Starting Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband Dies

Support, comfort, connection. These ideas for starting over when you’re over 60 won’t solve all your problems after your husband dies, but they’ll help you see you’re not alone.

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 their husband’s death. If you’re facing the challenge of being a widow, here is is a hand to hold. It’s written by two women who have experienced sudden loss, who provide survivors with a rock-steady anchor from which to weather the storm of pain and begin to rebuild their lives.

Reading books can help you cope after your husband dies, but support groups might be more effective. They offer in-person comfort and connection through the grief process after a loved one dies. I’ve been facilitating support groups through my practicum, and am awed by the power of support groups to help people cope and heal. If you haven’t visited a support group for widows, I encourage you to consider one now.

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, hold on to the hope that it’s never to late to start over. “It’s never too late – never too late to start over, never too late to be happy,” says Jane Fonda.

Here are a few tips for starting over and rebuilding your life after the death of your husband.

Starting Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband Dies

Remember that everyone processes grief differently. Some people retreat, others reach out. Some people change everything about their lives – they move, go back to school, travel, or quit their jobs. Others want everything to stay exactly the same. If you’re starting over in your 60s, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to spend the next half of your life.

You were part of a couple for so long, and now he’s gone. How do you start over when you’re 60 years old and have depended on him for so much? If you’re struggling financially, read How to Start Over When You Need Money.

Make a list of things that 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 life inconsequential.

Starting Over After Your Husband Dies

starting over as a widow

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. If you’re struggling to start over, read 5 Things That Make Life Meaningful – Beyond Having Children.

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:

“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.”

After Your Husband Dies Starting Over in Your 60s

Starting Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband Dies

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.

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. And, 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 others with their grief. What’s best for you? It depends on your personality, lifestyle, and loved ones.

Remember that your obstacles are your life

“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.

Your obstacles are your life.

Starting Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband DiesOne of my favorite books on starting over and 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.

For additional support in coping with your husband’s death and starting over, visit Dr Therese Rando’s Coping With Sudden Death article. Here’s a tip that I found very helpful:

“You may feel a profound loss of security and confidence in the world [after your husband dies]. 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.”

Dr Rando offers a great deal of support, and has even written a book about coping with death and starting over.

One of my most popular articles is How to Let Go of Someone You Love. Read it, and you’ll see you’re not alone.

I welcome your thoughts on  being 60 and starting over after your husband dies. Please comment below; I can’t offer advice or counseling, but sharing your story can help you clarify your thoughts and feelings, which will help you heal.

May God fill you with His peace and joy.

Related to Your Search


Do you need encouragement and inspiration?

Sign up for my free weekly Blossom newsletter!

* indicates required

95 Responses

  1. Laurie says:

    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,

  2. MARY KARDICK says:

    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.

  3. Laurie says:

    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

    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 🙂


    • Jo says:

      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.

  4. Laurie says:

    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

    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,

  5. Jennifer Dale says:

    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 says:

      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.

    • sandy says:

      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

  6. MARYKARDICK says:


    • Jo says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

      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.

  7. Analise says:

    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 says:

      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. 🙂

  8. Mountainmomma says:

    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 says:

      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.

  9. Josh Horton says:

    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.”

  10. Laurie says:

    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

    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.


  11. Hannah says:

    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….

  12. Laurie says:

    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

    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,

  13. cindy L says:

    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!

  14. Monette says:

    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?

  15. Still Grieving says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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 … 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!!!

  16. Lynne says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

      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 says:

      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 says:

      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!

  17. sheila says:

    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.

  18. julie says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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

  19. lynn Grieff says:

    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 says:

      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

  20. Laurie says:

    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?

  21. pat poss says:

    i lost my husbaND A MONTH AGO and i just don’t really want to live without him i feel my life is over please help me

    • Jenne says:

      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 says:

      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 says:

      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

  22. Janina says:

    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.

  23. lesley says:

    my husband died 31 may 2015 he was 70 and was only ill for 11 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 says:

      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.

  24. Laurie says:

    You’re not alone.

    Here are two new articles on starting over after your husband dies:

    Whether you’re starting over in your 60s or your 20s, I hope these articles give you strength and courage for the journey.


  25. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    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!


  26. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    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.


    • Jenne says:

      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?

  27. Lori Russell says:

    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.

  28. Linda says:

    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.

  29. linda says:

    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

  30. Jen says:

    Thanks Deb.

  31. Jen says:

    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 says:

      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.

  32. awake says:

    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.

  33. Shirleyjo says:

    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 says:

      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.

  34. Fate Dailey says:

    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.

  35. sheila says:

    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 says:

      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.

  36. Terri says:

    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.

  37. Mary says:

    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 says:

      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.

  38. Donna Miller says:

    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.

  39. Kathy says:

    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.

  40. Deborah says:

    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.

  41. connie says:

    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 says:

      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

  42. Deborah says:

    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 says:

      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

  43. Anita says:

    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.

  44. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    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,

  45. Deborah says:

    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.

  46. Janice Cox says:

    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.

  47. susan millay says:

    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

  48. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    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,

  49. Pam graudushus says:

    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?

  50. Laurie says:

    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,

  51. Anita says:

    I’m sorry, but my age should read 68 not 46 (46 is my birth year).

  52. Anita says:

    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.

  53. Laurie says:

    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:

    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,

  54. Donna Nelson says:

    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.

  55. Judy says:

    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.

  56. Laurie says:

    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!


  57. Judy says:

    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.

  58. Laurie says:

    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.


  59. Ellen says:

    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.

  60. Linda Plank says:

    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.

  61. Laurie says:

    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.


  62. Laurie says:

    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?


  63. Linda Plank says:

    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.

  64. june says:

    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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *