Letter from a Widow

by Judith in California
(USA)

An Open Letter From a Widow

Please listen with compassion…when we tell you of our grief. When we tell you we cried today, even tho it's been 3 years or more since our love has passed, please don't say "you need to keep busy" or "He's with the Lord now" or He's in a better place". A better place would be with us. Please don't tell us what you think we need. You have no idea of what we need. What we need is for you to let us grieve our way. We need you to support us and hug us or just say "I'm sorry you are suffering so".
Let us fill our need to talk about our loves because they are still alive within us, the love we have for our mates is still there. It does not die with them… staying busy is not going to stop the pain or the sudden memory of them that comes to mind daily, several times a day. If you have not lost your mate to death yet you won't understand. We pray you won't for a long time because the heartbreak is like no other you'll have.

It's permanent, not temporary ,our loves are not coming back. We begin to feel this about 3 months into our grief. It really sets in.
Each type of death, be it husband, wife, child, mother, father sister,friend is different for each person.
There is no FIX for it. It takes time for the person who is experiencing it. For those who have a close relationship with God, it is still hard. You will not be the same person
you were. You will be sad deep down every day of your life. There will always be a void nothing will fill.

And Please don’t tell us of your loss of a brother, Aunt, Uncle , Sister, Father or Mother or other family member who wasn’t your spouse. There is no comparison.

There is no place you can go that won't remind you of them. If you were always driving or riding somewhere together, the mere act of driving down a street you took many times before will conjure up memories. The mere act of driving alone will be a sad drive because they aren't next to you. When you go alone to a restaurant
you both liked or a walk in the mall where you went every weekend because that's what they liked to do. When your loved one took you for an outpatient procedure and waited for you and they were there for you during any surgery, it is when you now have to go alone, that it will be an emotionally sad time.You now have to ask someone else to take you or take a cab. And then you wake up from a procedure without them being there watching over you. What is the fix for that? I'll tell you, Not a Darn thing.
What is the fix for suddenly never being told how much you are loved by your mate? What is the fix for suddenly never sharing kisses or intimacy with your mate?
I'll tell you…NOTHING! and NO ONE!
You realize you are alone to go through any hard decision making process and pray you make the right one.

And please don't think you're being clever by changing the subject when we "go there" by asking us about something else. We are very in tune with what we consider your insensitive diversion. This is your way of minimizing our grief, intended or not.

Yes, we will have times of laughter with family and friends or while watching a funny TV show or movie or we may even go out for the evening, but when the day is through and we are all alone in the all too quiet of our bedroom, the feelings of emptiness, sadness and loneliness return. We Pray for God to let us dream of them and some nights He does. As each day passes we know all too well our love is getting farther and farther away. And we pray they don't forget us.
We who grieve should not have to worry if you are uncomfortable with our grief. We are the ones who lost our loved one so if you feel uncomfortable with that then walk away. We are going to cry and not care what you think. We will cry when we need to, not when or where you think we should. Do you know that we do feel bad that you may be uncomfortable but we're gong to cry anyway. There are doors of which you can excuse yourself and walk out of. We are not doing anything wrong by our grieving.

And there is no certain time we should "get over it" or "time to move on". Only we will know when it is time and that's up to us, not you. That is an insult to us and when someone says that to us it again means they are minimizing our grief experience.

Grief is especially strong on special days like an anniversary, birthdays (yours, because he isn't there to give you a special loving card and you them), Valentines Day, the day for lovers, Thanksgivings, Christmases and on the anniversary of their death.

You and your mates can still kiss and hug and say I love you and that is great but realize we no longer can share that. It’s just lonely. We feel jealous and cheated when we see couples expressing their love for one another. We see an older couple walking together and say "that should have been us".

And, unless we have told you otherwise, when you send us mail please address it to MRS. so and so because we are still married. It really upsets us to see you just assume we don’t want to be MRS. anymore.

Time (be it months or years), prayer and truly supportive, caring family and friends are the only help for a grieving person.
The deep internal sadness is there. There will always be a grief corner with in us and memories at any given moment will start the tears to fall. So please just listen without suggesting what you think is a fix. Some us us will find love again but it doesn’t mean we will have totally forgotten our lost love.

Comments for Letter from a Widow

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May 26, 2014
married 42yrs. and grieving
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anonymous,
I am sorry for your loss of your husband. This is the worst place for us as widows to be. Everything you wrote word for word echoes what I feel, almost as if I had written it.
I lost my husband of 44yrs. to a deadly cancer 2yrs. ago. My grief feels worse now as I feel the loneliness and emptiness more. I don't have any friends as I was too busy raising 3 children who are all adult now and doing the house repairs to help my husband out whilst he worked all over the world and our country. Working long hours I became mother and father.
I did have friends, many casual acquaintances and Church friends. But I haven't been in church for years due to mobility issues and nursing my husband for 3yrs.39days with a deadly cancer. Before this it was ENCEPHALITIS. So for 7yrs. I cared for him intensively.
This is the loneliest journey of life. My children are all adults living their own independent lives. If I did not have mobility issues and in constant pain my life would be better as I could go out. This is the only time I don't feel my grief so much, is when I am out of the house. I keep myself busy with the house repairs and gardening etc. but it is no substitute for my loss. My husband died just before retirement. I am in retirement now so do this alone.
WE try to be brave whilst dying inside each day not knowing which way to turn. If you drive at all you will be able to get out of the house and at least move forward better. Best way forward is TAKING ONE DAY AT A TIME.
Yesterday I planted 7 hanging baskets. It was good being out in the fresh air. But I did it alone and the experience wasn't quite the same as doing this with my husband. There are many aspects of widowhood that will be challenging and take much time to re-structure our lives from what we did as a couple. I wanted to let you know that I know how you feel. I feel the same way. The loss of companionship is a hard cross to bear.

May 25, 2014
Married 42 Years and Grieving
by: Anonymous

My husband & were married 42 years & 4 days after our anniversary he was tragically killed, we were going to go out for our anniversary supper that night. He left home early in the morning & promised to home soon, I never got to say goodbye or one last kiss or anything, I feel as I've been robbed of so much. Every where I go & everything I do & see reminds me of him, I have never been alone & don't know how to do it alone & I really don't want to. At first my kids were close by but now it is less often & I really don't have friends, my husband did but not me. It hasn't been very long since his death but each day feels worse than the last one. A lot of what you write in your letter is so true but not all but I guess maybe circumstances may be different. I don't how I am going to carry on without him & my family really doesn't understand what I am going through it is not the same for them. I have always been strong but this exceeds any kind of pain imaginable or bearable, I would wish this on no one ever.

Apr 12, 2014
To Judith in California
by: bluebird

Thank you for posting your very well written letter, which does such a good job at explaining some of the *ell we all (those of us whose husband or wife has died) live in. Your letter should be required reading for anyone who knows a widow or widower.

Mar 31, 2014
Doreen
by: Alan (Maine U.S.A.)

Doreen, I've read your post's for some time now and you are one strong Lady! Like our mutual friend, Lawrence, your words are healing, unselfish and full of truth. For that, I am grateful. I truly believe that your beloved husband is extremely proud of the way you've extended your hand towards all of us in our time of need and the way you've taken care of things around your household...alone! I sense trying to help people through their grief is very satisfying for you, and for that may God Bless You, everyone of us you've helped, if even for a few minutes, hours, or days will forever be indebted to you.

Please keep doing what you do, Doreen, because it is indeed a gift. When I'm having a tough day I'll think of you and wonder how you would handle things, and just maybe I'll smile and think to myself "She'd probably just go back to bed"!

Take care of yourself, Doreen.

Mar 31, 2014
Alan in Australia
by: Alan (Maine U.S.A.)

Alan, my heartfelt condolences on your loss. It's amazing, isn't it, that at times we feel a special bond with folks we've never met, people who understand our pain, people dealing with their own **ll here on earth. Today was a classic example of how grief can grab a hold of you and spit you out before you realize what hit you. I had a good week, I had some dental work done and I could feel my wife's approval, it was like she was glad I was taking care of myself. This made me feel happy, and proud of myself at the same time. Today was a normal lazy Sunday, playing an online game and listening to what I call "My Healing Music" I started to think about how this road we're on is so damn lonely and how easy it would be for a fellow human to extend a compassionate hand and make our trek a bit easier. But, of course, no one called, or emailed, it's life as usual for everyone but us. And I started crying, thick tears, the type of tears that quickly run down your cheeks and bounce off the table. As this bout with emotion eased I thought to myself, Al, this is nothing new, you think you'd be used to it by now. This is, after all "The New Normal"! But I'll never get used to being this alone, and at times this needy. People theorize that others fear death, but death is as natural and ever-present as life itself. But, I can understand people being uncomfortable with it to some extent, I just wish most people would put more thought into what we're going through, and how many things in this world are really not important at all.

Thanks for sharing, Alan, I hope to hear from you again.

Mar 30, 2014
The Lord is my strength
by: Anonymous

Hello everyone. Just like to share my sister & I went on a 13 hr. trip back & forth to L.A. from San Jose California to my uncle's viewing, which took place on Thursday 3-27-14, I told my sister she shouldn't, because of the obstacles earlier that day. To long to say, but I didn't want to go, but I was sort of forced, by my instinct to join, my sister, because she was going on this trip alone, and something told me to go with her. I am glad I did, because we were lost, even though we had map instructions. Anyway I got to see an aunt, uncle, and cousins I haven't seen in yrs. I tell everyone gather around to take pictures, because we never know if this is our last day, or time we see each other. We laugh, cried, well I don't really cry, because I am usually those type that don't really shed tears, but my sister does. Well the hardest part was to watch the boy's view their father, before closing the casket, the youngest one David, just started balling alot, and it got to me, but I only knew how he really felt inside, that anxiousness that come over us, when we loose our love one, and you just can't help that feeling. He was still in shock, and very feeling out of him self. I think we all have felt that feeling come over us. I just felt helpless for him, because I can only imagine, now they have lost both parents now. I just pray that the Lord brings them "Faith, Hope, Courage, and strength to over come all this all over again, not that we all do, but the start of the grieving process of them all over again. Anyway folk I just wanted to share that, and that you all keep sending prayer of strength energy for my cousins in L.A the De La Rosa family. Tomorrow will be the burial when they will sat the ashes, inside my aunt Isabel burial ground, where wishes will be met and finalize for the "De La Rosa" family. I hope you all fine yourself's in better spirits, health, and stronger from your grief. I actually had a visit from my husband today, as we speak. See Folk how my loving dear husband looks out after me even in spirit. I feel blessed to have had such a wonderful beautiful husband. I ask him to help uncle Manual to help him his soul get there to the other side. Well to next time folks. The Lord is my strength.

Mar 30, 2014
2yr. Mark
by: Doreen UK

Alan I enjoyed reading your post. I am on the same page as you and understand where you are at in your grief journey. For me it is coming up to 23 months and the 2yrs. Mark will be here. It feels a lot longer.
I echo your sentiments. Do what you feel like doing, and even if this be nothing it feels good to be yourself. I also cook when I feel like it and eat what I want. Pampering one's self and doing nice things each day is a good foundation to healing from grief. I also can only take one day at a time. I can't look beyond today. I also feel as if my loss was a mistake and my husband is going to appear. I think grief has a common language we all feel and express in the same way. Because I feel what you say. I would value companionship, but not a new relationship. I think we all feel that what we had was so special it cannot be replaced in any shape or form. There may be the odd one or two who has managed to find what they are seeking in way of re-structuring their life and we wish them all the best. It is good to hear a follow up of how each one of us is coping with life. Be it good or bad. WE are here to continue to support each other. Thank You Alan for your post. May you continue to follow your heart each day and find Peace as you continue in your Healing from Grief. Best wishes.

Mar 29, 2014
Letter from a widow
by: Alan (Australia)

Alan, I could have written that letter myself except for the fact that I can't bring myself to give away anything of my darling Phyllis's yet. It's been 14 months now since I joined this insane grief journey. I have rejoined the workforce, met new friends and I am enjoying having a bit of spare money but it's as if I have to be a different person. One of my colleagues said why don't you sell your place and buy an apartment. He doesn't understand that this is where my darling lived and it horrified me to think of leaving here. I think people are scared of grief and I find it easier not to say anything and like you, wait for the weekend where I can be where my darling lived and loved. I still can't believe she has gone and still now get that fleeting thought in my brain that it's all a mistake and I'll get a call to come and get her. On the day of the funeral family and friends gave me so much support and not one of them delivered. Is that selfish of me? Should I call them and say can we just talk about Phyllis. Should I say you have no idea how I feel. I know the only way they would understand is if they lost their intimate partner, but I can't say that because I know it's the most soul destroying thing that could happen to anyone.
I often read Judith's letter because it says everything and I am very sorry for everyone on this site because I know what we are going through. To all my friends here, best wishes. This is a very hard journey we are on and I do come to this site for solace because you all here are the only people I know that understand what I'm going through because you are going through it yourselves.

Mar 29, 2014
2 year mark
by: Alan

First off, I would like to thank you Judith for your original post, it was beautiful and mirrored how we all feel, in that regard it is comforting knowing I am not losing my mind.

It has been 27 months since my beautiful wife Donna passed and like others have shared it hit me hard at a time I thought I was making progress. So many emotions, raw nerves, indecisions, and deep loneliness. I don't know if it's the final realization of our spouses not coming back or all the things we've had to deal with up to this point that just catch up with us. To someone who has been through it no explanation is necessary, to someone who hasn't, no explanation is possible.

Last summer I found the strength to donate my wife's clothing to Goodwill. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. The pain is impossible to describe. I've still got her favorite jacket and a few coats of hers, I'll keep these. She was a big Stephen King fan and was a member of his book club so needless to say she had every one of his books. Well, she promised this collection to a friend in Colorado but I haven't shipped them, I just don't want to, I feel guilty about this, but for now I'll just let them sit. I've given some earrings of hers away to family and close friends along with some other small items so they could have some of her things close to them. This made me feel good which, as you all know so well, is a hard thing to come by most days.

Most work weeks take their toll on me so when the weekend rolls around I don't feel like doing a thing. I do my errands, etc. and come back home to my apartment and recharge my batteries. If I don't feel like doing something, I don't, if I feel like eating something I enjoy, I do, it's that simple. I've gained weight, my home isn't as clean as it should be, and at this stage in my life I really don't care. Selfish? I don't think so, I call it survival. I have to take care of me now. A few weeks ago I went to the mall and splurged, I bought a nice pair of sunglasses that I normally wouldn't have bought. And you know what? It felt good!

We've had a long, hard winter in Maine this year. I'm hoping as the season changes so will my mood, maybe I'll be more open to doing things, seeing people, and just getting out more. Time will tell. But I can't and won't force it, it still is and will always be just one day at a time.

I wouldn't mind meeting a Lady with similar experiences, someone who gets it, someone who understands the tears, the loneliness, the fear. Someone to talk to, a shoulder, a hand to hold. She, or anyone else, could never fill the void left by my Donna's absence. But, in time, maybe a great, beautiful, special friendship could develop, perhaps we could help each other find peace. Just two people travelling life's road together, there for each other.

You see, I still do believe in miracles!

Mar 29, 2014
Thank you
by: Alassia

Dear Judith

Thank you for putting into words what we all feel yet can't communicate.

I visit the site from time to time but have not felt confident or safe about posting here since my initial posts but I felt compelled tonight to respond: what you have written has touched me deeply and echoes succinctly how I feel.

I know I couldn’t have expressed this so eloquently or with so much feeling.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Alassia

Mar 26, 2014
letter from a widow
by: Anonymous

Dear Judith I am sorry you had to write a letter like this. I lost my husband of 44 years to cancer Feb.2 2014. I had been with him since I was 15 years old. This is the first time I have ever been on my own and I am scared to death. I would like to copy your letter and give it to everyone who does not come around any more. But that would include everyone we knew. Thank you for putting how we feel into words. May God bless you and every widow and widower.

Mar 25, 2014
The Lord is my strength
by: Pat J.Green Bay,WI

Dear Doreen and Everyone on this site,
It will be 3 years for me on June 27th, which is a few months away, but I can tell you, I don't think we miss our spouse any less as the years pass by. I miss Red just as much. I so miss hearing his voice. Thank God, my oldest son always video taped our Christmas, so I can hear his voice on them and also see his face. The first time I watched them, which was ony a few weeks ago, I thought I'd cry. I didn't, but did have this lump in my throat and this ache in my heart. That ache will always be there for all of us. The longer they are gone the more we miss them. We cherish our memories, that's all we have left.
Everyday, the first thing in the morning, I still tell my husband I love him and miss him and I ask my God to guide me and show me the way. I still take it one day at a time and I don't sweat the small stuff. Life is too precious. Only ones walking in our shoes truly understand. I don't think I will ever enjoy the holidays as I did when Red was alive. I go through the motions for my adult children and grandchildren.
My love and Blessings to everyone on this site.
Judith, I again say the words you wrote are truly how we all feel.

Mar 25, 2014
The Lord is my strength
by: Doreen UK

Hi Everyone,
Thought I would respond also to the 2yrs. mark. Well this is approaching 5th May is just a little over a month away and it will be 2yrs. I lost my precious Steve. Yesterday was our wedding anniversary and it would have been 46yrs. married. I had a delayed tearful moment and a rant of telling God how I feel. All I have left is ME. I don't like focusing on me. I am so used to caring for a family that I miss this. Two Adult children are married and living their own lives and I have my 33yrs. old daughter still at home. She works full time so I still get to cook for her. I do have a good life, but it is a lonely life. I have much to thank God for and I do count my blessings. Grief for me comes and goes and I don't know what memory is going to pop up next. But I can say that 2yrs. is the mark I thought would make me feel less grief. But this is not so. I do find myself regressing to some moments automatically when a memory comes back and this is often. For me I feel MY LOSS OF HUSBAND MORE. I loved Easter and looked forward to my husband being home and I would make a special effort to make hot cross buns, home made bread and pizza's and all the food he loved. He had 4 days off work and this was good. Even if I make new memories they are not quite the same. I put many good things in my day, but somehow there is a hollow emptiness as they are just for me. I love doing things for family, but they are all now doing their own thing. Spring is almost here and it will be gardening and planting the hanging baskets and Steve is not here to assist. WE would try to see who could do the best hanging basket. I have finally cracked it and had the best show in years. But Steve is not here to see it. Steve is not here to see the new wall and driveway and all the touches I have put into our home to be left for the children/grandchildren. I need to finish the house for my family. Steve would have loved it. Steve hated getting into a cold bed. I bought Northern Nights warm sheets and he loved them. But still had cold spots. Now I have fleece sheets PERFECT. Warm all the time and no cold spots. Steve would have loved them. These are the things that bother me the most. Not having Steve to enjoy these home comforts. For me this still hurts even for the 2yrs. mark. I still have memories of the funeral and how that day was. The best part of the day was the WAKE. Steve would have loved his send off. PERFECT. in the pub with all his work mates there. That is a special memory. I look forward to hearing of Your special memories and moments. The Lord is our Strength, and Hope, and we soldier on each day knowing it is God who is going to take us through this Grief journey. Till we meet our lost loved one's again, in the New Earth. Best wishes to you all, as we stand together in SOLIDARITY and SUPPORT.

Mar 24, 2014
The Lord is my strength
by: Anonymous

Hi June from Canada, I go by "The Lord is my strength" you mentioned about your spouse and it being the 2 yr. mark for you, and also the date of March 8th. Well what a coincidence you and I have something very much in commend my husband beautiful man that he was he too passed away on March 8, 2012, which also makes it the 2 yr. mark so wow!! That is not a coincidence, it happen like the Lord wanted to happen. My husband died of CANCER in the blood aka as Leukemia. What did your husband Mike died of. Anyways my husband is very much around me spiritually that is, but I am sure Mike is also around you, and guiding you through all this K oz. We all have story's here, and the only thing we can do is try to be positive for our own sanity, and have Faith, Hope, and courage to carry on into our own journey, what ever that is, and what purpose the Lord almighty has for us now, but I responded to you, because of the same dates of our loved ones, and being the 2 yr. mark as well. Listen have you had any regression. I haven't and hope I don't, but there are people who say when the 2 yr. mark hits you will know. Well if you have let me know about what you are experiencing like to hear what goes on. Well till next time, the Lord be with you, and always pray daily. The Lord is my strength.

Mar 23, 2014
The Lord is my strength
by: Anonymous

Continue..... Part Two
Oh by the way I would love to hear from some of your, who have had some set backs on your 2 yr. regress. Just like to know what you are experiencing, as I know we never will be the same, anyway, as long as we are here on earth. I take one day at a time, and continue to serve the Lord for my strength, as that is who is my savior, and my salvation. I give cast my pain to the Lord, because no matter what he will somewhat make it better for the moment. I am not saying we will always be happy, but even for a moment or 2, and a day or 2, because us widows now have to learn to be by ourself's and learn that we just have to depend on our own self's. Well I hope you all here that one day at a time, and read the Letter from a Widow once in a while, especially the widow's who are left w/out their spouses man & women both. GOD give you all Hope, Faith, Strength, + courage to carry on with your journey until the Lord calls us out for us. The Lord Is my strength.

Mar 23, 2014
The Lord is my strength
by: Anonymous

Hello Mrs. Letter from a Widow in California. Well I applaud your letter I couldn't have set that better myself, and Yes I agree with everything you state. I too am a widow, by the way my husband's anniversary was 3-8-14, which hit the 2 yr. mark already, and so far I make sure my husband still remains a legacy, because that is what he was to many folks. My husband, which I call him "Bubbas" died from CANCER - Lieukimia in the blood, what death sentence is that. Right! when you have that, basically your screwed, NO, If's, And's or But's he was a great man, he was a Rehab Counselor of 40 yrs. counseld everything you can name, from incest children, to marraige, oh I can go on, and on, but his speciality was in the darkside, which the Lord gave him such a BIG task. His speciality was the gangsters, murders, alcoholics, drug attics, well you get the picture, he did it all, and never complaint, and Boy I am telling you I could have not be more proud of the man I married. Our anniversary was on 11-17-14 would have been 14 yrs., the 11-19-14 was his birthday, and just recently I finally did the final burial, of the Veterans ceremonial, with his plague, and I choosed the Eagle, for his emblem, which represents Freedom. Anyways just like 3 days ago my uncle passed away of the same thing, and he will now be with my aunt, who died like 12 yrs. ago, and 3 boys well now grown men will have to be with out mother/father, but getting to us widows. I only know the pain to well. I was going to ask you they say when you hit the 2 yr. mark, people regress, has that happen to you. It has not happen to me yet, and hopefully won't, but I am strong with the Lord, and my husband is always around me, through scripture, I feel his presence, sometimes, and lot's of times visits me by dropping dimes, nickels, or pennies, and or a simply visit from his guardian angel, and or just something that let's me know his presence. I know alot of people are ignorant to our pain, and sorrow, because they are afraid, since they are not walking are shoes, it is simple to just say something stupied. I know I have a sister like that, but I am glad to meet you, and hope we here all pray for one another, especially widows like you and I whom our love one (spouse) have gone. I continue to wear my husband's ring, and carry the cross sterling he gave me years ago, + his mother's tourquise cross he wore. I wear both of them. If you met my husband you would have love his person. So many people life's his touched, and saved from really ruin their life's. Some are 2, 5 or even 10 yrs. sober, because of him. I spread his ashes on our anniversary finally, as he requested to throw them with his brother who was in the Navy 2 terms, and my husband in the Air Force, well now they are in Monterey, but I kept some of them, but even like that his presence is always around me. I couldn't have asked for a better wonderful, humble beautiful man of a husband.

Mar 07, 2014
Letter from Widow
by: Anonymous

Thank you, I feel the same way. I am trying to help myself physically now, hoping it will help with the emotional pain. I started seeing a counselor and she is the only one who really listens to what I say. I hope one day to stop feeling so empty and sad

Jan 31, 2014
Alone too soon
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anonymous I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved husband of 49yrs. 3 weeks ago, to lung cancer.
These next weeks and months will be the worst you will ever go through as you process your loss and also how this grief feels. None of us could ever imagine the pain that courses through our body and what the grief does to us emotionally. WE will always have people around us who don't know what to say and often say the wrong thing, that just compounds our grief. I have let these punches roll off me and not allow insensitive remarks to affect me. Don't deny yourself the opportunity to go to a grief group or even to grief counselling because of insensitive people. Challenge them if you have to, but don't isolate yourself with your grief as it is such a heavy burden. Surround yourself with family and friends to help support you. I lost my husband of 44yrs. to lung cancer 20 months ago. For the first 6 months I did nothing but retire to the couch and bathe my sorrows with TV and tears. I then started to make some progress. I got here by taking ONE DAY AT A TIME. No other way. All we can do is take one day at a time and I put God at the helm of my trials and grief. I challenge these trials and won't allow them to defeat me. Often we have to encourage ourselves and nurture ourselves when we are in a hard place and have no support. "God is a very present help in times of trouble." I wish you better days ahead.

Jan 30, 2014
Alone too soon
by: Anonymous

It will be 3 weeks @2;08 tonight that I lost my husband of 49yrs to lung cancer. Your letter says exactly how I feel. I guess people mean well but they just don't know how hurtful their remarks can be if they have not lost a spouse. They say typical textbook replies that really do not help at all. That's why I am hestitant to join a support group.It is sadly comforting to see I am not the only one with these feelings.Thank you for giving me the permission to feel this way.

Jan 30, 2014
To: Letter from a Widow- Judith, CA, Jan. 29th, 2014
by: Elisa from New York(Hugo's wife)

Jan. 29th, 2014

Dear Judith from California,

Thank you for your letter from a widow; you said it all, exactly how I and all of us widows and widowers feel.

I cry every day and night. My husband died on July 29, 2012, of pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer--10 months after his diagnosis--a shock--no signs of it, and inoperable. Our lives, I knew that second we were told, were never going to be the same,and it would end up no longer "us", but just me, with NO ONE, ABSOLUTELY NO ONE, UNDERSTANDING, CARING - REALLY, AND SAYING ALL THE STUPID THINGS, AND AVOIDING ME AND HIS DEATH.

Your letter meant so much, said so much, and took all the things I am feeling and thinking right from my own pen.

Thank you. I died along with my husband, and I just exist. I keep asking God why, and I keep looking answers as to why he wasn't allowed to live out his dream for a future with me, growing old together, etc. I get angry, sad, confused, upset, and I am extremely lonely. No one, nothing can ease my pain, and no one will ever take my Hugo's place.

Love to you and everyone who suffers like we do, and only we know all of it. Elisa from NY


Jan 29, 2014
Humans.....
by: Alan

Dear Anonymous, I could not agree with you more, I feel like a leper, I just don't understand people. One time, just one time I would like someone to call me and say " Hey, watcha doing, feel like going out and getting a cup of coffee"? I think of everything we have to deal with on a daily basis and I'm amazed that any of us can do anything at all, let alone "function".

My wife Donna saved most of the cards we exchanged during our 34 years of marriage. In one of them she asked me to propose to her again so she could say yes again! We all have our own memories of amazing spouses who are no longer with us, beautiful souls whom we miss beyond description. It really wouldn't take much to comfort us somewhat, would it? A hug, a phone call, a touch on the shoulder, ask us how we're really doing, is there something I can help you with or do for you, ask us what we miss most about our spouses, just listen, maybe sit with us awhile.

On rare occasions when someone does something from the heart and I'm not expecting it I usually break down and cry like a baby............

God, how I miss my Donna.

Jan 29, 2014
Thank You!
by: Alan

Thank You Judith, and may God Bless each and every one of us.

Jan 29, 2014
greiving widow
by: Cindy Cossen

I feel exactly the way you do, it's been two months, I cannot stand this feeling. It's beyond comprehension. A happier place would be by my side. I would love to speak with you, what you said is100% of what I'm feeling. There's no escaping it.

Jan 29, 2014
Letter from a Widow
by: June

Judith....what a letter. You have said what most of us feel who are on this journey. I don't want to be part of this "club", but have no choice. This site has helped me so much. It will be 2 years on March 8 that I have been without my Mike...how I have survived I'm not sure. My hope is to be together again, as I'm sure yours is.

I'm thinking of you and others on this site.
♥June
Canada

Jan 28, 2014
Letter from a Widow
by: Pat J.Green Bay,WI

Dear Judith,
What a letter; it says it all; exactly how we all feel with the loss of a spouse.
I talked to one of my husbands sisters today and she said to me; She can only imagine what I am going through, but can't really understand unless she goes through it herself. I told her, so true, you can't even imagine.
I told her I will always talk about her brother. Just because he died; doesn't mean I will no longer mention his name; that will never happen.
It will be 3 years for me on June 27th. My heart will always ache for him.

Jan 28, 2014
Thank you
by: Lawrence

Judith,
you spoke for us all on this web site and I know it came from your heart.
The pain and anguish is everlasting at losing a beloved partner.
The loneliness of the house and the walk to an empty bed is far worse than anyone can ever imagine until it happens.
Your contributions are so deeply appreciated,please keep sending them.
Many thanks
Lawrence

Jan 28, 2014
From one widow to another
by: Judith - Australia

Hi Judith, I follow this site and have done so for the last two years and three months since I lost the love of my life. I rarely comment but wow! when I read this it is so true and it is exactly how I feel. Thankyou it has made me feel a bit less alone knowing that someone else has the same feelings as me. From one Judith to another, thankyou for your posts.

Jan 28, 2014
Re: Letter From A Widow
by: Judith in California

Doreen, Alan and all Anonymous, thank you for your most wonderful responses. I worked on the letter for over six months to get it to the core of what I feel most of us feel. So gald It was well received. Doreen you and the others have been a real inspiration by going through your own losses and offering help to others in their time of need.
The people on this site has helped me more than my grief therapist.

While I feel this way I am still blessed in a lot of ways and I do not loose site of that.

I pray for everyone here better days. One minute, one hour , one day at a time.

Jan 28, 2014
Letter from a Widow
by: Doreen UK

Judith I am sorry you are suffering so and going through some bad days. I hold you to my heart and prayer that God will send you a special measure of His Love and Comfort and Hold you up through these difficult times of sorrow and loss.
I send you Hugs and much Love.

Jan 28, 2014
God bless you
by: Anonymous

I am truely sorry for your loss. I to lost my spouse of 39 years. We were together for 48 years. She has been gone for a year and eight mon. I visit her grave every day. She was so special. Most of all I miss hearing her voice.We are not alone with our feelings. God bless you , be well. Rich

Jan 28, 2014
Letter from a Widow
by: Doreen UK

Judith HI!! I was just thinking of you today and often do and wondering how you are since I haven't seen a post from you recently. I got to thinking Judith must be doing O.K. and here am I feeling worse than I did a few months ago and shouldn't. I got to thinking I was on the mend only to fall back down that chute kid's climb on.
You echoed what is in the heart and mind of the widow/widower having to go on alone and still wondering what the H--L has hit us. WE know the things to do to help ourselves each day, but sometimes they don't work on a given day. I got to thinking "What is wrong with me?" "Why can't I move forward like I want to. I feel more and more as If I have been in some explosion and finding it hard to recover. Often said New Year! New Me!. Not so for me. I don't know when this will happen even though I try my best each day. My youngest daughter who lives at home is 33yrs. and going to Thailand in June, and full of her joys and plans whilst I am thinking of How I will cope without her in the house for those 17 days. and not looking forward to this time. I am happy for her as a mother would be, but sad for me and what I am going through. I feel forgotten. LOST. My daughter was busy planning an end of year short break for us and I cancelled. Her words to me were. "You have to do more than just sit in that chair for the rest of your life." I know she means well. But she doesn't get it. Her loss of a father is not the same as my loss of a spouse. She doesn't get it and I guess many people won't. But I do get what you expressed in your post and I endorse this as I process my own grief and can Identify with you. Thank you for your post. It helped me understand what I am feeling. I wish you better days ahead and I wish you all the love and hugs that come from me and those you meet. May God continue to comfort you and all of us on this beast of a journey of loss and grief.

Jan 28, 2014
Letter from a widow
by: Alan

Judith, you have said everything in your letter that I want to say. I am so sorry for your loss. I can relate to your situation so well as I am going through what you are. There's no point in saying it all again, you said it so well. It's only one year for me and I am so lonely and sad, daily life is a struggle. I'll never get over losing my darling but I hope this intense grief does ease over time. Best wishes to you and all who are grieving, Alan.

Jan 27, 2014
letter from a widow
by: Anonymous---MI

My emotions exactly. It has only been 14 months into my journey of grief after my loving husband died of SCA. You are so correct when you said 'until one has lost a spouse to death they will not understand' People think they know but don't have a clue. I am so sad for all of us on this site. God, please help us through this time of sorrow.

Jan 27, 2014
you said it so well
by: Anonymous

Well done my sentiments exactly.You put it all so well. I am going to keep your post and show it to my friends. Wishing you all the best. Thinking of you. Aine

Jan 27, 2014
letter from widow
by: Anonymous

I am in this club reluctantly. I am abandoned by all because it is as if I came down with a highly contagious disease. I did not ask to be here nor my dear spouse to be dead already. I agree and am experiencing all you detail---how strange a creature is the human animal--it is like we are branded. Expose your brand at risk. At risk of admonishment, lectures, indifference, avoidance and total insensitivity. You will fall off of most peoples radar as "life is for the living" and we dwell in the land of the dead not by any choosing of our own. You will be told no one can help you if you don't want to help yourself---we die a thousand times while our dear departed spouse died only once. There are those who want to compare your pain to a loss they had or a divorce they went through--they look at you with a blank stare as if you have any control over the grief that overwhelms you taking you to wherever it wants to go. yes, humans are odd creatures that we bind ourselves to one human being in that realizing with great love comes great misery.

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