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Hello. 

I am new to this forum (i tried to register a few times before but this time was finally “validated”). 
As many of you, my story is kind of sad. 
I lost my wife of nearly 30 years and my entire universe has since changed.  
She was only 46. I met her when she was 17. We became engaged when she was 18 and subsequently lived our lives together.  
She was my best friend.  
She died on a Thursday,  both our kids were headed to college that Monday.  So I went from a house full of people (my wife and I excited about becoming empty nesters) to being completely alone in a matter of days. 
One of the WORST parts…I have not been able to meet any other widowers or widows.  
I look forward to dialogue with you all, as this is  something only those who have experienced can understand.  I respect each of your feedback. Thanks. 

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Sad Widower

So sorry about you loss, glad you found your way here. This is a caring community.

I lost my husband just over 19 months ago, I’m also an empty-nester. I’m familiar how hard it is to meet others who can relate. I have a couple of suggestions, and if they don’t fit that’s ok, everyone’s grief journey is different.

I went online and found a grief group called Grief Share, it’s typically put on through a church. I went through it twice, both times via Zoom. I think they may offer it in person now. I found it very helpful. Research it and see if it’s something you may want to try.

You can also try searching for widow/widowers support group in your city. I did this and found a nice group of people. Of course everyone has a different story, but it’s still been helpful.

Boho-Soul
 

 

 

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Thank you Boho-Soul for your reply. I am sorry for your loss as well.  Definitely the hardest part for me has been the isolation. I’ve spent my life in very active and social environments and since my loss (19 months ago as well) I have been in total isolation. 
i was an executive at Bank of America and I was so wrecked I never went back to work.  I just recently obtained a new position but work from home.  
The other part—I have no plans to “start over”. While I am just 52, I realize I could meet someone, start a new life etc, but that is not for me. 
in my mind I was blessed to find my true soulmate, and consequently I await the time she and I are together again (which I sincerely believe). 
To that end, I do miss a “woman’s touch”.  I would love to meet a woman for a platonic relationship (almost a sibling like) as I am the type who needs a woman in his life…unsure it that even makes sense. 
I will definitely check out Grief Share. We have a local “Widows Cliub” but it’s not for me.  
I am in that odd demographic where I Iost a long-time spouse at a young age. My life has been hell ever since but I am slowly working out of it.  
The only thing that keeps me going is my firm belief I will be with her again.  
thanks so much!

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I also encourage you to consider Soaring Spirits International ~ an outstanding resource for those whose spouse has died. From their website:

Soaring Spirits has one goal; to connect widowed people with each other.

As an organization, our leaders have personally experienced the power of the words, “I get it.” We have felt the relief of being understood by another widowed person.  We have laughed, and cried, with our widowed community. We have witnessed the transformation that having access to hope makes for someone whose life has been altered by death.

Through our unique programs, we prove to widowed people from all walks of life that they are not alone. Our innovative, life-affirming events, groups, and virtual programs provide vital access to hope for widowed people everywhere; hope for the moment, as well as hope for the future.

If you are widowed: Soaring Spirits is a safe place for you to begin the process of rebuilding. We won’t pretend this is easy, and we won’t put a timeline on your process. We will provide you with a huge group of people who are making their way through their own loss, and who are willing to walk beside you through yours. We will also assure you, as many times as needed, that a full and happy life is still possible for you. Really.

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Hi Sad Widower,

I am also 52 and lost my wife a little over two years ago. I am so sorry for your loss. 

I understand completely about wanting a woman in your life. I know I will never have another relationship with a woman, but just to have one as a friend would mean everything to me. It's not about a physical relationship for me, it's just that I honestly don't relate well or get along with men. I know I will be with Annette again- I don't know if that knowledge keeps me going or if it makes me think of ending this existence. I want to be with her now, and if I can't be with her now, then how will I survive without anyone that understands? 

I think one of the really difficult hurdles in my journey is that we had no children, so I feel that emptiness of not having that part of us that could have been. She wasn't able to have children, and I never begrudged her that, but a lot of widowers have heirs, a part of their spouse that lives on. It's just an empty existence until I can be with Annette. 

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3 hours ago, Sad_Widower said:

 Definitely the hardest part for me has been the isolation.

I was so wrecked I never went back to work.
 
I am in that odd demographic where I Iost a long-time spouse at a young age. My life has been hell ever since but I am slowly working out of it.  

I totally can relate to the isolation, my network of friends disappeared. Just this spring I began to actively make new friendships so I feel connected and have a sense of belonging.

I was a wreck after Michael died as well, went on medical leave from work, now I’m on LTD while I continue to recover. Just remember the importance and value of self-care.

 I’m in my 50’s to and I agree that it’s an odd demographic to be widowed. The women in my widows group are in there 70’s and I can’t always relate, and my new group of friends are in their 30’s. I like the 30 somethings, it helps me feel vibrant and I can relate to them much easier. It’s just strange to be sandwiched in the middle with a 20 year span on either side.

 I’m glad to hear you’re slowly working through things, this transition is definitely something you can’t rush.

Wishing you healing and blessings on your journey 😌

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7 hours ago, Sad_Widower said:

Hello. 

I am new to this forum (i tried to register a few times before but this time was finally “validated”). 
As many of you, my story is kind of sad. 
I lost my wife of nearly 30 years and my entire universe has since changed.  
She was only 46. I met her when she was 17. We became engaged when she was 18 and subsequently lived our lives together.  
She was my best friend.  
She died on a Thursday,  both our kids were headed to college that Monday.  So I went from a house full of people (my wife and I excited about becoming empty nesters) to being completely alone in a matter of days. 
One of the WORST parts…I have not been able to meet any other widowers or widows.  
I look forward to dialogue with you all, as this is  something only those who have experienced can understand.  I respect each of your feedback. Thanks. 

Hello Sad_Widower, I'm so  sorry for the loss of your beloved wife and at such a young age too. I know exactly how you're feeling, it's been almost 20 months for me since I lost my darling husband unexpectedly, suddenly to a cardiac arrest, he was only 57. I never  thought in a million years that I would be widowed at 53, we were supposed to grow old together.Thankfully I also have two grown-up children living with me (can understand how it must hurt you that you've lost your wife at the same time that your kids have left home), but my son and daughter  obviously have their own lives to get on with. I don't want to be an emotional burden to them. I feel guilty at times because I'm not the same mother I was for them before, always brooding, bad tempered and lost in thoughts, no enthusiasm, lethargic, and so on.  How can I be myself, if my other half has gone? There are really know words to describe the pain we go through when losing a soulmate, it's impossible to confide in friends who haven't gone through the same grief, they just don't understand, feel awkward and end up just not bothering to ask anymore.

We all relate to you here, I'm glad I found  this site, even if I go through periods when I just don't feel like talking. It's a safe comforting place to share thoughts and feelings, it's reassuring knowing that everyone understands, being in the same situation. 

Take care. 

 

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I am so sorry for your tremendous loss...my husband and I didn't MEET until our mid 40s, I was 52 and him barely 51 when we died, most of our friends in their 40s.  It's hard as they don't get it.  I hope you do meet others going through it...it helps to attend a grief support group but not all are equal and the same.  Give them a chance but don't be afraid to keep looking if it isn't a good fit, maybe try one 2-3 times before deciding.  

14 hours ago, Sad_Widower said:

The only thing that keeps me going is my firm belief I will be with her again.  

We need hope and I also believe we'll be together again!  
 

Grief Process

This is not a one-size-fits-all, what strikes us one day will be different a few months/years from now, so please save/print this for reference!

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of its own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs)))  Praying for you today.

 

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Welcome to this forum. I lost my boyfriend 8 years ago and we were on our 30s. I have this phrase that says I was killed and have been left alive. I didn't have tools nor support from my friends as they have no idea what this means. I isolated myself for 2 or 3 years. I found this place through Google and these people can be my parents for the age difference. Yet I nod at their posts in agreement and we all care here and nobody judges. 

Ana

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13 hours ago, V. R. said:

How can I be myself, if my other half has gone? There are really know words to describe the pain we go through when losing a soulmate, it's impossible to confide in friends who haven't gone through the same grief, they just don't understand, feel awkward and end up just not bothering to ask anymore.

I relate to this so well.  I look at this forum and have read and posted so much over the past almost 8 years and while it’s not as intense, it’s always there. Half of me died, too, and it will never come back.  I only have one friend that understands because she lost her partner.  People were supportive at first, but that only lasted a year max.  Now they are baffled why I haven’t gone back to the me they used to know.  I never will.  I’ve told them I won’t so now there is something ‘wrong' with me.  They don’t want to hear about it like its some minor annoyance I carry voluntarily. So many have dropped out of my life.  Some I thought were our friends, guess they were just his.  I can’t truly judge them, I wouldn’t have understood it if the tables were turned.  I only understood death of parents and family members.  Not my life partner.  When he got sick, I thought I understood.  I was so wrong til I actually did lose him.  Being  a caregiver became part of my life and I lost that job.  It was hard, but at least we were together.  We had 4 good years and the 5th was hell.  Months of images I’ll ever erase from my mind.  Why can’t we erase the nightmares and have to try so hard to hold onto the good dreams?

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First, I want to thank each and every one of you who replied to me.  
I read all of the responses in detail and cannot express what your feedback means to me. 
To help put it in perspective, this is the first and only dialogue I have had with others who have experienced this devastation and I sincerely mean it when I say yours is the only feedback I respect and take to heart.  
I will post separately about this, but this has broken me to the point I have r lost relationships with other family members.  As an example, my parents…whom I am their only child and have had an incredibly close relationship with them my entire life, saw such a change in home (which I cannot help), the literally told me to “get over it.” , which hurt me as much as anythint in my entire life.  
Consequently when I say I have been isolation, the past 30 holidays we hosted at our house with large family gatherings, expressing our love to one another and basing bonding as a family. 
However the pad two Thanksgivings. Christmas’, etc, I have literally sat at home alone while the rest of my family celebrated together.  It is surreal to me and I cannot believe it’s happening. 
To the point, I have made an extreme decision that is beyond life-changing.   
Again I will conduct a separate post as to what my plans are, but feel it’s safe you say you will all find it extremely interesting.
The good news is, after my wife passed, I truly had an epiphany that showed me the reason I even exist and consequently have to decided to live out my remaining days under this plan (and personally feel I am blessed to understand my true meaning).  
More to come and I really appreciate you all allowing me to share my story as I have no one else. 

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Your family reaction is beyond shocking, and deeply sad. So, so sorry you have to go through this on top of everything else. The ones who haven’t experienced such a profound loss often struggle to understand the impact it has. The blunt and insensitive reactions of others is felt to the core, and when it’s family, gosh, I honestly can’t imagine what you’re going through. On the Holmes and Rahe Stress Inventory  https://www.stress.org/holmes-rahe-stress-inventory  death of spouse is number one. You add up the other factors that happen after such a loss and one’s score can go up rather quickly. Be mindful of this and practice self-care.

35 minutes ago, Sad_Widower said:

I really appreciate you all allowing me to share my story as I have no one else. 

You have us. So glad you are now a member of our supportive community 🤗

32 minutes ago, Sad_Widower said:

I have made an extreme decision that is beyond life-changing.

Now I’m curious and I look forward to hearing more about this extreme life-changing decision .

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Apart from very rare exceptions, most people who ever posted something here mention the loss of family and friends bonds. This is one of the most awful discoveries a bereaved does and it literally breaks faith in everything else.

When I think of all of it, my family and friends I guess they were very bad equipped and in their words to me they were not addressing me, but themselves and their fears. I have enough chronological distance to recognize this. I have had an epiphany too. I had to forgive and release a prisoner from the cage. It was me the prisoner.

You mention in another post that you are moving from your county. That will give you some distance to the family straying but I would like to point out that it all may follow you to your new place. If anything I would like to suggest you to seek counseling in order to prepare yourself for this big movement.

what you will never lose is this caring place that Marty has built for all of us.

Peace

Ana

 

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I look forward to reading what you have to say...

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