings; be patient with yourself.
  • While reminiscing with family members or friends, don’t let feelings of guilt intrude if you hear the sound of laughter from them or yourself.

To connect with other women who are facing a new stage of life, read Starting Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband Dies.

Help Grieving the Loss of Your Husband

prayers for grieving widowsIn Grieving the Loss of Someone You Love: Daily Meditations to Help You Through the Grieving Process, Raymond R Mitsch and Lynn Brookside share a series of thoughtful daily devotions can help you endure the anguish and uncertainty of facing life as a grieving widow.

Daily mediations are easier to read and digest than a “whole” book on how to survive life as a widow. This book – Grieving the Loss of Someone You Love – will help you understand the cycles of grief, sort through the emotions of anger, guilt, fear, and depression, and face the God who allowed you to lose the one you love.

When you’re mourning, remember: “If you suppress grief too much, it can well redouble,” said Moliere.

Accepting – and maybe even embracing – your painful loss may be one of the healthiest ways to cope with death. This means feeling your pain, sharing it with others, and finding the best ways for you to heal. Expressing how you feel in writing can be especially helpful and healing.

A Prayer for Grieving Widows

Thank you, Father God, for the time we had with our husbands. We knew love, companionship, intimacy, and pain. We were together for long enough to know how much we loved each other, but short enough to be too brief. Father, You know the pain of loss and grief. You know how devastating it is to lose someone you love. We pray for healing from the pain, and Your comfort in this loss. We pray for your presence and love to overcome us. We ask for your help and guidance as we deal with this huge loss in our lives. We know You love us and care about our lives, and ask that you fill us with Your peace, freedom, and love. Amen.

Would you like to share your story of how you lost your husband? You may find it healing and free-ing to write and express your feelings of loss and grief. Please feel free to tell me your story below. I can’t offer advice, but expressing your feelings may help you cope with the grief. I invite you to share your prayers, as well.

You can visit Kathleen Airdrie at Suite101, where she’s a Contributing Writer.


What's going on in your life? Tell me below!
I don't give advice, but writing can bring healing to your spirit and soul.
Take heart, keep the faith, have courage ... Laurie


90 Responses

  1. Mrs Braxton says:

    I lost my husband 2 months after his diagnoses. He was 50. Myself 40. He passed Nov 13 2016 and my best friend of 25 years just died Tuesday… I have lost everything as we were young and not ready but I dont care about the material. I just want my husband back or to be with him…I don’t think I can do this..

  2. Kathy says:


    Today marks the first anniversary of my husband’s passing. I could have wrote many of your exact words as I have the same feelings and situations. My husband had cancer for 5 years and although he was in pain and suffering, he never let any of us know how bad it was. I feel blessed that I had his love since for 50 years. He was my childhood sweetheart since I was 15 years old. He was my true friend and the love of my life. Empty is the only way I can describe how I feel deep in side. My heart aches for him. I am truly blessed with 2 wonderful sons, family and many friends and I’m grateful but still no one can replace being held by your husband and hearing him say, “I love you”.

  3. Laura says:

    I have never felt such despair in my life. I somewhat feel guilty for missing my husband and best friend as much as I do. I lost my Mom about a year before my husband passed away but nothing has had such a strong lasting effect as my husband’s passing. We held hands wherever we went because it was just natural for us. We never tired of talking with one another. We were constant companions by choice. I realize how fortunate I was to have such a beautiful person in my life…truly blessed. I am reeling with the loss of so many people in such a short period of time (My Mom, Father in law and husband). I also had my job outsourced and would ordinarily deal with loss by immersing myself in work. There is extreme age discrimination in the work place and while I have a master’s degree and many years of experience, no one seem to want to hire me. I have grown children who lead their own lives and are very busy. I have friends who are married who I see once in a great while. I am beginning to lose hope even though I am a religious person and am appreciative of simple things like the beauty that surrounds us all. There are times when I feel that I have outlived my usefulness to my children and to society. Then there are times when I spend entire days just submitting job applications and trying. My husband’s estate has more debt than assets. I am in financial difficulty with no one to help me but me. I’m not really sure what the next steps are. I pray a lot and read the Bible. I crochet things for people and I keep the TV on just for background noise/company. My husband has grown children from a prior marriage. Some are very good to me. Some just seem to want to inherit “things”, even though I have explained the debt to asset situation of his estate. Thank God I have Lawyers assisting me with probating his estate. Blended families are difficult to say the least. Sometimes I feel like Jobe or like I must have done something terribly wrong to have such terrible things happen. Other times I kick my own butt into gear and try & try again. My husband was not sick. I woke up one morning & he did not. It was a total shock. I try my best to just do One thing every day which sometimes leads to another thing… I pray a lot and I am thankful for the life that I had and for the life that I hopefully will have.

    • Robin Layman says:

      Laura, I know how you feel and my heart goes out to you…I came home from work 12/21/16 and found my dear Mose he died in his sleep….nobody knows until something like this happens…this is something that can destroy a person but we can’t let that happen…I have the very same feelings as you it is as if I wrote your comment…They say things get better I can’t understand how but I know he would want the best for me and your husband would want that for you…it seems everything is against us right now but I am sure there is a rainbow to come for all of us out there…You try to have a Great Day and think of the good things you shared and I hope you find work…I also lost my job the following week!!!

  4. Muslimah says:

    My Dee was a beautiful person inside and out was unselfish and all the girls wanted him but he chose me to spent his life with we were together for 6 years a lot of ups and down which only made us closer… he left on April 6th to be with his maker in a fatal car accident I had just got off the phone with him I found out later because of the police report.. he said he was on his way home to me we hung up and the next morning my world was turned upside down… I found out we were expecting our first child that week… we thought we might be pregnant and bought a test together that night he died but I didn’t take it … he never got to find out
    But I had a dream that he told me thx for having my son and that was before I knew I was pregnant let alone I had a boy.. he comes to me in my dreams a lot I miss him so much and I had our and I wish I could share this with him I cry often but I do feel happy sometimes I wish I could find him in heaven and bring him home.l have so much to say we had so many plans..I lost the love of my life…

  5. Michelle thomas says:

    I lost my Richard five weeks ago. Two years prior to his death he was diagnosed with small cell and given six months. He came back from the edge so many times. I think I had just deluded myself into thinking he would always do that. Get real weak and sick but always bounce back. The last go round only lasted two days and even though I had prayed for God to take him and ease his pain, the second he wasn’t here anymore I thought of things I still needed to say. I had considered him dying what I hadn’t quite realized was what the thought of never seeing him again would do to me. I miss him so very much. I think if I knew where he was I would go find him. He promised to let me know he was alright I wait every day for him to communicate with me. Oh Richard come back please don’t leave me here with out you

    • Robin Layman says:

      Michelle, I understand how you feel…so much… I wish I would have said and done if I had only known…My Mose….I miss him so much..I hope you the best in life and things get better for you…and God Bless You…I understand your feelings! He took his last breath in our bed!

    • Sharon says:

      Michelle, I know the feeling. Carl bounced back from the edge SO MANY TIMES. I just thought it was another slump and he’d bounce back in a few days. I always told him I loved him but if I knew he had so little time I’d told him so much more. I too wish I could go get him and bring him back.

  6. Kathy says:

    Dear Robyn,

    I feel such sadness for what you are going through. I’m glad you were able to find peace in your husband’s love when you went into the bed you shared with him. That also became a concern of mine. Although my husband passed away in hospice, I thought how can I ever sleep in this bed alone after 45 years together! Ironically, within the first couple of months after he passed away, I had actually three what I know was real experiences and signs that he was watching over me. I truly felt my husbands shoulder one night. I use to touch his shoulder at night to feel safe and comforted. Another night, it was so very real, I felt his warm body next to me and I could feel his chest hair on my upper lip as I kissed him. Also his shoes were moved from where I had placed by the front door the night before to finding them in the kitchen the next morning. I found his shoes there just like he was taking a step…one foot in front of the other! My husband wanted me to know he will be with me always and I found great peace in these beautiful and miraculous signs. He also sends me clouds that form into hearts. God knows how deeply in love were and always will be and I thank God for the blessings of letting my husband provide me these few precious and miraculous moments. I asked God for them. Perhaps He will grant you beautiful signs from your dear loved ones too.

  7. Gina Strawder-Brown says:

    Dear Kathleen: your information was so real to me…you made the most sense thus far for this past year I lost my beloved husband suddenly one year ago December 2, 2015..21.5 years of pure marital bliss…I have engaged in individual and support books..excerpts such as this one…I have two very strong supporter’s who understand to the core of what I am going through..but most of all I have God…thank goodness I did not turn my back on Him during this unspeakable time in my life.. I thank God that I actively want to get to a place that I have a new and different “better”…we were so close from the day we met…our heart chambers became united…needless to say I loss two chambers the moment I received the news…I have become in a different place with when my husband left out to run an errand that he never returned…nut I am forever grateful to God that he and I NEVER EVER left one another angry…went to bed angry…and did not harbor anger towards one another…we professed our love for one another daily..and most times throughout the day either by text or a phone call when we were not with on another to include the last moments we saw each other…no regrets at all for each year God blessed me to have him…he was the kindest…selfless…giving human being I have ever known…literally up to the day he passed…never spoke an unkind word to me…I was his queen and he was my king…thank you for this post Kathleen…and may God continue to let you be a beacon to all of use who has lost loved ones

    • Kathy says:

      Dear Gina,
      Thank you for reaching out to me and relating that you also feel the deep loss that has encompassed me. I keep asking who am I now that I am only part of the person I was before my husband’s passing. I cherish every last minute with him and I’m wearing out his pictures that I have around the house with all my kisses. We were so blessed to have been showered by God with such incredible love with our husbands and God knows we need His now to move forward to feel that safe haven again.

    • Robin Layman says:

      I lost my husband 12/21/16 suddenly…I found him in the morning after working night shift…his birthday was 12/31/16 and our 44th anniversary will be 1/20/17 and after the funeral everyone had to get back to their lives and I feel so alone! Getting back into our bed that night I thought I would die…but I knew I had to do it…he took his last breath there but I really did find comfort and have slept peacefully feeling he is still near and watching over me!

      • Sharon says:

        Robin, so sorry for the sudden loss of your husband. Hurts so bad when one loses a soulmate. I’ve thought about joining a support group but there are none in my area. That’s how I found this forum. Sometimes we need a sounding board.

  8. Kathy says:

    Dear Peggy Jones,

    I understand exactly what you are saying when family and friends say, with a little time, things will be “normal” again. They have no idea that we lost our so much of everything that brought us joy.
    Getting up with him in the morning and seeing him off to work. The joy of cooking dinner and seeing how happy my husband he returned home, just talking about our day and sharing ideas in the evening (now so quiet and trying to get into TV or call a friend but just not the same). These are my worse times.

  9. Kathy says:

    Dear Laurie and Renee,

    Thank you for responding to me. Renee, my heart breaks for what you are and have already gone through. Now that the weather is starting to get gloomy and cold here in northeast Ohio, I only brings more sadness of last year and my last days with my husband. I feel just like you do. You are not alone in feeling this deep empty loss of self, loneliness and lack of joy and peace. I can’t even image feeling that ever again. My husband was my life and I feel like part of me died with him. I hope that reaching out on this site to others like us will uplift our heavy hearts.

  10. Laurie says:

    I’m sorry for not responding earlier – I’m traveling in Vietnam with my husband, sometimes getting frustrated with the inconveniences and frustrations of traveling as a couple! And then I read your heartfelt sentiments about what it’s like to have lost a husband – to be a grieving widow – and I am grateful for the gift of my marriage.

    I am sorry for your loss, and I’m glad you shared your feelings here. It’s important to write about the loss and grief you feel, so you can work through the pain. I hope you find it helpful to know you’re not alone, and that your written comments here are so important to every reader on this blog – even if we don’t respond in writing.

    May your heart heal, and may you find ways to live fully and be joyful and peaceful again.

    In sympathy and with warm regards,

  11. Kathy says:

    Dear Laurie,

    I’m so grateful to have found your site where I connect and find some support with other women who have lost their husbands. I lost my dear husband on Feb 15th, 2016 due to stage 4 prostate cancer that spread to his bones and complications. The diagnosis came after his primary care doctor finally sent him to a urologist after he started having urinary accidents. The diagnosis after his biopsy came as a shock since we had been telling his primary doctor something was not right for 2 years. He felt good but had aching in his right hip and mood swings. His PSA was a 3. He was given 6 months to a year to life. With the help of clinical trials and very aggressive treatments he beat the odds for 5 years. He was amazingly strong, never complained and continued to go to work through two rounds of powerful chemo, hormone and radium injections, blood transfusions, heavy doses of medications, surgery and the awful self catheterizing. He struggled with pain and the horrors of dying, fighting to live to be with us through the holidays, our birthdays and even Valentines Day (the day before he passed). He just turned 66. He ‘was’ my life as we were high school sweethearts since the summer of 8th grade. We had a beautiful marriage of 45 years and God blessed us with two amazing sons. I don’t know how to live without him. Like others who have written, a part of me has died with him. I don’t know who I am anymore. My heart and body aches for him and this sadness and loneliness encompasses my whole being. I don’t know how to live alone. Although I do have the support of friends and family and can call on them, I feel I don’t want burden them with my sadness and disrupt their households. Thank you for providing a place to share my feelings and bond with other women that are trying to cope with such a loss. Sending all who read this my love and warm regards.

    • Renee says:

      Hi Kathy; I am also a widow as of March 17, 2016. I am 56, and my husband was 56 yrs old. He battled stage 4 colon cancer which had spread all over the liver by the time he was diagnosed in Oct 2012. He battled hard. He had over 80 chemo txt’s and continued to work, driving his logging truck til Jan 29th, 2016, believe it or not. We were married for 37 yrs, and I too, do not know how to live without him.

      • Sharon says:

        Renee, I lost my husband Carl on 12/5/16 to stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to liver. He fought HARD 3 years, going to chemo and working full time until a year ago. He was the love of my life and passed away before Christmas and our 15th wedding anniversary on December 30. He was only 64. I wake up every morning heartbroken and dreading the day without him. I trust God that it’s going to get better but right now, it ain’t happening. Hope it gets better for you.

  12. Laurie says:

    Thank you for being here – and I am so sorry for your loss. The only thing worse than losing a beloved husband or wife is losing a child…although it doesn’t make sense to compare different types of grief! I guess I just want to say I’m sorry that you have to experience this.

    Life doesn’t make sense sometimes. Losing a husband is so painful, and there are no answers or words of comfort that take the grief away. And, losing a husband really is losing part of yourself – and that’s partly why there may be no “final” healing. No getting over it, no coming back to your normal self. You’ll never be who you were when your husband was alive.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. I pray for strength, healing, and encouragement. I pray you meet people who can support you in person, who understand what you’re going through, and who can help you heal and feel connected again. I pray you find yourself and rebuild your life with a joy and peace that surpasses all understanding.

    I signed up for a GriefShare Group through my church. It’s a 4 hour video and talk – you can get more information about locations at . It’s not just for widows and widowers, it’s for anyone who is struggling with loneliness and grief – including grieving spouses whose partners are still alive, but very ill (such as dementia or Alzheimer’s).

    May you find joy and peace in today, even if it’s not the day you would’ve chosen for yourself.

  13. neerja says:

    Hi, I lost my husband of 7 years to MS a few months ago. He was 35, I have a 3 year old. I remember how tough the first few months were and they still are but there is so much to manage as I have a responsibility towards our daughter that sometimes I feel so angry at life that I not just lost my best friend and husband, I lost myself in the whole process. There is so much to do that sometimes I feel I won’t be able to carry on like this, I feel guilty, I feel anger, sometimes I feel good, I try to think of what purpose is left in life and I can’t find anything sometimes. People suffocate me, I know they mean well but I would much rather prefer that they leave me alone- nobody understands what I’m going through and that on some days Iam so down that their one unthoughtful comment can just break my day. I am hoping that a day will come when I will be able to pull all this together.

  14. pshamilton says:

    After 22 years with my husband, he suddenly passed away of heart failure on January 7, 2016. We had been through his bacterial pneumonia and back surgeries twelve years ago. His onset of gran mal seizures beginning five years ago and his triple bypass three years ago. He was a champion through it all. However, he also developed a very strong addiction to pain medication and was taking thirty different pills a day. He wasn’t well. I saw that he wasn’t well, but he had always bounced back before. In January he took one breath and died. He left behind his children, 15, 17, and 25. And he left behind me, at 53. I am deeply broken hearted. I built my life around this man, caring for and loving him every step of the way. Our children are painfully sad. This was so sudden and tragic. We never had the opportunity to say good-bye. We never had the opportunity to say, “I love you” just one more time. It’s been seven months and the waves of emotions still ebb and flow. The pain is a bit softer at times, but it still stings.

  15. Barbara says:

    I lost my husband of 55 years last October, 2015 of congestive heart failure. When he went into the hospital, we never thought he was not coming home. I wake up every morning with this horrible empty feeling in my stomach, then I cry and cry. I ask God to please take me to end this suffering. I ask why I had all those beautiful years, and now, as I approach the end of my life, I have to suffer instead of be happy. Why do we, as widows, have to pay this awful price. I wanted to end life as a happy person, not someone who cries every day and wishes for death to come. Why stay in this existence if it is so painful? I have supportive family and some new friends, but they cannot give me what my husband did. He gave me love, conversation, encouragement, passion, and a sense of contentment and happiness. That is what I miss – contentment. I always felt calm and happy when he was around. Now my days are filled with emptiness and I feel I live a pretend life. I smile even when I know in my heart I don’t feel happy. I am hoping that God is merciful and allows me to come home to my husband soon since I am 76. I do not want to live for many years ahead awaiting this pain every day.

    • Jan says:

      I just found this site–my husband also died Oct. 29, 2015 of sudden cardiac arrest six days after surgery to place an epicardial lead for his pacemaker. After six previous shocks, this time the defibrillator could not save him. We were married 46 years and here I sit–still searching websites, reading other people’s stories and feeling the anguish and sorrow as if it had just happened. I am a shell of myself and life has lost all meaning, color, and joy–I truly do not want to live like this!

      • Renee says:

        Jan, so sorry to hear of your loss – my husband passed February 20, 2015 in my arms on our sons birthday. My loss of this wonderful man goes so much deeper, 8 months before I lost him I lost my 32 year old daughter, I lost her 6 days after I began chemo for stage 4 uterine cancer. I do not understand why I am still here. My grief, sorrow, loneliness is most day more than I can bare. My friends and family have now gone on with their lives, I have lost who I am, I may have kicked cancers butt – but it is bittersweet – get it, to try to think I have to exist like this year after year brings no joy

  16. donna says:

    It has only been a few days since my 63 year old husband of 27 years left this earthly plain, He was a long time diabetic whose heart was failing in spite of a pacemaker and aggressive medical treatment,

    he was not feeling well and had made the trip to our neighborhood shop for a lottery ticket, Hecollapsed with a major heartattack, the E M Ts found no pluse and he was unconsious though stable that night after they revived him He passed the following afternoon, Our son and I were at his side, I knew he was ill but in denial he was going to leave me a widow, I am lost, expect to see him in his chair or puttering outside, I want to hit something, tear it apart with my bare hands scream, yell stomp my feet and hide until it all goes away, Even after a short time I don’t want to do this any more, Please let me go back to last week and magicaly change things I loved that man and he left me alone

  17. Laurie says:

    You’re not alone.

    Here are two new articles that offer help for grieving widows:

    I hope these articles give you strength and courage for the journey. May you find blossoms in the grief, hope in the sadness.


  18. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your thoughts on the pain and grief of losing your husband.

    You’re not alone if you feel as devastated today as the day he died. Nothing can replace the loss of your spouse — not support groups, books, blogs, or even keeping busy. Your life is forever different, and you may never fully adjust.

    My prayer is for peace and healing. May you find moments of joy in your days, and pockets of peace in your nights. May your heart feel the rays of warm sunshine again. May your soul and spirit feel the love of something or someone out of this world.

    In sympathy,

  19. Peggy jones says:

    My husband passed away Oct. 23, 2014 after a 16 month battle of renal cell carcinoma, stage IV. Of course I knew it was terminal but kept it light as my husband was not as
    knowledgeable with medicine. So many tests, procedures, up and downs throughout
    the months all the while not letting your guard down. Not ever wanting him to know
    what you know and keeping him upbeat and comfortable. Constantly investigating
    a newer procedure. His remaining kidney could not withstand the harsh drugs the
    doctors were prescribing and it relinquished. My husband left me at 3:47 p.m., Oct.
    23, 2014. Along with him passing I, too, lost my quality of life. There is nothing left.
    He was my life. People say, “Give it time, you will be alright.” Well, I feel the same
    today as the day he left. No, it is not as simple as people want to believe. They all
    want things to be “normal” again. It’s just not that simple. There is no more getting
    back to the way you were. It isn’t the way you were. It is without your everything.
    Who understands this? Am I the only one who thinks this way? I don’t think so. I
    know there has to be someone else out there who agrees with me.

  20. EILEEN banks says:

    I lost n.y. beloved husband on March 1, 2014 suddenly of a massive HEART attack.
    We were married 42 years. It is going on 18 months now since he,s gone. Life is so
    Very difficult living without him. I,m in a BEREAVEMENT GROUP and made some very good friends. I have my two grown sons and family members. I will try to go on as I take one day at a time. I often wonder why am I still here and what will become of me now. I guess only
    God has that answer. And so I will go on as best I can until God calls me home to be with my husband, once again.

  21. annelie says:

    I lost my husband a month ago stomach cancer he was 47 we just renew our vows a month later he was gone we never knew he had cancer the dr was stupid said its a ulcer the hate i have

  22. Janet says:

    I had the sudden loss of my husband November 28, 2014. He was happy we spent Thanksgiving together. It was Black Friday that he passed away. I still keep thinking if I could have been able to save him. He was diabetic and had numerous lows. This time they said it was not just the diabetes but a cardiac arrest. I miss him so much, This is the hardest thing that I have gone through. We were married 44 years. I miss his voice his loving ways. I feel totally alone. I have two grown sons but nothing or no one can take the place of my husband. I wanted more time to enjoy with him. I have had a lot of aches and pains. I cry almost every single day. He was my soul mate, my friend and so many other things to me. I feel if my whole world has fallen upside down. I get frightened when I think of the future without him.

  23. Laurie says:

    Everyone deals with grief in their own way, and it changes from day to day! Grief comes and goes in waves, and different people have different ideas on how the grieving process “should” be for widows who lost their husbands. But, there is no right way to grieve – and there is no reason to think that we should all show our sad feelings or huge displays of grief.

    It’s hard to be ourselves when we’re grieving, but it is my prayer that we’re able to let ourselves grieve the way we feel most comfortable. I hope we can let the opinions of others go, so we can move forward in our healing journey.

    In sympathy,

  24. Cheryl says:

    My husband died unexpectedly at home in January. For the longest time, all I felt was numbness. I can only describe the process as a gradual thawing of my emotions, I suppose as I am prepared to deal with them. I have made an effort to move forward one step at a time and stay busy. Although I work and have my moments of fun, I also have my moments of grief and process in private. I don’t feel comfortable providing open access to my every emotion.

    I am having the hardest time dealing with those who feel compelled to comment on how well I’m coping. Sometimes I get the feeling they are disappointed that I’m not providing some huge display of grief. I try to believe that they mean well, but sometimes I’m not so sure.

  25. Laurie says:

    Dear Marion,

    I am sorry you lost your husband. It sounds like your last few years with him weren’t exactly “honeymoon” – but life without him is hard, too!

    Just yesterday, I wrote an article about husbands who drink. I’m reading the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, and learning that wives can NOT do anything to change, reform, or even help husbands who drink. Alcohol is a powerful addiction, a disease that you can’t help someone out of unless he wants to quit drinking.

    It sounds like your grieving process is complicated by the fact that you feel guilty that you didn’t do more. I don’t know how you feel, but it sounds like you’re lonely partly because you don’t admit how you feel to people. You say you put on a brave face in the daytime, but you cry at night.

    What would happen if you reached out and told people how you feel? Maybe take the brave face off once in a while, with a trusted friend or even a counselor?

    Sometimes, the best way to heal is to uncover the wound. It’s very painful in the short term, but in the long run it brings health and wellness…and peace.

    Can you talk to someone you trust about your feelings of grief and guilt, and about your marriage? I welcome your thoughts here; writing can help us manage grief and emotions. But, talking and sharing our deepest emotions in person is also very important.

    In sympathy,

  26. marion says:

    I lost my husband on 23rd dec 2013 from lung cancer. The diagnosis just 4 months ago and just 1 chemo and then he died. We had a turbulent last 3 years together as he drank but I feel guilty that I could have helped him more. I live in spain, so much of my support is in the uk. I feel lonely and put on a brave face in the daytime, but cry at night. I need to get on with my life but feel that at 70, it will be hard.

  27. Laurie says:

    Dear Natasha,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like it’s been a whirlwind of activity since you lost your husband, and you haven’t had a chance to grieve or even process the idea that he is gone. Maybe you’re feeling both numb and sad?

    Your husband isn’t here to protect you or help you cope with everything, and you’re seeing a side of people – family members! – that you’ve never experienced before. It’s alot to handle, isn’t it? Even if you take it one day at a time, it may still feel overwhelming. Maybe taking it one hour at a time would be easier to handle.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers — and your daughters, too. Counseling will help you process the grief and shock. I hope you find other women to talk to, who have lost their husbands. It’s often so helpful to talk to other widows who have experienced similar tragedies.

    Come back anytime, let me know how things are going.

    In sympathy,

  28. Natasha Phillips-Mason says:

    Thank you for your sharing. I am very lost at present as I lost mu husband, and the love of my life only 25 days ago and due to us being expats it has taken me over 3 weeks to repatriate him and get him back to be layer to rest 2 days ago. THen it was Christmas today.

    My family have flown over and are here but it is all too much. I just miss him dreadfully and am terrified , absolutely terrified of any life without him. All our plans and dreams are gone. He was only young and I cannot see 5 minutes ion the future. There is still so much to be dealt with before normality resumes but I don’t know if I can even do that.

    I am so sad without him and yet I don’t feel a thing at the same time and although this is the longest we have been apart, I cannot believe it is real. Some of my family have been selfish and garnered their own sympathy from anyone they can while not sharing it with me. I am disgusted by some people behaviour and the requests I have had to accommodate. He would never allow me to be treated like that. terrified, lonely, and due to location etc. will not be able t join any groups etc.

    Hope you can let me know if there is one on line i can participate in. can’t see the future without my love.

  29. Laurie says:

    Dear Dee Dee,

    I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your husband. I believe losing your spouse is one of the most painful, saddest things to deal with in life – especially when you have daughters who miss him so badly.

    Thank you for being here. It sounds like you’re still in shock and disbelief, and you’re trying to work through your emotions and still be there for your daughters. It’s so much to cope with at once! Too much.

    Are you leaning on friends and family for support? It’s important to talk through your feelings, and cry with adults who can be there for you. You have to be there for your girls…and you have to find loving people who will be there for you.

    Who is walking alongside you as you grieve the death of your husband? Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings here.

    I wish you all the best – I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers,

  30. DeeDee says:

    I lost my friend, husband and my girls’ daddy to a terrible vehicle accident a few weeks ago. I had just talked to him on the phone an hour and a half before the accident. I had no idea as I was picking up our first of three girls that he was being pronounced dead at that exact time. I picked up all three girls and brought them home from school. I went back to work for my last hour downtown. I received a call on my way home from the sheriffs office asking me to please come home. I was shaking, worried but not prepared. Within 5 minutes I was told that my husband had been in an accident… and died. I screamed at the top of my lungs! My girls came running out and screamed and cried! I screamed and fell to the ground. It was the worst, most unreal, unforgettable, disbelieving and gut wrenching feeling of my life. We were in total disbelief.
    I am strong for my girls but just want to bawl so much of the time. I drive to work in a daze. I drive home in a daze. I can’t believe he is gone forever! My poor sweet girls. He loved them and me so very much. He ALWAYS told us. I am filled with such sadness. I feel like He has left to such a far and away place and has left me here all alone to care for our girls and myself. I thought he would just always be here no matter what. I just can’t believe he is gone. We want him back so very badly. My girls are 15, 13 and 9. We meant everything to him and he is supposed to still be here. I will be getting us all in counciling soon. I am so incredibly saddened!

  31. Laurie says:

    Dear Dee Dee,

    I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your husband. I believe losing your spouse is one of the most painful, saddest things to deal with in life – especially when you have daughters who miss him so badly.

    Thank you for being here. It sounds like you’re still in shock and disbelief, and you’re trying to work through your emotions and still be there for your daughters. It’s so much to cope with at once! Too much.

    Are you leaning on friends and family for support? It’s important to talk through your feelings, and cry with adults who can be there for you. You have to be there for your girls…and you have to find loving people who will be there for you.

    Who is walking alongside you as you grieve the death of your husband? Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings here.

    I wish you all the best – I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers,

  32. DeeDee says:

    I lost my friend, husband and my girls’ daddy to a terrible vehicle accident a few weeks ago. I had just talked to him on the phone an hour and a half before the accident. I had no idea as I was picking up our first of three girls that he was being pronounced dead at that exact time. I picked up all three girls and brought them home from school. I went back to work for my last hour downtown. I received a call on my way home from the sheriffs office asking me to please come home. I was shaking, worried but not prepared. Within 5 minutes I was told that my husband had been in an accident… and died. I screamed at the top of my lungs! My girls came running out and screamed and cried! I screamed and fell to the ground. It was the worst, most unreal, unforgettable, disbelieving and gut wrenching feeling of my life. We were in total disbelief.
    I am strong for my girls but just want to bawl so much of the time. I drive to work in a daze. I drive home in a daze. I can’t believe he is gone forever! My poor sweet girls. He loved them and me so very much. He ALWAYS told us. I am filled with such sadness. I feel like He has left to such a far and away place and has left me here all alone to care for our girls and myself. I thought he would just always be here no matter what. I just can’t believe he is gone. We want him back so very badly. My girls are 15, 13 and 9. We meant everything to him and he is supposed to still be here. I will be getting us all in counciling soon. I am so incredibly saddened!

  33. Laurie says:

    Dear Safina,

    It sounds like you are going through the normal, confusing stages of grief! You’re in shock because your husband died, and you are overwhelmed with all sorts of conflicting emotions.

    Grief is complicated and confusing, and it takes a long time to process and deal with the fact that your husband died. Even if you weren’t living with your husband, it’s still a huge shock that you’re a widow!

    Let yourself grieve – just let yourself feel your emotions without trying to fight them. If you can, take a few days off of work. Let your mind and heart get used to the idea that your husband is dead. It takes time, but you’ll start to feel normal again, bit by bit.

    Come back anytime, let us know how you’re doing.


  34. safina peters says:

    I lost my husband to drinking 18th june just gone his funral was Thursday thing is I had not seen him in about a year an half as he was so ill I could not have my 2 year old round him so we parted in best intrestof our son . but I arranged his send off I can not explne how it feels as one min im sad then happy then bitter am confused also as to what I do now as this as somehow put me into a dream an I need to get up please help me understand

  35. Laurie says:

    Dear Bonnie,

    I am so sorry you lost your husband, but so happy for you that you have your grandchildren and son. I’ve lost people dear to me, but never my husband. The pain of grief and loss does fade a little bit, I think, but it never totally goes away. I’ll never be the same after losing the people I’ve loved…and I do cherish the people in my life more now.

    I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you have found solace in your spirituality and beliefs — and your Christian friends.


  36. Bonnie says:

    I found this site, an just finished all u dear widows stories… Like all of u I to am a widow… In the beginning part of me wanted to go with him… I could barely breathe.. Iam a Christian… Had I not been? I don’t know??? Please don’t misunderstand me I was very mad at God..after all I was trying to live a Christian life, why not take someone who wasn’t trying to live right? I had been studying the word about 6 years when he my spirit I felt it , I had told my husband several times, I feel like I have been afforded this time because something is big on my horizon…will I be tested? Oh yes..Jesus told us as long as u live in this world u will have trials tribulations…I became a widow at 51.. I lost my lifelong partner. I was a child bride , he too… One week 18….. We were married 34 years we have a son …I had recently recovered from major colon surgery before he passed… He was my nurse…I had a 6 yr battle… He stayed by my side…we had just hung a 30 yr anniversary collage in our liv rm 3 days before his accident… I had made a DVD movie of it the morning of the accident… It was a warm aug eve. After work there was a bike ride not far from our home… We had a beautiful conversation , I said to hom honey be careful of the sun, he said no worries it will be at my back. Babe I will be home by dusk and we will watch that dvd of our 30 anniversary… I watched him hose off his bike, all fresh… We hugged and kissed, I said be careful see u in little while… That was 10 mins. To 5… At 6:15 I got the call no one ever wants to get… My world stopped… I watched him fight for 3 days… After watchn one after another on his chest try to save him paddles , needles , ——————–. My son had only been married 3 mOnths at the time.. He was also in chile for work had to be flown home ASAP.. God does know what u need… Had it not been for our son, I honestly just don’t know…medication helped me survive it too… The medicine made me numb… It’s 4 and half years now… Time does help… U don’t want to hear that at the time , but it’s true…God has since given me two beautiful little grandaughters… And yes the oldest looks like him she has his eyes…my love for them is so great that I must go on for them, I want to teach them things and I don’t want them to think their grandma was so weak she couldn’t handle a hard part of life…. Because my ancestors had to do, whether they wanted to or not too…I know I have drawn some of my strength from my ancestry….I am blessed to have had that love in my life… My life could have been empty??? But it wasn’t someone came into it for 34 of my 51 years… My best wishes to everyone of you.. In revelation , this too shall pass its only temporary…our loved ones are on the other side working for God , with no pain…Gods blessings to all

  37. Laurie says:

    Dear Mrs B,

    I’m sorry for your loss. You have to go on without your husband, for your children’s sake. I think you’re stronger than you know. Sometimes it helps to take it one minute at a time. Just getting through this day or the next hour may seem overwhelming, so just focus on this minute.

    I will keep you and your children in my thoughts and prayers, as you mourning your loss.

    In sympathy,

  38. Laurie says:

    Dear Cristina,

    I’m so sorry that you lost your husband and your mother at almost the same time. My heart goes out to you and your daughter, and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you mourn.

    Please keep coming back and reading the comments of other widows who are grieving their husbands’ deaths. You are not alone, and you may gain comfort and strength by reading the words of others.

    In sympathy,

  39. Mrs. B says:

    I am so hurt right now and all I can do is vent. I lost my husband on Nov. 28,2012. He was only 35 but was on dialysis and the fluids filled up around his lungs and caused him to go into cardiac arrest. Everytime I talk,type, or even think about it my heart begins to cry out with my tears all over again. Ours was alot like some of you. My soulmate, my everything. He took pride in family and we took care of each other. I have 3 kids a teen and two small girls who adored him. They seemed to be my strength right now. I just feel as if I dont want to go on without him. But I know I have to its hard. I have not had to go through anything this devasting without him. Everything happened so fast- Im just in shocked..No word can console me- I even begged God to wake me up but im realizing thats its not adream. My “One & Only” is gone.

  40. Cristina says:

    I lost my husband Nov 3 , he try so hard to make it since his visit with his doctor it was a terrible cancer ,
    he came from ER and say Iam going to died in 3 to 6 months to make things worse I just came back from my mother cremation ,
    i didnt know if I was crying for mi mother for him for me or my daugther .
    my husband only last 1 yr after his intestinal cancer , it hurt me so bad that my brother in law ask me about the will when he came to see him at the hospital . time will be the best medicine I hope

  41. Laurie says:

    Thank you for sharing your stories. I think it’s easier for all widows to know they’re not alone in their grief. I hope it helps to read Kathleen’s story of losing her husband to Parkinson’s, and to read the other comments here.

  42. Nancy says:

    I lost my husband six months ago. He went into the hospital for a 2-3 day stay to adjust meds for congestive heart failure and afib. Within 48 hours he developed an unusual pneumonia and showed signs of alcohol withdrawal which put him in the ICU for 3 1/2 weeks. He developed a second, worse, Klebsiella pneumonia and a blood clot which required intensive blood thinner therapy. While awake he told me how very much he loved me and shortly thereafter I was spoon feeding him when he suffered a hemorrhagic stroke from the blood thinner therapy … Several days passed, he was transferred into a neuro ICU ward but he did not do well. I called in the palliative care doctor who told me he was totally paralyzed on his left side, would never speak, eat, swallow or walk again and would not likely live long. I brought him back home to die in his own bed with me caring for him in our own home and felt it was the most therapeutic thing for both of us.

    He was my guiding light in life, my mentor, my business partner, my husband, my friend. I believe he is still all around me and I speak to him often. I am through the initial stage of grieving but am now becoming rather lonely and need to find more friends and activity but believe that I will be alright longer term. My best wishes for all the rest of you in your difficult journies…


  43. Angie says:

    Your story is very sad and very unexpected like mine. I think that is the worst way…not being able to say good bye. My heart goes out to you.

  44. Angie says:

    tomorrow will be one month that i lost my husband. i can’t beleive i’m saying these words. He died at the age of 34 in a motorcycle accident. We have a 3 month old daughter. My daughter and I were cheated out of a life of love. He was/is an amazing man. I’m not saying it to boost him up, he was the best thing that ever happened to me and touched so many hearts. I don’t know how I’m living without him. We had a love that people noticed and wanted. I have no regrets because I loved him 100% everyday. My soulmate…
    I question God but I’m trying to have faith because I want to be with him again. I love you baby…

  45. Babe says:

    Hello, It has been 251 days sincemy husband died suddenly @ the young age of 48. Although we had dated for close to 7 years we were only married for 116 days…A beautiful wedding in an apple orchard among family and friends professing our love for God and each other. We were Iron Sharpening Iron together a TEAM a FORCE. We were both marrried before but finally were able to make a commitment to each other and our Maker. I joked in asking that we would have 32 years together. My husand died of a heart attack at a annual poker game with his brothers and friends by his side. He went from one happy world to another and I was a widow now longer than I was a newlywed. Heart ache, disbelief, and wondering how God could make good of this tradegy. For the most part I have been able to be the LIGHT he would want me to be. I am a very positive person. It does take so much energy and so many times I want to hide and not face the demands of the world. I have a very demanding job and had to jump back in so I think it helped me survive those first few months. I feel that the roller coaster I am on is helpful bbecasue no matter how low I go I know I will head back up. I find great joy in honoring him and doing what he would want me to do. All is greaat but I am still alone and so sad and wonder how God will ever make my heart new again…I never had a chance…a this love for someone left…I am presently writing a book “My 116 days in Heaven” and find great joy accounting our courtship and marriage. My faith and family and friends substain me but I can never imagine that joy and love with anyone ever again and I could never imagine taking a picture down or changing anything. He is a part of my life…my heart…Where do I go from here?

  46. Jacqueline Mossburg says:

    July 20, 2011, my 75 year old husband of 55 years was found unconscious and not breathing on a mountain bike trail in Colorado. All efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. I was waiting for him to come back to our condo for lunch when the call came from the coroner. I was terribly shocked since we thought my husband was in excellent health. To add to the stress, I was away from home and nearly two thousand miles from my family. I felt sad and frightened, but most of my anguish came from feelings of guilt: guilt for fussing at him for little things like leaving the toilet seat up or chewing a cigar. I beat myself up for not noticing something was wrong with him–felt I should have been more aware of his health and insisted he see a doctor! I had to spend the first night by myself, and I didn’t sleep a minute. The only relief I got was writing to him. That first night, I wrote him a 20 page letter, describing my emotions and feelings. The next morning, I got out of bed and walked for an hour. Writing and exercise have been my therapy. He’s been gone, now, for fourteen months, and I still write to him. Somedays, I’m his secretary and he writes to me. Thank goodness, I’ve always had a fitness routine which I’ve continued. Writing, exercising, positive thinking, and being in the company of happy family members and friends as much as I can be are carrying me though a difficult time in my life. Grieving in a group setting did not work for me. It made me aware that we’re all different. In order to survive I had to follow a course that made me feel better–not worse.

  47. angela says:

    my mother lost my father 3 weeks ago.she really needs and friends are help too support my poor mother i feel so bad for her.she has so much to deal with at this sasd time.i would like more information to help my mum like counselling helplines.she has been such a loving and devoted wife to my dad.i know my dad would be so proud of mum,she has so much to deal with.i would really like help and support for my mum.i love her soo much i feel so sorry for her..we all miss my dad soo soo much.words can not describe our pain and upset on my dads u forever dad miss u xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  48. missy says:

    My husband was a hard worker and this July he was so excited to finally be getting some time off work and take a much needed vacation to North Carolina to visit our daughter and spend some time at the beach. Well we did that. It was great until july 20, 2012. the night before we were to come home. As he was driving us back from a nice day shopping and a nice dinner, he told me his shoulder hurt, he had just got the words out of his mouth when he slummped over and died. I am waiting for the autopsy report. It had to be a blood clot or something that caused an otherwise healty 47 year old man to just drop dead. We got him back to Ohio and had his funeral on July 27 2012, the day before our 23 wedding anniversary. I am broken, devastated at this horrific sudden death. my kids are in shock as they are just beginning to find their own way in the world. My husband and I were cheated of the 2nd part of our lives together. our kids are pretty well grown and on their own. We had so many plans for our future together. The pain is swallowing me. Where do I go from here.

  49. june says:

    dear laurie thanks for the article you wrote me. i have since tried to move out of the mode i was in. i stated to talk to people on the web, at first it seemed like fun but later if proved to be dreadful. there is a bunch of losers in the chat rooms, probably worse off than me. so i am making a new plan for august. i haven’t seen the dentist so i am going on the first of aug and then i will treat myself to red lobster, its around the cor. and then on the 4th i am invited to a big party with 300 people. its a sports event. then i am going to take pictures with my new adopted grandson. yes i am a grandmother and on the 2nd of aug. i will join a really kewl gym with a glass enclosure of the park, and then at 8 am i will take myself out to breakfast. there is a little store around the cor where men and women get together and chat. it was fun doing that. so at least its a start in a good direction and i will be doing that for 3 months. then if that don’t put me in a better place then i will be joining grief support groups in the area. last nite i went to see a movie called the incuribles it was so awesome. best thing is i am now moving alot more and getting out more and meeting people who actually have been divorced or widowed for 8 to 9 years. they tell me that you will see that you don’t really need a man. i hope it just gets better for me so at least its tolerable. i wrote this for all who are suffering and do not see a light, but there definitely is one. you just have to dig really hard. thanks

  50. Laurie says:

    When you lose your husband, the pain seems like it’ll never go away. But, this is one time that it’s a blessing that time goes by so fast!

    Before you know it, a year will pass and you will start to notice your own healing. You will start to rebuild your strength and happiness, and you will be surprised at your own resilience and health.

    Please feel free to share your stories of loss and healing – because it doesn’t just help you, it helps everyone reading.

  51. claire mckendrick says:

    I sadly lost my husband 6 weeks ago. He was diagnosed with Parkinsons January 2008 and then in November 2010 was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. The week before Christmas 2010 a CT scan showed it had spread to his liver. In January 2011 he underwent surgery to have part of his bowel removed and then went on to have Chemo. For 18 months i stayed away from my job to be a full time carer and watch my darling husband fade away. He wanted to stay at home to die and i am so glad that i could fulfill his wish. He died at home with me on Friday 11th May. Everyday hurts, i am trying to keep busy just to help ease my pain – i wish i could fast forward my life a year in the hope that the pain i feel now won’t be so raw.

  52. Mary Stines says:

    My name is Mary Stines my husband Daryl died on april 30 six weeks ago he died suddenly in our drivway while i was at work he was working on my car. It has been the darkest six weeks of my life i feel it is easier to give up then to go on. I just returned to work this week on june 11. We were married for forty three years i have a wonderful family some family members even came from Dublin Ireland where i was from to support me. My biggest problem is that terrible weight on my chest no matter what i do i cannot get rid of it. I dont sleep i cant eat i am on antidepressents, everyone says it takes time i wish it was five years from now.

  53. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear June,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I’m so sorry for your loss – it sounds like you’re still in shock. I hope your heart heals quicker than you think, and that you’re able to find people to lean on for support.

    I wrote this article for you:

    Starting Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband Dies

    I hope it helps, and I wish you peace and faith that surpasses all understanding.


  54. june says:

    since my husband has died i feel very incomplete. i was with him for 30 years and we did everything together. i feel like i lost my idenity. it’s not like i haven’t tried to feel good but it just doesn’t feel right. starting over again in your 60’s is something i never thought would happen to me. i really feel so alone. my husband did everything for me and now i have the responsibility of runnig it all. when you really don’t know how, it seems impossible. i miss him alot. i hope all of your lives get better.

  55. Julie Larsen says:

    It may be too early for me to write this but I need to talk about my husband who died April 9, 2012.
    Charlie was diagnosed with Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Defficiency in 1997. It affected his lungs and his breathing got worse and worse. He was slowly becoming housebound and I started staying home from work more and more to care for him. We have no children and it has always been just the two of us. We became even closer as he got sicker. I probably would have lost him in 2003 but he was lucky enough to receive a single lung transplant. The miracle gave us a life again. While he was still not able to work, I went back to running my business. We still did everything together. 5 years survival is long for a lung transplant patient and we were well into our 8th year. He was still doing well except that his breathing was getting a little worse. As I approached 66 we decided I should sell or close my business and retire. Friends and customers asked if we were going to travel. Our simple wish was to do a few things around our farm place together. We were two weeks into an 8 week retirement sale when Charlie fell from a tractor and broke his wrist. The open break or something in the surgery managed to cause a terrible pneumonia in his good lung.Because of antirejection drugs he had no immunity. After intubation, things went from bad to worse. we couldn’t get him off the ventilator and everything else started failing.He was on full time dialysis. He suffered horribly for almost a month in ICU. Because of the ventilator he could not speak. He could not use his right arm to write and his left was so full of lines we could barely communicate. I couldn’t bear to leave him so my brother came from out of state to help me take a few breaks for sleep. Close to the end he needed a surgery which he couldn’t survive. I had to make the decision not to resesitate. His mind had failed too. He was kept out of pain and removed from the ventilator. He died peacefully 30 hours later with me holding on to him.

    Even though in my mind I know I did the only thing I could for him, in my heart I keep questioning whether we should have kept trying for a little longer. I suppose it’s because I can’t see how I am going to live without him. We’re just finishing up the retirement sale. On my calendar for that last day at the shop I had written “celebrate!” and I now I can see no reason to ever celebrate again.

  56. june says:

    i lost my husband to prostate cancer, he was 59 years of age. it was a 30 year relationship. he died feb 21, 2012 and everyday seems to be so hard, i feel like im a living dead person. i have gone to bereivement classes which only seemed to make me feel worse. i just wish it never happened. i have tried to do all types of things to make things better but i only feel worse. the worst part of this is i amtotally afraid of being alone. i secretly want another partner but i was a caregiver for years and i am so tired. i am really confused. i know i need more help but can’t seem to find it. i feel so lost, so alone and so hurt.

  57. Philip Kelly says:

    I am a widower seeking friendship but can’t find anywhere in my area that could help me. I’ve looked at dating sites but a little bit wary about them. Could you advise?

  58. Nicole says:

    November the 26th 2011 is the day that has instantly changed my life! This past Saturday morning my boyfriend kissed me on the forehead as i slept in, he was leaving to go hunting behind the house with his oldest son and his brother. He asked me to go to the store when i woke up for a few items. At 7:59 am he sent me a picture message of his deer he shot and his son also got one. I left for the store at 8:25 am. While i was gone they drug their deers to the edge of the field behind our house. I accidentally left my phone in the car. When I got back to my car at 9 am I realized I had missed about 20 phone calls from the last 15 min. I called back. His youngest daughter told me to come home something was wrong. I called 911 and try to find out where they where taking him and they said no where to go to my home. At that moment I knew something terrible had happened. I raced back to the house with the dispatchers on the phone the whole time. I pulled up and he was gone. At the bottom of our back yard his lifeless body laid under a white sheet. I miss him so much already! I still don’t understand or believe it! We were suppose to get married soon and have children together. Im lost! I buried my love yesterday. I feel crushed and lifeless! I watched them close his casket and I will never see his body or touch him again. I want him back! I want him back! I don’t understand why a good hearted loving man with a hugh family and many friends and loved ones had to die so young (42 yrs old) while rapist and murderers live. Why couldn’t have been someone else!

  59. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Sheila,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s actions — that’s scary, and I’m so glad you survived!

    It sounds like the shock and disbelief has worn off, and you’re feeling the emotional pain of not just losing your husband, but what he did to you.

    Please call a distress line, or talk to a counselor. You’re not going through the “normal” grieving that widows do…yours is much more intense and serious. You need guidance and support, which your family and friends may not be able to provide.

    Please call someone for help, for in person help. Let me know how you’re doing now…


  60. Sheila says:

    I lost my husband Aug.09 he shot me twice and then shot himself. I was in ICU for 5 weeks,did not get to go to his services he was cremated. I have spent the last year traveling and staying on the go. But all of a sudden I don’t have what it takes. I haven’t had a good night sleep since this happen but now I don’t even want to get out of bed if I do I just lay around in my pjs and I cry all the time about eveything. I don’t have anyone to talk to my family don’t understand nor do I, why it has hit me so hard all of a sudden. I’m just looking for suggestion and any help I can find.

  61. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Rose,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    I wish you all the best in your relationship with this widower. It sounds like he’s having a really difficult time moving on, which is understandable after 50 years of marriage!


  62. Rose says:

    I am dating a widower who lost his wife 16 months ago. They had been together almost fifty years. I have encouraged him to talk about her as I felt that it was important for him to do so. She was a very strong part of his history and therefore what he would discuss in holding up his end of a conversation. We are quite close and yet I have been having difficulty lately as he carries her picture as his wallpaper on his telephone. He also still wears his wedding band.

    Your comments and notes above have been most helpful in getting my mind around what is going on with him. I believe that he is so worth it, that I will wait for him to decide when to change the location of these strong reminders of the past.

  63. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Violet,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your husband, and how awful it was for you and him.

    I urge you to find a support group for grieving widows and widowers — and in-person group that meets regularly. You’re not alone; there are so many sad widows and widowers who are broken hearted. Being together can make you feel better, and less alone. It won’t bring your husband back, but at least you’ll find comfort by not being alone.

    Please find an in-person support group. Will you do that?


  64. violet la pollo says:

    at the age of 66 my husband of 48 years suffered horrendous pain due to bone cancer spread from colon,nine months i watched him slip away and was beside myself,,he was buried on christmas eve 2007 and so many family and friends did not come because it would ruin their christmas eve,what about me and my grown children,i am in such a bad state of mind yet i cry day and night and pray not to wake up,I have no friends since my husband was all i needed and i was all he wanted,so much in love .knowing someone 50 years and being alone without a soul to talk to or smile ,i just sit and stare at his picture on the wall day and night till it is time to go to bed and cry myself to sleep,am so alone I wish the lord would call me to end this pain and suffering,it is like ripping my heart out everyday,i dont know what to do and it scares me,I am 70years old ,some say still young but a broken hearted woman

  65. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Jack,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your wife…and yes, you ARE grieving the loss of your wife as she was when you met, and throughout your marriage.

    Losing a spouse slowly, like you are, can be more painful than a sudden death.

    But, it’s great that you’ve found ways to alleviate your pain and stress. It’s so important to take care of yourself by keeping up with your hobbies, and finding things that make you feel better.

    I encourage you to join a support group for widowers and widows, even though your wife is still with you. You’ll find comfort and understanding there, and it may make it easier when you make the final decision to say good-bye.

    I wish you all the best, and welcome you back anytime.

    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post blog ..Help Sticking to Your Budget – 5 Steps to Achieving Financial Freedom =-.

  66. Jack says:

    A month ago, my wife and I were fine. She’s been on disability for 5 years, but I mean, we got her a motorized chair, we went out, we shopped, we got up every morning and I fixed the coffee and she was my best of best friends, my lover, my companion through thick and then. We’ve lived here since early in our marriage which was 27 years, 9 months ago. We still loved each other deeply. She’s had this sleep apnea. Suddenly, she was falling all the time. She finally lost control of her legs. I got her admitted to the hospital, she had a blood electrolyte imbalance. I didn’t realize how serious it was. They transferred her for testing to Sugar Land, Texas. About 3 days there, I get home from visiting her, I get a call that she’s in serious condition. I’d just talked to her and her nurse had said he didn’t think she needed to be in ICU. She had a respiratory arrest and they didn’t get her tracheotomy done before she had brain damage. They wanted me to sign a DNR, to let her go, but they said she’s not brain dead. But, she was getting loopy with the lack of O2 and CO2 buildup in her blood. I fear her conscious mind may be damaged. She will open her eyes, responds to my voice, then at other times she won’t. Sometimes she moves her mouth as if trying to speak. The case manager tells me that’s all reflex. I don’t know, I’m losing hope, but I’m having her put in an intensive care hospice in Lubbock, the nearest they could find for her in her condition, and will not be able to visit her there very often, it being 600 miles away.

    No, she’s still breathing, on a ventilator, but I fear I’ve lost her and that I will eventually have to sign those DNR papers. I’ve been losing my mind, fits of emotion, lack of sleep, I walk around the house, I lack the desire to do anything. Everything I see reminds me of her. I don’t know if I’ll ever enjoy life again. I don’t like being alone. I want her back, but I know I can’t have her back.

    So, I figure to give her a couple of years, then consider the situation. Her endocrine system and her renal system are functioning fine. If that starts to go, then I’ll have to evaluate the situation. Meantime, I’m losing hope. I pray for her, I pray for God to take me, too. I just want to be with her. I’ve got no reason to exist without her.

    She’s not gone, yet, not physically, but I’m just losing hope that she’ll be able to recover. I don’t know that there’s enough left of her. I don’t want her to suffer, but if there’s any hope at all, I don’t want to sign those papers and in effect, kill her. I find that only staying busy keeps me from thinking too much. I have hobbies, I am retired at 58, but I repair small engines and lawn equipment in my shop and have a part time job two days a week, for 3 hours. I don’t dare go fishing. Too much time to think when you’re fishing. Hunting season is over. Riding my motorcycle even gives me too much time to think.

    Last few days, the fits of emotion have receded a little. I still think of her, but don’t break down as much. I’m still miserable. I do NOT want to have to make the decision to unplug that machine and let her pass. I just cannot do that at this time. What if God does give us a miracle? What if I’d have not let her have the chance? I know it’s slim. but while the case manager assured me the docs all think she’s gone, they wouldn’t tell me to my face that she had no chance.

    I’m not yet, I don’t think, technically a widower, though I feel like one. So, sorry if I’m breaking any rules of the site or something. I am on various BBSs pertaining to my hobbies and am receiving support and talking about it helps a little. Maybe the loneliness will recede eventually, maybe not. Chatting on line seems to help and chatting about hobbies seems to get my mind off it, however temporary. At lest it lets my eyes quit hurting.

    I kept my grand-baby tonight while my daughter went to church. Her husband is in San Antonio doing pre-deployment training, national guard. Even my grand-daughter seems to be pulling away from me now days without grandma around. I play with her, but it’s not the same. I guess, life just sucks.

  67. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Jo,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your experience…that’s very heartbreaking and sad. I’m not a widow (or widower, for that matter!), and I’m not grieving the loss of my spouse. But, I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear of your loss.


  68. Jo Zohar says:

    My husband of 48 years committed suicide four months ago. He was always a physiclly active indivual who put high value on his health and fitness. When he began a very rapid physical decline- weight loss and neurological symptoms for which he as ungoing tests, which had all been negative up to the time of his suicide- he convinced himself that what he had was not only progressive, but irreversible. He could not face a future with such a diminshed quality of life. I found his body.
    I have been seeing a psychiatrist who has experience with complicated grief and it is helping. He has helped me put the guilt and resentment in perspective and I actually no longer have those feelings. I am now working on the feelings of hopelessness for the future and have a long way to go. Sleepnessless is still an issue. However, I have found that recently I have resorted m*******tion at bedtime as a coping mechanism which makes me feel better and sleep better, but I am reluctant to discuss with him ( I am from an older generation – I am 71 years old.) It seems harmless enough – non-one else is involved and it does not seem destructive. Has anyone else going through grief recovery from suicide found this to be helpful?

  69. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Barbara,

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’re still grieving your husband, and that he passed on 9/11. That’s heartbreaking…and not something anyone can easily get over.

    It sounds like your new husband loves you very much; you’re a lucky woman to have found all that love in one lifetime! He cares for you and wants you to be happy…and you’re an insightful, self-aware woman to recognize that you may not want to be happy, deep down.

    I encourage you to talk to a grief counselor about how to mourn your lost husband, and how to be happy in your remarriage. You CAN resolve your grief and learn to enjoy this stage of life…but I think you need support that your husband, friends, or family can’t give you.

    Please call a therapist or psychologist, and start taking care of yourself and your marriage! Let me know how it goes…

    I wish you all the best.


  70. Barbara says:

    I’m still grieving my husband that passed on 9/11. I’m remarried to a wonderful man, but I don’t think I allowed myself to grieve my first husband properly, well I know I didnt, because it would just hurt too much. Now its affecting my marriage and my husband always says things like do you love me as much as him, etc. Its frustrating and I’m depressed. I’ve made so many poor choices because I think deep down I didnt deserve to be happy. And I’ve tried talking to him, but I think he just wants a happy wife because he treats me so well. I try to tell him its not about him, its just something I cant help. What do I do. Its made me angry toward my now husband and resentful. Why cant I just have my own feelings?

  71. Valerie Reilly says:

    my relationship, 9 months with a widower i adored, even loved. he loved me, he didn’t, he could, he couldn’t. i will. i won’t. i’m so patient, loving, accepting. but finally, i felt like i was in a threesome. like i wasn’t deserving of love. only she could get that.

    he would decline invitations, blame it on his kids, etc. and one day said he wasn’t treating me well bec. he realized, with his therapist, that being in a loving and committed relationship would me he was accepting her death, and he didn’t want to give up her ghost. i said she is gone, and whether or not he is with me or home watching t.v., she is gone. i always accepted their love, but i am a person, and i have to be treated well, or else i will be gone, too.

    about a minute later i got a bad feeling in my stomach, and I wrote to him, and said:

    “i’ll make it easier for you. you can have the ghost. i’m gone.”
    it was almost a painful relief. i don’t want to be made to feel unworthy. so, if you are in a relationship with a widow, or widower, and it is not about YOU….i think that means it’s time to move on.
    boo hoo. and i thought he was special. he is. but not now, or not for me.

  72. Laurie PK says:

    Hmmm…interesting. Do you even want to be in this relationship, Anna? You’ve asked twice if you should stay, and I wonder if you’re looking for a reason to leave.

    Ask yourself the question you’ve asked here: do YOU think you should stay in this relationship? And, if you think you should leave, are you leaving for the right reasons? (The wrong reason to leave is that you’re scared, or hiding from something, or are motivated by other unhealthy reasons).

    It’s okay to leave a relationship that isn’t working for you. It’ll hurt you, and it’ll hurt other people…but it’s OKAY.

    I like what Kathleen said about talking about your feelings. I’d explain how I feel about his not coming back when I wanted, and how I felt about the bracelet. Maybe he is fixated on his wife in an unhealthy way — I don’t know.

    Are you being controlling? There’s a fine line between expressing your wishes to other people (having his wife’s perfume in the bathroom makes you uncomfortable)versus wanting them to do what you want (he should put the perfume away, he should come back when you want).

    Please don’t take offense to anything I’m saying — and I’m not saying you ARE controlling. I’m just pointing out what I’m seeing. I could be totally off base.

    In your previous comment, you mentioned praying to our Lord for guidance. Maybe you could sit down with your pastor, reverend, or Father and talk this through. If not a pastor, a couples counselor might also be helpful. Getting an objective perspective would help both you and your sweetheart see where things are going off the rails.

    What do you think?


  73. Kathleen says:

    Hello Anna Marie,

    I can certainly understand your concerns.

    Do the children live with you? How old is his son? How is your relationship with the children?

    Is it possible that, as he has tried to fill the void in his children’s lives for seven years, he is determined to continue with that? The children may have a very strong need to hold on to the one parent they have, and he cannot or will not say no to them.

    I’m a true believer in open communication. Could you ask him (carefully) about the decisions he made and decide together how such a situation would be handled in the future?

    With regard to the bracelet, is it possible that as it’s for A Race for the Cure he made a contribution to the cause in memory of his wife, but also as a hope that the cure will be found and you will be well?

    I know that I’ve offered more questions than answers, but sometimes when we’re in the middle of a dilemna we need to sit back and consider all aspects of the situation.

    I wish you well, and hope this is helpful to you.


  74. Anna Marie says:


    Just this past weekend, my boyfriend just dropped all of our plans for the 4th of July to go to Dallas to pick up his children because his 13 year old daughter did not want to fly back by herself. I understand that she was scared and he needed to go pick her up but why did he not come back on Friday morning? He left Thursday of last week and just got back on Sunday. I asked him to please come back on Friday so we can spend the 4th of July together and he said he couldn’t because his children wanted to stay in Dallas to go to the Rain Forest on Sunday for his son’s Birthday Lunch.
    Yesterday, when I saw him for breakfast, he gave me a silver braclet with a Race for the Cure Ribbon on it. He said it reminded him of me. His wife died of Breast Cancer 7 years ago. When he gave it to me I said Thank you and told him it was beautiful! What else could I say? Inside it made me feel so sad that he would buy me something that reminded him of his wife. I do not have breast cancer and I am not a survivor! What should I do? Do I continue to stay in this relationship and continue to feel second? He says he loves me but it is hard for me to believe.

  75. Laurie PK says:

    I’m glad we could help, Anna Marie!

    Grieving as a widow or widower is definitely complicated when children are involved — but it sounds like you have a great relationhip with his kids. The conversation you had with his daughter sounds healthy and honest.

    I don’t think the perfume in the bathroom will hold your relationship back — unless you let it. For them, it’s been there for so long, they probably don’t even notice it anymore! But the perfume represents something different to you, which is affecting your relationships.

    It’s only been 6 months….building strong, connected relationships takes time and sharing experiences together. And, if you do end up in a more serious relationship (getting married or living together), you might want to consider them moving out of that house, so you can all start fresh in a new place together. This may be jumping the gun, though!

    Good luck and stay in touch,

  76. Anna Marie says:

    Kathleen and Laurie

    Thank you so much for your suggestions! I do have children of my own and they have grown attached to him as well as I have. I am trying to work on the relationship I have with his children. I know it is very difficult for them to trust anyone to come into their lives. Yes, I am the first woman whom he has brought around his children and I have been the only person who has had a meaningful relationship with him and his children. At first his children were stand offish towards me. His 13 year old daughter saw me as a threat to her, she felt I was going to take all of her Daddy’s love away from her. I had a conversation with her and told her I would be a friend to her if she ever needed anyone to talk to. I would never try to replace her mother nor would I ever try to take her fathers love away from her. I told her I knew how much her father meant to her. Ever since we had this conversation she has opened up to me even more than ever. They are wonderful children! His resoning for having her perfume in his bathroom is because his daughter does not want to take it out of his bathroom. I told him to encourage her to put it her room or bathroom. To be honest with you it did not affect me at first, but now it is beginning to bother me because I feel it will hold our relationship back. I do not know? I will just take day by day and pray to Lord for his guidance.
    Thank you!

  77. Laurie PK says:

    Kathleen’s right: there is so much to consider!

    I don’t think there is any “normal” when you’re dating a widower. Everyone deals with grief differently — and I wouldn’t recommend that you stop seeing him so quickly! The stuff he has around is less important than how well you get along, how you feel about him, and your relationship with his kids (and his with yours, if you have children).

    My experience was similar: my husband had items left over from his previous relationship — and they bugged the heck out of me! (He wasn’t a widower, though). Furniture, dishes, books….he never got rid of them. I thought it was because he didn’t want to let go of the past, but I was wrong. He just didn’t bother to replace them with new stuff.

    I agree with Kathleen, that it’d be good to talk to him about it. Is he holding on to those items for a reason? And of course, he’ll always have some pictures of her around…just not all over the place, I hope!

    Also — are you the first person he’s dated since his wife passed away? That might matter. Perhaps he just hasn’t bothered to put her stuff away because there was no reason to…and he doesn’t realize that it affects you. You need to talk to him about that.

    I hope this helps, and I’m curious what you think about our suggestions!

    Best wishes,

  78. Kathleen says:

    Hello Anna,

    There is so much to consider in your situation. How is your relationship with the children? Is he ‘holding on’ because of their feelings, or his own? Perhaps it just hasn’t occurred to him that it’s OK to make changes.

    I believe that open communication is extremely important in relationships. Perhaps, in a neutral location (not his home), when you believe that it’s appropriate, you could carefully approach the subject and talk it out with him.

    I hope this is helpful.


  79. Anna Acosta says:

    I have been dating a wonderful man for 6 months now. He has two beautiful children who lost their mother at the age of one and six years of age. It has been seven years since she has passed. He still continues to have her perfumes in their bathroom and pictures all over his house and office. Is this normal? Should I stay around?

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