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Jen

Our suggestions for the newly widowed

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Kevin, I lost my Jim to a sudden blood clot to the lung as well. I am so, so sorry. (((((HUGS)))))

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I don't often come into this section but tonight I did.  As I read all your stories it brought me back to my early days and all the support I received from fellow wids. The ones I remember most are

 

- be gentle on yourself. 

- drink plenty of water (the not eating days and lots of crying dehydrates you)

- make sure you eat when you can.  PB&J, cereal, pizza, etc are perfectly good meals for you and your kids multiple nights a week

- your grief, your rules...meaning no one can define for you the right way to grieve. your grief journey is unique to you.

 

I'm so sorry you had to join this club but glad you were able to find this place.

 

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Guest nonesuch

My husband was kind of a pack rat.  I'm six years out, but there are still things that aren't of sentimental value to me that are basically clutter.  Some of it came from his family.  Over the years I started sorting and setting aside for this cousin or that in-law...and it was just a few months ago I thought, hey, this stuff that was *his* is now *mine*.  I have no obligation to send any damned thing anywhere.  I can throw out pictures of his relatives, I don't *have to* send back that possible collector's item because it came from his Dad; I can just sell it on Ebay.  There is one thing, a vase his mother gave me, (and her mother gave her) I thought ought to stay in the family...but now I'm thinking, WTH, she gave that to me.

 

I'd love for his daughter to have something, because, or in spite of the fact that they were pretty much estranged and didn't have a lot of time together.  But you know what? His ex was the cause of that.  His daughter likes having money (she doesn't handle it well) but there's nothing here that's very valuable.  I'm not going to agonize over it any more.

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hi all,

 

I am new here, new to this life, new to the crushing reality of having lost my husband 2 weeks ago. I am being tossed back and forth between intense sadness, anger for being thrown into this situation and feeling so sorry for our little girls who will have to grow up without a father.

 

Similar to another story I read here, he gave our girls a kiss and popped out for a quick run - 2.5 km later he was gone. Ripped from our life just like that. I realise it is true but find it so unacceptable. We were so happy, in the middle of renovating our house and loving life. He was only 35 years old - our life together as a family had only just started.

 

Finding this site and reading your posts helps a little. I wouldn't wish this upon anyone but am relieved I am not the only one in the world going through this utterly lonely experience, if that makes sense.

 

thank you for sharing...

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Dianne I am so very sorry for your loss and for your little girls.  You have found a wonderful place where people understand the devastation you are experiencing.  Keep reading and post as much as you need to, we can't take away the pain but we can help you feel less alone in your grief. 

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Dianne34 - I too am so so sorry for your loss. It is a crushing reality and it sucks so much. The early days are so raw and traumatic. We all understand here no matter our circumstances. Its like a subculture of the world that has been faced with one of life's dirty little secrets and at least here we can connect. I have not posted a whole lot but I read almost every day and it has helped feeling like I am not the only one.

 

Be kind to yourself and try to just get by taking baby steps but I know with young children that is very hard to do.  Take care.

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It has been 14 years since my LH died so I am reaching, reaching back into memory to recall what worked for me.

 

Forget reading...I could not summon the concentration necessary to read books and I feared I had lost it forever but this ability returned. Instead of reading I watched movies. So many movies...and this was before Netflix so I ran up a huge bill at Blockbuster.

 

I made myself get dressed every day after the first six months of wearing only nightgowns and pajamas. It helped me feel like I had purpose even though, for quite awhile, I didn't.

 

I took a frivolous trip to New Orleans at about four months. It was where I met DH and it helped me to be in that city with my memories. I took my daughter with me and showed her everything important, fed her every food that her Dad and I had enjoyed together. We spent money we didn't have, stayed at a great boutique hotel and took taxi's everywhere. I still don't know how I paid for it but it was so GOOD. She still talks about it...she was 17 then and is now 31.

 

I did some crazy stuff too- I used to sleep on the driveway. It made me feel better inside to feel crappy outside and sleeping in the cold on concrete sure does make you feel like crap. I also used to hike up this hill behind my house and scream at the top of my lungs. This felt more productive than getting onto a crying jag. I could get those emotions OUT without the headache that comes from crying for days on end. Luckily I lived in the middle of nowhere. I'm sure someone heard me but they probably had no idea where the sound was coming from. I probably sounded like a banshee. Screaming as loud as you can hurts your throat but it did make me feel better to get it all out at once and in such an extreme way.

 

I took over DH's closet. The motivation to do so was also a bit crazy- I wanted there to be some benefit, selfish as hell, in his death. Just some small benefit. We had two side by side closets in our bedroom and I put all of my out of season clothes in his closet and lined up all of my shoes like a celebrity. So there.

 

For awhile I did things that DH wouldn't have liked, prepared and ate meals he hated for the same reason as the closet take-over. I cut my hair really short. I wore my cowboy boots with shorts. DH had given me an antique silver charm for Christmas the Christmas before he died and never got me a bracelet to put it on. His treatment nurses used to give him hell about it (they knew how much it would mean to me to have him complete the gift) and I purchased my own bracelet and added the charm and then spent lots of money on other vintage charms that had meaning as regards our life together. I still wear this everyday, have added more charms to it to the point of obnoxiousness but I love touching the charm that has a man and woman sitting close to each other on a park bench (the one he gave me).

 

I had a big box of love letters- we started our relationship at the end of a summer while we were both home from college. I went back to my out of state school and we wrote letters to each other pretty much every day. I read and re-read these. It was a bit like hearing his voice again and it reminded me of our love, our beginning passions, our reason for being US. (we were married 24 years when he died, together for 27 years.)

 

At six months I started swimming. I drove 45 miles each way to get from my rural home to a pool that offered heated water and lap swimming. Reaquainting myself with my body and getting more fit was helpful in so many ways. I could sleep better, had more stamina with which to do "everything" by myself and as I had gained a lot of weight while DH was in treatment for the cancer that killed him, it felt good to be able to wear my clothes more comfortably as the swimming whittled off the fat. It helped me not to be so freaked out about my health too as that was a concern that kept me up at night.

 

Before the six month mark I really couldn't do much to forward myself. I gave myself a pass for those six months and well afterwards I was kind to myself when I was having a bad day. I allowed it.

 

I think it's best not to expect too much out of yourself. I have a friend who lost her husband shortly after she had given birth to their first child. Her road through her early widowhood looked nothing like mine. I had far more wiggle room for self-indulgence and I certainly did a lot of it. Each of us has our own path and the trick is to find what works for you and to give yourself time to grieve, however that looks to you.

 

Jeudi (Judy)

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I am at the little over a month mark. I am lost, confused and literally alone. I cry at everything, get angry for the littlest things, and rejoice when I feel good enough to shower.

I have found that little things also make me smile and think of Scott. Someone texted me just days after he passed to ask how I was...that still bothers me, but that particular day it was funny. I was texting back that I was fine-ish. My phone auto corrected it to I am a fish. My children and I got a needed laugh...they are all adults 19, 21, and 24. So now if we are asked we say we are a fish.

I am a creative writing major and planned on writing historical fiction. Now I have decided to write a young widow grief book because there isnt much out there.. I have decided the title will be I am a fish

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Hi, Angela. 

 

Welcome to our forum.  I'm sorry you had to join us.  Although I am capable at times of writing fairly coherently, sometimes I revert to my basics.  Here it is:  This all sucks!  At one month out, I would be surprised if you were not lost, confused and literally alone, even when surrounded by your kids, friends, family and co-workers.  Your heart and soul are just lost, and the only thing that could make things right is something you can't have.  It sucks.  In plain English, it does! 

 

People around us try to help us and talk to us and they are often at a loss as to what to do or say...so they ask the obvious and rote questions like, "How are you?"  But often, many are not ready or capable of dealing with our truth.  I've been down this road twice now and learned that it was best for me to be real with people and to give them words they didn't know how to say.  I acknowledged it must be awkward for them and I told them many of my personal truths.  I told people to talk about my husband and stop worrying about making me sad or making me cry.  I was already sad and crying.  Perhaps you can do something like this with your friends and family.  It was worse for me with the elephant in the room that people were afraid to acknowledge.

 

I hope you find comfort here amongst people who understand.

 

And by the way...I love your book title.  You will find over time that we actually have widow humor.  We can always use more!

 

Hugs,

 

Maureen

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It's so hard to post here, it's so hard to even read this thread, but I'm really trying. I've read all these suggestions but can't help but wonder how much they really help, or if things will ever truly get easier.

 

My Husband passed away a little over a week ago, four days before our one year wedding anniversary (though we had been together for almost six years). It was completely sudden and unexpected, he was only 25 and I am only 23. I feel so lost and confused. I am widowed before most of my friends are even married. Many of them are now engaged and my best friend phoned me today saying her BF proposed and I felt so bitter, and I don't want to feel that way. But I feel so robbed. Not just of my Husband, but of the future that we were supposed to have. The children that we were supposed to have. The life we were supposed to build together. I know that the grief is still fresh and that I'm young but right now I feel like I'll never over come this feeling. I'm so tired of people saying "Oh I know what you're going through I lost so and so" and it is NOT the same as losing YOUR person. Being a widow at 23 is like being trapped because NO ONE around me understands what it's like, especially not my friends.

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BambiGrk,

 

I am so sorry for your loss.  You were robbed.  I am grieving the future that we should have had and feel like a freak/alien because none of my friends or family have experienced this type of loss. Reading some of these posts have helped me feel a little less alone and little less confused.  Thank you for posting.

 

Butterfly

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Butterfly,

 

I am sorry you are grieving and for your loss as well. Yes, it is so hard when there is no one around that understands this type of loss. I def get the freak/alien thing, as that's how I feel too. Or it's like everyone is treating you with kid gloves.

 

My Mother seems to think that she can do things to keep my mind off it; take me to get my hair or nails done, shopping, etc, etc. I suppose there are women out there that do grieve like that but for me personally I have no desire to do these things. They will not make me forget my loss and they will not stop my hurt, even for a minute. Not to say I don't appreciate her kind gesture.

 

It is comforting to know that there are people going through the same thing, although I am sad that they have to...

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Only do what is absolutely necessary in the first days/weeks after your spouse/partner/SO passes away. Make sure that you take care of you. Don't isolate yourself.

 

My husband gave me detailed instructions on where he wanted certain items to go to after he passed away. That helped me immensely! The rest of his belongings, I sorted through as time went by, and only got rid of those things that were no longer needed.

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