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Almost 2 Years!

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This is the first time that I have come to this site, or requested advise from anyone.

It has been almost 2 years since my husband died. He had a spot removed from his arm in July 2008 that was melanoma, and had a surgery to ensure it was completely gone, and was told that he was completely clean. Then during a routine follow-up scan in March, the cancer was in his liver and hip bone. He went into the hospital for a 5 day treatment that he would repeat, according to the doctor every 3 weeks. They waited almost 2 weeks to begin the treatment, and he never made it out of the hospital. They never mentioned that he could die from this, and I guess I was too naieve to think about that! We found out 3 days before he died that he was dying. He was 30 years old when he passed away, and we had been together for only 7 years.

My family, and my husband's family are both on the other side of the country, and the only support that I have are my co-workers, who have been wonderful. I have one couple that we were friends with that still has contact with me. Alll of his/our other friends have disappeared.

I have been trying to do my best with my three children since then, and they do very good at keeping me busy. I am very overprotective, and have had a little bit of a hard time with the teenagers. The youngest, which is my husband's only biological child, gets the most of my worry. (Melanoma, according to my research, is hereditary)

I think that I have come to the realization that I will be alone from here on out, but it seems to be getting me down lately. I had to take my rings off on my last anniversary. (I don't feel like I deserve to wear them. There is no longer anyone here that will love me unconditionally!) I feel like my meltdown episodes are much farther apart than they used to be, but cannot help but feel like I should not be raising my kids alone. It is much harder on my own than with my husband here! The break-downs usually occur when I get over stressed over time issues. I cannot be in more than one place, but I need to be!!

I feel like this should be easier to get over than it is. I am not used to being dependant on anyone, and I am coming to the conclusion that I depended on him more than I thought. I don't understand why this seems to be so hard on me. I am not the only person who has had to go through this. How does everyone else do it??

Have I rambled aimlessly enough?? (I am sorry if I upset any of the others on here that have lost loved ones with my few feelings that I expressed)

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Dear Michelle5,

I am also pretty new here. You have landed in a good spot. These folks are truly caring and supportive.

The story of your husband's passing is very similar to that of my wife's--far too quick and far too out of the blue to make sense. I understand too well that part of your pain. But my loss is closer in time than yours is. I wear my wife's rings around my neck and my wedding ring is still on my finger. I told her I would move my ring to my right hand when she died, but I have not yet had the emotional strength to move it even that far. I thought to put her rings in her jewelry box, but they lived in a plastic bag in my pocket for weeks--again because I could not bear to be apart from them--they are a connection to her and who we were together. The chain around my neck feels better. Some day the strength will be there to do what you have done--but not yet.

But I have to disagree with you on one point: your unconditional love for and from your husband is not dead. And you are entitled to his unconditional love--that does not go away just because his body is no longer there. You have your children as signs of that love. And they bear you the same love--even if as teenagers they may no longer have the ability to express it as clearly as you would like. Don't lose sight of that in the pain you are working your way through.

My wife and I had no children. But we were --and I still am for a little while--teachers. The outpouring of love we both received from them in the last weeks of her life buoyed us up in those weeks--and has carried me through much of the time since. Some drove hundreds of miles to be there at the wake and funeral. And many of both our former and current students check in on me regularly to make sure I am still a going concern. If teenagers can have that degree of love--and give that kind of support-- to two teachers that they are not related to, how much more love would they have for their parents? Trust me when I say that your children love you far more than you know.

You say that this is the first time you have reached out for support. I take it that means you have not sought out either a physical support group or an individual therapist. While I have not yet been to a therapist, that is high on my list of next steps. My physical support group only meets once a month--we meet tomorrow and I know Ii need to be there--but it has been good to listen to what others are experiencing--and discovering that my experiences are not outside what others are feeling. Please think about those two actions. They will be helpful.

I am so sorry for your loss and hope you will find the kind of help and support here that I have.


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Hi Michelle

You are in the right place. It is one year this Sunday since my husband of 24 years and friend of 36 years died. I too was not aware that he was dying until just 5 days before he died. You have had your hands full with grieving and raising kids alone. I admire you and am glad you have come to this forum and hope you return often. Do not worry about rambling or saying too much or too little. Here we all understand and none of us judge. As for removing your ring...perhaps you can consider that he does still love you from a new place and only remove those if that is what you really want to do instead of what you think you should do. I will wear mine forever. You may choose to do likewise or not...but let it be your own decision based on desire. You deserve to wear the ring.

I hope you return often.


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Guest Nicholas


I read your post with sadness, my son's funeral was 9 weeks ago today.

I don't have much to add other than hello and good luck.


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Dear Michelle,

I, too, am so very sorry for your loss, and I can only imagine how painful this must be for you. Still, I am grateful that you've found your way to this warm and caring place, where I know you will find the support and encouragement you deserve. It helps so much to hear from others who have traveled ~ and are traveling still ~ this long and challenging road. It can give you hope that if others have gone before you and survived, then somehow you will find a way to do the same.

You say you don't have much support nearby, other than your coworkers. I don't know if you've spent much time on the Internet, but I want to point you to a number of resources aimed specifically at young widows. You'll find many of them listed on the Death of a Spouse page of my Grief Healing Web site, but I especially encourage you to check out the following sites:

Blog List: Blogs by Widows and Widowers, assembled by Blogger Crash Course Widow

The Widdahood: Social Support Network for Anyone Who's Suffered the Loss of a Significant Other

Widow Match Email Correspondence Program

Widow's Voice: A Place to Share, to Listen to Others, to Find Support

Widowed Village

Fresh Widow Blog

Young Widow Support Group Basics (Informative 3-Part Series from Fresh Widow Blog)

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Thanks to all for the responses. I think I just get overwhelmed with time. Between working and trying to attend all of the sports and after school events for all 3 kids, I dont have time for anything! I try to count that as a blessing, because if I had more time to think, I would be sad all the time. I prefer to be busy, but don't always have time for things that I should. (sleep, the yard, friends...)I feel alone even though my kids are always here. I miss the hugs telling me that I am making the right decision with everything I do in raising them.

Thank you all for the support, though. I will try to find time to continue on the site. I try to not use the computer after work after being on it here for at least 8 hours a day!

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You earned the right to wear your wedding ring the day you were married and nothing has revoked that...do whatever you feel most comfortable with, whether it's with or without it.

You are single parenting without the children ever "going to visit daddy", so you have no respite, esp. since your parents and his parents are so far away. Would it be possible for them to travel to see their grandparents for a week in the summer, to get to know them better and provide you with a break? What about an aunt or uncle?

Precluding that, perhaps you could take turns with someone else that has kids. A friend of mine had three kids, all in T-ball and they played in different areas of the city at the same time...even with two parents it was difficult to figure out the dropping off and picking up where a child wasn't left waiting. It IS hard, and it's essential to ask for help when you need it. "It takes a village to raise a child" is true! We can't be all things to all people all of the time, sometimes even the best of us needs help.

I am so sorry you lost your husband so young, it feels very unfair.

My mom, dad, and sister have all had Melanoma...just this morning I had a spot checked out that alarmed me...but it turned out to be okay. When we have a family history of it, we just have to be vigilant in keeping an eye out for anything unusual, esp. if it changes. The best thing your son can do to prevent skin cancer is to use sunscreen, don't burn, and limit time in the sun in the worst part of the day...that and have his doctor check him on his pediatric visits. Teach him what to look out for when he is old enough. A proactive stance is always best.

Most of all, don't forget time for YOU. Even if it's just putting a "Do not disturb unless there's blood or smoke" sign on the bathroom door and taking a bubblebath.

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