Help Starting Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband Dies 221


Learning that you are not alone is one of the most comforting ways to start over as a widow in your 60s. Here are several tips and resources for coping with your husband’s death. These ideas for starting over won’t solve all your problems, but they may bring you a measure of comfort and peace.

Starting Over in Your 60s After Your Husband DiesIn I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One, Brook Noel and Pamela Blair offer hope and comfort, support and solace for widows who are starting over after a husband dies. These writers know how you feel; they are women who have experienced sudden loss and unexpected grief. This book is like a rock-steady anchor that will help you weather the storm of pain and begin to rebuild your life. I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye is a book that will uplift, comfort, and console you as you face the idea of starting over as a widow – no matter how old you are.

After you read my tips below on how to start over after your husband dies, look at the comments section and see what other widows write about their own grieving process. You may find yourself comforted and blessed. You might also read find my other articles helpful, such as How to Recover From Loss and Survive Grief. Bookmark this page so you can return to it later.





Reading books can help you cope after your husband dies, which is why I list several books on the grieving process in this article. You might also find grief support groups to be helpful as well – especially if you live alone or spend a great deal of time on your own. A support group can offer in-person comfort and connection through the grieving process, and you may meet other women who know exactly how it feels to start over as a widow. I facilitated a variety of support groups through my practicum (I have a Master of Social Work), and I’m amazed and humbled by the power of support groups to help women grieve, cope, and heal. If you haven’t visited a support group for widows, I encourage you to research grief support groups in your area.

One of the most important tips for starting over in your 60s (or at any age) is to take it one moment at a time. And, know that it is too late to start over. Don’t lose hope! Don’t lose your spark. It’s dimmed, but it’s flickering and your light isn’t out yet.

“It’s never too late – never too late to start over, never too late to be happy,” says Jane Fonda. Don’t lose hope, faith, or joy. There is a wellspring of joy hidden in you…and it will bubble up again! Here are a few tips for starting over and rebuilding your life after the death of your husband.

How to Start Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband Dies

Remember that every widow processes grief differently. Some women retreat, others reach out. Some people change everything about their lives – they move, go back to school, travel, or quit their jobs. Other women want everything to stay exactly the same.

When you’re starting over in your 60s, allow yourself to play with the idea that a new season of your life is beginning – and it may not be as lonely or difficult as you think. As you go through the grieving process, give yourself time and space to think about how you’re going to spend the next half of your life.

Learn what to expect emotionally when you’re grieving as a widow

Starting Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband Dies

Starting Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband Dies

“You may feel a profound loss of security and confidence in the world [after your husband dies],” writes Dr Therese Rando in Coping With Sudden Death.

“After all, you have been taught a dramatic lesson: Loved ones can be snatched away without warning. You may always await another loss to befall. Research has shown that widows whose husbands died suddenly are slower to move toward remarriage, since they are unwilling to risk future unanticipated loss again for themselves and their children. Avoidance and anxiety eventually can lead to states of anxious withdrawal since the world has become such a frightening, unpredictable place.”

Are you coping with the “typical” response to grief? While there is no one way to grieve as a widow, many women respond in similar ways. Starting over in the second half of your life is more stressful and difficult for many women. This can lead to anxiety and avoidance, which may prolong the healing process.

Prepare for the painful hurdle of holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays

If the holidays are approaching – or an anniversary or birthday – your grief may intensify. Grief is heightened over holiday seasons and celebrations because of the memories and the family traditions. Your memories of the past magnify your loss, and make your husband’s death all the more real and painful. He will never again be part of the celebrations and traditions.

How is your relationship with God? Faith is a key factor in the grief process, especially when you’re starting over in your 60s. You’re young to be a widow, and your loss may affect your beliefs, faith, and relationship with God. I hope you’ll experience the very presence of God, upholding you, comforting you, and giving you strength for each new day.

If your life has changed because you’re starting over after your husband’s, then certainly your holidays will change. There is no avoiding the holidays, but you can find ways to cope with both the grief that change brings and the stress of the holidays, anniversaries, or birthday celebrations. Recognize that holidays and special occasions will be different from now on. Don’t compare this new stage of life with the nostalgia of past holidays and events.

Participate in activities and be with people who make life worthwhile

After your husband dies, you may feel that nothing matters and nothing makes life worthwhile. Death has a funny way of making daily life feel inconsequential and meaningless.

But, if you want to start over and be a happy, fulfilled woman in your 60s, you need to figure what will make the rest of your life the best of your life.

“I had to ask myself what makes life meaningful after the death of my little boy and the impending demise of my daughter,” says writer and editor Lori Chidori Philips. “Learning, exploring my inner and outer world has been very helpful. Life is a grand and glorious experience, and I liken my life to strolling through a sunny meadow, gathering wildflowers of experiences to take back with me. Knowing that the good, the bad and the ugly all serve a purpose in expanding my awareness makes life meaningful to me, no matter what happens.”







It all serves a purpose – even the death of your husband, after years of marriage. You may not be able to see this now because you were part of a couple for so long, and now he’s gone. The very idea of starting over when you’re 60 years old and have depended on him for so much may be exhausting.

Connect with other women in their 60s who are starting over

I wrote this article because a reader left this comment on Help for Widows and Widowers – A Story of Loss, Survival, and Peace:

After Your Husband Dies Starting Over in Your 60s

How to Start Over as a Widow in Your 60s

“Since my husband died, I feel very incomplete. I was with him for 30 years and we did everything together. I feel like I lost my identity. It’s not like I haven’t tried to feel good, but it just doesn’t feel right. starting over again in my 60s. I never thought this would happen to me. I feel so alone. My husband did everything for me and now I have the responsibility of running it all. It seems impossible. I miss him a lot.”

One of the best ways to start over when your husband dies – whether you’re 68 or 28 – is to connect with women who are going through the same thing. Don’t tackle life alone. Get support from widows who understand what you’re going through, who are starting their lives over too.

After your husband dies, you may forget that you’re not the only one grieving. Sometimes it’s healthier to focus on your own mourning and healing, and other times it’s better to reach out and help your loved ones through their grief. What’s best for you? It depends on your personality, lifestyle, and family members.

Read novels about grieving and starting over after a spouse dies

how to start over as a widowIn Our Souls at Night, Kent Haruf tell the story of a widow and widower who knew of each other – but they didn’t know each other well.

Addie and Louis embark on an unlikely friendship, an antidote to the loneliness they most exquisitely felt at night. As this friendship deepens, it is tested by the town’s busybodies and meddling family members.

Our Souls at Night was inspired, in part, by Haruf’s own marriage and the intimate, late-night conversations he and his wife relished, just like Addie and Louis. And just like Addie and Louis, Haruf proves that you’re never too old to reinvent yourself, take risks, find love, and write a great novel.

Here’s what one reader – Fran Smith – says about this book:

“This book is an intimate look at how two aging people address loneliness after a spouse’s death. As a 77 year old woman, I have many friends who have gone through that, and the most difficult issue is needing someone to spend time with. This book is a lovely depiction of how they try to deal with their situation.”

Resources for Starting Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband Dies

starting over 60s widow husband died Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman is an active daily way to process your grief and healing after our husband dies. Grieving is an active process that takes time and energy; this book will walk you through the worst of it.

“I have given this book to many people now as it was the only comfort I seemed to find after my husband passed away very suddenly,” says a reader. “I would read the passage in the morning, go to work and then read it again before bed. Then I would write my feelings directly on the page. It is so good to have a record of my grief as well as having some guidance to deal with it in the best way possible. I thought I was more or less healed from the worst of the grief after year one passed, but year three seemed to turn out to be just as hard. I wrote in a difference color on the page so I would know which year was which.”

Reach out. Get help starting over. Don’t try to face this alone.

Starting Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband DiesOne of my favorite practical guidebooks for starting over in life is This Is Not the Life I Ordered: 50 Ways to Keep Your Head Above Water When Life Keeps Dragging You Down. Four women wrote this book – they’ve dealt with starting over, husbands dying, businesses failing, children leaving, and illness threatening. They figured out how to start over and create new lives when their old ones died.

I welcome your thoughts on  being 60 and starting over after your husband dies. Please comment below, or at least take time to read through what other widows are saying about their husbands’ deaths. You may find comfort and joy, support and healing. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but sharing your story can help you clarify your thoughts and feelings, which will help you heal.

If you see yourself in those comments, remember that you don’t have to start over alone! Most things are worse when you’re alone, especially if you’re in your 60s and have lost a husband you loved and lived with for decades.

“When one person is missing, the whole world seems empty.”  ― Pat Schweibert.

Articles on Starting Over

“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin…real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” ~ Alfred D’Souza.

Life is filled with obstacles and pain, but it doesn’t have to be full of suffering. May you find healthy ways to grieve the loss of your husband, start over as a widow, and even embrace the next season of your life.

 




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221 thoughts on “Help Starting Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband Dies

  • Debbie

    It’s been 6 months since my husband passed away suddenly. I thought it was hard in the beginning, but it is getting worse and worse. In the beginning, I was numb and didn’t know what to take care of first. I had family and friends around, but now, everyone has gone back to their routine and I am left by myself. Nothing seems to make me happy anymore. I feel depressed and alone. I cry every night when I walk through the doors to an empty house — thank goodness for my pup. I don’t know what to do or where to turn. I don’t enjoy life anymore like I did before with my husband. We did everything together — now I have to do it alone. Holidays and special days have been extremely tough. And like every other post has indicated, no one knows what you are feeling and they think you should be “back to normal”. I have no normal. All I have is an empty heart that is forever broken. If anyone has any suggestions on where to turn or what to do to start me on the right path to healing (not forgetting or “getting over”, but healing), I would appreciate it. Thank you for listening — my wish to all of us women that have lost our soulmates, our loved ones, is that we can find help from one another in some way……….

    • Deborah

      Hi, Debbie. I am so sorry you are suffering so. My husband died very suddenly 2 1/2 years ago. I still feel like you do, but not every day. In the world of grief, after losing the one you love so much, 6 months feels like forever, but really a isn’t very long. Even as long as it has been since my precious husband died, I feel lost and lonely without him. But, I will tell you that it does get better. I still deal with depression and sadness, and sometimes the pain is as sharp as it was the day he died. I think the deeper the love, the deeper the pain. Most days though, the pain is no longer as deep and raw. Slowly, I am going longer and longer periods of time with a little ray of light poking through the darkness. I didn’t think it would ever be possible to feel anything but pain after my love’s death, but I am doing better and I am hopeful that I am on my way to finding joy in life again. Please be patient, it will get better. You don’t have to face this alone. You may want to see about some grief therapy, maybe you have a minister you can talk to. Just a friend with a sympathetic ear that you can talk to may help. I found this site very helpful. Everyone here understands what we are going through. This is a rough road to go down and I don’t think there is any escaping the pain. Trust me though that, in time, the pain will ease. Be as kind to yourself as you would your best friend. Good luck to you. Please let us know how you are doing. You’ll be in my prayers.

  • rhonda k. kaebel

    my husband of almost 25 years has been gone for 1 year and 10 days. i live alone in nevada, with my daughter in colorado. my house is still underwater from the crash close to being 0 soon. i hate it here cry every day, afaraid to move and may have to bankrupt if i do. rick built and worked so hard if feel like it would dishonor his life to just walk away, and on top of all that we were clean and sober for 24 years. as he was passing i told him i caant do this and he said i was stromer than i think… still sober for over this year but does not get easier and like the others, death feels like a option, i prayed to die from broken heart syndrome but …no. i hope others find pease becaue my heart is still as broken as it was a year ago, but i will read on and hope i can find some hope… thanks for a place to be real the pain is unbearable

  • Wendy

    My wonderful, loving husband passed away Dec.13th 2016. We were married 21 years. He was my life. I want to move from here back to Florida but I am afraid I wont have enough money to live on. I am 68 years old. We built onto our daughters home in Georgia Mountains in 2014 and moved back and forth until 2016 when I realized something was wrong with him. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in Oct. 2016 and died Dec. 13th. Now I feel I want to go back to florida but I dont think I am financially stable enough to do it. My son from previous Marriage married his daughter from previous marriage. That is where I live now. They want to me stay here but Im not sure that is best for me. I am alone quite a bit here and have no friends. We are isolated in this area so there is noplace to go to meet anyone. My ex husband let me stay with him when I went to Florida 3 months after my husbands death. I had my own room and bathroom there was nothing between us but friendship. He wants me come back and live there with him. I think someday I would like to find another man that will be a good match and fall inlove again. I dont see that happening if I am living with my ex. Again it is the financial aspect that holds me back. It has been 5 months now and I still miss my husband so very much. Right now I dont want another man in my life, maybe never, maybe someday. Im very confused.

  • going no where

    there absolutely is NO HELP IT is total pain – no women groups or anything else is going to help me. Counseling or any group stuff – forget it. My grief is my testimony for the blessed life that was.

  • KLMN

    Oh Debby, I share your turmoil and being overwhelmed. I don’t know that I can offer any suggestions to you other than to tell you to take it a step at a time, asking God to direct your steps. This is a misery loves company approach to tell you I also have a FULL shop to clean out. I’m paying someone to do my big yard. And there are so many days when I just feel like selling everything but things I need.

    Do you have children that can help you? Perhaps they could help you in figuring out how to dispense it all. My three try to help when they can but they’re all busy young adults with their own families. So it ultimately comes back to just me. My son has been especially helpful in sorting things. The kids have taken some things they can use, and we’re going to try to sell some things, on sales lists and yard sales. Ugh. We thought about having an auction but I find them very depressing if it’s stuff that belonged to someone you’ve loved. I’d rather not do that.

    I do completely understand now why a widow hires an auctioneer to come in and sell ALL of the stuff. I want a fresh start too, because my old life is GONE. My life will never be the same one that I loved so much. My wonderful 63 year old husband passed away from pancreatic cancer on July 4th, 2016. He was gone in 3 and half months. We had 44 wonderful years together and I don’t even know how to live now. It’s a moment at a time with God’s help. Indescribable pain that no one knows until they’ve felt it.

    I pray that you and I will be able to clear out things and start a new life with a future that holds some kind of joy and happiness that we can’t possibly see right now. I do believe God wants to give us a hope and a future that only He can give. He gives and He takes away. We don’t understand it at all but we can trust Him. There is no other one to put our trust in. May we feel His peace as we clear out things a step at a time.

    Do one step at a time. If I can organize my steps, it’s like eating an elephant a bite at a time I guess.

  • Debby

    Your website may be just what I was looking for. My DH of 41 years passed unexpectedly in March 2015 while we were out of state, traveling on business. I’ve had a lot of emotional turmoil to deal with this past year in addition to his death, so most days, I feel kind of numb & overwhelmed, trying to get things done through a sort of brain fog. Our home sits on 3 acres, and he always took care of everything outside. I’ve attempted to go through things in his shop and garage to figure out what to do with them, but I get so overwhelmed & tearful, I can’t face it, & just come back inside & try to pull myself together. I want to sell and move to something smaller, but I can’t move until I clear things out. I have no idea how I’m going to do it and feel trapped. Any suggestions for baby steps on this?

  • Jean

    I met my husband in September 1977, he was a freshman,I was a sophomore in college. We dated on and off through most of our 20’s decade, finally marrying in October 88. We made it through fertility issues (never having children), family issues impacting our current lives to spend 29 years as a married couple. We began to look for our dream retirement home a year before my husband was to retire (I had already retired). We found exactly what we wanted very quickly. It was our retirement home on the hill with a mountain view. Now we waited for his retirement. After 4 months being on the hill and 3 months before his retirement, one night we went to bed, I woke at 4:30 to go to the bathroom. Upon returning to the bed, I did what became my usual, listened to make sure he was breathing. Within a couple of minutes I heard an awful noise and a gurgle. I attempted to wake him, turned on the light and saw he was not breathing. I called 911, started chest compressions, EMTs arrived. He spent 4 days in the hospital in an attempt to regain brain function, to no avail. In the end I was told they ruled out heart attack and pulmonary embolism. It appeared he suffered a severe sleep apnea event which caused his breathing to stop and his heart to stop. I was devastated, I used a CPap for 4 years and had been asking him to have a sleep test. He insisted if he made sure he raised his head with pillows, he was fine. I always thought I would be the first to go and definitely not in my 50’s. I found out a month and a half later I needed brain surgery for a cerebral spinal fluid leak out my ear. How could I get through this without him? I was lucky that I had an amazing group of friends and family that supported me throughout. It has now been 6 months since his death and after my surgery I began to feel a sense of peace about his passing. I knew he was with me throughout that time and I think he may have been helping find that sense of peace but then I started missing his company and companionship.
    A couple of weeks ago I ran into a guy I knew and hung out with a little during my 20’s when our relationship was up and down. We never dated but we enjoyed each others company and conversations. I had not seen him in over 30 years. I can’t help but think my husband arranged this chance meeting. We talked for a little while and I felt that connection again. He told me he might stop up at the house sometime because he spent a lot of time in the area I am in when he was a child. I told him about my loss and he told me he had gone through multiple open heart surgeries. I gave him my address and told him I hoped he would.

  • Deborah Park

    My heart goes out to you sweet widows. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my precious Love Pumpkin 7 years 1 month and 15 days ago. We were high school sweethearts. Married at 16 and was blessed to be in love for 40 years. My Stanton was my everything, my life. Like your sweethearts, he was very special. He was courageous. He gave all he had up to the time he passed in my arms. We have three amazing daughters. They loved him and he loved them with all his heart. I can tell you that the pain you are feeling, does ease with time. For me, there are times that the heartache hits so hard, it brings me to my knees. But, not as often as the beginning, but when you least expect it..the grief monster hits without warning. 2 1/2 years after Stan’s passing my family encouraged me to start dating. To find a companion to go to movies, dinners etc. Well, 4 1/2 years later I finally told him it was over. I think I cared for him, but I realized that I wasn’t happy and my life wasn’t fulfilled with him in it. My Love Pumpkin has been with me always. I finally listened. So, I find myself alone. I believe I wasn’t ready to step out. I hadn’t healed my heart, mind and body. So, I’m starting at the beginning again. I never really figured out who I am now that 1/2 of me is gone. Like what your soul mates wished for you, my Stanton would want me to embrace life and live it with excitement, fun and lots of laughter. It is truly a journey we are all on. The feeling of wanting to die, believing you will never be happy. I will tell you..those feelings of despair will pass. You will wake up one day and smile. You will laugh again with your family and friends. Your memories will make you happy. The sun will be bright and the flowers will be beautiful again. Your loves are watching over you. We are all so blessed to have such loving guardian Angels. I pray God blesses you and gives you strength and peace.

    • Sue Wright

      Just read your article, am nearly four years down this road and still have such hard days. Know I need to find myself, l think it’s the only way I will find peace and hopefully some joy. Sending love.

  • Ann

    All of us on this site share your pain and heartache..like you I am also far away from family and friends..I am fortunate in working full time which I now think of as a ‘distraction..yes, people do think we are all ‘moving on’…its a very lonely path which no one can understand unless they have lost their soul mate..it has now been 7 months..14 days and 13 hours since my gorgeous man passed away…it seems to hurt more the longer he is gone.if I were to die in my sleep I wouldnt care..people around me say I have done really well..indicating its in the past and yet it is present with me every day. BIG GROUP HUG FOR US ALL…our men would want us to be happy..Im glad my man hasnt had to go thro what I am going through…we all have the conversation with our mates ‘I hope I go before you’ and laugh about it….not so funny now methinks….

  • helene

    My gentle husband of 50 years passed this year 1/19/2017 I do not know what to do I miss him every day the house is empty I do not cook anymore I feel tired I cannot sleep how does one go thru with this? I think he is coming back but I know he is not I talk to him everyday and tell him I love him he was my soulmate we were kids when we got married I thought that we would grow old together .he had asthma and copd he didn’t look good day after christmas I took him to the hospital and he just got worse he was happy the day before he died I cannot believe what happened the kids were all there when my love passed I need to know how to stop grieving how to live how to find energy

  • DEBRA RAKAR

    Hello,

    My husband of 10 years passed away in March 2017. We were married at 50 yrs old and he was my first husband.

    It took me so long to find my soulmate and I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with him. He died just as we were planning to retire at the end of this year. His health was declining for the past year and a half. But I thought we’d have at least a few years in retirement together.

    I have no family in the city/state I live in. My family communicates via phone, email etc. They also visit when they can. But there is no one here I can see in person on a daily, weekly basis. I go out alone to dinner, movies, the park etc. Sometimes I have lunch with coworkers. None of it’s fulfilling and I just want my husband back.

    As I mentioned, I hope to retire at the end of this year in Florida. My husband and I wanted to go there. It’s always a place I have wanted to live. Very apprehensive about doing this alone. My sister and her husband may relocate nearby too – but nothing definite.

    I continue to work for now and live in my house alone. So many decisions to make on my own is frightening.

    As I said, I try to do things on the weekend alone and I’m very lonely. However, I have no energy to reach out to make new friends…….

    How can I make my life better without thinking of my husband all the time.

    • Charlene

      Hi, sorry for your loss. So many of your words sound like my life…….1st and only marriage at 39 when I married my best friend and soul mate. 25 1/2 yrs married and thought we would be together for many yrs yet. Routine blood work reveals there is something wrong with liver enzymes, 17 days later he is gone…….how do you prepare for losing your heart that quickly?? We were together 24/7 and we too moved to Lakeland, Fl. and all my family is out of state. Very hard to deal with it all especially with no support close. And most people feel you should be done grieving in a month………got news for them, I don’t know if you ever get done if you love someone deeply. Having to do things alone is terrible remembering how we did everything together. I live in a 55+ senior MHP and it’s nice to have people your own age around. I just hate coming in to an empty house. Just take your time and do what feels right for you. There is no rush. Hopefully time will make things better for all of us. My hubby died 7 wks. ago.

  • JoAnn

    This is a very good article and like so many I have read, It’s true in every way and meant to be a help but different then the real world I am living in. I have read so many book on this subject and none have helped more then a few minuets. I have tried everything I know of to meet new friends but nothing has helped. Either people in their 60’s have all the friends and family they need or they just don’t want me. I have found new widows are too new to want to open up, and older widows are already past me and have moved on.

    My husband passed almost 6 yrs ago, we were together 40 years, 24/7. I try to keep busy and find things to do but I don’t know how to move on. I work part time and have a pet, very few friends and not much family. I am just ticking off time. This is no way to live.

  • ANN

    Caroline..I can relate to everything you say.my way is to ‘walk alongside’ my sadness..KNOWING that my David would want me to ‘be happy again after I am gone’ his words..not mine.. and this is what I am striving to do…I have two dogs which give amazing comfort, love and just ‘being there’ fills the void which makes ‘my cup half full’ not ‘half empty’…all the very best once you take your first step of your new journey..your gorgeous man would hate you to be so sad..it would make him really unhappy..perhaps he is watching over you waiting for you to be happy again…Annx

  • ANN OSBORNE

    Charleen..I am so so very sorry for the loss of your mate..mine passed on 21 September 2016 and today is one of my lonely, sad days….always happens around the date he died..he was my rock and as I said to him ‘who will catch me when I fall when you’re not here’ his answer was ‘I will always be sitting on your shoulder’ but I can’t feel him…….yes..family and friends are there at the beginning but as you said they ‘go back to their lives’ and its as if we have been left behind….things do become easier over time but the one thing to do is if you feel like crying..do it…if you feel like hugging onto one of his favourite jackets etc., do it..let the tears flow..I have just finished writing letters to my David..I did this most nights in a journal while I looked at his photo…I have kept his message on my phone and often listen to it..I have kept a message on my phone in work which says ‘hi babe, its just me calling to see how your day is going..call me when you can’..when days are s..t I call him and tell him..of course when colleagues don’t hear me!!!!!! during our long chats when I was with him in hospital he made me promise that I wouldnt be sad for too long and that I would start a new life and be happy..mostly I try but today here I sit in my dressing gown with two puppies waiting for their walk..can’t be bothered..had a crawl-out-of-bed day…its been 7 months and most people say I have dealt with everything so well..no I havent..if they were to crawl inside my emotions they would be so shocked..on the positive..yes..it is becoming easier but I miss him so much…cant get used to a tidy house!!!! bless him…..I have no family and few friends outside of work..as they are interstate.the lonliness is devastating….I know I would be happier living closer to them..but I love where I live and to move from ‘our home’ would mean leaving all the ‘physical’ memories behind and I cant do this .. it would be leaving my life with David behind…..I still feel his energy here..sorry this is so long but needed to share my feelings with someone today and also I hope it helps you to know that there are a lot of very sad, lonely, heartbroken women who feel this awful thing called ‘grief’ feeling for you and wanting to give you a big hug and to say ‘be gentle on yourself’ BIG HUG Ann

  • Caroline

    My husband passed away 6 months ago after being diagnosed with terminal cancer in November of 2016. I am lost and I do not want to hang around with a bunch of widows who are all sad and want to compare stories nor do I want to meet people for coffee when ordinarily I would have never befriended them. People want to throw you a bone and they could care less how you feel and are just happy it is not them. I have children but they do not feel the pain I feel – their whole life is ahead of them. I don’t want to be with anyone – just rather deal with this sadness by myself. No one can say or do anything to change what has happened and it is adding pressure to force myself to become friends with people I am not interested in. I want my life back not some random boring friendships. We lost out and all I can picture is my husband in a wheelchair. He did not deserve that – no one does.

  • CHARLENE K MORRIS

    I am so glad I found this site for each one of you have suffered the devastating loss of a spouse, and that’s what I feel…devastated!! I lost my husband, soul mate, and best friend on March 11, 2017 just 17 days after he was told thru routine testing that his liver was full of tumors. I never had time to even wrap my head around the fact that he was really sick, much less going to die…he was just never sick, tired and not eating as much as usual and nausea on occasion was all. When they sent him home with hospice, I had to face the reality that this was going to happen. And when he passed at 2:38 am I was holding his hand as he left me. We were married 25 1/2 yrs, but not nearly as long as I always thought we would be together. I had always wanted us to go together…why was I left behind to suffer? I’ve never felt so all alone in my life and I don’t even know how to go on with each day. The raw grief is eating me alive. People were there for me in the beginning, but now they have gone on with their lives and I have no life left….every thing has changed and the hurt is so bad I can hardly stand it. I just pray all the time that God will take me home also as I had asked. My family all live out of state and they want me to come there, but this is the home my husband and I made together and I would still have to face the empty house all over again when I came back……the empty house is a killer for me!!! Thanks everyone for listening and sharing our mutual grief!!

    • Barbara Hall

      I am so glad I found this site. My husband died suddenly 1/31/17. In the beginning friends and family were around and now they all have returned to their unchanged lives and I have never felt so alone and empty. My husband was my rock and my # 1 supporter and confidant. Who do I turn to now for support and courage to go on each day alone.

    • Jackie

      Charlene I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my precious husband on March 2nd. After two months it still does not seem real. How could he be gone? I understand so much of what you said.,.your thoughts mirror those of many who have gone befor you. We found out Steve had Cancer last August but up until January we thought we were headed for a cure. Instead they discovered during surgery the disease had spread so it was stopped and we were sent home with no hope. In less than two months he was gone. I am still in shock I think. Maybe that’s why it just doesn’t feel real some days. It is by far the most difficult thing I have ever known. We would have been married 24 years in June. We had so many plans….I miss him and I too simply want him back.

  • Jean Edwards

    My husband and I moved back to our hometown 2 years ago. We moved into a 3 room condo to take care of his 93 year old mother. My husband died suddenly 4 months ago. Guess who’s left to take care of mom? I love her. She has all her mental faculties and can take care of her bodily needs. She’s 95 now and slowing down. I have to plan all the meals, go to the grocery, etc. She does have another son who lives close by. He and his wife were glad when my husband and I moved here so they didn’t have the chore of watching out for her. I feel a strong moral obligation to take care of her. She is not as lonely and she loves my dog. I feel I can’t go anywhere without making sure she’s taken care of. I do have a daughter in town but she is busy with her own family. I have no friends. We weren’t here long enough to make any because my husband was so sick most of the time. My other daughter is back where we came from. I have friends there. I would love to move back but what do I do with mom? I do believe this woman will outlive me. There’s nothing wrong with her physically or mentally. I feel profoundly lonely and alone. I go thru the motions every day of trying to provide mom with entertainment. She reads voratiously but her eye are starting to give her problems. Help me. Where do I find support groups on the web?

  • Kay

    hello…..my husband Noel passed away 31/2 years ago….we met later in life…we were both divorced and had adult families of our own…..we were together for only 7 years…..the best and most beautiful years of my life….i have a beautiful family…..extended with grandbabies…..i am blessed and grateful
    Sadness is a given for me…..broken hearted as i feel the Good Lord sent me an angel and then took my Noel away….he was the most beautiful human being i have ever met in my life…..we loved and lived with the joy and felt blessed everyday we were together….he had cancer and it took him …..i cry all the time…..i cannot get passed my grief……i loved him so much and cannot find peace

    • VALERIE VALLORANI

      Hi Kay
      Sorry about your loss. I know what you are going thru since I lost my husband two years ago and still cannot get used to it. We did everything together and now I feel so alone. I wish we can open an in person group so we can talk to each other.

  • Mary

    I too lost my wonderful husband suddenly 7 weeks ago. I feel lost and untethered though I have a strong support system. I have adult kids who are great and good friends. I have a job that provides distraction. I atteId a grief group. But like many of you, I feel so alone. I am trying to just go one day, sometimes one hour at a time. I feel grateful that I was loved so purely and completely. Still, I see myself in a dark tunnel. I know that I won’t ever be the same again, and I try not to think about who I will be now. People don’t know what to say; there were lots of people surrounding me at first, now I feel like when I am asked, “How are you doing?” that I am supposed to say, “I am ok.” But I am not. I feel like I will never be ok again. Losing a spouse is a unique beast, and it’s nice to know that there are others who really understand.

  • Antoinette

    It’s been 2 year 6 mos since my husband died of pancreatic cancer I was going through Chemo for Breast Caner when he was diagnosed I was so overwhelmed I could not help him at all he had help me for mos after I was release from the hospital and then through my chemo

  • Debbie

    I happened on this article by chance…I lost my soulmate, my best friend, my archor, my everything suddenly. He wasn’t feeling well and we thought it was the flu. I came home at lunch on THAT day to find he had passed away. I didn’t get the chance to tell him that I love him or to tell him goodbye and I should have been with him – I feel like a FAILURE. That was 2 months ago. I have been in a complete fog since that day. We had been married for almost 25 years. I feel so alone……my husband and I didn’t have any children of our own – I do have a grown stepson, but he has his own family to take care of. Everyone has their own families and lives and when they do ask if I want to do something, I feel like a third wheel. No one calls anymore….it’s as if no one cares. I feel so alone – I have no one that I can just talk to and tell them what I am feeling/how I am feeling. I just keep it bottled up inside of me. I just don’t know how to continue on without him. Please someone tell me it will get better, because my days are so dark without him. I pull myself out of bed everyday to go to work (which is a small distraction), but then I come home and just think……..and cry……and cry more…..and continue to cry. I don’t understand why he was taken from me……we never argued, we loved each others company and were looking forward to retirement when we could spend everyday together. Now, I don’t look forward to anything………….thank you for listening and letting me get this out.

    • Anita

      Your pain is so fresh and raw . I remember those days. My hubby of 42 years had been dealing with Diabetes, High BP and had developed Renal disease a year before he died in his sleep in July 2015. I kind of knew he would pass in the next few years because of what his doctors had said but we thought he would at least be able to get to dialysis and possibly a kidney transplant. But he died the way he wanted to. Peacefully in his sleep. It was still a shock and I was angry at God and the doctors and myself for not doing or knowing enough to save him. I had to deal with that anger and ask God for forgiveness and forgive myself. That was my turning point in my grief.

    • Robin

      Debbie
      I am so sorry for your loss. I do understand what you are going through. I lost my husband only 5 weeks ago suddenly. We were together for 34 years and also were going to retire this year and we’re so looking forward to it. It was just him and I. We didn’t have any children. He also took care of all the finances, which really put me over the edge. I still have alot to do and learn. I just started back to work and it’s really hard coming back to a empty house. I have been lucky with a sister who has been my rock. What I do now is text people who were in contact with me. Sometimes I think people feel like they are bothering you by calling all the time. I try to explain that by getting in touch with me they are taking my mind off things and that I really appreciate them doing so. Maybe try meetup. This has been suggested a few times in the writings of others in the same place we are. A way to get out and do things. I’m not yet ready to take that step but am keeping it in the back of my mind. And most of all I hope we are able to get used to this new life we have been given. Good luck to you. I really hope I helped, but I don’t think I did. Keep in touch. This is a great place to let it all out

    • Rose Brittain

      The first six months are the hardest. You will heal and get stronger. Keep reaching out here, it will do you good. I did not have a good support system either but I kept at it one day at a time. I did the reaching out and it helped.

    • Lorraine Murray

      My heart goes out to you, Debbie. It’s only been two months for you, so the wound is new — and your grief, your feelings, everything you are going through –are all normal. Let yourself cry — and over time, I assure you, you will cry less. But you must be patient with yourself. This is a long journey, and many have taken it before you — and are taking it alongside you. I lost my husband from a sudden heart attack 19 months ago. Like you, I berated myself for not being there with him. But keep in mind that you didn’t know ahead of time that he would die. You have nothing to berate yourself for. Be kind to yourself, and remember that he would want you to go on. He would want you to find moments of joy each day. Not big happy times — but simple moments — a bird singing, a lovely sky, a good cup of coffee. Let me assure you that the darkness does lift — you will never, ever forget him or “be over” him, but you will manage the pain — and cherish the memories. I found it helpful to see a grief counselor — someone I could truly express my feelings with. Maybe this would help you too.

    • Cathy

      I am here to tell you, do not feel alone in your emotions. I too lost my husband of 27 years. Went thru everything you are describing, a dark time…it’s been 3 years. I won’t go into detail because it’s just too much, and I’m not gonna fairytale you into imagining this is an easy journey. It’s hard, it’s emotional & it sucks. But the life I had is gone. The anxiety & turmoil, overwhelmed me. I never in my wildest dreams imagined losing my husband & I’ve spent many a night wishing different. But the future comes no matter what, & facing it, our only option. I’ve made the best with what I was given. Meditated to keep my sanity. Let go of anyone who couldn’t be supportive & I keep going. One day at a time. Those “friends” that don’t call, let them go. They can’t deal with what’s happening. Reality – all relationships end. That truth freed me. Find comfort in what you had. That you were a good wife & were true to your vows. Wishing & hoping different will only fuel your anxiety of life without him, keeping you an emotional wreck. I wish you all the best.

    • Tammy

      Debbie: You’re not a failure. And unfortunately, you’re not the only one whose love passed suddenly and alone. My husband and I both thought he had stomach flu one Sunday. I left to run errands in preparation for a business trip that week. He’d been losing weight and having an odd taste in his mouth, but didn’t feel compelled to go to the doctor, and I didn’t nag him to go. When I got home from running errands, he was in bed asleep, so I didn’t try to wake him. I left and ran more errands. When I returned that time, he was dead. The coroner just put down “heart attack,” and while I now realize my sweetheart was showing early symptoms of a heart attack that day, I think something else caused him to bleed out and have that heart attack. But with no autopsy, I’ll never really know why he died, and I have to carry the regret of not being with him when he passed. But I don’t know if getting him to a hospital that day would have saved him. And you don’t know whether being with your husband the day he died would have mean a different outcome. I’m so sorry that you feel so alone. We didn’t have children either, but I’m not sure that would have helped my loneliness. Unfortunately, only another widow or widower can really understand how tough it is too lose your mate. It is agony! And the fog you’re in is meant to help ease your heartache. As you get stronger, you’ll come out of the fog. Please find someone to talk with – a counselor, grief support group, neighbors, anyone. Another widow will be your best bet, though not all widows grieve in the same way. Blessings to you.

      • Ellen

        I too lost my husband suddenly. He went for a long bike ride in the morning and never returned home. He passed away from Sudden Cardiac Death caused by Coronary Attery Disease.
        He passed 9 years ago at 54. I decided to retire at 53. Haha, not the wisest decision. Now, I’m paying the price (pun intended). I’ve never gone to Grief counseling or a support group. I stumbled upon this article while being on Facebook.
        3 years ago I was diagnosed with Valley Fever. While in the hospital my mammogram showed breast cancer. I recently reached out to cancer support, but after reading these posts, I think Grief Counseling maybe the way to go.

    • Debbie M

      Debbie, my name is Debbie as well and My Love passed away 3 months ago while on holidays visiting his 93 old mum in U.K. I said bye at the airport and spoke to My Love three or four times after he arrived THEN he was gone, taken his time so they say. I also wasn’t there for the man that taught me how to live, love and give love. We always traveled together THIS time I didn’t go how different things would have been if I were there to call Ambos. The emptiness, the whole in my heart, the anger, the unanswered questions I have makes my grief feel like The pain will never go because My Love is not here to make it go wary, His sense of humour in difficult times made things seem so trivial, I wish he could again. But I believe that his sole or sprit is what I fell in Love with and that is what I will continue to call on and I will not let that Go. We are not alone.

    • helen

      i also lost my husband suddenly 6 month ago,he was a strong healthy giant of a man aged just 44,i am 52 and he was my world,he wasn’t ill or old,we had been together 18 years married for 13, we did everything as a couple ,all decisions were made between us,everyday since the day we got together he told me he loved me,every weekend i got flowers,we cuddled.held hands when we went out,we never fell out we were perfect for each other,we went to bed one saturday night last october as normal but my husband never woke up he suddenly passed away in the early hours while i slept at his side,the coroner said he had a heart condition we never knew about,my feelings are all over the place,i feel confused,one minute im going about my day and it doesn’t seem real the next minute im in floods of tears, i just can’t get my head round the fact he wont be coming home again,i miss him so much ,i walk around our home and everything is just the same,waking up that sunday morning was like being in a nightmare and if wasn’t for the fact that our young granddaughter lives with us i don’t know where i would be now,she keeps me going and keeps me strong ,i know because of her i have to get up every morning and keep living

      • Debbie

        Hellen there would be so many questions going through your head as there are with myself. What the greif counsellor asked me if I knew the answers would it make it easier, the answer to that is NO there is nothing that can take away the emptiness, loneliness Or numb heartache. After reading all the post on this site I can’t believe there are so many beautiful loving men that are gone. Maybe there is a plant that has all our loving men on it looking down taking care of us and with this thought makes us a stronger entity if they are all together We are all together. Take care Helen and here is a big hug.

    • Ellen

      Debbie, your e-mail hit home. For me. First, I am so sorry to hear about your husband. My husband went bike riding in the morning with his bike group and never returned. That was 9 years ago January 13, 2008. I don’t believe we do ever get over it. I have friends that I’ve known since 2nd grade, but everyone is still married and a Couple. Sometimes when I’m on Facebook and couples are traveling and eating here and there, I could just screen.
      “Yeah, happy for you, that was supposed to be my life too.”
      I contracted Valley Fever and Breast Cancer 3 years ago and have neglected my financial obligations. Got a wake up call when the Tax Collector said they could take my house. So much easier to get bills and throw them in a drawer. Out of sight, out of mind.
      I definitely feel your pain. Life Bites.
      I happened upon this site this morning, and I do find comfort in reading about other Widows.

    • Ryna

      Hi Debbie, I came across this website by chance, because I felt lonely and needed to find something somewhere to keep going… So, the first time in my life I decided to write back to someone who I don’t know…
      I really feel for you. I don’t think two months after I found this post, it can make any difference to you. Unexpected loss is unbearable. It’s the most tragic and traumatic … I didn’t go through what you are going but I can understand… It’s an ocean of loneliness, …
      In a way, you are luckier than me, because you had your soulmate. But the loneliness has no difference, believe me, it’s devastating because we all need this soul we can rest our problems on, share and feel there is someone we can rely on, have this support and response to anything that bothers us. We always need this loving hand, this shoulder …
      Believe me, the pain is always there…
      Let me tell you something… I am sure he is watching over you and he knows all that wasn’t said. Your thoughts reached him, and even he can’t respond but in a way, you can get some feedback. It’s never sharp, like a presence but it might come to you as a calming thought or some reminder on what you both shared. Something will always come across, you just need to notice it.
      We all are connected, we just don’t see it. And he wants you to lessen this pain because love is much more than just a feeling. You are still connected, but the pain of the separation is more on your side, as he left first.
      All will be ok. Believe me, all will be ok. Just keep going and the pain will let you go – only when you are ready. Be gentle to yourself. Four seasons will change and all it will grow into a beautiful memory. The pain will go the last.. And what you need to keep is a beautiful memory…. until you see him again. Time will come when you let the pain go, but you will never let go this love. It will always be there … And when you allow yourself, try to be happy for what you had. And it’s always there, in your heart.
      It’s not your fault what happened, it meant to be… We don’t govern this universe, but we never should forget that each tiny particle in this universe, each feeling is connected.
      And you will always feel this love, it’s always there. Just feel it. I am sure he didn’t want you to be frustrated, to be sad or unhappy. Find a small thing, then another to hold to it and take your time.
      Don’t worry, keep going. Be gentle to yourself. All will be ok.

      • ANN

        I was crying my way through the end of the Movies ‘Me before You’ and it is so close tomthe way my gorgeous man passed…then I got this writing in my email box..the tears flowed as I read your words of understanding and reassurance..kt has now been 7 months 9 days and 10 hours..I try to console my heart by thinking I had 25 years of being loved and loving..some people NEVER have this in their lifetime..there will never be another..I will not settle for ‘second best’ I know there will never be another man who will accept me for who I am without ever criticizing, judging or trying to change me in any way..he said he would always be on my shoulder..why then can’t FEEL him..I keep thinking, as others of us do, that my life is over.I have no future to look forward to..if it wasnt for my pets I wouldnt be here!!!! ..sorry this is such a downer but I know each one of us will understand thks place I now find myself at…….thinking of you all x

      • Debbie

        Ryan thank you for your wise words, your final words all will be ok is what My Love would say and I do believe it will be. I can feel his presents most days but when I don’t it feels extrem. I have try to be mindful in looking, listening or feeling those special moments and when I do I stop and hold onto the comfort it brings me. My sister said that on those day I can’t feel My Love remember those signs that he send me, he is most likely visiting his mum to send her some of those signs that he with us.

  • ANN OSBORNE

    I read many stories of people like myself who have lost their ‘dearly beloved’ I lost my David 6 months ago on 21 September..he asked me to promise him I would be happy after a while and start a new life..in honour of him I am starting a new life and gradually becoming happy again..I hit the ‘waves’ but I surf them and wait for the ‘ripples’ ..our partners would not want us to be unhappy…so think of them..their smile..their eyes as they look at you, feel the warm glow in your heart and be kind to your heart..it needs to be nurtured…remember them with love not sadness..Annxx

  • Debra

    Hi I have been reading comments about starting over when your husband dies…3 yrs and I’m still a mess..I have no family close most do the talk to me because they think I should have reinvented myself…I can’t even fake life most days…he took a medication had a severe side effect was so desperately sick we went to hospital after hospital…for 2 years I watched him die…I feel like I will always feel broken…people get mad at me because I don’t act like I use to how can you I’m not that person anymore…my daughter says my house is not clean anymore…and I’m not fun…I moved to another state to be by her..but came back home alone she thought I should just do things I had always wanted to in the past…but she can’t understand the I no longer see things the same …my mornings are the worst and middle of the night …I would gladly stay up all night like I did for 2 years if I could just have him back

    • VAlerie

      Hi Debra
      Nobody understands how we feel unless you went thru it and even than everybody reacts differently. I lost my husband almost 3 yrs ago and still not used to it. I’m alone and a lot of things to do. I dont do the things I used to do anymore. My question is Why do I need to do this for who? Hope things will change. I will pray for both of us.

      • Charlotte

        This is me . Lost the love of my life a little over three years ago. Nothing has been the same. My family thinks I should be over it. I don’t do things like I used to do. Feel like there is no reason to . I want to be happy again but can’t find a way .

  • Ann

    Hi Laurie
    My husband died nearly 6 months ago..over this period I have had to sell his business….his equipment….battle with phone cos and I was not involved in the business as I work full time..he was a one man business…..I did heaps of stuff around the exterior of the house and inside to keep my mind ‘occupied’..I see a Grief Counsellor when the need arises who asked me why I didn’t cry while with her..well..guess what..I received his Credit Card statement which said two simple words ‘Account closed’ it sent me into a place of ‘grief’ I hadnt been before…..I went to my GP and when asked how I actually felt I said ’empty’..finally it hit me….now is MY TIME to be WITH ME and, FINALLY.let the tears flow without distracting my mind from the reality that he has gone!!!!!!!! I am off work until Monday which is causing delays affecting others but for once in my life it is time to put me first……to all of us who have lost the love of our life..know this..we all know how it is and nothing anyone can say or do can reduce our feelings of ‘abandonment’ they care and do the best they can..but the only person who can truly support us is OURSELVES…big hug to everyone..its one foot forward and six backwards but I guess in time we will walk forward with four feet….our life partner walking right alongside us to be there to talk to, write letters to, and continue to live with the strength and happiness he would want us to….x

  • Bonnie

    It will be 2 years March 9th that I lost my loving sweet husband to a sudden heart attack. He was only 58 years old and we had been married 38 years. He was my soulmate, my rock, my everything. He treated me like a queen. A part of me went with him that day, I just can’t seem to move on as I feel I have no purpose or zest for life. I just go through the motions everyday for my son, who is also devastated by his father’s death. I occasionally do things with a good friend I have had for years, but she is married and has her own life to live. My sisters act as though I have the plague, they stopped calling or associating after my husband’s funeral. It can be so lonely at times.

    I have always supported relatives in their time of need but now when I need someone to lean on no one seems to care, even just a phone call to see how I’m doing would be nice.

    I try to force myself to go out and run necessary errands, but mostly stay home. I have relived that horrible day a million times and try to understand why. They say time helps to ease the pain but right now I can’t believe it’s true.

    Thank you for letting me share.

    My son is single but acts as though he is responsible for me now, he is still a young man 36 and I want him to live his life and dreams of his own.

  • Kathy garry

    Six months ago my beautiful man whom I had been with for about 35 years, fit and healthy died suddenly, no warning nothing. He died as I cried holding his hand going to the hospital in the ambulance with him reassuring me until he no longer said anything else to me, I knew he was gone. Within two hours my life changed forever, my world died, my heart shattered into pieces. Only a few weeks before he was saying that at 65 and me 62 that we must have a lottery on health, never ill. Then he has a massive heart attack and leaves me alone, for the first time I had no strong arms holding me telling me how much he loved me. I had known him since I was 17 so all my adult life really. He had been my life, my soulmate. Did he know how much everyone adored him, miss him, I cry for everything he is missing, I try to carry on in my life to make him proud but it seems to be getting harder. I am a very strong individual, lots of family, friends around me, I work and my team are brilliant, but they are not my true love. I know I shall survive without him, I am not alone, but I was not ready for this and neither was he. Not having the chance to take the enormity or seriousness of that fateful last trip to say how much I loved being his soulmate will hurt for sometime to come, I know he knew this, but so sad. I can still laugh, have a good time with friends and family, but when you close the door he is not there anymore, I am alone. I thought at my age, even although I still feel young, I thought grief would not hit as hard, but I was so wrong. Reading the rest of these comments do make you feel not alone and not going bonkers with grief, we all hurt at some point going through our lifes journey.

  • Jude

    I have just come upon this site and found fellowship with all you people who belong to the club we never expected to sign up to. My husband collapsed seven months ago at three in the morning in our bedroom. He never regained consciousness and died a week later six weeks before our ruby wedding anniversary.
    I have cried very little. Most of the time I just carry on as before. Everything is just the same. Jim went out to work very early in the morning and I always got up and went to work on my own. I go through the motions of every day living like an automaton. But everything is different. I will think – Oh Jim would be interested in that and then have to remember that I cannot tell him and I will suddenly feel almost overwhelmed.
    The question I dread is when they ask for your next of kin.
    Like other people I worry about the day when my grief suddenly takes over. At the moment I feel as though I am keeping it in control. No-one wants you to be sad do they? I have spent my life pleasing other people. When I am asked how I am I always say fine and change the subject. But I am not really functioning. I should be working now not sitting typing this.
    Thank you all for sharing your experiences and feelings.

    • Jan

      Jude – I feel for you and echo everything you say. I am normally level headed and have always been a coper, but I find I am obsessing over certain things – why did he seem so healthy, and why did doctors not pick up on the fact that he had a heart problem when ECGs had shown LBBB? Some years ago he was in A&E for a completely unrelated problem and we were held back whilst a cardiologist looked at some results as he was “concerned”, but he was then discharged without any further information and no follow up. Would it have been different if someone had been there, could they have saved him? Did he know what was happening? Was he in pain? (the coroner said not – said they can tell by the expression). Did he feel ill that morning and not tell me as he didn’t want to worry me? The most frustrating thing is that I will never be able to set my mind at rest by getting any answers and it just goes round and round in my head. Friends and family don’t want to listen and tell me to forget it! Sorry – rant over – I guess this is how my form of grief manifests itself instead of tears etc!!

      • Teresa Sewell

        Hello Jan: I am Teresa I am from Alabama, my husband died on 7/27/16 of cardiac arrest he was only 57 years old. He had been diagnosed with intermediate prostate cancer in March 2016 we decided to do external beam radiation therapy as treatment because my father had also been diagnosed with prostate cancer 2 years earlier and he just breezed through the treatments with no problems at age 80 I told the radiologist that I was concerned about my husband getting the radiation treatments because he had had a total knee replacement and 2 total hip replacements and he assured me that the beams could be aimed around the implants it was to be an 8 week treatment plan given Mon-Fri of each week my husband did fine with the treatments up until week 4 then he began experiencing shortness of breath an extreme fatigue which we told this to the radiologist and he said it was due to the very hot weather we were having so we continued with the treatments each week the shortness of breath got worse along with the fatigue but the doctor still insisted it was the weather we continued with the treatments until the 8 weeks were up my husband was still having shortness of breath and fatigue at the end of the 8th week we were told to go home and wait for 1 month (my husband was still having shortness of breath) at the end of that month we were to come back to the office and have blood work drawn and then to return a couple of days later to get the results of the blood work well we returned to the office on July 25th for the blood work to be drawn but sadly we will never know if the radiation worked or not because my husband died on July 27th he was to get the results on July 28th when my husband did not show up to get his results the nurse called me and asked why he had missed the appointment while I was in the process of planning my husband’s funeral I told her he had a very good reason that he had died the day before it took the nurse 2 seconds to get my husband’s doctor on the phone he was totally shocked and surprised that my husband had died I really went off on him I told him that I guess it was not the hot weather after all, I told him that the ER doctor that pronounced my husband dead said a DVT had probably set up and a pulmonary embolism had caused my husband to go into cardiac arrest my husband never had any cardiac problems at all prior to receiving radiation treatments the radiologist denied he had any responsibility in my husband’s death I have spoken to my husband’s primary doctor and he said my husband’s death was entirely preventable with the proper diagnosis and treatment he could not believe no testing was done when my husband was complaining of shortness of breath because cancer can cause blood clots to form and all doctors are taught that in medical school he advised me to seek legal representation which I did and we are currently waiting to see if we have enough to have a malpractice suit. I am still trying to adjust to life without my husband we had been married for 25 years it has left me confused as to why God would take away such a good man who would give anyone the shirt off his back if they needed it and allow people to stay here that abuse children, murder people, etc. I just don’t understand.

  • Jan

    I lost my husband suddenly eight months ago. We were married for 37 years, and he was my rock. Everybody loved him. He was older than me, but much fitter, and went on long walks several times a week, the last one the day before he died. He had no signs of being ill, but my son found him dead on the floor when he returned from work – he is still traumatised. I was at work and got a phone call to get home, but I knew he was dead. I cannot react. I have cried over the loss of friends, but not my husband – I cannot understand my lack of reaction. I went back to work straight after the funeral, and have carried on with life as normal so some people have asked what is “wrong” with me. I feel he is with me and walks beside me, and that is what keeps me going. I do miss holding hands, and the hugs. We did most things together. Knowing there were places he wished to travel to, and I didn’t sort out for him saddens me, but we did have some wonderful trips together. Now I still plan to travel, but don’t know how I will feel without him there. Some friends have been absolute stars and I don’t feel like a spare part when we all go out together. Life is too short as I have found out, so However long I have left I’m going to live it as I know that is what he would want me to do. I do wonder though when or if all the sadness will overwhelm me, and everything will come crashing down around me.

    • VALERIE VALLORANI

      I know what you are going thru Jan. I lost my husband after 47 yrs 2 yrs ago and still the sadness is still there. The only choice we have is to keep trying to move on which as you know is not easy. Will pray for you

      • Jan

        Thank you Valerie, and so sorry for your loss too. What amazes me is that after only 6 months some people have asked if I will be looking for a new man! Unbelievable. Yes, I am coping, or at least going through the motions, but I neither want nor need a “replacement! – who could possibly do that?!

  • VALERIE

    I lost my husband after 48 yrs 2 yrs ago and it does not get better. It seems to get worse. All my friends are married and I dont feel confortable going out with them since I fee like a third wheel. I tried different groups to meet new friends but so far nothing. When you get to a certain age its hard to find active people that like to do the things you like to do. I worked all my life and finally retired in April and my husband died in August. So as you can see I have nothing now. We did everything together. Any ideas where to meet new people for friendship? Thank you Val

    • Deborah

      Valerie, boy, do I know what your saying! My husband and I did everything together. He was a sweet, happy man who was truly my best friend. It was a sad revelation for me to discover that the second year after my husband’s death was actually worse than the first. I have learned from other’s experiences, that’s not at all unusual. It’s been 2 years and 2 months for me now. We were married 40 years.
      If you look at past posts, you will see that, recently, I was able to find a couple of groups to socialize with through a site called “Meetup”. They are an international organization with different groups that “meetup” for just about anything that might interest you. You might try looking online for “Meetup” and see if they are active in your area. I tried 2 or 3 meetups that weren’t a good fit for me, but there are so many groups with different interests that meet. After a little trial and error, I found 2 groups that I felt I had something in common with and the other members are in my age range, give or take maybe 10 years. I enjoy these meetups and look forward to them. A bit of a social life has helped to lift my spirits.
      Take heart, I believe things will get better with time. I’ll be thinking of you.

      • VALERIE VALLORANI

        thank you Deborah. I tried the meet up but from what I see they have must of the activities late at night which it’s hard since I dont like driving by myself at night and not it’s not close to me. I’m still looking for different group meetings but so far nothing. Hope something comes up soon.

    • Deborah

      Valerie Vallorani. I understand what you’re saying. In November I had a botched cataract surgery and cannot drive at night at all. I think it will eventually get straightened out, but in the meanwhile, I feel like I’m in prison after dark. Fortunately, I live in a big city and there are meetup groups pretty much all over and there are some very close to my home. Anyone can start a Meetup Group on their site. Maybe you could start one yourself and you decide the parameters. Where and when you meet. There may be other people in your area that wish there was something closer. If you aren’t working during the day, maybe you could start a lunch group or book club meetup. Just a thought, you know what you are interested in and if you even feel up to the task. I have to say, this site alone has been a godsend. It is a nice outlet to be able to talk with other people who “get it”. Good luck to you, I hope you find a good group or friend to connect with soon.

    • JoAnn

      Hi Valerie,
      I am so sorry for you loss. I am right here with you. Its been almost 6 years for me and still not much better. I do ok, and try to stay busy but like you it is so hard to meet friends. I have tried everything I know to do. Grief groups, Library groups, dating sites, checking the newspapers for any events. When I joined the gym I finally met a widow my age and wouldn’t you know it she moved away also. This has been my story, they all move or pass on.

      Have you been to grief share? I did meet a few women there but as usual, my friend moved far away. I get to see her once a year now. I’ve even tried widow pen pals and that lasts about 3 emails and its over! Do people not need friends these days, or is everyone afraid of new people? I go to a good size church and in the 2 years I’ve been there I’ve meet 2 couples, 1 couple has moved away the others are just a acquaintance. I never meet anyone, they all seem to be in their own little world. I get to thinking its me they don’t want to be around.

    • KLMN

      Valerie, I understand how you feel lost. I am continually thinking I need to return to working because I just can’t stand the loneliness here in this house. I retired from teaching two years before my husband got sick. We were looking forward to doing more things we wanted to do together. He had pancreatic cancer and was gone in 3 and a half months, passing away on July 4, 2016. It’s been 10 months of misery for me. I believe in our Sovereign God who knows what’s the best for me. However, I can’t see how this is the best for me at all, now. It’s not getting any better. It’s just getting harder to face this lonely future that looms ahead. I wish I could help all of the lonely widows, like myself. Only God knows how we feel. And sometimes, He seems distant, uncaring, and unloving. But, my faith tells me to still trust in Him each day. I try to count the blessings I still have and pray for a joyful future. The loneliness is miserable.

  • Robin

    it’s only been a 10 days since I’ve lost my husband of 34 years. It was a heart attack and I found him on the floor at 2 in the morning. The most unreal time of my life. It has only been him and me against the world. We have no children and didn’t really have any good friends. I wake up every morning shaky and with a big knot in my stomach. I feel so scared and alone. He was the one who took care of everything. We were going to retire at the end of the year and i have no idea what I’m suppose to do now. I really don’t know where to start. I don’t know much about how to handle my finances and all the other things this wonderful man helped me with. I sit in front of the TV now feeling paralyzed. I hoped that writing this will help. I don’t think it will, but I just needed to let this out.

    • Deborah

      Hi, Robin.
      I am so sorry you are going through this. I understand the pain and disbelief you must be feeling now. My husband of 40 years died very unexpectedly too. The only word to describe it is, horrible. It is horrible, and terrifying, to have the life you’ve known and the man you’ve loved for so long just disappear. It is horrible to suddenly have the life you’d planned, and looked forward to, pulled out from under you leaving you reeling and waiting to wake up from the nightmare you’re in. Ten days…you are probably still in shock, trying to absorb the reality that your dear husband is gone.
      I would say, for now, just make sure that you have money in the bank to pay your usual day to day bills like your house payment or rent, electricity, water, food any credit that you make monthly payments on. Just take care of the things you need for your day to day living. If you don’t have the funds to manage your basic bills, contact your creditors and talk with them, don’t just let things go and jeopardize losing your home or future security.
      Unless you have unusual circumstances that require immediate action, leave any big financial decisions for later when you have gotten your bearings.
      When you are ready, you may want the advice of a financial advisor since your husband usually took care of finances. Be sure to do your homework, don’t let just anybody get involved in your finances. You have been sent on a journey you didn’t want to take and it won’t be easy but it will, in time, get easier. I hope you will let us know how you are doing as time goes by.
      You will be in my thoughts and prayers, Robin. Be kind to yourself and take care of yourself.

      • Robin

        Deborah. Thank You for your words of wisdom. I have gone to the bank and got things settled there. I can’t believe all the things I still have to do. I am totally lost. I will be going to see an attorney next week to hope they can help guide me more into all the things I need to do. I feel like a child just learning how to go about this new life I have been forced into. I am hoping that upon waking one day I will not be jittery and confused. Thank You again for your words, thoughts and prayers.

    • Monica

      Dear Robin, I am so sorry to hear about your loss! I lost my husband July 11, 2015 .We were married almost 30years and he was only 69. He had been very ill for over a year, but I was still unprepared. I only have one son and he is just 24 and barely able to take care of himself.
      Since my husband was ill I had been mentally preparing for this, but is still difficult. I think my biggest issue besides missing him is being afraid of being alone and what I will do if I get sick or hurt,etc. The first thing I did was contact my Bank to help me be sure what I needed to get together. The only thing you need to do right away is contact Social Security and they will notify you what to do. I was fortunate in that the last year I took care of most of the finances,Dr. Bills, etc. But I as I told my son, if anything ever happens to me he needs to see the Bank Manager for help. None of this, of course helps the grief, but , at least for me, getting things in order made me feel more secure! I hope this may have been of some help. Please feel free to contact me if you need someone to talk to. I came on this site tonight because I was feeling lonely. I am doing some traveling now, but stay at home mostly.

      Good luck, Monica

      • Ron

        Monica, I’m a widower finding it hard for any support groups or anyone to travel with, please let me know if you might want to talk.

      • Robin

        Thank you Monica. I have done what you said and made it to the bank and paid some bills, but I still feel very insecure about all this. Today I tried to work from home as my boss is letting me. Didn’t go as well as I hoped but I will keep trying. I’ve been told I really should start going into work, but I just can’t seem to bring myself to do it. Maybe next week. My husband just turned 61 when he passed and I still can’t believe it. The nights are the hardest. Thanks again for your reply. Sharing here seems to help.

    • ANN OSBORNE

      Hi Robin..everyone of us grieves in our own way..I let my grief guide me..we have had many ‘pity parties’ together..we are all thinking of you and send you a huge group hug..there is strength in numbers and we all share each others pain..if you need something to love you and give you a reason to go on..you may already have a furry friend..if not..and when you feel you can..there are lots of sad lonely furries wishing they could find their furever home and someone to love them…be gentle on yourself..one step at a time

      • Robin

        Hi Ann. Yes I have been seriously thinking of getting an animal. I’m on my own, so I know it will help to have a little creature to take care of. Like you said on step at a time.

  • Ann Osborne

    My husband died 5 months ago and I KNOW he would want me to be happy..while he was in hospital he asked me to PROMISE that after he was gone I would learn to be happy without him..its hard but I made a promise that I would…….and I will..grief is the initial feeling of loss.the more difficult part is ‘taking your life back’ and we all need to do this to ‘honour our husbands’..I read many stories of wives..I hate the word ‘widow’ that is a spider not a woman who has lost her soul mate and best friend…there are so many sites out there trying to pair the opposite genders who have lost a partner..me? I will never settle for 2nd best….why hasnt anyone started something like ‘Women United’ organising events and dining out with EACH OTHER and sharing our stories and making each other happy..I am on my own..my family is interstate..I am ALONE not LONELY..that is an emotion..come on girls..no matter what age or how long you have been without your partner..time to smell the roses again and smile at the memory of your beautiful man..this is what he would want…hope whoever reads this feels a little window of hope…….here’s to a new life and the happiness your man would have wanted you to have..

    • Deborah

      Hi, Ann.
      I understand how you feel. It’s been a little over 2 years since my husband died. I recently joined a couple of “Meetup” groups. Meetup is not a dating site. There are groups that “meetup” for book clubs, live music, politics, meditation, dining. There is a meetup group for just about any interest. I have met many women who have also lost their husbands in these groups. I think a lot of us tried meetup because we were looking for a safe place to meet like minded people. My husband were pretty much joined at the hip, so it was scary stepping out on my own without him. I am in the U.S., but I think there are meetup groups internationally, so even if you are not in the U.S. there may be meetups near you. When you feel you are ready, just look up “Meet Up” online and see if there are meetups near you. Good luck.

      • ANN OSBORNE

        Hi Deborah..I am sad for us both and every womam who has lost her soulmate and every male who has lost his partner, be it male or female..I will check out to see if there are any MEET UP GROUPS in HOBART….I am fortunate in having two furry kids and a full time job..67 is simply a digit..all the very best and I hope your ‘new journey’ is going well and you ‘feel’ your gorgeous man encircling you..thank you for getting in touch…..

      • Ann

        Hi Deborah..Thanks heaps..I have found a meet up group in Tasmania..to anyone on this site from Hobart.check it out..there are 268 members thanks heaps Deborah from the US

      • Deborah

        Hi, Ann. I’m glad Meetup is in Hobart! Just an FYI, I tried 2 or 3 Meetup groups and they just didnt feel like a good fit for me. I continued to try out different groups and now I have joined 2 Meetup groups that I really enjoy and I have made some good new friends. So, if you go to a Meetup and you don’t feel comfortable, don’t give up, keep checking for other Meetups that interest you. It may take going to a few different Meetups before you find just the right one where you feel you really click with the rest of the group. If you are like me, you will wish your husband were going with you and feel like a fish out of water going out without him by your side. It feels strange to come home and my husband is not there to tell him all about my evening out. Over time, after a few get togethers, you will look forward to getting out, feel more confidence in going alone, and start enjoying your new friends. Good luck to you!

  • Roanne Menjou

    I am living with the loss of my husband. We were married 35 years, he was sick for the last 6 years. We took care of each other during this time. We knew he was a sick man, but nothing could prepare me for his death, last July. I want to know why I can’t cry.

    • Deborah

      Hi, Roanne. I am so sorry you are going through this. I always was sympathetic to anyone who’d lost a loved one, but since I experienced the the pain of my husband’s death, my heart breaks for anyone who has to bear the pain of the loss of their loved one. We all grieve differently. Even when death is expected, I don’t think there is any way to know how we will react until it actually happens. I would not attribute anything negative to the fact that you haven’t cried. I suspect that even though it was expected, you are still in a state of shock or disbelief. Unfortunately, as awful as it at the time our dear one dies, it takes time for the reality of it all to set in, and the tears may come later. Maybe, you will never cry over your husband’s death. That doesn’t mean you didn’t love him or that you don’t hurt and miss him. Don’t judge yourself. Show yourself the same kindness you would show a friend.

      • Roanne Menjou

        I am touched by your response, thank you. I think I am afraid that one day I will just break down. My days are like always, nights stretch on and on.

    • Jan

      Roxanne -so sorry to hear of your loss. I can’t cry either and I’m not sure if that is strange or not – for myself I feel I epwas so loved, and that will never leave me, so perhaps I feel I would be letting him down to grieve. Does that sound weird?! Shock often lasts longer than people realise, and one day you may find you just break down. Everyone is different so try not to worry too much about this, and don’t let anyone try to tell you how you “should” be reacting as there is no norm. If I want to “wallow” I listen to sad songs etc to find some “release”! Go with your feelings – there is no right or wrong way to behave in grief.

      • Roanne Menjou

        Thanks for writing to me. I am always the Pollyanna in the room. Everything is fine, I carry on. It’s not like a conscious thing I do. Sometimes I wonder if I have any feeling at all. I have family I love, and my perfect dog. But, I feel, numb . Hate this.

  • The Wander

    I’ve been reading on this blog for hours and I feel it all boils down to this, we all have experienced the same feelings after losing our husbands. It’s been 6 yrs since I lost my husband of 36 yrs. we were high school sweethearts and married right after graduation. We had a wonderful life together, he was a saint. We had two daughters and they worshiped their father. He was a friend to anyone and everyone. He was a very loved and admired man. He fell sick in his early forties with heart and kidney problems. He was a kidney transplant recipient and live for 11 yrs after the transplant. But the medication took a toll on his health. He had many many Heath problems and passed away 2011 from complications with MSRA after having his artificial hip of 14 yrs removed. No one can understand what it is to have a long and happy marriage, taking care of a sick spouse, then losing them to death. Being alone is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face and still cannot do it. I dated one man after 18 months of losing my husband and it was pure hell, he was an awful man. Then I moved out of my house of 35 yrs due to fininacial issues, moved in my my sister and mother, stayed there for 3 yrs then moved on with my daughter and 3 small granddaughters because she was having problems in her marriage and needed my help with the children. I still have not lived by myself since his death because I just couldn’t and didn’t want to do it.
    I feel so misplaced, a third wheel, like I’m being used. I want a life of freedom from pain, fear and loneliness. I have NO intrest in meeting someone. I’ve lost contact with most my friends except through the grossness of Internet. Hey, how are you, love you.
    It’s just because they all still have their spouses, their lives are going on the same. I’m a third wheel, no one wants to be a third wheel, so I spend my alone or taking care of grandkids and handing out money to my kids. The old me died the day he died. I too have thought of suicide, more times than one. He died at 54, I’m now 60. I have wandered my life away these last 6 yrs, lost into oblivion, no feelings at all, i am numb.
    I have felt and understand everything that I have read from the other widows on this blog and I agree with their conclusions, you never get over losing the one person in your life that was like a part of your soul, time does not heal, you are not living just existing, and if I died tomorrow it would be okay with me and everyone else.
    I am not a negative person, I am a for real widow.
    The wanderer

    • Ann

      I think this man who loved you soo much would be so sad that you feel this way..he would want you to continue on the new path of your life FOR HIM….IN HIS HONOUR FOR ALL THE YEARS HE WAS YOUR BEST FRIEND, LOVER, AND SOUL MATE..I hope this might give a different and better perspective in your life..imagine he is sitting on your shoulder waiting for you to be happy again…take care…look in the mirror and really see how special you are..bestest..ann

      • KLMN

        You probably meant well, but I think this is an insensitive response. She has tried to honor him in life and honors his memory now. But the desire to live now isn’t based on honoring him. Our husbands are gone. And I don’t believe they’re sitting on our shoulder or looking out for us. I believe their spirits are in their eternal place of abode. But we are left alone. Our will to go on living has to come from within us with God’s help. Our husbands or that love for them we felt isn’t going to motivate us to live now. The will to live, based upon honoring them, will wear thin. Our will to live now has to be based on our own will and inner strength. Mine is only there because of my faith in God to be with me in everything. Moment by moment. Sometimes my faith is so weak I feel I won’t survive. Other times I have glimmers of hope that God does desire to give me a future with hope that I don’t see right now.

  • Mary Ellen

    I just found this blog and I think it saved my life … With heartfelt gratitude for sharing your stories . I lost my husband three years ago , he died on my birthday … I jumped back into work etc . but this Christmas I fell apart , my two adult children are not close to me ,neither are my sisters . I got so achingly lonely I asked my sisters if I could move in with their families , they said no . I am fighting for my life and paralyzed with fear and anxiety . I have financial issues and have to move from my home soon . However just reading your stories I know I’m not alone . The affect of widowhood in this age of loneliness is very hard . I will continue to read your stories … they have provided me so much comfort and perhaps a willingness to fight for survival and address this painful loneliness . And thank you ladies for your stores

    • Sheila Ricks

      I became a widow at 48 unexpectedly. My husband had heart disease and cancer twice . The second time was coming up on the five year mark. He did four rounds of Chemo and the week before he died from a heart attack , it was confirmed he was in remission. The week he died was the week our daughter was to get married and so the day after the funeral our daughter had her wedding which she was going to cancel but I said no because he knew that you were getting married. This has been two years and five months ago. All the medical wiped out our finances and life has been so hard emotionally, mentally,physically and financially. Our family was blended with his kids and my daughters from a previous marriage but he raised them and called him dad. The relationship with his kids have diminished but my daughters have been my support. I realize that most of ya’ll are older but reading what has been posted definitely hit home . The loneliness and nights are the worst. People stop calling. The look you get when you say your a widow, lost friendships because others do not know what to say. The holidays meant for joy and you put on the I’m okay face on the outside but inside your heart is in shreds. Each happy occasion or moment causes me to feel that he is not here to share this with me and should be. I do not think anyone can understand the depth of grief when you lose your soulmate. The person that got you . I am trying to create a life but it is hard and it is different. Work and attending church is the most social thing I do besides keeping my grandson who is named after my late husband. Family and friends have their own lives and I do not want to burden them so I keep everything bottled up. I had knee surgery last week and it is hard not having him here to be my helpmate.

    • Debra

      Hi Valerie.. .. how I do understand what you say there are tons of things to do but no reasons…I think loneliness is the worst feeling I have ever had …everyone just continued as though nothing happened going on vacations planning many things…I tried to reach out but found out quickly…many people want to take advantage of your not being as confident or sure of things like I use to be…I will continue to get up and pretend I’m just fine…

  • Jan

    nothing and I mean nothing can fill that intimacy gap..Friends are friends activities are activities.you cant snuggle them in bed and whisper sweet nothings in their ears. at the end of the day you are alone on your own without that special irreplaceable someone who is yours.People gloss over this very important
    and obvious fact..and no one ever suggests that if you are able to if ready the possibilty of finding love again. Gosh people are thick very annoying !

    • Deborah

      Hi, Jan. I so agree with you. Even the enjoyment of activities I used to love is dulled because I don’t have a special someone to enjoy them with or even just tell them all about it. I am an independent woman, but I had a wonderful husband who was a true friend, lover and partner in life for 40 years, and I miss that kind of closeness and sharing. I would like to have someone to share life with again. It’s a different kind of loneliness. My husband was a jewel. I loved him and so did everyone else, because of that, I think my friends and family cannot imagine anyone else in my life. I’m not too sure they would be happy for me if I were to find love again. I don’t expect to ever have another David, but I do think it would be possible to have a caring, close relationship again. Of course, I have no idea how to go about finding that special someone 🤔 but, hopefully, I’ll figure that out.

  • Laurie Post author

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and stories here. My heart is always lifted and comforted when I hear from women who are starting over again after their husbands died.

    There is no easy way through grief, no way around it, no quick tips for “getting over it.” There is only living with it, feeling it, and not letting it crush our spirits.

    Here’s a beautiful passage from Grieving God’s Way: The Path to Lasting Hope and Healing by Margaret Brownley:

    Gardens mirrors the cycles of life. Birth, death, hope, love, faith, and God are all necessary for a successful garden. A gardener must be flexible; if we try to grow a garden exactly as envisioned it will never reach its full potential. Vines must wander on occasion, and trees must be allowed to bend to suit their natures, the same as grief.

    A good gardener knows that plants, like family and friends, must be cared for daily. Neglect a garden and it will die. Neglect faith and your soul will wither.

    Plant a butterfly garden, cactus, herb, or wildflower garden. Design a Shakespearean, Monet, or da Vinci garden. Plant a shadow or shade garden; a water, sand, or secret garden. Plant a passionate purple garden, a garden of rainbows, a Japanese garden.

    Plant a Memorial Garden and fill it with your husband’s favorite flowers.

    Salute the past with a heritage garden or rose garden. Fill your yard with birdbaths and feeding stations…all the things that will further connect you to nature. Plant a garden; plan to refuge; plant a home.

    – Grieving God’s Way: The Path to Lasting Hope and Healing
    http://amzn.to/2jbyMnL

  • Veronica

    After 4 years, I do have my work, family, hobbies and friends, but I still feel so alone. We built so much together..4 beautiful children and 9 grandchildren (2 of whom he did not meet). His death was expected but sudden at the end he was 67. My grief only manifests itself when I’m alone, therefore my lovely friends and family do think I am getting through it…I don’t think grieving can ever end despite our new lives, this I believe is our reality.

    • Janet

      Hi, my husband had massive heart attack on 28.05.2016. He was 65 and we were going to retire properly in September and drive off to Spain only coming back when we felt like it. So many plans and now nothing. He was the only one who, “got me” and I still don’t know what to do except get through every day.

  • Helen

    Hi Deborah. It seems like kismet that I found this site today. I really needed it today. You did not scare me about the depression lasting or sort of recurring in two years. I think this site is just what I am looking for. To have women say my thoughts is great. I have a cat and dog who at times ‘save’ me. They too are missing their daddy. We comfort each other.

    • Deborah

      Yes, my pup and I comfort each other too. I had a greyhound as well as my “Buddy”. They were constant companions to each other for almost 10 years. My greyhound died just 2 weeks after my husband. I felt poor Buddy must’ve been so lonely and confused to have his best friend and my husband both just disappear at the same time. Buddy still acts like a young dog and seems to be in good health, but he is 13 years old and I know, even best case scenario, he can only have a few years left. I am already dreading the day I lose him. Gee, how’s that for an uplifting post? 🙂

      • Lisa a

        It is what it is. I had to put our 10 year old Labrador down the day before my husband’s funeral. Oct 27th 2016. 34.5 years of marriage. Our 35th anniversary is on March 5th. I will spend it at the VA cemetery.

  • Helen

    Ladies, I just read your posts. My husband died 8 months ago. Only a couple people are understanding, many think I should be out of my ‘funk’ by now. I saw my GP today and I think she was a little surprised I’m depressed. She suggested counseling. I saw a therapist for about 3 months and she helped me realize that I am ‘normal’ in my feelings for me. Reading what you all have written has made me feel better and I’m not alone in what I think or feel. I was married almost 40 years and I miss him so much. Thank you for what you have all written.

    • Deborah

      Hi, Helen. It’s almost stunning how ignorant many of these M.D.’s seem to be about grief. They must gloss over that, or skip it all together in medical school. 8 months after my husband’s death I was still in shock that he was gone. Truth is, after 2 years, I still have days where I just can’t believe it. It’s hard to think that anyone would be surprised you are in a ‘funk’. This site has also helped me to realize that it is not so unusual to be depressed even 2 years after my husband’s death. I don’t want to scare you though. Although, I am often depressed, it doesn’t mean that I am not getting longer stretches of ‘relief’. I don’t want you to be afraid that it will never feel better than you do today. I don’t know that you will ever “get over it”, I know I won’t, but as time goes by, most days the pain isn’t as sharp as it once was. I still have those moments, but I am going longer stretches without the all consuming pain of losing my sweet husband. I probably write on this site more than anybody. I relate more to the other women on this site than to the people that surround me in every day life. So, thankfully, no one has told me to shut up and go away…yet! 🙂 I think by telling others that things WILL get better, I am reminding myself that I will find joy again. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and know that everyone on this site understands how you feel.

  • Carol

    I do understand how you all feel. I waited a long time to find my husband and he was my world. I poured heart and soul into him.He was my everything. I was injured in a car accident 4 years before he died and had barely started walking again when he passed. He took such good care of me and he was the only person I trusted. We only had each other. In 20 years he never even had a cold, then one day started having problems with his stomach, hardly able to keep food down. It was cancer and 3 months later on December 14th 2014 he passed. My heart broke and my life ended. I have no one who can understand what I’m going through. I am totally alone in this and hard as I try I see no reason to go on. He was 57 years old and died two days before our anniversary. I have tried counseling it didnt help. My Dr could only offer me sleeping pills to help. The lonliness eats at my very soul and yet the feeling of everyone is why aren’t I okay now. It has been two years and I still don”t fell like I am doing more than going through the motions. I am not living I am existing. There have been three great grandchildren born since his death and everyone seems to think that should make it so much better for me. They are just a reminder of everything he is missing. I don’t know if I will ever get over his passing and I wonder why I am still here. I live in a tiny town and everyone pretty much stays to themselves and I have never felt so alone in my life. I never thought he would die so young, only 57 and we had so many plans to travel to do so much together and now I still watch for him to come home from work, I still turn to tell him things and there’s no one there. I don’t know when this will stop or if it ever will. I just know I miss him.

    • KLMN

      I share your sorrow, Carol. Lost my wonderful husband to pancreatic cancer on July 4th, 2016. It’s not getting easier. I pray for God to give me hope and joy for the future. It can’t come from others. Our grand babies show hope and joy but our will to live must come from within us, with Gods help. He wants to give us a future with hope. I pray for that. It’s a moment by moment step into our future that He sees. May God give us strength to be a living example of faith in God during our suffering and grief. Our kids and grandkids may go through this someday. Life is filled with joy but also suffering. I know God uses suffering to draw people to Him. I hope people will seek God when they know He’s helping me to go on living each day. May you feel His comfort and love.

  • Anita Taylor

    I lost my husband suddenly on July 7, 2015 from kidney disease, HBP and diabetes. He died in his sleep peacefully. I am at the stage in my grief that I want to move forward but I don’t know what to do. I guess I am scared of making mistakes. I feel frozen. I go to work everyday and come home to an empty house. I am taking a painting class and am part of my church choir. I attended 13 weeks of GriefShare which I credit for helping me survive thus far. I also attend a Widows group once a month but the loneliness can be overwhelming. I keep thinking I need to find my dreams or my purpose in life and that would help but how do you do that? We were married for 42 years. My dreams or purpose were all wrapped up in him. Now he is gone and I feel like I am hanging in the wind all alone. I know God is there and he is taking care of me but I feel so empty and as I said frozen.

    • Deborah

      Hi, Anita.
      I know how you feel, I feel exactly the same way. The last 2 years have been so empty and sad. I want to move forward, and I feel like I am ready to at least take some baby steps but, I too, feel frozen. I have tried a couple of meet up groups, but never feel I really fit in. I think I don’t know how to enjoy anything without being able to share it with someone I am close to. Unfortunately, I don’t have any real outlets other than work. I go to work and come home and don’t really do much of anything else. When my husband was living, I felt like I was living in a big, bright, colorful world. Now everything just seems gray and flat, but I am at a loss as to how to change that. I am trying to keep faith that there will be joy in my life again. I am hoping the same for you.

      • Anita

        Thank you Deborah for your response. Makes me feel better that I am not alone in this feeling of being frozen. I guess in time we will begin to live again. Like you said Baby steps.

      • Ann

        Hi Deborah and Anita..identify exactly how you feel..I am lucky..I have my ‘girls’ puppies..to welcome me home every day…I HATE the weekends..there are a lot of events but I just cant be bothered..I do what my mind tells me and don’t force myself..I love to spend time at home surrounded by my memories of being with my hubby..we never needed other people we had each other and now; although I have adult children in a different State it will NEVER fill the hole in my life

      • Ann

        Hi Anita
        I feel exactly the same..go to wprk..come home..empty house..lonely etc., all we can do is walk beside this thing called “grief’..we cant run ahead of it…my grief hit me loke a sledge hammer 5 months after David died….I looked up ’emotion..widows wail’ and that is exactly what happened…..I have tied up all the ‘loose ends’ of my husbands business..now it is ME MYSELF AND I oh! and my two furries..yet the start of another journey..it would be good to get a group of ‘widows’ together and have a joint wake..tell funny stories about our gorgeous husbands..how good it would be to laugh for a while instead of crying

  • alice whaley

    My husband of 56 years died on 05/18/2015. He had a stroke and could not eat. They said tube would not work for him. It took two weeks for him to die. I saw something in our church bulletin that said something like this, “We were not made to die. That is why it is so painful.” Yes, I feel alone most of the time. I keep going to grief sessions but all I get is more grief. Everyone has much worse then I do. I am trying to find joy in life again. We had male friends who were thinking they could be more after my husband died but I am not interested.

    • Rose Brittain

      Hi Alice,
      We have heard it before: one day at a time, one step in front of the other. I lost my hubby and had retired to care for him, now I am still trying to figure out what’s next.
      Good days and not so much.
      But one thing for sure, we can find some comfort in one another.

  • Pat Rydberg

    My husband passed away August 16, 2015. He had COPD and emphysema. In December 2014 he developed pneumonia. He recovered from it but in the spring of 2015 he began having strange symptoms and ailments. He was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma and passed away several months later. I so completely understand the grief, loneliness, fear and hopelessness everyone describes on this site. The loneliness is so unbearable. I have to have a radio or some noise on in the house to mask the loneliness and quiet of the house. I keep seeing my husband walking through the door or coming down the stairs or walking out of his office. To think I will never see him again, hear his voice or see his laughing face is heartbreaking. I cry at the most unexpected times. Everyone thinks I’m doing great. But nothing gives me any joy – I haven’t enjoyed anything or looked forward to anything since he passed away. I am 67 and he was only 64 years old. He made me laugh and he made me feel complete. I talk to him, kiss his photo on the phone and kiss the kitchen chair he sat in. I tell him he stole my heart. I don’t see any future for myself. I don’t talk to anyone about how I feel except one or two other widows. Everyone is busy with their own lives. I don’t know how a widow is supposed to continue without their beloved husband. My heart is broken and I can’t see it ever being whole again. I pray that some day when I die he will be waiting for me with a big smile on his face and whole and healthy.

  • Deborah

    Hi, Edith.
    Thank you for your response to my post. Funny, you say that everyone thinks you should be okay now that you are approaching 2 years since your dear one died.
    I recently had a routine doctor visit and told my Dr. that I was depressed. He seemed shocked and stated that by now I should be over the depression. He acted like I have a mental illness! I really believe that until someone has experienced such a profound loss, they just don’t get it. Not even the “professionals”. Talking with others who have been widowed, finding the second year harder than the first seems to be very common. Maybe, without sounding like we are feeling sorry for ourselves, there is a way we can let people know this arbitrary deadline for being okay is a myth. I think somehow people think there is something magical about the first year anniversary of your loved one’s death. Voila! All better now. I plan on talking to my doctor next time I see him about how common it seems to be for the second year to be worse than the first. I am hoping he will remember that next time he talks with someone who is still grieving.
    In the meanwhile, I think we must be kind to ourselves. You feel what you feel and don’t deny those feelings even if everybody else thinks you should be okay.
    Remind yourself though that you WILL be okay. I do that everyday. It is getting somewhat easier even though it is a roller coaster ride. Up then down. I know that one day there will be more up days than down days. There will be for you to.
    Take care of yourself.

  • Laurie

    Dear Sylv,

    Thank you for being here – and I am so sorry for your loss. This blog isn’t UK-based. I live in Canada, and I’m currently traveling in Vietnam (which is why it took me so long to respond to your comment).

    I’m not sure what support the UK has for women who are starting over in their 50s after a loss. I know there are more options and resources for women living in larger cities and communities, as opposed to smaller ones.

    Have you tried searching the internet for resources for women in mid-life, who are starting over? Try using your specific or general location. Also, try phoning your local social service-type organizations, and ask what they know and can offer.

    I’m sorry for your loss. Starting over is definitely difficult and can be painful, especially if it’s not a choice you made or want to make. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers, and wish you all the warmth and comfort in the world. Don’t stop writing about your experiences and feelings, for writing is one of the best ways to cope with loss and grief.

    Take care of yourself, be gentle and kind to yourself.

    In sympathy,
    Laurie

  • Sylv

    I lost my husband suddenly 11 months ago, my soulmate, the love of my life.
    I am lost and scared, is this site UK based, so that I might talk to people in my country

  • Susan

    Well, my husband passed away 26 months ago after being diagnosed with cancer 19 months before that. We were married for almost 40 years and yes, wherever he was that was my home. I hated being alone even when he was away for a few days for business which wasn’t frequently. We were true partners and yes, we argued fiercely at times but never split up over all those years.
    First, I cannot buy that cliched statement, “Your husband (wife, whatever) would want you to be happy; not be sad; not cry, etc.” How does anypne know that? Empty words attempting to be comforting. My husband wanted to live. He knew this was going to be hard for me; he cried many tears over it. I have no family nearby…parents have been long deceased, no siblings. Our daughter lives in another state and I don’t see her often. Only 2 things bring me peace: when I am asleep and when I’m at work because it provides structure and a respite from being alone. Have I tried to get out and about? Yes, I have been to THREE different support groups, one specifically for widows/widowers and once specific to cancer. They did not help; in fact, listening to everyone go on and on with some people in there for years and years made it worse because it made me see that this doesn’t get better. I go to yoga classes; I have read extensively; talked with others; went to a “therapist” briefly who was of no help at all. I tried volunteering, but the people I was volunteering with talked about their husbands and then when I mentioned mine was gone, that quiet, weird look came over their faces and they would talk to somene else after their obligatory “I’m so sorry for your loss.” No, you’re not. You don’t care about my loss, I want to say, you’re just glad it’s not you. I Would like to add, “Yet.” In the first year people did call to ask me to lunch and dinner, but in the second and now third year it’s all stopped. No one calls. I can sit in this house for days on end without the phone ringing. The pathetic reality is that everyone moves on, wanting to be happy, and has NO interest in cheering up the widow or keeping her company, the one who’s a sad reminder of their own fragility. The widow who has nothing in common with those who still have a spouse with all the comforts that affords. I Should be “better” by now; I should be happy that there’s a grandson now who’s supposed to, according to them, fill the void left by my husband’s death. It doesn’t; it just reminds me sharply, pognantly, of his loss because he should have been here to enjoy this child but he’s not. So, the only times I get to go out are when I initiate the invitations, and sometimes now, people don’t even return phone calls, texts, or emails.
    I have tried, but I am tired. I am exhausted, and based on a few experiences with bitter people in those support groups, one who betrayed my privacy, I just don’t trust people, als because I have no sounding board anymore and it’s unnervng to make major decisions alone. I trusted my husband fully; I know so deeply now all that he meant to me; I hardly ever worried because we had each other for support and to problem-solve togetther. So, I guess I’ve pretty much tried all of these suggestions and I just don’t care anymore. This is not living; it’s existing and I might as well be a piece of old, worn-out furniture for all anyone cares. I’m not wallowing in self-pity. I am just sick of this and wish I were with him. That’s my reality. Thanks for reading.

    • Kate

      My dear Susan,

      This post could have been written by me. My husband died 7 months ago and I feel invisible and sad and yes, is this all there is. I can’t imagine living another 30 years feeling like this. I am so sorry for your loss. Unless you have experienced it, no one can fully understand how life altering it is.

    • Melinda Cleaver

      Susan, I have your thoughts every single day. There is some comfort that these feelings are shared by someone else in this universe. Every day is a battle to survive. Every morning is empty but the world still holds things to be experienced and discovered and I know for a fact my husband still journeys with me. It’s cold comfort but confort nonetheless. Know that there are others are out there that suffer the same and thank you for sharing the unspeakable.

      • Linda

        Melinda, something you said about knowing your husband is with you- if I believed my husband could see me, I know the depth of my grief would break his heart. It makes me want to hurry up and learn to live happily just in case he can see me!
        I just remembered that he once said to me that he admired his Mom for creating a joyful life after loosing his Dad to a sudden heart attack at 60. I need to pull myself together like his Mom did! He wants me to do that.

    • Ann

      Hi Susan..Finally someone who feels exactly like me..my beautiful soulmate died on 21 September this year and of it wasnt for my two dogs I wouldnt be here…sorry others who read this but it is how I feel … I work full time so can ‘escape’ for a while..weekends..lonely, empty, pointless, sick of being here without him..we were together 25 years

    • Rose Brittain

      Wow. That sums up where I am after 3 years of my husband’s passing. Nothing has any real meaning. I keep trusting God for strength and wisdom.

    • NANCY DEMAIO

      I too was widowed in 2010 after a 40 yr marriage. I feel empty and scared even though
      it’s been 6 yrs now. If you would like to talk please feel free to call me. Nancy
      908-625-9269.

    • Anne

      Susan, I feel your pain deeply, I lost my husband very quickly to a sudden rare illness that claimed his life within 3 short weeks .. I am totally lonely, there is nobody really there for me, people don’t reach out call or write, I feel devastated, scared, frustrated, lonely, i’m in a total fog, don’t know how I will go on with my life As far as i’m concerned life has no purpose or meaning without him. He is the love of my life. I still think when I pull up to the house that he is going to be inside when I get here. the days and nights are so lonely I don’t know what to do, have not been eating and if it weren’t for the tv I don’t know how I would get through the nights. I don’t even know how I will return to work. I understand what you mean about people, they all have their spouses or families and they aren’t worrying about widows and how lonely we are. As long as it is good in their world. But nobody could fully comprehend we are going through. I am happy I have this blog to reach out to and talk to others. I am trying to read something each night to help me. But I know my world will never be the same. My life is turned upside down, I cannot even cry anymore, I cried all over Christmas and New Years, the holidays will always remind me of how sick my husband became in the last days of his life. I will always regret many things we never got to do or fulfill the future. He was so fun and a beautiful person. My life is nothing without him. truly.

    • KLMN

      Hi Susan. I’ve been reading this blog, identifying with the pain of widows. I am one now that my hubby died 10 months ago. I understand your comments and have most if those same feelings. I’m just wondering how you’re feeling now. I’m looking at the dates of posts. Are you still hanging onto life with the same grip? Is it getting any better? I pray to God for hope for a future with joy. I click BD to my faith in God daily. But I know He’s seeing a picture of my life that I can’t see. I’m just curious to see how your feelings are now I hope you feel more joy. But I’ll understand if you feel more sad. It seems like we widows will always live with our loss. It’s always there but some manage to also accept a new life that brings some joy back into their lives, while accepting that their grief is still there. I hope I can be given and accept any joy that’s given to me, as I know I will always feel this terrible grief. May you find God’s peace and joy.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Mary,

    I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a husband to cancer is painful and difficult, and the thought of starting over is overwhelming. I can feel how much pain you’re in, and I wish I could help you find healthy ways to grieve your loss.

    May you find comfort and peace as you go through the grieving process. I pray that you find caring, kind, compassionate and understanding people to walk alongside you as you take care of everything that needs to be done after your husband’s death. May you find hope, healing, and even pockets of joy and gratitude.

    May God’s spirit of hope, love, and peace trickle into your life from up above. May Jim’s soul in Heaven find yours here on earth, and may he reassure you that he is resting in peace. May your troubled heart be calmed, and your sad heart be comforted.

    You are not alone. Jim’s spirit is with you, and he is sending you a river of love and acceptance. He wants you to embrace the life you’ve been given, and live the life he lost. May you find joy in the pain, beauty in the ashes.

    Come back anytime, let us know how you are. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    In sympathy, with warm hugs,
    Laurie

  • MARY KARDICK

    I am still alive – but only plan to be as long (or less) that it takes to “clean things up”. Then I’m gone. At least I get to “plan” this and leave with some dignity. Not like Jim my late husband who was “taken” by cancer in spite of all plans and hopes.

    • Sue

      Dear Mary,

      Your words ring so true for me. It’s nearly one year and one month since my precious husband, my life for 47 years, died from cancer despite putting up a massive fight. I would dearly have liked to join him but knew it would be totally unfair and devastating for our 3 sons whom he loved more than life itself.
      I no longer pray to die each night though I have no joy in existing.
      I can’t believe it will improve but look at it this way:
      It has been and still is excruciatingly painful. I still have that constant crushing pain in my gut during my waking hours. I can’t think of any new dreams or anything I want to achieve or try BUT I’ve continued existing and hating life without him and guess that as I’ve done it this long I can continue to do it till my natural release in order to avoid as long as possible those whom I love going through this. Reaching out to you not with the love you want but with love non the less

      • Rose Brittain

        This is the first group of genuine women I can identify with. I appreciate you all, don’t leave now.

      • Ann

        Hi Mary..I am 3 months into my grieving and, like you, see no purpose in carrying..and wish I could go to sleep and never wake up but I have to, I have two puppies who are dependent on me..yes..I have a son and a daughter but when I see how quickly they have returned to their own lives and happiness losing me and the pain attached, they would probably say at least now I am happy now I have joined my hubby….I say I can’t go on without him..what I actually mean is I DONT want to go on without him…I was never fully dependent on him, or he I, we had such a special relationship..he was my soul mate..I have no family closeby and work colleagues but few I call friends outside of sork..todaynis New Year’s Eve and I cannot visualise my next year..it is a black hole..before he died I asked him ‘who will be there to catch me when I fall’ (not in the literal sense) he said ‘you are tough babe you will be OK’..during our years together he used to say that whenever the time came he hoped he would be first to go as he wouldnt survive without me..so the small consolation I have is that I carry the pain which he has been spared ‘until death us do part’….he will remain forever the love of my life there will never be another..my love for him has now turned my heart to stone….I heard this in a song the other day..songs are heartbreakers….I, with others who have lost the one they loved, share and understand your endless pain….I write a letter to my hubby most evenings in a journal.which helps me….I also have to help the puppies deal with the loss of their ‘daddy’ as we used to call him…so its not just humans who grieve. Be gentle with yourself and, as I am doing, tread the path slowly and gently..I imagine he is sitting on my shoulder..

  • Laurie

    Dear Jo,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on dating a new man, and about your daughter’s struggle to accept your new life.

    I really liked Deborah’s words of wisdom for you, and agree with her 100%! I hope and pray you are able to accept this new suitor in your life – for he is a gift and a blessing. There is hope for all of us starting over, whether we’re in our 50s, 60s, 70s, or even our 80s.

    Sometimes we’re in seasons of grief, and sometimes we’re in seasons of fresh sprouts and new growth. Life is full of both types of seasons, and we must embrace them for what the are…for what choice do we have?

    I wrote this for you:

    How to Stop Feeling Guilty About Starting a New Relationship
    http://blossomtips.com/how-to-stop-feeling-guilty-starting-a-new-relationship/

    May you experience joy and peace in your relationships, and may you continue to Blossom — even if it feels like you’re not quite in full bloom yet. We’re all works in progress 🙂

    Blessings,
    Laurie

    • Jo

      Dear Laura, thank you your words are an inspiration to me and yes this man really makes me happy, I am trying not to feel guilty about my daughter.

  • Laurie Post author

    Thank you for being here, for sharing how much courage and strength it takes to start over after your husband dies. I can’t imagine the shock and pain of waking up with his body beside you, after he has departed.

    I guess there is no real “starting over”….it’s just learning how to live without the man you loved for years or even decades. Maybe the second year is more difficult because the shock has worn off, and the drudgery of life sets in? Or maybe it’s just reality that sets in, making it harder to cope.

    Recently, I attended a Grief Workshop by Dr Norman Wright. I know there aren’t any easy answers, but I did write about the workshop here:

    How to Get Out of Bed When You’re Grieving a Difficult Loss
    http://blossomtips.com/i-cant-get-out-of-bed-stages-of-grief-cycle/

    My heart goes out to you. May you be surprised by little bursts of peace and joy in your life. May you find healing and gratitude in the little things, and may you be comforted with the idea that your husband is watching over you with so much love, joy, and protection. He is resting in peace, and I believe he’d want you to be living in peace and joy.

    In sympathy and with love,
    Laurie

  • Jennifer Dale

    My husband/love of my life died one year ago on the 29th of October, 2015. We had been to Sam’s Club on the 28th and I found him dead in his bed the next morning. I went to bed early – he was a late to bed/late sleeper. I found him deceased in bed. I have a friend that is also a widow. She has told me the 2nd year is much harder. I’ve been to grief counseling, a psychologist and have done volunteer work. There is NOTHING that can fill that void in my heart. I don’t think that void will ever be filled. I’ve been told on numerous occasions that time will help The pain is as real today as it was on October 29th last year . Sometimes I think some people (women especially) love deeper than others. We grieve much harder. Your life changes in one day. You learn to get up every morning without your husband. We were retired and did everything together. In counseling, I’ve been told that being jealous is very normal. I go to lunch and see older couples together and wish that could have been me and my husband – he was only 68 when he passed. I’m trying to cope after almost one year, but I know that the joy and real happiness in my life is gone. I always felt that no matter where we were – if we were together – I was home where I belonged with him.

    • Deborah

      Jennifer, I hate to say, I don’t have any good advice or words of comfort. I identify so completely with your comments. My husband passed away almost 2 years ago, I am finding the second year harder than the first. I understand exactly what you mean when you say it feels as real today as the day he died. I too felt that as long as I was with my David I was home. I too envy couples that I see together. My husband died suddenly and unexpectedly at 64. I don’t know if the shock of a sudden death makes the grieving more complicated. Many people have said time is my friend. I am hoping that over time, I will learn to live with some joy again, in spite of the void left by the loss of my precious husband. I will be praying that you find joy again too.

      • Edith Miller

        Hi Deborah,
        I so agree with you that the second year is harder. My husband passed away Feb 2015. I think I was so busy getting things in order and having so much emotional support from family and friends that my life was a blurr. I just went tbru the motions. But not that some time has passed, everybody thinks I’m ok, but I’m not. I am in a terrible state of mind and more depressed.
        I so feel your pain and emptiness.
        Please take care of yourself. I wish you well

    • sandy

      my husband died on 12/23/2015 and I miss him every single day and will for the rest of my life. It’s not fair, we were together for 39 years and also did everything together – we just retired before he passed. He was only 60 years old when he died from Lung Cancer. I lost my dad, my best friend and husband all in 6 years. It’s hard to move forward. I just take it day by day. Part of me died when my husband died so life will never be the same. I feel your pain. It’s just not fair. My kids always say – we were cheated in life – so true

  • MARYKARDICK

    AFTER “HANDELING” THE DEATH OF THEIR SPOUSE-WHY WOULD ANY PERSON WISH TO DO THIS? HASN’T IT BEEN SHOWN ABSOLUTELY THAT THERE IS NO REASON AT ALL TO GO ON LIVING A LIFE.

    • Jo

      I lost my husband almost 5 yrs ago now, we had been together 30yrs. I have recently been seeing someone new and I have two adult children. My 34yr old daughter has borderline personality disorder and feels that I am neglecting her, my 30yr old son says good on me. What can I do about my daughter, she has threatened suicide and is constantly ringing me, I don’t know whether to end the relationship or not. This man really makes me feel wonderful and treats me like a princess. I am 56.

      • Deborah

        Jo, do not give up this chance for happiness. I happen to have a sister-in-law with borderline personality and they seem to be master manipulators. If she is not getting professional help, encourage her to. If she refuses to, maybe you should go to a professional yourself to learn how to deal with her constant need for your attention.
        You are a young woman. Don’t give up a chance for what may be many, many years of happiness. You may be helping your daughter as well by not letting her dictate your life and forcing her to learn how to live her own. Good luck!

    • Deborah

      Hi, Mary. I can honestly say I know how you feel. Nobody wishes to do this. I contemplated suicide after my husband’s death. Crazy as it sounds, I actually asked for my daughter’s okay because I just couldn’t blindside her and suddenly leave her to bear the shock and pain we both endured after my husband’s unexpected death. Now, who does that? Did I really think she’d say sure Mom, kill yourself? I think I was, am, in such pain that I just wanted the pain to end, and yet, at the same time, I was not ready to leave this world. I am 21 months into this terrible journey and still feel adrift without my wonderful husband, but I am finding longer stretches of light in my life that give me hope that there will come a time that I will have a joyful life again. Try to keep putting one foot in front of the other and I believe, in time, you will see there are probably many reasons to go on living. Read everything about widowhood, grieving, life after death, talk to anyone who has had a loss like yours. I was obsessed with that after my husband’s death. Somehow, especially very early on, that gave me answers, glimmers of hope, something to cling to. I am so sorry you are going through this. There is just no easy way through this. Hold on to the belief that it will get better. The time will come that you will smile rather than cry when you remember your husband.
      I am telling myself that and I do believe it to be true. Please know you are not alone in what you are feeling. I will be thinking of you and praying that your pain eases as you make your way through your new world.

      • Jo

        Hi, I know exactly how you feel. I did try suicide, please believe that it does get better with time. It has been almost five years now and I removed my wedding ring and am dating someone that treats me like a princess. Don’t give up. Joann xx

    • Deborah

      Mary, please look below for my response to you. I think I hit the wrong reply button and my response to you is in the wrong place. Hope you are doing better.

  • Analise

    My husband of 40 years passed away suddenly a little over a year ago. I was more concerned for my adult children than myself. But now I am feeling the grief for me. After his death I remained social and active in the church. Now 14 months later I don’t want to be social and I don’t want to go to church which I always enjoyed. What’s happening?! Why am I now feeling the grief more than ever? I thought I was stronger than that!

    • Deborah

      Analise, my husband of 40 years died 20 months ago. I have found the second year to be much more difficult than the first. I have a friend who lost her husband 3 years ago who also felt the second year was worse than the first.
      I think the first year we have a lot to take care of, but we are still in a state of shock, in a fog, so consumed with pain that we go through the motions of daily life without really experiencing them. I can’t find the words to describe what I mean. I think that maybe, for me, the second year, the fog lifted and the true reality of it all settled in. I am very depressed. A few months ago I might have told you I was “getting better”, and now,k I seem to be worse than ever. I have no interest in socializing either, and can spend days and days without seeing anyone. Not a good thing. Especially, because I do still work and it jeopardizes my job. I don’t think it’s healthy to isolate yourself anyway. When I force myself to get out, even if it’s just for work, I do feel a little better. Feeling grief is not a weakness. It has nothing to do with how strong you are. I think, unfortunately, it is something we have no choice about and must experience so that we can adjust to our new life with out our loved one. I think the grief you feel now is probably very normal. At least I hope so, since I’m in the same boat.
      Since you enjoy church and have friends there, try to make yourself go. It doesn’t have to be every week. I think you’ll find that when you are around other people it may lift your spirits a bit. If it is too difficult to go to church because that was something you and your husband always did together, just have lunch with a friend, anything to have a little social interaction.
      Please know that others are thinking of you. I believe that with time we will both get through this. Life will never be the same, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be good. Take care of yourself. 🙂

  • Mountainmomma

    I lost my husband/love of my life/soulmate due to cancer at the age of 58 on Sept 22 2015 and we’d been married for 38 years and shared 4 children together. It’s now been almost a year that he’s been gone. Before he passed away he told me that he knew me better than anyone else and he knew that I wouldn’t be able to stand being alone and he made me promise that I would find someone to build a life with, someone to pass the time until we could be together again. At first I thought he was crazy, how could I ever want to be with another man ? I was sure that I would never want to be with anyone else, turns out he was right after 9 months of grieving, hiding in the house like a hermit, crying, anxiety and panic attacks at night, living in the past, hurting and being so lonely I couldn’t stand it I start thinking about what my husband said. I was so lonely and hurting so bad and all I wanted to do was find someone to build a life with to make me forget how bad I was hurting and everyone except one of my children had pretty much deserted me and quit talking to me as if they though I should be fine by now. It had nothing to do with sex I just wanted to find someone that was going through the same hurt that I was from losing their spouse. As much as I love my children I wanted someone besides them to talk to, someone to share meals with, someone to cry with that understood what I was going through also, someone to laugh with again, just someone that we could enjoy each other’s company and pass the time, someone to embrace me and tell me everything was going to be alright and someone to do things with to make the days go quicker instead of dragging on forever. I told my closest son and his wife and my sister in-law had already told me after a while I may eventually come to this decision and if I did it was alright with her and I eventually started to write a profile status for a dating site, I even put up photos too and was feeling really good about it and at peace with myself because I had the people’s blessings that mattered most in my life until something ruined it for me. A neighbor that lived down the road from us that was friends with me and my late husband saw my profile and immediately quit talking to me and I’m sure have told others about it. I really don’t understand why since there are people in their family that have remarried unless I just worded it wrong which I don’t see how I could have since I made it clear that it wasn’t a one night stand sex invitation and what I was truly looking for and that I was searching for “one” special widowed friend, no one night stands and wanted to start out as friends and see where it went from there. These friends opinion and what they think of me matter alot to me, they actually came to my house tonight to visit my son and didn’t hardly say two words to me and that was because I spoke something to the woman. It has really hurt my feelings and I now feel like I was planning a dirty little secret and the excitement is gone. I figured as long as I had my son’s approval it would be okay, I’ve not met with anyone because I have been too scared to, only talked several times online or by phone to two gentlemen and my son was aware of it and was even there once during a conversation. I don’t understand unless it was because they thought I was doing this behind my son’s back. Any advice would be appreciated because all I want to do now is sell my house and move where no one knows my business. Have I been in the wrong by deciding to take my husband’s advice and what should I do to make this better so I don’t feel like I want to move away ?

    • Jenne

      Wow….I know how you feel about wanting to pack up and move away. I cannot understand how other people are always such experts on not only how to grieve (and telling you to get over it and get on with life) but what you should actually do with the half-life you’ve suddenly been presented with. I know it may sound negative, but I have honestly got to the stage where I simply will not trust people and have become incredibly private. I know people who have met beautiful soul mates through dating sites. I haven’t gone onto any sites yet, but when I do I will make sure that no one I actually know can figure out who I am. People don’t understand grief, lonliness or anything else that we are going through. Let me know how it all pans out for you. I am moving house next year, my job has become boring and unfulfilling and my house too full of memories, so I am relocating to the other side of the country and hoping for the best.

  • Josh Horton

    There’s a new book on starting over after your husband dies in later in life, called Witness Chair: A Memoir of Art, Marriage, and Loss. Here’s a brief description:
    In reflecting on her long marriage and the difficult months before her husband’s death from leukemia, author Sherry Horton draws on the unsettling yet powerful significance of the various chairs, seeing her life and the death of her husband through the concepts of accusation, displacement, rumor, captivity, and heaven. Leah Leatherbee describes Witness Chair as a “quietly searing account of the unspoken,” and Bernie Siegel soberly remarks: “In love’s service and the process of life and healing, only the wounded soldier can serve.”

  • Laurie Post author

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Hannah. You’re still grieving the death of your husband – and you never thought you’d be starting over as a widow at 25 years old! It must be very difficult for you, especially with a child.

    Thank you for being here, and for sharing your experience. I hope it helps to write about how you’re feeling. And, try to remember that this isn’t the end for you. This is a terrible experience and a piercing grief, but your life will be long and happy. The worst will be getting through this initial grief and shock…but I know you will survive this.

    Have you considered joining a Grief Recovery Group, or something like that? A support group for young widows may give you support and guidance that you might not find elsewhere.

    I wish I could offer more, but here’ s an article that may help:

    4 Ways to Come Alive When You Feel Dead Inside
    http://theadventurouswriter.com/she/i-feel-dead-inside-come-alive/

    And I will keep you in my prayers, for strength and healing and comfort. May you reach out and find support and love in your friends and family.

    Take care of yourself, and stay open to God’s love, healing, power, and freedom.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Hannah

    I am 25 years old and I lost my husband four months back .I have a kid with 1.5 years old. I feel completely lost and feeling meaningless to live. Really feeling highly miserable.Neither a day passed without crying. I wan to live happily with my son and make him happy but I am ending up with failure. how i need to overcome my grief. I am missing my husband a lot. Feel like I am living in a hell….

  • Laurie Post author

    Yes, small steps will take you in the right direction. What small steps can you take when you’re starting over again? It depends on your life, personality, beliefs, and interests. Some widows travel, others go deeper into their faith. Some go back to school, others take up painting or writing.

    What have you always wanted to do, that you didn’t have time to do when you were married? I know your childhood was a long time ago…but it also seems like yesterday, doesn’t it?

    Part of a healthy grieving process is about letting go of the husband you love. He will always be part of you life, but he can’t be here with you. Don’t allow yourself to curl up and die because you lost your husband. Grasp onto those lost dreams you once had – and live them in honor of your husband.

    Here’s an article that may give you some encouragement:

    How to Reinvent Yourself When You Have No Guarantees
    http://theadventurouswriter.com/she/how-to-reinvent-yourself-no-guarantees/

    Thank you for supporting each other in this comments section…I’m so glad you’re here. You’re here for a reason, and your life is unfolding this way for a reason as well.

    In sympathy, with blessings,
    Laurie

  • cindy L

    I was a widow at 59, my husband passed at 60. We were high school sweethearts, married the day after we graduated college. No children, I wish I had children, but I do believe that made us closer. We drew to each other and focused on each other vs, children. I was an only child, my Mom passed three mos before my who husband suddenly became terminally ill. In 3 mos I became an orphan and widow. With no children I am left with no immediate family, that’s a hard reality to accept each morning. I am getting through this by my faith in Jesus Christ. He is my all, Savior, husband, parent, my sibling, I never had – and my best friend whom I confide everything in. Yes it’s starting completely over. I’m blessed by my career which supports me, but everything in life is “off kilter”. Where do I fit in now?
    what steps do I take for my next hopefully productive 20 years? It’s scary, it’s overwhelming, it’s too much sometimes. I think the best approach is to just take small steps, and the Lord will guide you down the right path at the perfect time. If I get through a day, and smile or laugh at least once, that is a success!

  • Monette

    We was only together for 4 yrs total, but doug loved me like no other. 4th marriage and I’ll prob b alone now on. He died 5-29-16 and im stuck in my recliner on the internet. No desire to do anything. I cant even cry. Why why why? He loved me soooooo. Now im 60 raising 2 grandsons alone. How do I start over at this age?

  • Still Grieving

    I don’t know how many people wrote that they felt like they died too. That’s exactly it! I lost my husband 18 months ago… I struggle everyday to function then one little memory of our 25 years together creeps in and I’m paralyzed and cannot do the simplist thing. I’m not here any more. This is not the me I knew… It’s not the me he knew either. 🙁 It’s true. We who have lost the love of our lives have lost our own as well.

    • Deb

      You wrote exactly how I feel as far as not only losing my wonderful husband but that I lost myself too. My dear loving husband died one month ago, an accident, the evening before I was supposed to go into hospital for a knee replacement. He fell down the stairs and he had just turned 65 the month before. He was revived at the hospital and then flown to a larger hospital where he was put on life supports for his severe head injury. My love passed 5 days later. I am truly lost, I cry constantly and hate the nights. I feel as though I just want to give up, but my kids remind me of our Grandchildren who need me. How am i suppose to smile at our dear Grandchildren when their Grandfather is not here anymore. We were married for 46 years and together all the time. I don’t want to go on, I don’t see any reason to go on. I even told my Son that if i go into hospital for surgery and if something goes wrong plz do not do anything, just let me go. How does anyone get through this. I had no idea the day he fell would be our last day together and I am filled with guilt. If only I had been faster getting to the stairs to help him, maybe I could have helped him. I loved him from the minute I saw him many years ago so you would think I would be happy with the time we spent together….I am, but we still had a lot we wanted to do together and now I’m just lost without him. I don’t know what to do. Our kids do not live near me, they want me to move near one of them. How do I do that when my husband loved his home, loved the town we live in. Do I stay where I am? How could I move away from where he was? I truly love him and want him to come in my dreams but so far that hasn’t happened. Is it too soon? Is my grief stopping that somehow? I don’t know how this could ever get better. I know our kids are worried about me, but they are also grieving the loss of their father and Grandfather so I don’t want them to worry. If anyone has any suggestions how to stop crying all the time and even take time to have a shower I’d like to know. This is so painful, my heart hurts. I don’t even know if he was able to hear me when I told him I loved him. I was begging God to let him live and take me. Why would God take such a wonderful, kind, caring and loving man so quickly? Why?

      • Rita

        Deb, my heart goes out to you because I have gone through what you are going through (husband died suddenly, married many many years, miss him desperately, want to die so you can be with him etc etc etc) and I want to reach out and tell you this …..life will get better and better and better as time goes by. I lost my husband 6 years ago. He had just turned 60. We have 3 children and 9 grandchildren, (three of whom were born after he died)…I didn’t want to go on without him. My children were worried I’d kill myself. But guess what, Deb, my life is good now. Do I miss my late husband? Every single day. But I now find joy and happiness in all the people and things that being alive affords us. I have new friends who I spend time with every week. (I love my children and my grandchildren and see them and spend time with them regularly but us women also need girlfriends!!!!) I now also have a loving boyfriend who is my age 65. And all my widow girlfriends are dating as well. We seven, all lost our husbands suddenly the same year (car accident, plane accident, heart attack, suicide) We formed a bond after we met and have helped each other through all these 6 years of grief and anxiety and fear etc. all of us managed to live through it all and come out healed and enjoying life again. Are things different than we thought they would ever be? Of course! We all wanted to grow old with our husbands. But life didn’t give us that option so we had to be content with Plan B.
        Deb, you will live through this awful time!!! Life will get better and you will be happy again!!!

    • Debra

      Dear still grieving …maybe I’m not as weird as I think it’s been 3 yrs sounds like a very long time…so why do I still fell broken…I find it so hard I want to find me the me I was but instead just feel like someone kicked me out of a plane without a parachute….I had moved to another state when I married him 14 yrs ago… since my grown children didn’t know him well it didn’t effect them and I have had no one to lean on…I had one brother who cared but he died 5 months after my husband ..my other brother died 8 months after him…I feel so crushed …I’m afraid most of the time and I use to be so happy all the time…I reached out but find most say something like we’ll that’s the past you need to just move on….but don’t understand when you feel like your bones are shaking inside of you to just grab a shower and go to the store is alot of trouble…I wonder if I’m the only one who is scared of where I am and scared of change…I try and force myself to accept I need to find a life but would someone please say how..

  • Lynne

    My darling husband left me 25th May, last year.
    I’m always ok to everyone else, I’m doing good, I’m ok.
    But I’m not.
    I’m shit.
    I cry alone, I drink wine and smoke.
    If it wasn’t for my dog I think I would just give up.
    I have friends and sister in laws, but it’s not the same..
    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t drink all day, only with my dinner at night.
    I dream and wake he is not there again.
    Time is not a healer.

    • joanne walsh

      me to Andrew (hubby) died after a short illness on the 11/2/2016 if not for my dog I would have ended it`.I understant your loss to well what do i say to you sorry everyone says that .its all shit time is not a healer the only thing I have is this is to live for both of you good luck i wish i could give you a big hug

    • ariel

      dear lynne, I know how you feel, I lost my husband 5 years ago, I am still alone, I cant let him go,i don’t want anyone else, I want him back, I cry regulr with memories of when we were together, and I can no longer have, we went everywhere together, and now I am alone, its heart breaking, I am not feeling well lately, I am 56 now and its hard going, we were together 25 years, best of luck to you. angela, xx

    • sandy

      Dear Lynne, my life sounds just like your life. My husband died 12/23/2015 and we were together for almost 40 years. we started dating when we were 20. I too put on the happy face when I am out – but, deep inside I am hurting and sad. Half of me died when my husband died. I miss my husband so much. I cry for him every day. He was my everything. I too, drink wine at night. It helps me sleep. I just wish I had my old life back with my husband.
      Time is not a healer. We were cheated out of life. Take care

    • Janet

      Hi Lynne, I feel your pain. My husband died 3 yrs ago after 30 yrs together. I always thought ‘I’d be ok’ and could cope. And most days I think I can but after his passing I was suddenly very unwell having major surgery and four trips to hospital via ambulance. Never been sick in my life. I think I put my health on the back burner while caring for him. I drink wine, (evening)and I smoke. Love my adult children but so many days I just feel tired and want to stay in bed. I often don’t want to interact with people. I have good friends but will not always answer my phone if they call. I have a small part time job. I thought I was ‘over’ my grief? Time is not a healer!

  • sheila

    I am so glad I have found this website. My husband of nearly 50 years died 21 months ago and I am heartbroken devastated, I cry every day, I miss him so much I just want to die myself. All I do is watch our wedding video, it was taken on a cine-reel in 1967 and I had it put onto a DVD. I look at our photos all the time of when we were so young. I have grandchildren and lovely sons but I hate to say this, it means nothing without my husband. I go out with friends now and again but hate going home to an empty house, no-one to ask me if I enjoyed myself or ask me what I had to eat. I was my husbands 24/7 carer for three years and I would have loved to have had half a day to myself once a week, now I have all the time in the world and I don’t care about going out anywhere. I would give up all the years I have left just to see him one more time, to tell him how much I loved him, and how much I missed him. I honestly don’t know how I am going to carry on without him. I still have all his clothes and possessions and refuse to give them away because I keep hoping one day he will come home again, I just cannot accept he is gone. Thank you for letting me tell you all how I feel.

  • julie

    It is now 8 years and I still feel my identity has been lost and I have tried everything to regain who I use to be and the life I enjoyed until his demise. I am now 67, lonely, can’t seem to find a man to have a relationship once again with. Fears have over powered me in the sense I am now afraid of death, will I die alone and nobody will find me, negative comments from other widows that think me wanting another chance at love is ridiculous. I am also tired of just hanging with the Ladies. I was very fulfilled as a wife, companion, lover and felt my life was complete! I am no longer fulfilled, that bond is missing and I am a happier individual knowing I love someone and they love me. Sure, I have friends and family that love me…”it is NOT the same” I love all the great qualities that I shared in a relationship and truly want it again. I do not want anti-depressants to fix what aches in my heart and soul….I am HUMAN with HUMAN feelings and do not want to BLOCK who and what I really am with MEDS. I no longer grieve for my dear Husband, I grieve for the life that was handed to me since his demise. It is very tough on even the toughest of strong individuals to endure this lonely life…I wish to bond, cuddle, have a loving friend once again, watching tv alone, sleeping alone, eating alone and having my dog is just not enough…My friends are going through knee, hip, spine surgeries and that is even more depressing and I do not look forward on going through this as they, ALONE! well, I am not bi-polar, manic depressive or in a self-pity rampage…..this is REAL and I know I am not alone! thank you for hearing my true feelings on being a WIDOW…..GOD BLESS!

    • Diane Faulkes

      Julie You are so right! I miss intimacy and having my true friend and confidante who loved me unconditinally, don’t think I will ever have that again this is not what I expected, my retirement years alone and lonely and celibate….please God it improves for us both x

      • Kathy

        My husband passed away March 21 2016. He passed away suddenly from a heart attack. Always was healthy and took no medicines accept advil or cold or flu meds. I am the one on medicines for pain and sleep. I have fibromyalgia and lots of health issues, I had tongue cancer four years ago, I am cancer free as of now. Thank the Lord. We were married 47 years. I loved him so much, he was a wonderful husband, father and papa. I hurt so bad and I know God has His Reasons, but why? No one has the answer but God. I am so lonely and miss him so much!! I cant talk about his sudden death right now. He was also a great worker. I met him when I was 15 and he was 19. Married 47 years. God Bless you All. God is still there in my life o

    • KLMN

      Julie, I’ve been reading this blog. I identify with all of these widows now that I am a widow. I lost my husband 10 months ago to pancreatic cancer. It’s been misery. I’m looking at the years and dates on the posts. I see it’s beem over 8 years since your husband died. Has anything improved for you? Have you been able to feel any joy in life again? I know the loss will always be there. But I understood what you meant when you said you were grieving the loss of your own life. Widows live in the shadow of death in everything we do. I just wonder if anything is better for you. I hope and pray it is.

  • lynn Grieff

    Bother s my husband in sep, 2015. He was a heart transplant recipent and lived 15 yrs after his transplant. I know we were very thankfull for these yrs. We became even closer. I took care of him and he always complimented on that His diet was very important. I would tell him he would break the record living the longest.well he ended up passing of fungal pneumonia. Everyday is different. Some days I do goodand somdays, cry, cry, cry. My heart ache will not leave. We were blessed to be married 50 yrs but the missing him is so hard. I have two boys but they are too busy raising their familys. Thanks God forbrothers. How do children 45 and 47 not have time for just a call afew times a week. They live veryclose, and I dont want to interfere. Fells good to let someone know. Thanks

    • sheila

      Hi Lynn I know exactly how you are feeling, my husband had COPD, he also died from pneumonia, a complication of a lung disease. I met my husband to be when he was 18 years old in 1964 at the Mecca Locarno, I saw him across the dance floor and I dragged my sister across to dance near him and his friend, I looked at him and he looked at me and asked me to dance and that was it, love at first sight. It would have been our Golden wedding next September. I met him on a Saturday 29th August 1964 and he died exactly 50 years later on the Saturday 30th August 2014. My heart is broken in two, I scream into my pillow even after 21 months, I cannot remove his clothes and possessions as if I do I will be admitting he is not coming back, and I just cannot accept I will never see him walk through the door again. We also have two sons 43 and 46 and three grandchildren. I see them for a couple of hours here and there as they live quite a distance from me and work away during the week. They take me out for meals with our grandchildren and I child-mind them every so often. I am 73 years old and wish I was with my husband. He was my whole world. My sons tell me that it happens to everyone and I have to start moving on. I say, yes it does happen to everyone, but when your whole life has been centred around just one person for 50 years, your life comes to an end when they die. I tell them that they left home when they were in their early 20’s and it was just me and their dad for a further 30 years, and they have no idea what they are talking about. You cannot move on, my life ended the day my husband died and I honestly don’t want to go on without him. I would never do anything stupid, but if I got a serious illness I would not seek treatment for it. Why would I want to prolong my life without my husband. I wish we all had an answer for this terrible pain we are going through, but it does help in a small way that we know there are others out there going through the self same agony and we do not feel so alone knowing this. Thinking of you Lynnxx

  • Laurie Post author

    I wish I had the right words or knew what to say. I’m so sorry for your loss! I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to start over again when your husband dies, whether you’re in your 60s, 70s, or any age.

    How have you survived difficult, painful times in the past? Different things work for different people…what has brought you comfort and peace when you were grieving?

    Reaching out in faith is helpful for many people. Allow yourself to crumble in the arms of God. Tell Him how lonely, sad, angry, and disappointed you are. Share your true pain, your authentic feelings. Maybe you’ll find some sort of consolation or support…or maybe you’ll find inspiration to take steps to find support in-person.

    Keep sharing how you feel. Talk to people, write your pain, express your fears and even your hopes for your future.

    Who can you ask to walk with you on this journey?

    • Jenne

      Dear Pat, I lost my husband 17th April 2015 and I felt as if I did not want to go on, I wished that we had died together. Nothing seemed to matter, absolutely nothing and a year down the line my life still seems a pointless exercise. BUT….there are days when I smile at the memories rather than burst into tears. I know it is not much in the way of compensation, but although it never gets better, it does get more manageable. One thing that has helped me enormously is working with another widow who’s husband died five years ago and when we are both overwhelmed by a sudden memory (and one never knows what will trigger them) we understand that it’s alright to cry. I learnt so much about people as well – some were devils that I thought angels, and others vice versa. I was preyed upon by some and prayed for by others. At the end of the day I feel as if I have had a limb amputated and must just live with that fact. But it is hard, so hard and the only consolation I can offer is that you are not alone feeling the way you do and coping comes with time.

    • Veronica Maher

      Dear Pat
      You wil feel like your life is over, that is because life as you knew it is over..a new life is waiting for when you are ready. Everyone has their own timeline, people who don’t understand will tell you how long this should be…it is still so raw and painful for you. I am hurting for you. I am now nearly 3 years on from losing the love of my life, we had been together for 43 years and raised a family with all the investment that involves. i have cried this evening because after a hard day at work I really want to share it with him, life is better now but will never be the same, I have some beautiful memories from our epic love story and I have been occupied with supporting the children who were devastated by the loss of their dad. We are all a different shape now, it feels like we are half a person, but in time we will be whole again, however long that takes. No one can take our memories, we just need to start making new ones…. My thoughts are with you.

    • Kathy

      I understand you Pat. My husband passed away March 21 2016. It was a sudden unexpected death from a heart attack. They tried everything at the hospital to save him, Three stints in his arteries. Then tried artifical heart pump, the pump came out and when the drs. tried to reinsert it he died of massive heart attack. He was 68 and no health issues we knew about. I am 64. My life is so sad, I cry and cry! I was married 47 years. God is with us rather we know it or not. Just keep your Faith and you are welcome contact me as a friend who knows what you feel. Hugs

  • Janina

    My husband died 18 months ago and left me drowning in debt, with nothing. I had to move to be closer to one of my children and, so…am left in a new city, with a new job, barely making it and trying to figure out how to start over. I miss him, but I’m really frustrated that he never thought about how I would survive after he died.

  • lesley

    my husband died 31 may 2015 he was 70 and was only ill for 11 weeks.im 58 and don’t know how to start to make a life of my own .I didn’t bother with friends and just really spoke to my husbands friends. I loved him very much we were always together we did everything together and I don’t know how to start to meet people and build a life of some sort my children are grown up and work and have children.

    • Jenne

      Dear Lesley, I think I know how you feel. My husband passed away April 2015. I have found this site of great comfort and hope that one day someone will have the answer to the question you posed. I have made concerted efforts to do all kinds of things, but at the moment it still feels like a half-life, like I am watching someone else go through the motions and I am still at the stage where I actually make excuses NOT to go somewhere when invited. However, I did go once to a sports meeting and found the subsequent meeting easier and almost fun, so I THINK all the advice one receives is probably correct. Socially, as in pure socially as in being invited to a folk music evening – nope, making excuses because, like you, I am not sure how to continue as a single – I am 62 and it’s scary for sure. However…the bright days and the invites do give one hope.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Dear Jenne,

    I’m sorry nobody has responded to your question about like-minded groups in South Africa – I hope you’ve made progress, and found what you’re looking for!

    On an unrelated note, I spent 3 weeks in South Africa. It was a Christmas trip; I was teaching in Kenya at the time (Nairobi). I loved Cape Town of course, and Swaziland. What a diverse area, so full of culture and variety! We never had any problems with crime, even though my fellow travelers didn’t like it when I went jogging by myself in Durban and Jo’burg.

    I wish you well – stay in touch!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry for your loss, and wish I had words that could bring healing and peace.

    I can see how widows or widowers support groups might be depressing, especially if the focus is on loss and grief. It might be worth visiting different support groups…I imagine different facilitators lead in different ways, which could change the experience.

    I’ll keep you in my prayers, for healing and peace. May you find comfort in the blessings you have, and joy in small things.

    Laurie

    • Jenne

      Hi Laurie, pages like this make me feel that I am not so alone – despite feeling that way. It’s weirdly comforting to read that other people are experiencing the same problems as me – all the pipes now need replacing on the house for instance! I read the price of some repairs on this blog and it was in dollars – does anyone know of any kind of like minded group based in South Africa?

  • Lori Russell

    My husband of 30 years died 7 months ago. One second he had heartburn and the next he dies of a massive heartattack. He was 56. I am 56. The loss is so devastating to me and my two boys. I can barely stand it. But I have learned that I have to be grateful for everything I have in my life. Grateful for being alive and well. Grateful for my children. Grateful for the beautiful day. My life will never be the same. It is not suppose to be. I am a different person now. Although I cling to the person I was before Bill died. I know I will stop crying one day. But not today. It’s not easy losing someone you love so deeply. It’s not suppose to be.

  • Linda

    In reading all the posts I can relate to what they are saying. I lost my husband of 42 yrs four months ago. My husband was was a recovering addict and had around 22 yrs clean time. He had always struggled with depression and had a hard time forgiving and letting go. About 7 yrs ago we lost our house and he had a business that that was failing. He went into a deep depression and stayed angry all the time. As i recently found out that is about the time he started smoking weed again and a few yrs later starting using some harder drugs. At the time I was not aware of the drug use. I thought it was mental illness taking him deeper into the depression. This last year he was so angry all the time it became unbearable to be with him so I moved out. Thirty days later a friend found him in the house dead. He had died of a drug overdose. He was 68 yrs old. I was devastated…I did not realize he had stated using the drugs again. Even though over the last 6 to 7 yrs it had been really rough living with him, I looked at his heart and miss him so much. Not the man the drugs made him, but the man I married with a heart of gold. I am now retired and living with my son and his wife. I am saving money to get a place of my own and have been putting in applications for apts. Honestly I am not looking forward to living by myself, I did separate from my husband a few yrs back and i was so lonely and I can imagine it will be much worse now cause he is never coming home now. I am very active in my church and have been meeting friends for some social events, but I feel so sad and broken inside I just want to go home. When I am home I worry that I spent to much time alone with no one to talk too. I tried a grieve group but it was so depressing that I stopped going. I know it is going to take a lot of time, but I pray that God would just give me some relieve from this pain and lonleness soon.

  • linda

    I lost my husband from throat cancer almost 4 years this Jan 23. I have sold 2 houses now I am staying with my daughter in her basement that I hate! I feel like I am losing my mind! She doesn’t seem to caring. She just goes on with her life and her boyfriends life. I even ate to go upstairs to use the bathroom or try to fix me a little something to eat. I HATE IT SO BAD I feal like I need to be put on some kind of nerve pills because I feel like I want to scream at here! She came down here for a 1 moment to see how I felt I said Great!!! How would any one feel staying in a dark gloomy basement all day??? I have to find a way to get out of here. I have all my boxes down here from the last move when I sold my house, it would cost a small fortune to rent a place for a couple months. But I have to do something it is getting the best of me, I know that!!! My sister lost her husband a little over a year ago and she seems to be doing ok, She is still in her house that her husband died in and sees her grandkids a few times a week, she saids that helps her. She is 70 is is going on those date sites. I have not. I hate being alone but I have been so busy selling houses and now here with my daughter she seems so into herself. I miss my husband every single day he was my rock!!! I could always talk to him but now no one, Linda

  • Jen

    I am so glad I found this website, it makes me feel normal. Since my husband died in April this year I have felt slightly removed from the world, found friends were not friends afterall and wander around a house full of memories. People keep telling me how well I am doing – it doesn’t feel that way at all. My job keeps me going, it’s something I HAVE to do, but can’t contemplate how I will carry on as just me.

    • Deborah

      Hi Jen, I felt the same way when I found this site. It is reassuring to know so many feel like I do, and to hear from people who have found light in their lives again . My husband died just before Christmas last year. I didn’t think it was possible to cry for almost a year (with no end in sight). I have to say, keep making yourself go to work. I do battle making myself get up and go, but if I push myself out of the house, and go to work, I do feel better. It’s like work gives me some psychic relief. Hopefully, you will find that to be true for you. At home, I just think about my sweet husband. Know that others are thinking of you and understand how you feel.

  • awake

    wow what a wake up call!!! thank you for this blog, thank you ,my husband passed 5 years ago I am still mourning my lost I soooo miss him. Married 36 years, my life ,my love ,I read some comments from you and wow it hit me I have a second chance a new beginning I had happily forever after I am so grateful the lord choose to give me that. God has my attention he is giving me life for a purpose I cannot take this wonderful gift and not use it for his glory.

  • Shirleyjo

    Tonight is a bad night for me. Tomorrow would have been my husbands 66th Birthday. We were married 41 years, since I was 19 and he was 22. It was love at first site and thru anything we went thru in life during those years we never ever lost that love. He passed away 2 and a half years ago of Small Cell Lung Cancer. He had been thru so much, always a hard worker until the age of 45 he had a stroke, recovered from that then went on to have two open heart surgeries, 8 vascular surgeries and us thinking ok now he will live forever cause he is like the biontic man, has everything thing new. That wasn’t long lived tho….one day I noticed his cheeks seemed to be swelled, and I said to him what is up with the chipmunk cheeks. He said I don’t know. He then had some tiny spidery like veins pop up on his back and chest, so I said that’s it we are going to the Dr. He was diagnosed with the cancer. We could not believe that after everything he had already been thru that he was getting slammed with this. He was the bravest, strongest man I have ever known. Not once did he complain about his cancer (his words to his cancer Dr were I don’t want to know a prognosis because no one is promised tomorrow and his cancer Dr replied that’s good because I am not God). He went thru many sessions of chem and radiation. The cancer worked its way out of his lung, into the liver and then into the throat, again never a complaint, never was sick from the chemo or radiation. He put us, (we have two daughters and four grandsons) up on a pedestal trying to protect us from any pain. His kidneys shut down, and he died at home. He sat up that morning (we had Hospice at the time and we had a hospital bed in the living room, we only had that for four days before he passed) and he said to me Good morning, in such a happy voice and I said well good morning. I sat down on the love seat and he looked at me and I at him and he took two of the most beautiful peaceful breaths I have ever seen and will never forget, and I thought oh my God I don’t see him breathing. I called his name and no answer, I woke my grandson up and the rest was a mixture of shock, pain and loss. He was gone. I struggle with not knowing who I am, we were one for so long. I still have days that are so bad, I feel I can’t breath sometimes just missing him so bad. Holidays and Birthdays are so hard, everyone feels like I lose him all over again. I try to remember that what was the purpose of his life, our life if I don’t honor it the best I can. I am taking it one step at a time, learning a new life because it will never be the same again. He sends me signs, I can feel him at times. Even after 2 and a half years I still sleep with his picture. I talk to him all the time, I even told him tonight that sometimes I hate you for loving me so much because I don’t know now how to live without that kind of love, but I know he knows I don’t hate him. It is just a hurt that will probably last me my lifetime, but it’s a good hurt, because I was loved by him.

    • Deborah

      Hi Shirleyjo, it sounds like you and your husband really faced some huge trials together, and got through them together, to the end. I’m sure your husband loved you very much. By his side through it all.
      I understand what you mean about being loved so dearly by your husband and how hard it is to live without that love. I tell myself the pain I feel now is the price I pay for being truly loved, and truly loving, for more than 40 years. Better this pain now than never knowing true love. Some people will never know it. As much as we are hurting, we are very lucky to have loved and been loved so deeply. This is a tough time of year for me. Last October, my husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary without a thought that it would be our last. He died suddenly and unexpectedly a few days before Christmas. Thankfully, he did nor suffer, as your husband did. I will be thinking of you and praying for you. Know that others understand your pain and you are not alone.

  • Fate Dailey

    I am just beginning this process of starting over. Finding this site and the honest and heartfelt comments by others gives me hope. I can do this. I will do this – even if I do cry all the time. My husband is almost at the end. Hospice was a tremendous help, but emotionally I am spent and he will have to go into a care center for his final days. I do feel sad that I am not emotionally strong enough to hang in there with hospice care, but I know myself and knew it was unlikely that I would make it to the end. Thank you for making this site. Somehow I do need to find others in my area that have gone through starting over, losing ones home, and beginning to heal.

  • sheila

    my husband of 40 years passed away from a massive heart attack. I suffer from a mental illness and he was the only person who cared, others rejected me leaving me alone. at the one time I needed someone any one im alone now as my son is also dead. I find myself in deep trouble money wise, which is adding to the stress, because he handle that. I had no idea what he was doing. I cant sell this house because I owe more than its worth. I loved my husband and still do, but im so lonely and scared I just want to be with him. thanks for your time

    • Deborah

      Hi Sheila,
      I have tremendous sympathy for you. I lost my husband, best friend and confidante very suddenly too. The shock can be paralyzing. The grief is overwhelming.
      You mentioned that you are in deep money trouble and don’t know how your husband was handling your money. I think you must force yourself to get help to find out what your financial situation really is immediately. Knowing where you stand, even if the news is not good, is better than the stress of not having a handle on your financial situation. This will help you know what your next step should be to ensure some future stability. Only speak with a certified reliable expert. Don’t let just anyone advise you on this. It is very easy to get taken in by a fraud when your mind is clouded by grief, not to mention that you are doing your best to cope with a mental illness as well. Still, I think knowing where you stand and developing a plan for your future will help ease your anxiety. There must be an organization, grief counselor, minister that you can turn to to help you find someone trustworthy to assess your financial circumstances. I just would hate to hear that on top of losing your husband your future security was lost by not acting now. Good luck to you. Know that many understand what you are going through and empathize with you. I will be thinking of you and praying for you.

  • Terri

    My husband and I divorced in 2009 after 29 years of marriage but remained friends. Though our divorce was amicable it was due to this behaviors of cheating and other issues that brought on the divorce. Though he was a terrible husband he was a good person. Though we divorced we were still very much a part of each others lives having children and grandchildren together. He died suddenly this past August, passing away while at my home. He apparently died suddenly in the morning and laid there until I came home from work in the evening. I am/was devastated and find I cannot no longer go back to my home. The anxiety I feel in the home is overwhelming. I am currently staying with my oldest son. Am I crazy to have this anxiety? I don’t think I will ever be able to live in that home again. Is that normal? I am going to seek counseling because life decisions are ahead of me, but though we divorced in 2009, I only now feel single and alone. I found this site because I find myself in my early 60’s and suddenly feeling like I need a clean slate which includes not going back to the home. I see so many people who talk about they find peace in their home and mine is just the opposite. Thanks for listening.

  • Mary

    My husband of 35 years passed away July 10, 2015. I have never felt such emptiness, nor have I ever cried so much. After reading the experiences of so many others I do not feel so alone. I have always treasured my solitude but now I find I am apprehensive about being so alone. i do not want to talk to others about my husband because I start crying and I’m unable to speak at times. My husband and I did so much together. I take walks during the day and find myself talking to him asking him to always stay in my heart.

    • Deborah

      Hi Mary. I so understand how you feel. I lost my husband of 40 years in December. He died very suddenly, and I think the shock is just starting to subside, but the painful sadness has not. I did not think it was possible to cry every day for 8 months. I will say, although I cry everyday, I no longer cry all day. I think about a month ago, I started having days where my spirit seemed lighter. The good days, or maybe I should say the better days, are often followed by dark days. I’ll think I’m doing well and just get knocked back down by the grief. I almost feel like I am trying to recover from a serious illness. It’s hard to explain, but you probably understand. I am feeling hopeful though, because the good days do peek through from time to time now. Everyone tells me time is your friend. I think that must be true, and I am looking forward to brighter days ahead. Like you, I talk to my husband all the time. It is so painful to think of all the years ahead without him. He was a wonderful husband, father, and just good person. I remind myself how lucky I was to have shared my life with such a sweet, loving man, even if I lost him too soon. So many women can’t say the same thing. I’ll be thinking of you, and praying that you have strength, and that we both get beyond the pain and smile rather than cry when we think of our beloveds. Take care.

  • Donna Miller

    It’s been 5 years since the sudden unexpected death of my husband. My life feels empty, I still have vivid dreams of him, snd when I wake up and he’s not here the heartache is unbearable. It feels like part of me died with him. I work full time, but that’s about all I do, and only because I have to financially. If I didnt work I may nevet get out of bed. I am doing better but still not really living. I been to counseling, started on antidepressants, and believe Jesus will see me through this some how.

  • Kathy

    Thank you for this site. I could so relate to all that was said, I too just do not feel I belong anywhere or have no motivation to be or do anything. Although I have had to get a job its not in my field of work and I really do not enjoy the work, but have to survive financially. Its very scary. I catch myself regretting not doing more for my husband although he passed away at home. I have a lot of guilt that I was not in the room and should of been. For a long time I have been angry with God. Before my husbands death I had to deal with one loss after another and then him. It feels to much to bear at times. My husband and I have to boys and were together for 27 years plus its hard to think of a future without him.

  • Deborah

    Connie, it has been 7 months for me. I still cry every day. I do have to say I am going longer periods during the day without crying. I work full time and office from home. I am in outside sales and I am supposed to be out in the “field”, not at home every day. Until recently, I only did what I absolutely had to to get by. To tell you the truth I couldnt concentrate on anything, but I have been forcing myself to work at least a few hours a day. I am finding that it is good for me, because about the only time I am not thinking about my husband is when I am completely engrossed in a work conversation.
    Anyway, the point really is that maybe making this move will be a good distraction for you. I have been surprised at how much being forced to focus on work gives my psyche an emotional break from the sorrow. That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel the sadness and lonliness, but it does help to have something else to focus on. Like you, almost anything can trigger the tears at any time. Fortunately, people do understand. Talk it over with your sons and maybe you can move close to one of them. Honestly, I cannot imagine having to plan a move on my own. Maybe putting your energy into planning your move will be helpful Do you have a grandchild who may be able to come help you prepare for your move while school is still out? Sorry, I have rambled on and really have not offered you any good advice. Just know that there are many of us who undertand the pain you feel and are all wishing you well and hope that you find comfort. Please let us know how you are doing as you make these decisions and plan your move.

  • connie

    I lost my husband of 48 years suddenly 5 months ago and the sadness and pain is overwhelming. I have a difficult time talking to people, I suddenly burst into tears. I am sure people are tired of my sadness. I live in a very small town in Northern Wisconsin but must leave here during the winter months now, I can’t figure out what to do, where to go. My sons both live long distances from me and I am an only child no siblings so it is lonely now. How does one move on? I guess my faith has also suffered. I sure could use some reassuring words. Thanks Connie

    • susan millay

      I too lost my husband after 35 years and the pain is overwhelming I needed a change so After almost a year I moved to the coast in aa home that was just mine it helped alot not as many reminders and I’ve met new friends I can go to the beach I’m also crafty I have some of my crafts in a gift shop ,don’t get me wrong I still have bad days but I just go with it and let the tears fall and its okay we all grieve in our on time and ways and a true friend will never get tired of comforting you. Sue

  • Deborah

    Anita and Lautie, thank you for your kind words.they do mean a lot and they do help. Anita, I am glad to hear that you have found peace and joy again. Right now, it seems impossible that I will ever feel happy again, but it sounds like you and your husband were very close and you have managed to find light again. I have a friend whose husband died suddenly just 2 months before mine. She was actually glad he was gone because he was an irate, selfish man with a huge, but very delicate ego. He did not abuse her physically, but was put downish and inconsiderate. They never did anything together, never laughed together, basically 2 ships passing in the night. She was my good friend, but cannot understand my grief, and thinks I should be over it by now. My husband was sweet, good natured and fun. He was my champion, we did everything together, my true partner in life, I tell myself the pain I feel now is the price I pay for 40 years of true love. This pain is still better than to have given my life to someone I’m just glad to see go. Thank you again for the encouragement. I hope your life just keeps getting better and brighter everyday.

    • Anita

      Deborah, when you are deeply in love people can’t understand your pain. The love doesn’t die so missing them is agonies untold. We can no longer reach for them, our feet set on a path we never wanted. Better not to share with people who don’t know the pain only made me feel worse and there was no capacity in me for that. Be good to yourself and be kind to yourself and take one hour at a time if need be. God is right there. It makes us into one giant wound heart mind soul and body. It took me six years to stop hurting. only be with people who really love you or be by yourself is better. Don’t let guilt eat its way in either. The helplessness at not being able to stop it from happening will crush your spirit. I had to accept that it was God’s will tho I will never understand it. Memories are what I clung to but then I was stuck in the past. Life is for the living and they want us to be happy. God has a plan for us even if we don’t know what it is. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and walk Through the Valley.
      Peace and Love from a Sister In Spirit

  • Anita

    I lost my husband suddenly in 2009. We were very much in love and looking forward to a happy future. Suddenly I was faced with a vast emptiness instead – both inside me as well as yawning in front of me. I too had many episodes of people taking advantage of me, even friends (former, now) seeming to revel in my brokenness. I finally realized I had transferred my dependency on him to the world, seeking kindness and understanding. Got a harsh lesson in human nature instead. I went thru the financial nightmare as well, being laid off 5 weeks after his death. Without the love of God I don’t know how I would have made it. The pain of missing him was so excruciating I marveled that a human being could be in that much pain and not be dying from it. We lived way out in the country and pretty much lived in our own world so had no one much to give support or comfort and grief is a horrible companion. I had never lived alone and here I was way out in the county so I had a LOT of fears to overcome. I didn’t want to live and I surely didn’t want to die either. I felt I was battling on every front – emotionally, physically, mentally, financially. Thankfully my faith in God and my personal relationship with Him is what got me thru. I went thru many changes to keep all those painful experiences from changing me – I wanted to be me again, not the broken basket-case I felt like, feeling bitter and angry. I have gotten a lot better at forgiveness. I was even angry with God, which a real friend helped me realize last year. Since re-dedicating my life to the Lord, things have gone much better. I am more at peace and paying a lot more attention to what is going on around me and not vulnerable now. He died at home and living in that house was a constant daily reminder of my loss, the agony I had to live with. My prayers have been answered and I have finally been able to move. I just want to say, I too have walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and God was with me. The sun now shines again. The wound has healed. I still have to figure out what to do but just being alive makes me happy once again, just as I was before. I am still me but there is more to me now, I am stronger and I feel it. I don’t let people waste my time. There is life after loss.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    I wish I knew what to say, words of comfort and healing that will help you feel better. But I think grief needs to be walked through and processed.

    Does it help to know you’re not alone? Not only are there other women just like you, starting over again in their 60s after their husband dies…but there is God. He loves you and his heart breaks and aches for you. The comfort of God’s love and peace surpasses anything a husband could bring to our lives.

    May you reach out to God and find His loving presence. May you feel that you aren’t alone, and may you find the right people and resources to help you through the grief and pain you feel. I pray for healing and strength, energy and power to continue your journey forward. I pray that joy will once again fill your heart and soul – even when you don’t expect it! I pray for His arms of love and grace to enfold you, and fill you with a peace that surpasses all understanding.

    In sympathy,
    Laurie

  • Deborah

    I so identify with everyone on this site. I lost my husband of 40 years suddenly last December. He went to work that morning, just like any other day, but never came home again. I was sitting in the waiting room for a routine visit with my doctor when I got a call from a hospital nurse calling on my husband’s cell phone. He was already gone. Died in his truck about a 1/2 mile from the hospital. I assume he was trying to drive himself to the ER. His heart gave out. My doctor’s office is 30 miles away, so it was a panicked, crazy drive to get to him.
    Like Janice, I almost feel the universe is working against me. I have had one thing after the other since his death. I had to put my dog to sleep 2 weeks after his death. My sewer lines had to be replaced to the tune of $30,000. The plumbing co told me it would take 10 days to complete the job, took my money, and then didn’t finish until June 8…had a pipe burst (part of their repair) on July 1. Like Anita, although it’s been 6 months, I cry..a lot, and talk to my husband. I too think if anyone could hear me they would think I lost my mind. My David was such a precious, good natured, wonderful man. A very loving husband. Truly my best friend. I am so lost without him. I want to join him, but silly as it may sound, I need buy in from our daughter. She hurts so much from losing such a dear father, she says she would never recover if I left her too right now. I need a reason to live for me, not just for everyone else. I love my husband so much, it’s like all the joy has been sucked out of my life. I can’t imagine ever finding that joy again.

  • Janice Cox

    I happened upon this site, looking for comfort myself. I lost my husband of 46 years 3 weeks ago and can relate to much of what has been posted here. I also feel lost, sad, intense yearning for him that almost takes my breath away. I also feel scared, as he was the do-it-yourself type and always could solve problems. Since he died, my boiler has a problem, my gas tank has a problem, both of which could cost a lot of money. I do wonder if something is out to get me, and the grief I feel over his loss is such an overwhelming addition. I keep functioning, but wonder how to just deal with these problems and not let them overtake me emotionally.

  • susan millay

    I too !ost my husband of 35 years he had not been well for many years ,its been ayear I still miss him and am sad alot ,I’d always been wife and mother kids grown husband dead don’t know who I am how to find me I am lost

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Dear Pam,

    I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like your life has never been the same since you lost your husband, and there really is no getting over the grief. Starting over after your husband dies is never easy, no matter how old you are.

    I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. May you reach upward, and find peace and even joy in the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of your lost love.

    In sympathy,
    Laurie

  • Pam graudushus

    I lost my husband of 42 years during xmas 2009. He took his life. Now after this much time passing, I still struggle with loneliness and feeling lost. I exercise, do my art, try to spend as much time in nature. I even have a man in my life that I occasionally see. Still, my heart feels broken. I am strong for my two daughters, and grandchildren. The hurt goes on and on I was going to a support group friends for survivors. I ant bear all the collective pain there. So here I am what next?

  • Laurie

    Dear Anita,

    I am so sorry for your loss. You have spent so many years with your husband, and you lost him so suddenly! It’s almost unbearable and overwhelming, especially since it happened so quickly. One minute he’s here, the next he’s gone. So heartbreaking, and you have all the practical matters to deal with. It’s unbelievable and shocking.

    Are there any widow support groups in your community? That’s one of the best ways to cope with the death of a husband, to connect with other women who have experienced something similar. Building relationships with new friends will never take the place of your husband, but it will give you something different to focus on.

    How are you involved in your church, neighborhood, or nonprofit organizations? Staying active and social will help keep you healthy and in a more positive frame of mind. Again, volunteering and staying active won’t fill the huge gap left by your beloved husband, but it will help you focus on the life you have left.

    Don’t cave in on yourself. Don’t let grief overwhelm you. Reach out to other widows, to your friends and neighbors and acquaintances. You’re far too young to let grief and sadness darken your life. My prayer for you is that you connect with God, the only source of true fulfillment, happiness, and peace. I pray you are filled with peace that surpasses all understanding, that you find yourself inexplicably content with your life. I also pray you meet other women who know how you feel, who you truly connect with and enjoy spending time with. May you use your days and hours to spread peace, joy, and comfort to others. Amen.

    In sympathy,
    Laurie

  • Anita

    I just lost my husband of 37 years. He passed suddenly of stage 4 lung/liver cancer. We didn’t even know he was ill until the week before he passed. I am so lonely and can’t stop crying. Some days are worse than others. I have tried to go out and do things but I have panic attacks and have to get back home right away. I have a fur baby, but even she is grieving. How can I get over this immense feeling of longing to hold him, hug him, kiss him, just sit and watch TV with him? If anyone came by and heard me talk to him they would think I had lost my mind, but I talk to his pictures all the time. I even kiss my hand and touch his wooden urn when I pass it. He was only 63 years old. I am 46 and always thought we would have a lot more years together. I don’t know how to deal with this painful loss that makes me physically ill some days.

  • Laurie

    Dear Donna,

    Thank you for being here – I am sorry for your loss.

    Making friends after your husband dies is difficult. It seems like adults don’t make friends as easily as kids do — it’s a skill that adults have to learn, especially when they don’t have natural connections. My husband and I don’t have kids, and I know that parents make friends because of their kids’ activities and friends. Most people have children, and they talk about their children. This sort of leaves me and Bruce with less to talk about with them.

    I really struggled with making friends, and it wasn’t until I got my cell phone last month that I really started connecting with people! Isn’t that odd? But something about having my own phone has opened me up to friendships in a way that a landline doesn’t, because I text, probably.

    Anyway, I wrote this article for you:

    http://theadventurouswriter.com/blog/how-to-meet-friends-help-for-widows/

    I hope it helps you start over in this stage of life. I think the most important thing to remember is that making friends takes time and effort. And, we don’t connect with everyone we meet. I talk about that in the article, that I have to meet about 10 people before I find one I’d like to go for coffee or walk with.

    Come back anytime – I’ll be your friend! 🙂 I’m here to listen.

    Blessings and sympathies,
    Laurie

  • Donna Nelson

    My husband died 6 months ago and I have never been single. I am 62 and I have no friends and my kids have their own lives and this is completely new to me. My husband was my life. I know one day I will have friends but I don’t know where to start. I tried a support group but I don’t like the group. I want to meet new people and get to know new people and make friends, but I don’t know how.

  • Judy

    Thanks for saying the things you did. The local hospital has a group, I am thinking about checking it out. Not quite there yet though. I have heard and read a lot about grief, it just seems so weird not wanting to be around anyone. I found myself hoping no one comes to visit on Sunday. A support group would probably help me deal with that. Thanks a lot.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Judy,

    I’m sorry for your loss. You’re grieving not only the death of your husband, but the end of a very important and meaningful chapter of your life. You’re also grieving the transition of your own identity as wife — you’re moving from wife to widow.

    Grieving is a process that takes a long time, and is full of weird, painful, sad, heartbreaking, and scary moments. What you’re going through is normal and even healthy – your mind, soul, and body is responding to this huge loss in your life.

    Have you considered joining a grief support group? I co-facilitate support groups through the Alzheimer’s Society for caregivers, and have found the amount of support women give each other amazing. When you’re ready, I encourage you to look into a grief support group. You may find it helpful to connect with widows and widowers who are going through what you are, and who can relate to your experience.

    Many of my support group members also meet outside of the group, to connect for coffee, bridge, hikes, etc.

    I also encourage you to give yourself time to grief. Losing your husband is a huge transition in life – even if you did take care of all the bills and household responsibilities! Your feelings of numbness and shock will eventually fade, and you’ll begin to feel like yourself again.

    Please feel free to come back anytime and let me know how you are!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Judy

    My husband died three months ago. I am trying to get out and be with people but find doing things with them to be too much. One on one conversation is ok, but joining with a group is really stressful right now. I worry about becoming a hermit. I force myself to go to church and accept invitations, but I don’t enjoy myself while I’m there and can’t wait to get back to the quiet of my own home. When I am home I worry about spending too much time alone. I muddle through the days and think about my life passing by. I don’t have the problems a lot of women have with taking care of things because I always did that. My husband’s only responsibility was to work at his job. I did everything else. I kind of checked out of life during that time though, meaning, his and the childrens’ needs were more important, and lately, he was enough company for me. Now I find myself by myself and feel weird because I really don’t care to be around others that much. Don’t care how I end up either, and that is scary too. Wish my daughter would come home to live with me, but she is talking about getting married in September. So that is out. My son is moving out soon, he’s not here much anyway. I have to get involved in something but don’t have the desire. Hope this passes and I do become more social.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Ellen,

    I’m so sorry you had to go through this. What a terrible experience, to see someone you love go through such pain and trauma. And it’s traumatic and heartbreaking for you, to lose your husband.

    My heart goes out to you, and I hope and pray you are surrounded by people who care and understand what you’re going through. May you find comfort and solace in your loved ones…and if not, may you have the courage and strength to find people who understand what it’s like to lose a husband and have to start over again.

    Please feel free to come back anytime, and let me know how you’re doing.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Ellen

    My husband of 27 years died suddenly on New Year’s Day, 2013. He had a genetic heart condition called Hypertropic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy. He was able to work full time but suffered from attacks of dizziness from time to time. He was on medication and was careful with his diet and drank a lot of water. We were away for the New Year’s weekend and starting having one of his dizzy spells and then chest pains which always eased with ice packs. After calling the ambulance and getting treated at the hospital, he was completely fine but they ran many tests and kept him overnight to monitor him. He was fine all through that night and into the next day, which was December 31st. After being seen by at least 3 cardiologists and all agreeing that he was okay to be released and did not meet the criteria for having a defibrillator implanted, he left the hospital with discharge instructions to follow up with a cardiologist when we got home. That same evening, after dinner, the dizziness returned as well as the chest pains. Once again, an ambulance was summoned, but this time they could not get his blood pressure back to a stable level and after many attempts for over 3 hours in the emergency room, things went downhill. His lungs were filling with liquid and his brain was not getting enough oxygen. After many attempts at CPR, he was not able to be brought back, and died of sudden cardiac arrest. He was only 64. This was a second marriage for both of us; I had been widowed at age 36 and he was divorced. I never thought he would die so young and so suddenly. It is the worst experience of my entire life and I just hope and pray that God will be with me to overcome this most painful experience that I never thought I would have to go through again.

  • Linda Plank

    I only know a few people in this very rural area and they all work with families that they are raising or help raising. I used to volunter at the animal shelter but kept bringing them home so I stopped that. Most folks seem to stay so busy then don’t have time for anyone else. I am going along making decisions which is really difficult but I hope I am doing things the right way. I will start getting partial disability from his death in October but for now seem to be in a holding pattern of loniliness and tears. You can write me at my email if you would like to.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear June,

    Thank you for sharing about your husband – he was so young! So sad, that he had to go this early.

    It sounds like you’re grieving and saying good-bye to your husband in healthy ways. I’m glad you feel good about the gravestone and ceremony – you have taken action in positive ways, and it will help you mourn your husband’s death.

    I’ll look up the chat room you mentioned, and add it to the article to help others who are starting over after their husband died. I’m sure they’ll find it as helpful as you did.

    And, I’m glad you have a dog! My husband travels for 2-3 weeks at a time on business trips, and without our dog I’d be lonely, scared, and very unhappy. Maybe that should be another tip for starting over, especially if you’re in your sixties or older…adopt a furry creature to love.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Linda,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s death. Suicide makes it even more complicated to start over again – especially if you’re in your 60s, and haven’t made many household or family decisions.

    Maybe you need to give yourself more time – it’s only been 3 months since your husband died. I think it’s normal and natural that you can’t make decisions! You’re grieving, and grief takes a huge toll on our emotions and psyche. I don’t think you should push yourself to heal, or to be strong enough to make even the smallest decisions.

    Be kind to yourself – pamper yourself, and let yourself mourn your loss. Give yourself time, and don’t push yourself to take steps you aren’t ready for.

    Have you connected with other widows, in person? That’s one of the best ways to start over when your husband dies – to surround yourself with people who know exactly what you’re going through.

    I invite you to come back, and tell me how you’re coping. What decisions have you made lately, and what ones are you avoiding? Have you joined a widows’ support group? Who are you spending your time with?

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Linda Plank

    My husband killed himself on April 14, 2012. I don’t know how to move on. I am so lonely. He had been severely impacted by depression and pain. He made every decision in our marriage from my age of 16 to his age of 20, we had 5 great children. I can’t seem to learn how to make decisions. Or how to keep going after his death. I have no friends and my family is not close. I don’t have any money-so many things I can’t even think about changing. How do you heal? we were married 43 years.

  • june

    thanks for the tips. my husband died at age 59 of prostate cancer, and i have been trying to cope with it. it has been 5 months. i went to grievance, it only made me sader. today i am more sad than usual but happy to be doing this. i am going to his grave and decorating it with plants and a cross and there will be a ceremony that he wanted done. i called his family to come and they are meeting me there. the stone was just put up. i feel good about doing this for him and afterwards the family will have a luncheon. i think that if i just try to keep myself as busy as possible that works so much better. i still cling to the house alot its where i feel better sitting in front of the tv or talking in a chat room and being with my dog. the worst time is early in the morning and right before i go to bed. at night i like to chat and tell people about my lose and the people are so nice about it. the room is called free general chat room. i am still looking for more relief but haven’t truly found it. thanks for listening to me.