What Helped the Most?

msgeorgia_annMarch 23, 2008

It so lonely since my husband passed. My grown children live out of town. It's been a while since the funeral; friends and family have gone back to their lives. I am retired so no job to go to.

What were some things that helped you survive losing a spouse? This is the hardest thing I have ever faced.


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Anne, I STRONGLY encourage you to get out of the house to do something meaningful on a regular basis. The ideal is to find something you do well that will help someone else. If a part-time job doesn't meet those criteria, then consider volunteer work.

It takes courage to force yourself to take action when all you want to do is take to your bed. I know. I've been there more than once. But it's imperative that we keep pushing. Being helpful to others will help you enormously. A loss like yours can result in feeling as though life has no meaning anymore. Your husband doesn't want that for you. Neither do your children. We have to create meaning.

I hope you'll consider this. Best of luck to you.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 7:00PM
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Anne, glad to see you posting again. I think the thing that helped me the most was "giving" to myself. Giving myself time--to rest and recover, to cry or smile, to scream or talk or think of my husband. I needed to be by myself for quite a while because my husband needed me 24/7 and I was weary. Your husband just died March 12 of this year, am I correct? Give yourself TIME, please. This grieving monster has to be fought on your ground. But I think that eventually it becomes a conscious effort. We decide what works best for us.

But I also talked with my children- also grown,with one out of state & one out of country- often. I hope yours are close to your heart. They lost their Dad too, so they are greiving too.

I focused on paying the bills, then cleaning! That's always a good thing! I worried that getting rid of my husbands "things" might diminish his memory, but it hasn't. Instead I know that his clothing is being appreciated by a family member, just as other "things" are either being used or appreciated. And their memory of him lives on too. A double fold blessing!

I started back to church, we weren't active, but my faith has never waivered. That is helping me lots. I signed up to help at the food bank several days a month. I am looking for a part-time happy job, but live in a very small town and not a lot of those within proximity.

Holidays aren't what they used to be, but I have made a conscious effort to be doing something different. But even if I don't want to do something, its still ok. Sometimes just being quiet is ok.

You are who you are today because of all the things that have happened to you in your life. Good and bad. Embrace the good and learn from the bad. My very smart little sister reminded me of that many times when I was wondering what I was going to do without my husband.

Are you able to go for walks? I can't like I used to, but I have on occasion just gone outside and looked at things we did together. I would drive his car occasionally, taking care to enjoy it rather than get bogged down that he wasn't driving. If it looked like it was going to make me really sad, I made a conscious effort and drove my car.

Lots of other things I am doing, but I've gone on and on. You can email if you want to just talk.

Today is another new day, even if we don't like it sometimes. But in this beautiful world, there is always something new to learn, see and love.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 6:53AM
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Hi, how true it is, i read something that now that you are widowed friends will stop calling visiting etc. and that it is common to be "forgotten".
we (or is it now i) have 2 children -one almost 25 not living at home and an almost 20 year old at home. the 25yr old (son), got me rubbermaid containers to put all his dads clothes in, they are in the garage and should be donated to someone who can use them. son is 6ft. 3. and husband before he lost both legs was about 5 11, so nothing will fit.
our (my) 20 yr old daughter makes me get up everyday, and go out anywhere. i have a routine - on school days i drive her to the university (i am the only driver), the cemetary is across the street - i visit my Al with the puppy he got me three weeks before he passed (don't worry i don't put her on the ground i have a carry case for her, i have respect not like some people i have seen), then the puppy and i go to the thrift store i put her in the carry bag and she loves riding in the shopping cart! plus people just love her! that puppy is happy just being happy! then we go home and pick up daughter later after classes. we might go to the mall (it's safer walking inside than outside in this city) or go to wal-mart (just remember not to bring your bank cards or a wad of money, you are in a vulnarable situation and just might spend just to spend).
we (daughter and i) painted the house inside, put in flooring and just moved furniture around. friends have said your should volunteer your time -- me like you cared for someone who was bedridden at home for 10 years, and you want me to volunteer my time (yes i am bitter about that comment, i bet you couldn't be me for 1 day when he was here!) i have a hard time sleeping and my doctor said it will take about 2 years to get back into the swing of things, i was a big reader (but since the new year i have read 4 books, so that's getting better), i also quilt, but still have one i started in november and will only take me about 1/2 to finish but it's still sitting there, and also i big knitter, i just started knitting simple things again.
spring will be here soon -i hope- we still have 3 feet of the white stiff in the front yard, but then i hope that i'll be able to go outside and enjoy playing in the dirt.
just take things slowly, i know that i had 25 or so years with a wonderful man that everyone just loved to pieces!


    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 4:42PM
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Anne, if you lost your husband very recently I want to amend what I said above and urge you to follow Jan's advice and give yourself time. Rushing out to get a job or whatever is not something I'd recommend.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 3:33PM
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