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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 21 of 31

Everyone's journey in grief and healing is different.  My husband passed away at only 56 after contracting an infection in the hospital, following a fall.  It was very difficult to find myself as a 55 year old widow with a 15 year old son.  I found support in a hospice run bereavement group for relatively young widows and widowers.  Not only was the therapeutic discussion series helpful but I met a friend.  She and I have become very close.  We have gone places together and enjoyed each other's company even as we've each struggled to recover from our loss.  My husband left a diary behind and when I read it, I feel as if he is next to me, talking.  He and I enjoyed 27 years of a wonderful marriage.  We raised two brilliant sons (the older one was 24 when my husband died).  I try real hard not to think of "should haves, would haves, could haves" because that's just not helpful.  Instead, I concentrate on positive memories of all the good times we shared.  I also realize how much I have grown in terms of my perspective on life and what's really important about people.  As a result of my experiences, I feel I am stronger.  I think I could offer others more now if and when I choose to enter new relationships, with males or females.  I am still working full-time which is good because it keeps my mind busy.  When I retire, I will decide how much time I wish to spend volunteering to help others.  My husband died just over three years ago.  I could not have been this coherent right after his death so I suppose life gets easier with time.  To those in mourning, I wish you the best of luck with your own healing process.

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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 22 of 31

WOW,  I know how everyone feels, I lost my Mom in 2012 she was 83 and I lost my Husband in 2014 he was only 64 we were married go 29 years. He had leukemia that he got from Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.   These two loses are very hard for me more so this time of year.  I try and be happy.  I have no to turn anymore.  Yes I have children and Grandchildren, but it's not the same.   I keep waiting for him to walk in the room and tell me everything will be okay. 

Tisia Y Sims
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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 23 of 31

Thank you for sharing your grief with me. I'm so sorry that anyone answering my post is or has felt this terrible pain just as I do. 

 

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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 24 of 31

I feel exactly as you do. I think it's hard for my family to understand that what constituted my day in and day out life is over. That although I'm a part of their families, and grateful for it, I'm on the outside looking in for the most part. I have learned not to look to far into the future or I fall into that black hole of despair that is always there, waiting for me. I can only think about what I need to accomplish today or next week, even next month but that's about it. I think it is even more difficult since we have been retired for 4 years. Not only do I have nothing to occupy my time but I have no interest in anything yet either. My brain tells me this will pass eventually and I try to hang on to that. Our stories are so very similar. Thank you for sharing and I hope you feel a little less pain every single day.

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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 25 of 31

I am so sorry to hear of your loss.I too am struggling with the loss of my love one.It has been 13 months since his passing.We were scheduled to marry 12/23/14,he however succumbed to complications to diabetes.I have kept a journal which helps me.I read cards and messages he sent me.I listen to a message he left on my phone.Memories of who he was is so helpful to me.Time does help,but healing does take time.

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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 26 of 31

Hello, my wonderful wife of 25 years passed away july 8, i saw her take her last breath, having a very hard time with this, christmas just will not be the same, children are very supportive but i still feel alone, i really thought she would outlast me.

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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 27 of 31

@ddtrotter wrote:

I did write in a journal at first. I hoped writing how I was feeling would help me get through and I think it did help some. I haven't picked it up since I returned from his funeral which we held near the end of Sept. I talk to my husband everyday.

My sister and my children are so supportive and always there for me as well as my brother who lives in town. We had only lived here a year when all this happened. Originally we had retired in Texas but decided we were just to far from family so moved back to my home town that we had lived away from for 25 years.

I have not sought counseling and don't plan to at this time, although I won't say never. 

Thank you for your reply I truly appreciate it.


I'm so glad you moved back. There are so many folks who have romantic dreams of retiring someplace different, but essentially leave all of their social ties when they do that. Thank goodness for sisters and children. I don't know where i'd be without my sister. And hooray for brothers.

 

Now that you are in the post-funeral time, and it's been almost 2 months, you have a bit of sense of 'space' perhaps to heal and putter and reconnect and rest. after a year or two a path forward may become clearer out of the mist.

 

have you heard of the book "The Year of Magical Thinking"? Joan Didion. Her year after her husband's death. You could glance at it at the library. I hear it's amazing.

 

Glad to hear you talk to him, too. 

 

So glad you wrote.

 

Jane

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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 28 of 31

I did write in a journal at first. I hoped writing how I was feeling would help me get through and I think it did help some. I haven't picked it up since I returned from his funeral which we held near the end of Sept. I talk to my husband everyday.

My sister and my children are so supportive and always there for me as well as my brother who lives in town. We had only lived here a year when all this happened. Originally we had retired in Texas but decided we were just to far from family so moved back to my home town that we had lived away from for 25 years.

I have not sought counseling and don't plan to at this time, although I won't say never. 

Thank you for your reply I truly appreciate it.

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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 29 of 31
By the way, there's a community that is specific to grief here: www.aarp.org/griefcommunity.
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Re: Coping with the death of my spouse.

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Message 30 of 31

@ddtrotter wrote:

I'm 60 years old and my husband was only 64 in August when he had a heart attack while we were vacationing on Maui. It was the morning of the day we were to go home after 3 weeks of fun. I found him in bed not breathing and we started CPR. The EMTs were able to get his heart beating eventually and we went to the hospital for a triple bypass. Dan never woke up, although his body healed well. He hadn't had enough oxygen to keep his brain alive so my love died 5 days later. He hadn't had any symtoms of heart disease but I continue to try and find a clue that I must have missed. My brother-in-law and sister were with me when this happend, sharing the same condo. I know all of us relive that morning over and over. We were true soulmates. Connected at the hip our family would say. We had retired 4 years ago. I find it hard to come up with a reason to continue although we have a very loving and supportive family. I still cry at least once each day. I would appreciate any advice from someone who has been through the loss of a their spouse. 


I am so, so very sorry.

 

There are others here who have lost spouses. I have been a hospice social worker and now i'm a community mental health therapist, and just yesterday i listened to a man with much the same scenario.  Loving marriage of many decades, early 60s, one morning his wife didn't wake up. Total shock. It's been 18 months since her death. He is still climbing out of the deep cave of grief. But i am inspired by what he's doing. Maybe his pathway will give you hope.

 

He is celebrating HER favorite holiday, which is Christmas, with renewed vigor. The first christmas without her was too hard. but this christmas he is ready and will pull out all the decorations she'd collected over 40 years and put them up. He's also inviting his kids and grand kids to come for christmas, from far flung states. He plans to invite them to take their favorites, and he'll come a fair bit for himself.

 

He can't seem to journal or write letters to his wife but he 'talks ' to her during the day and i suggested that he record ideas he wants to share with her, and memories, on his cell phone. maybe eventually he'll create an audio file that his kids and grandkids might enjoy. but mostly the idea of recording is to remember and share with her. He's excited about this.

 

He has strengthened his connection with his siblings who are thankfully local and spends time with them several times a week for meals and board games.

 

with all of this and many more things he's done since her passing, he still cries every single day.

 

this is just one story. we want to hear your story as you go through this. please share, please ask. who is around you now? who is your main support? is there some grief counseling you can get? since he died in the hospital, i presume he wasn't enrolled in hospice but most hospice grief groups are free to the community at large. what helps you get through each day, each hour?

 

we are here. thanks for writing.

 

Jane

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