What a Widow really wants written by a member of WidowsNet

by Janet
(Dallas, Tx)

I wanted to share this with all widows and widowers. It is very well written and speaks about what we all truly want. My hats off to the lady who wrote it.

To My Friends and Family - Hey hi how are you? Unless you really want an honest answer, you won't ask me that. You see, I've lost not just my spouse, I've lost a part of myself. I've lost my sunshine, so everything right now is dark and stormy. I know you are trying to understand, to process this so you can help me. But until you are in this position you can't fully understand. Please don't try to equate this gigantic hole that I have with a loss of your own. It's not the same. I understand you want to help me, but by doing that you aren't. I am a complete space cadet right now. Chances are good that I will forget the conversation we are having five minutes after we finish, I will forget how to do simple things, and I will forget that there is a world outside myself. Right now I am trying so very hard to process this and it is so hard. My brain has shut down in an effort to preserve itself because my body is under extreme stress. Grief is not just mental, it's physical too. For now I need this to happen. Please be patient with me. Over time things will get better, just not right now. I know you care and if you see me floundering reach out as best you can. I know I sleep a lot sometimes, and sometimes I don't sleep at all. I know I eat too much, and sometimes not at all. I know I am all over the map; I'm having a hard time processing everything so even the small things are monumental. Unfortunately, for now, I'm a bit like a toddler. I don't know what I want but I know what I DON'T want. I don't want you to tell me that they are better off. My brain might grasp this, but my heart does not. I don't want you to tell me that this is God's plan or God's will. That may be true, but I am angry that my baby isn't here with me anymore. This defies reasoning to me, so being told that this was orchestrated beyond me will just piss me off. I am angry enough, and I don't want to spew that out on you. Don't tell me I am better off. I don't care what kind of marriage we had, my spouse might have been a scumbag but they were MY scumbag. I will take them here with me on their worst day versus not being here at all. I don't want you to tell me things that you can't know without a crystal ball: you'll be ok, you'll find someone else, it's what they would have wanted, or anything like that. I want you to love me the only way you know how: by treating me the way you always have, but with a little extra care. Check up on me more than you think necessary. Sometimes that phone call will be the thing that gets me out of bed that day. Help me with things that normally I would know how to do on my own. Offer to cook or clean or do my laundry or help me pay my bills. This goes back to the space cadet thing. I also have little attention span (shiny moment syndrome) so be patient when you have to remind me repeatedly or repeat yourself over and over. Gently try to get me to go out in public. Eventually I will need to be around people again, but I will need to do this slowly. When we do go out, gently remind me to dress in something presentable. I have been living in my pajamas and comfy clothes so long I have forgotten what going-out-in-public-wear is. Gently remind me to fix my hair and put on some cologne. I am going to be all over the map emotionally. Let me talk when I need to, cry when I need to, be silent when I need to. I know your ESP is broken, but you don't need to be a mind reader. I just need you to be you. Talk to me, talk with me. I love you and when things start to look better I will never forget how you were there for me when I needed you. I hope this helps you understand me. I have a hard enough time understanding myself right now.

Comments for What a Widow really wants written by a member of WidowsNet

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Sep 11, 2014
It doesn't get easier
by: Anonymous

I too, stumbled on this website by saying
I hate being a widow. This is truly a sentence.
I was going along great and one faithful night I lost my childhood sweetheart, best friend. We
didn't even have to talk to one another at a party
we just looked at each other and knew what we were thinking. I met him at 13 and he was 15.
I think of us as a puzzle of missing pieces and when we met it made us whole. I have 4 daughters with him and I talk to and about him all the time.
I didn't want to break up and I don't understand
why God has this "plan". what did I do to deserve this. I am 50 now and my only friend (thank god I have one) says I need to go out and
meet someone. What is that about? I don't want
to meet anyone. I like being Mrs.....
I concerned myself with what was for dinner after work not how was I supposed to walk away from the only love affair I have ever known. we were together for 37 years. I am grateful we met but mad we will never see our happily ever after.
Thank goodness I have my daughters because if I didn't ------????
missing my love more than words can say I UNDERSTAND.

Jul 21, 2014
by: Anonymous

I stumbled upon this site by accident. I had googled "friends tell widows what they should do" and this site came up.my husband died 11 months ago. I'm still working and it is my refuge. The weekends are the hardest because I'm alone for 48 hours. My oldest daughter graduated from college 4 months after my husband died and moved 100 miles away to start her career. My youngest daughter is away at college. My brother and sister-in-law are the only people who contact me on a regular basis to invite me to dinner, a movie, etc. I have 3 friends that get together once a month because we've always done this. Other than that, none of my other family, friends, neighbors ever contact me. I, too, have people constantly tell me to call them if I need anything. It would be so much easier for me if they would call me or stop by once in awhile just to say hi. I don't want their pity; just their friendship. Thank you for the opportunity to vent.

Jun 06, 2014
Yes, Reach Out
by: Jennifer

YES, reach out to your friend. Do not get hurt or offended by anything he says or does. He is in pain and pain makes us angry, irritable and even hateful. If you are a real friend, you will continue to call him. "Hey, I'm going shopping - you want to go? No? Ok, I'll call you later..." "Hi, it is a beautiful day, do you want to go walk in the park with me?" He will decline over and over, but one day he might say Yes. You need to be there when he is ready to say yes.

Jun 05, 2014
My Friend
by: Anonymous

I haven't lost a spouse but a close friend of mine did. He was married to a wonderful woman for 30 years. Two yrs before her passing she suffered from severe depression. Sadly, she took her own life. I don't think he will ever recover. He loved her very much and now after 1 1/2 yrs he has digressed. I think the first 10 months he was in shock. When all the one yr anniversary of all they shared came around he got worse & worse. He pulled away from our friendship. I knew he needed help in his everyday things. I reached out many times to offer him help but he shut down more & more. You can't help if they won't allow you to. My heart bleeds for him but at this point I believe the thing to do is back off. Not because I don't care but I don't want to push him. So all I know to do is pray for him. I honestly don't know how anyone can heal from the trauma he had been through. Please tell me, do I still reach out or let him be?

Oct 03, 2012
what a widow really wants
by: silver

I WANT TO MEET THIS WOMAN.Seriously most of what she said fits me. As many of you know I was married 33 yrs and one week. My soul mate died in May 2011. I'm pasting a part of Jennifer's letter here and will explain after:
I have heard "Call me if you need anything" "If there is anything I can do, let me know". I swear I am going to kick the next person that says that to me! By saying that, they take themselves off the hook, and put it on me to reach out. Why don't you call ME? Why don't you stop by with dinner, or a movie, or just bring yourself? I am NOT going to call and ask anyone for anything - I DO NOT know what I want!
I don't know how many times I have heard these words even from my family. I have 4 sons and 3 daughter-in-laws as well as a grown granddaughter.They all,at one time or another,have said this to me.Now 2 of my sons do call fairly regular.Sometimes to check on me and sometimes to chat.I have 3 siblings in another state that also say the same thing."Call me anytime" I don't because I usually need someone when they are at work or asleep.One of my siblings does help me with one bill and I will forever be grateful for that.Sometimes,I just want someone to listen to me talk about my love and listen when I cry,without giving me platitudes of: It will get better,give it time,you need to get out and meet people,etc.I hate being a widow.To me that is because I am only half a person now.What do I do with half a person? I can't afford to go to private counseling or I would.I live on what is wonderfully called by Social Security as widow's pension.(71% of my husbands disability)Sometimes I just want to be left alone and sometimes I want to cry HELP What do I do.I agree with this lady that sometimes it's all I can do to get up each day.I am still catching up on my husband's hospital and dr bills.I don't to do things sometimes even though I write myself a note.Not because I forgot but because I just couldn't get myself going. It took me 6 months to take my husbands name off the medical insurance,and about 9 months to take him off the car insurance.Grief makes mush of our brains sometimes.I wish I could tell all those WONDERFUL,CARING people to just be there when I need them without me having to try to get up the umph to go see,or call them. I send my love and prayers to all of you.GOD bless you and give you strength

Jun 23, 2012
What a Widow really wants
by: Janet

Hi Jennifer and to all the others that have responded. I have not been here in a while. I am 7 months and 22 days out since I lost my husbad of 25 plus years. I am getting better but I still have my bad days.

There is a site that I spend most of my time on now called Widow Village which is a part of the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation site. The links
are http://widowvillage.org and http://sslf.org. Both sites have truly been a life saver for me during this time. I have made some truly wonderful friends and they are the most caring people I have met. They get it and understand.

I will post a separate blog when I come back from Camp Widow West in San Diego in August. I look forward after going to Camp Widow West to share what I have learned there and tell about the many wonderful people and friends I have meet these past serveral months. Should any one want additional information about this please check out the links above or e-mail me at janetsellars@sbcglobal.net.

I am truly sorry for the loss you have all experienced and my heart goes out to all of you. Remember one breath, one step and one day at a time is all we can do.

Jun 23, 2012
Thank you
by: Jennifer

Thank you for posting this. It is exactly how I have been feeling this past 10 weeks. My best friend has stopped calling me, I guess she doesn't want to hear my grief anymore? I am not speaking to one of my sisters because she has tried to force me (by yelling at me)to 'get over it' and get out and do something.
I have heard "Call me if you need anything" "If there is anything I can do, let me know". I swear I am going to kick the next person that says that to me! By saying that, they take themselves off the hook, and put it on me to reach out. Why don't you call ME? Why don't you stop by with dinner, or a movie, or just bring yourself? I am NOT going to call and ask anyone for anything - I DO NOT know what I want!
I have always enjoyed being a loner, and over the years I valued my alone time. Now, alone time is all I have. I am starting to get lonely.
Even after 10 weeks, I still find myself thinking, "Oh, I can't wait to tell him....", or "He would like this movie/food/TV show..." I miss him so much.

Apr 03, 2012
I resent the term 'widow'
by: Anonymous

My husband of 26 yrs died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. I met him when I was 20. We've built a life, home, business and family together. We grew up together and had never been closer to each other. I feel like half of me is gone because it is. It's coming up on 11 months and I'm so sick of crying all the time. I did the group therapy but I'm 20 yrs younger than most of the women in my group - they are not running a business, raising a family etc. I am now in private counseling. I lost my dad when I was 20, had a very painful miscarriage but this has the potential to take me out. I feel so uncomfortable everywhere I go - like I don't fit now. Especially our kids sports events. People tell me to hook up with other 'widows' or divorced people. I don't want to. I've been a couple for 28 years and I don't want to embrace that widow title. This is the absolute worst thing I've ever experienced. It feels like a sentence. I believe in God and know that he has a plan and I believe that my husband is in heaven and I'm thrilled for him; just trying to figure out what I'm gonna be when I grow up now.

Mar 19, 2012
too much
by: Sandy

This comment really spoke to me. I lost my spouse of 53 years on 10/112/10. Four months later my youngest son died from an overdose. It was shocking and unreal. My grief was compounded and my days were spent in sadness. I could not sleep or eat or read or do much of anything. Most of my friends were supportive in helpful ways, but some were just plain stupid. There were days when I did not know who I was crying for. It is one year later and I am better. I am beginning to dig my way out of days of neglect of myself and my home. My oldest son is the worst offender. He is a perfectionist, and an over achiever! He expects no less from me. I do rely on him because he is close in proximity to me and my other son lives in Japan. I live for days I spend with my grandson who is the son of my son who died. We have our times when we share our feelings and we cry and let it out. He is a lonely little child who lives with his mother who has Multiple Sclerosis and is also Bipolar. I grieve for him too because he is being robbed of a childhood. That makes me so sad and when we are together I allow him to be a child. We have so much fun together. It makes me so angry that my son left his son in such an unstable environment. I try to take it one day at a time.

Mar 15, 2012
Grief has no expiration date
by: Janet

I understand where you are all coming from. My hats off to each and everyone of us that travel this long dark road because somehow we will all make it through this. I know each of us grieve in our own way. Some where I read that "grief has no expiration date."
I am with you because I thought about sending it to my family and friends. It speaks the truth and was written from the heart. I thought it appropriate to post it here. I have thought about printing it off and having copies made for all of the people in my grief session to share with them on Sunday.
If anyone is interested there is a site on Facebook called WidowNet and that was where I found this. Share it with whomever you think needs it. This was the first place I thought about sharing it because alot of us have not made it to the first year or second year anniversary mark. I do not look forward to either one, nor our anniversaries, his birthday and especially Halloween because that was his favorite time of the year and he passed the next day.
May God Bless all of you.

Mar 15, 2012
So very true
by: Wendy


I can't tell you how much I appreciate you posting this. It couldn't have come at a better time. I lost my husband suddenly 8 months ago in a tragic accident. No words can explain how I feel, or at least that's what I thought until I read your post. It says exactly how I'm feeling and what I'm going through. People seem to think enough time has passed and I should be able to move on. Who are they to say how much time I am allowed to grieve. I only wish I had the courage to mail a copy of this to each and every family member and friend who has told me it's time to move on. But instead, I will read it over and over to myself everytime they make me feel inadequate or less than normal.

Thank you so much for sharing.

God bless.


Mar 15, 2012
He's My Scumbag!!
by: TrishJ

This is really awesome. My husband has been gone for just a little over 15 months right now and some days I feel like I regress instead of moving forward. This lady hit it right on the head. I can see my 32 year old daughter losing patience with me, "Mom, I've told you this three times." Oh yeah.....so you did.
I foolishly thought the one year anniversary would bring me the relief I needed and the urge to move forward. After that didn't happen I really started thinking I was losing my mind. I'm so angry at my sister. She loves to remind me of all of my husband's short comings. As this article states he was my scumbag. When he was good he was very very good but when he was bad he was horrid. Still...we loved each other and really had a good life together. I miss him every day.
We'll all get through this somehow. Together. We widows must stick together. Thank you again. I luv it!!

Mar 15, 2012
No Truer Words Have been Spoken
by: Judith in California

We all could have written this I'm sure but this person did it so well. I wish I had had this 15 moths back to send to my friends and relatives. It expresses how I felt and still feel at times. Especially me not remembering what anyone says. It's hard for me to concentrate on what someone is sayng becasue I'm still in my head thinking of my loss and our life, trying to sort it all out. I love the part about the "scumbag" too.

Thanks so much for posting this.

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