Life Feels Over

by Elle
(Southern U.S.)

My husband of 30 years died from lung cancer in January 2012. We were very close and did everything together. We thought he had longer than eight months to live after his diagnosis, so, though it should not have been, his death was a shock to me. Surely, I was in denial. I am thankful that he did not suffer much longer than he did, as his decline was a debilitating, painful one.

Compounding his death is the fact that I feel alone on the planet, and I have faced one calamity after another at the worst time of my life.

Before my husband died, he accidentally left the bathtub tap running for hours and flooded the downstairs of our house, which included collapsed ceilings. It was a nightmare.

Six weeks after he died, I very unexpectedly lost my job due to a layoff. I had planned to continue working to maintain needed structure and human contact in my life. At my age, this meant unplanned retirement--retirement to an empty house in a small cliquish town, where I have no friends or support system whatsoever. (There is no such thing in this little town).

After my forced retirement, it seems almost everything major that could break around the house has done so. First, there was the need for a new furnace, new heat pump, and an expensive, larger breaker box. Plumbing problems arose. The hot water heater broke. A hurricane hit the town in which I live, and my house sustained damage, though fortunately no flooding.

Last week, when I was on my way back home from a city located 35 miles away from my home, unbelievably, my car stopped running in the midst of traffic. The timing belt broke long before replacement was due. I had the car towed to a repair shop. I was blessed that the owner of the repair shop arranged transportation for me and my groceries all the way back home and again provided transportation so that I could pick up my repaired car.

My only family is one son who lives thousands of miles away. My oldest son took his life in 2007. I know it's abnormal, but I spend most days in bed reading. I've tried to connect with others through attending church and joining a widow's group and an exercise class (all out-of-town). I have seen a grief counselor, who advised me to rest and take my time, that "it's all been a bit too much."

I desperately miss my husband. He is the only one I had left in my life. I must muster the energy and motivation to clean my large home, sell it, and move, although I don't know where I will move. In the meantime, I know I should volunteer to keep busy, but the fact is I have no motivation or energy to do anything at all. Also I have had what I am sure were stress-related illnesses this fall, which further set me back. I do see my internist regularly. Right now, at my request, I am tapering off of clorazepate (generic of Tranzene), which my doctor prescribed, also at my request, during my husband's stressful, terminal illness. It is a benzo, which I did not know at the time I requested it, and the taper is difficult, but I am very determined to make it.

My fear is that I will never do all of the many, many overwhelming things I must do so that I can move, which will leave me in a lonely, hopeless situation forever. Where there is a will, there is a way. I must find the will.

My heart goes out to each one of you as you painfully grieve your own losses. Thank you for "listening" to my story. It helped to write this today.


Comments for Life Feels Over

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Dec 19, 2012
Thank you, Wendy
by: Elle

Dear Wendy,

Thank you for your comment. I am thankful that what was written here helped you to feel just a bit lighter today.

I am so very sorry for your loss of your son. The loss of a child is incomprehensible. It's a place I never was able to even let my imagination stray until the call came just before midnight on October 27, 2007. My sweet, gentle, kind-hearted son had unbelievably taken his life.

A few months ago, I finally mustered the courage to go through a box of his things. I sobbed when I saw that this 32-year-old man had saved valentines that he received in first-grade. There weren't many, as he had Asperger's and was constantly bullied, rejected, and made the butt of jokes all of his life. I carefully tucked the valentines into a memory box, along with tattered, saved letters from his grandmother, and his graduation tassles.

I am proud that he took the bullying with strength and had the character to use its hurtful effects not to hate and harm, but to always reach out to those he met, both human and animal, who were in need of kindness, caring, and compassion.

Still I become sad when I see anything that reminds me of him. For years, without warning, tears would trickle down my face at the thought of him.

I wish you and your family peace this Christmas season. I believe that our cherished sons are safe together in a place of love.

I'm thinking of you tonight, Wendy, as we walk the pit-filled road of grief together, which is all the more treacherous to navigate as we approach the upcoming holiday. We'll make it one day at a time.



Dec 19, 2012
Ladies on this post
by: Wendy Evans

I am so impressed by the writing style you each possess. You all have the unique ability to describe, in words, what many grief stricken individuals can not verbalize in their own minds. Even in the midst of your grief process as well as dealing with other life issues, you have each lifted my heart alittle today. I am reminded that 7 or 8 months of dealing with significant loss is not much time. For me, it felt like the grief in the beginning was sharp and painful. Bed was the only place that made sense to me. Into the second year the pain of mourning set in. Such a heavy weight that is ALWAYS on the body and mind. I am now approaching our 4th Christmas without my Son who died in May 2009. Looking back I can see the long and rocky distance that our family has traveled. I can't imagine dealing with the loss of my husband now or the lost of my job. I am in awe of your courage displayed in the writing you shared today.

I wish for love and light and God's blessing for each of you.

Dec 19, 2012
Be Blessed
by: Doreen U.K.

Dear Denise,
thank you for your support. I am not able to get to my old Church due to my knees being so painfull I can barely walk in the home. If I can get this problem sorted I won't be so housebound. I live in ENGLAND so the cold doesn't help.
I have the God Channel on TV and I watch Joyce Myer, JOEL OSTEEN (my favourite speaker). I also like John Hagee, Joel Osteen is full of encouragement and his sermon content is spot on for mankind. Now that Is a Church I would like to belong to. I also like Charles Stanley and then Bobby Schuller from the hour of Power. But hopefully in the New Year when the weather gets better I hope to go to Church as I don't like worshipping in isolation. I need to be surrounded by PEOPLE. This is what I miss. I need healing in my legs from my ARTHRITIS. My whole family are crippled with this. HEREDITARY.
May God continue to Bless you Denise and I hope that life is good to you each day as we heal from our loss. God be with You and may the New Year be a good one for you. Be Blessed!

Dec 18, 2012
Dear Doreen
by: Denise

I am so concerned and saddened by your recent life events. I believe you may be in the midst of a demonic attack. I know you say you are alone, but do you know of or belong to a good, biblically-based church? If not, I would suggest looking for a non-denominational one in your area. If you cannot find one, I plead for you to reach out to the Prayer Lines of Joyce Meyer Ministries or Joel Osteen Ministries. They will help you find one, and provide you with comfort. I especially respect the teachings of Joyce Meyer. As a woman, she very much understands what we go through at different seasons of our lives.

God Bless you Doreen, and please reach out to these resources. They are there specifically for you at this time to provide support and comfort for you.


Dec 18, 2012
Life Feels Over
by: Elle


I am so very sorry for your loss of your beloved husband. I see that you have been through so much yourself, and your comments are comforting.

It is indeed hard for those of us who have lost spouses to continue on alone. I forced myself to go to church last Sunday, and the minister grabbed my attention by stating that we are never alone, that God is always with us and watching over us, and from Him comes our strength. I look back and see this to be true in my own life.

Like you, I was ripped off when getting repairs done. The first man who repaired the damage from the bathtub flood was arrogant, rude, and pathetically dishonest. I vowed then not to be taken advantage of again, and thereafter I hired only those when possible who were recommended to me by other widowed women. When it wasn't possible to obtain a personal recommendation, I checked out the ratings of companies and workmen through the Better Business Bureau and Angie's List (an organization that pre-screens companies and individuals who perform services and repairs). Using these methods has brought competent, genuinely nice, helpful, honest people to the rescue.

I read last night that a legendary football coach once passionately read Hamlet's soliloquy to his discouraged, losing team, and by doing so, he energized and motivated them:

"To be or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?"

One of his players said, "I remember when he read that, it made sense. Are you going to fold your tent, or are you going to fight the battle, fight through the tough times?"

I decided after reading this that I won't fold my tent after all in these toughest of times, that I will instead fight through them no matter how hard it is to do so.

Doreen, thank you again for your kind, gracious, encouraging, and comforting words. You remind me that we, like so many others, are walking the same difficult path. Together we will make it.

May God's blessings be upon you.


Dec 18, 2012
Life Feels Over
by: Doreen U.K.

Elle I am sorry for your loss of your husband to lung cancer. I am sorry for your loss of your son who died in 2007, and also the other losses you have incurred. You have done much to help yourself by going to a grief counsellor, and struggling with so much that has worked against you. You have done the right thing to take to your bed. DO NOTHING. Till you are READY. I and many others on this site speak of losing our MOTIVATION. I lost my husband of 44yrs. 7 months ago to lung cancer (caused by working with asbestos). I nursed him for 3yr.39days and had to watch him die slowly in Pain. I know how you feel. I too am in the same place as you. I do very little. But when I look back I have done a lot in the 7 months. Like you, I too have so much go wrong with the house and had to get tradesmen in who have ripped me off. I hope nothing else goes wrong. I have had too much on my plate to deal with. You have had more go wrong. Just coping with a DEATH is bad enough without all the other things happening at the same time. Being a woman on her own is hard. I have always had to deal with these type of things whilst my husband worked long hours away from home. But just knowing he was here to listen and share these difficulties helped. But now I have no one to share this with. Carrying it all by yourself adds to the grief and stress. But I guess when you also look back you will realise that you will get things done. At the moment there is too much for you. Write everything down on paper. Prioritise this. Do the most important things then tick them off the list. Then make new lists all the time taking off what is done so your list gets shorter. You will be amazed at how you will be able to cope with what you need to do. If you can't do something. LEAVE IT ALONE. Till someone comes along who may be able to help you with this. I feel sad for you because I can feel the responsibility you are having to face Alone. I think God stretches us to the limit to see how much we Need Him. And to call upon Him. Life does feel as if it is Over for us Widows/Widowers but we have no CHOICE in this but to carry on in Life. It will just take us longer. I sometimes wonder if it is easier for a man to carry on without his wife? I guess many Men are going to respond now. Men can fix things women can't do. Men can also Cook so they are able to cope better. I have to get tradesmen in and this is a nightmare. Give yourself TIME. All you need. things will sort themselves out and you will be able to move forward. You will get the house sorted out and your life. It just takes time. Time is all we have now. I am sorry about you also losing your job. You have had so much to cope with. I can understand how you feel and why you have to REST. May God Comfort you in your Loss and give you the strength for each day to get things sorted out how you need them. May God HELP YOU in this and also send the right people your way to support you.

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