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Life Of A Widow

Life Of A Widow

A large percentage of our users on Stitch are widows or widowers. We are constantly touched by their stories and think it is incredible that they are taking steps to seek companionship after such a terrible loss.

We think it’s important to know that widowhood can be the most difficult and distressing time in a person’s life. When a spouse passes away, the remaining individual is left with a different lifestyle, a loss of dependence, and a broken heart. The tragic loss of a husband or wife can never truly be comprehended by an outsider, but many researchers have discovered a variety of statistics that may allow us to be a little more understanding of the nature of widowhood.

 

Social Isolation

According to the US Census, nearly “13% of men and 40% of women aged 65 and older are widows.” While the psychological effects of widowhood cannot be generalized into one category and vary depending on the individual, the social consequences are much more clear.

The Gerontologist of The Oxford Journals states that, “widowhood is associated with income inadequacy, which is associated with lower automobile use, lower social participation, and higher loneliness and anxiety”. Quite often, losing a spouse means losing a social circle as well. No longer does the widow or widower feel comfortable attending couple events or spending time with their spouse’s friends. Far too often widowhood brings on self-imposed isolation from the community.

Moreover, as we age into our later years, we grow accustomed to our lifestyles and the people we live them with. As married couples spend more years together, they can grow more dependent on their spouses and consequently more reliant on that lifestyle. When a husband or wife is tragically lost, the widow or widower is left to adapt to a new lifestyle and a new sense of independence. Unfortunately for many, this leads to departure from previous social circles, which can result in loneliness, anxiety, and depression.

 

Economic Challenges

When married couples live together for many years, they create an economic system to support each other. Whether one spouse is the breadwinner of the couple or both provide an equal share in the finances, the couple becomes dependent on one another to establish a stable household. When one of the key components of this system is lost, the balance can be thrown off and the survivor faces economic challenges.

Women in particular have a very difficult time with finances after the loss of a husband. The Encyclopedia of Aging states that “widowed older women, on average, report lower incomes and are more likely to be poor than are other groups of elderly persons”.

Furthermore, the economic issues of widowhood bring greater stress to women than men. A 2014 Gerontologist study found that widowers were better with coping financially than widows, because men have greater economic support that “tend to offset the effects of other social and psychological factors”. On the other hand, financial instability triggered greater stressors in females.

Unfortunately, this is often the trend among widows today.

 

Grief

Aside from the general trends, many widows or widowers are able to cope with the changes in lifestyle – both socially and economically. Yet grief, intense worry, and unhappiness resulting from widowhood are much more common among widowers and widows than their counterparts.

Periods of grief can last various durations – a few months, several years, even a lifetime – depending on individual’s coping mechanisms. Those who have not experienced widowhood cannot truly empathize and understand the loss and devastation that individual is feeling.

This brief blog post can’t even begin to describe what it’s like to be a widow or widower. While everyone’s story differs, click here to read one from a widow that we feel better illustrates the nature of widowhood.

We would love to hear from any of our users that are widows or widowers. Feel free to share your story or thoughts about this time in life in the comments below.

219 Comments

  1. nirmal

    i widdower from sept 2014 feei lonely 60 years retired, kids married, want to acompanion of aged helpless true selfless positive thinking and toleration

    1. Leslie

      I lost my husband 2014 by Suicide which has left me isolated not only from our social circle, but family and friends that don’t know what to say. I see a psychiatrist regularly and have gone on a few dates but the legacy of the drama surrounding his death still leaves a morbidly that spikes curiosity of any new person I meet. Albeit after 2 years I seem to be moving in a better personal place, I have found it easier not to seek any activity that puts me in a situation to tell or explain his death. I am alone with sorrow that no one can understand.

      1. Kathryn

        Leslie,
        I can only imagine how hard this has been for you. All of this, all the death and disappointment we here on this site have encountered is pretty tough. It is possible that your husband made a very hard decision himself, as hurtful and traumatic as it has been for you (and your family). Again, like all of us here, that was then and this is now. You have battled your way to this point and are likely stronger for it. Keep going, go on those dates and appreciate the good memories while you create shiny new ones!! Warmth and strength to you, every day Lesie.

        Kathryn

        1. Jo-Ann

          I just finished reading “The LittleParis Bookshop” a novel about the search for understanding and acceptance after the loss of a loved one. One of the characters said something that struck a chord with me. The period between life as you knew it before the loss and the beginning of the next chapter is “the pain place” and it can take some people longer to get through it than others because some thresholds are too wide robe crossed in a single step.

          1. Charlann

            This my first time on this site. I lost my husband to cancer recently this May, I cannot find my place the world. I can totally understand the “the place of pain” What a nightmare. Thank you for the book tip…Sounds like a good read for a widow.

        2. Elisabeth

          First time on this site. I liked what you said. Thank you.

          1. Christene pollard

            Widow 4 years not making any progress

          2. Rosemary Huegel

            Hello my name is Rosemary I am 67 years old and my husband died February 14, 2017 it has been a struggle from every way you can imagine we were married 30 years so you have your good days and your bad days

        3. Sandfly

          hello, i am new to the site. I lost my husband of 32 years 10 weeks ago while I was on holiday as he had to return d home early. He died in his sleep of cardiac arrest and he died alone. I am 52 years old with no children ,no family leaving nearby (most are overseas) and David was my whole world.I have a few good friends. I have returned to work but struggling . This morning i was so upset i rang the crisis centre who advised to take some calming pill .Now I am a bit calmer but so tired and unable to go to work. How did you guys cope with the loss of such magnitude? The worst part is leaving alone and having an empty house. The thought that he has gone forever in unbereable and cant get past this feeling of fear and anguish. I try not to take pills but today i had to accep i needed some help. I have goals that normally would keep me going, like finishing some of the work he has started and honor him by enjoying what he has built for us. This morning it all went out of the window, I am scared, alone and I desperately wan to know if he is ok. anyone trieied to contact their loved ones or had any signs? I would love to hear how you coped in the blackest of days.

          1. Lori Dekker

            I, too, lost my husband suddenly. I was lucky in that I had lots of family support—and still do two and a half years later. I’m not a religious person so all the internal support I had I had to rally for myself. I learned that life changes, nothing stays the same. That different unplanned circumstances can be every bit as good as the ones you planned and worked for. That the trauma of unexpected death lessens over time–more than 10 weeks—and it is a respite of sorts from the real world. Grief is the time to be long sighted and selfish. Pills are not the answer, unless that’s the way you got thru life before. Taking stock of what you have and want is where you should be headed. Do you want to travel, get more education, spend more time with family and friends, perfect a new skill, sleep with your dogs, take in exchange students, join an auxiliary, join a service club, read more, get politically active, wear frumpy clothes??? It is all your to choose from and dabble in now. In a painful, cruel way this is your time. No one can take away your pain, you have to live and grow thru it. I still cry little every day but Dave is part of the rich heavy tapestry of my life. I still ask myself what would David do? And sometimes I do what I think he would do and sometimes not. I am better for having been a wife and I am better still for being a widow. Do not fight your grief. Relish it and use it to find your new place in a wonderfully fulfilling world. I can tell you one day you will feel a glimmer of joy, way out there on a horizon. And day by day by day it gets a little brighter until one fine day you wake up happy and grateful to be alive. It happens to each of us who take hard steps to be the person we want to be. Never, never give up…. the best is yet to be……

          2. Marilyn

            I, too, lost my husband to cancer after a brief illness…We were soul mates…after having met over 40 years ago via a computer dating service.. After 5 years of flying solo I find that grief is not linear…I thought I had everything under control..independence, getting the hang of finances, traveling alone…yet year five has brought episodic tearfulness and feelings of yes, pain….Greatest comfort comes from fellow widows who “understand” my journey…Couples that “we” knew are sympathetic yet inhabit a different world…Getting out each day is cathartic for me..as well as setting new goals and celebrating each moment..especially holidays..I enjoy volunteering at shelters, offering time and talent helping others and connecting with others via organizations and events…Keep looking foreward…

          3. Kathleen

            sandfly,
            I remember the physical pain and how awful the grief is in the beginning. I hope you made it thru the holidays the best you could. When it gets overwhelming just breathe, that is enough. Go to sleep as early as you can, tomorrow you can try again. I am finishing my 7th year. Try not to judge any of it, i found that made it worse. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward when you can, when you cant just rest. Eventually, very slowly, things will become more managable. I wish you well and will keep you in my prayers 🙂

          4. Alma chapman

            I read your reply/as a widow I take it one day at s time… some days are better then others. you might need to find a support group just to talk….

          5. Doreen paular

            I am so sorry and YES I do know what your going through, I lost my husband to stage stage 4 lung cancer Oct 14, 2015. The life and love we shared will be a once in a life time thing and I am ok with that. But my dear the melt downs and pain and that dark place will become far and few in between. For me I owe it all to GOD, my family and friends… That’s the BEST support system you could ever have! And YES you do need a support system because you won’t be able to do it on your own. Take ever opportunity of those who are there for you even if you don’t want it. My thoughts and prayers for you to remain strong and move forward if not for your self then for your husband whom I’m sure wants the best for you!!!

          6. FM

            I lost my spouse after being together for 34 yrs. from that colon cancer stage 4 in Dec. 2015. Three wks before his 59th birthday.
            And yes, others who haven’t lost someone (yet), really don’t know how lousy it is to have to transition to a new way of being, know that someday they too will have to go through a huge loss (most will), and do not want to deal with that now until they absolutely have to. And, who could blame them. This isn’t an easy task!
            And, as some others here have stated…you must keep-on-keeping-on, as I always say. Never give-up! Forward is the only way to reinvent yourself in a positive way, at any age. Keep practicing new better thoughts over & over until they have manifested a happier feeling again!
            Those who have left this plane on earth are the ones now in a better place.
            Honor them, and do not wallow in the grief, although let it “release” when it appears. I’m not “a crier,” but whoa…last year I cried every single day except two! Once in April & once in Aug. I remember the first time I hadn’t in April…I thought…wow…I didn’t cry today…wow! At the start the grief was Spiritually, then it was emotionally, by Oct. to this past Feb. it was more physchological. People say to “keep busy.” But, not as an escape for what’s needed to grieve to move forward! To hide your grief with “keeping busy,” might only get one depressed at a later time. It’s better to deal with the grief Now! So, one can Move-on to that new & better chapter of your life.
            Don’t waste your-own life! I know…each day can be so different. Sometimes for me it’s a Catch-22. I want to go out to keep going, then simultaneously I don’t feel like meeting new people or leaving the house to deal with the outside world that seems to be moving forward effortlessly in their own worlds. So I just keep working on myself…re-inventing, re-establisting, re-organizing, and resting to keep a Balance on all aspects needed to go on in the best positive way that I can, even if tired of being lonely.
            People say get support from family and friends…huh. Sometimes they’re more a hindrence than a help, which means you might get further being self-sufficent! And, it’s always better to be alone than in any bad relationship. And, watch out for being vulunerable! People will take advantage of a lonely widow, especially if she has a home and money.

            I know how to do energy-balances (kinesology), which has to deal with your organs and emotions. Way better than any pill! Those are false ways of handling our growth and only make things worse.
            There’s 3 books that might help people know about the after-life called: Testimony of Light by Helen Greaves and Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander M.D.(a Neurosurgeon’s journey into the afterlife), and A Time to Grieve (Meditations for healing) by Carol Staudacher.
            Believe me they are in a better place…no bills, no b/s like here on this planet that we’re here to learn how to love & forgive. They’re “good!”
            We are the ones left to deal with ourselves etc. So, as hard as it is…make yourself laugh everyday w/ a movie, dance a little everyday too in your kitchen with music you like, and give yourselves, many “pats on your back” when you have accomplished yet another positive move forward in what ever way that may have needed to be. Even if it’s a very little-one!
            I’m empty-nested and after downsizing the home I wonder all the time, why I’m in this home & town alone, although, so grateful I have one!
            That’s another thing, Remember to be grateful for what you do have, even if it’s not much, be grateful for any help from the universe and everyday!
            It is scary to be a female who’s considered middle-aged or a senior, who needs that income. Just keep passing the Faith test, and hopefully sooner than later, it will all be good again! Just pick thy self up again, wipe yourself off, and there will be light at the end of this tunnel, and it is not a train.I have been through very hard times since I was a young kid…just keep going. I know I’ll get an income soon, if I keep persistent on a plan, whatever might that be??? It always works out…believe that.
            It is the Divine Light, just believe it and act as if our new chapter is already wonderfully better again! I’m at that lonely, painful place again feeling like no one calls me etc., that’s how I saw this site today. But I only allow myself a 2 min. “pity-party,” and that’s it! Let out that emotion then buck-up and move on with a smile for Myself! After a 1-1/2 yr. of just recently dealing with so much, in many different aspects, of life big & small & back to back, I just caught-up to the next important step of creating another positive journey to enjoy! Remember to dance, laugh, & honor your own life! Blessed be to all of you! In Sincerity.

          7. Joyce

            Great advice. Staying positive is half the battle. Thanks

          8. Caroline Middlebrook

            Sandfly,
            I’m writing to you because although it’s been some time since you posted and you are probably at a different place in your grief, I hope this might still help, or help someone like us. I am your age — younger than I thought I would ever be, as a widow, no children, sudden death, almost zero social network.

            The beginning was excruciating hard — as you know, you are pretty much operating in survival mode. As I made progress in fits and starts, part of the difficulty was that I didn’t feel that the advice I read or received applied to me. I’m not a social person, I didn’t want to pretend to be someone that I wasn’t or had no interest in being, so the idea of joining some sort of group or other held zero appeal.

            What I can tell you now, is that coming up on two years post, I feel better — but it’s a new feeling, I’ve just gotten here. I’m looking forward to the future and want to make plans, etc. What got me here, I believe, was fighting every step of the way. I knew my husband wouldn’t want me to be a quitter, and I knew I didn’t want to be in mourning for the rest of my life. Some days/weeks it was two steps forward, one back, but I really do believe feeling convicted that I owed it to both of us to keep on got me to this other side.

            So yea, for me, it was really almost two full years, but here I am, and I can honestly say I’m ready to pull myself together and step into the future. Hang in there, keep going and you’ll feel like yourself again — eventually.

        4. Sandi

          I understand. You suffered 2 tragedies at the same time. My husband was killed by a drunk driver while being with another woman. In an instant everything in my life changed. I couldn’t believe anything from before that moment to be true because the man I shared my life with and the person the authorities were telling me about seemed like a mistake.. As I write this I feel judged and misunderstood. I only reached out to tell you that I feel all the separation you speak of. Being in a room full of people socializing is awkward and when I don’t tell my whole story, I feel like a fraud. I just don’t fit anymore. I always say it feels like wearing a pair of shoes that are too tight!

          1. Joyce

            I’m so sorry for the pain you must endure. We each have our own stories & we are fortunate to have this site to share with those who can understand.

      2. Laurie Conway

        Leslie,
        I understand the pain and frustration you are feeling. I lost my husband of 27 years in December of 2008. Moving forward has been difficult. I am happy my children made it through the storm. They are productive, caring and well.
        The best advice I can give you is to take care of yourself. Exercise, remind yourself that every day is new after a bad day and simplify your life. Laurie

        1. Charlotte

          I feel the same way. My first husband died 23years ago and my second husband died 3&1/2years ago both of cancer. I feel so alone and like an outcast . No real close friends . My kids have their on lives. I thought by now things would be better but their now. Just want to belong somewhere . Would love to have someone to talk to .

          1. Lisa jane

            I understand when you say your kids have their own lives. I have one son and if i dont contact him, i dont hear from him. I lost my husband to cancer 6 mos. Ago and dont really know how to move on because of financial insufficiency now. We were together 28 yrs. I have a shitsue whick keeps me somewhat active taking short walks 2 times a day. But i guess im needy and lonely… no one can help.

          2. mary Crawford

            I understand how you feel.I lost the love of my life august 1, 2011. I got so desperate for love that in 2014 I married a man who had me fooled into believing he was good,after we married everything changed, he hated my kids (grown) snd was emotionally abusive. Our divorce will be final this month. I feel very alone in this world,but, I refuse to look for love again, I see now that my sweet husband was the only one for me. Life has been a nightmare since he died. I just hang on day to day.

          3. Joan

            Hi Mary – I just read your post today and am hoping you are still hanging in there. I lost my first husband 18 years ago and my second 2 years ago next Saturday, so have similar feelings. Ah – just thought I would say hello.
            Joan

      3. Andrea

        Leslie,
        I’m very impressed with how you are handling his passing. I lost one of my closest friends to this tragedy 25 years ago, have a cousin who, right before Christmas 2015, went through that horror and last month, my neighbor’s brother took his life! Yesterday, I learned of a friend from high school whose son did the same! It’s such a tragedy and unbelieveable that it happens so often. As usual, they were all loved and any of their friends or family would have done whatever possible to stop this if they could. Remember, It was THEY who couldn’t cope. There was nothing you could have done to stop your husband. It was his choice and he wanted to make sure he was “successful” It was his choice. I hope you really understand that.
        As far as avoiding uncomfortable situations, this is completely understandable. Spouses often feel guilty, angry, embarrassed or don’t want others to think badly of the one who committed the suicide. Most often of course, people are very sympathetic and aren’t actually judging. But those who are, will have to live with that and God will deal with them as necessary. IT’s not for you to worry about. Now, I don’t mean to impose faith on you and I’m not sure how you feel about that, but it gives me some peace.
        Now, there will inevitably be that one day you can’t escape the subject. I suggest you plan a short but satisfying response, just in case. DON’T offer more info you than you are comfortable with, and let them know you don’t want to expand on it. They will understand. People really shouldn’t ask anyway!
        Leslie, maybe one day if this caling comes to you, you will be that person who helps others who are dealing with the same type of grief no one else can understand. Perhaps you already have!
        God’s blessings on you and your family. He wants you to be happy. It’s okay and happiness is rightfully yours for the taking.
        Thank you,
        Andrea

      4. Leslie

        Oh, I think I can understand. The circumstances around my husbands death were so beyond anything I would ever imagine I could live through emotionally. The sudden death from a motorcycle accident and then discovering so much betrayal.

      5. Pat

        Hi Leslie

        I don’t know how you feel, but I do have empathy with you. My husband of 50 years ended his own life. In April 2012

        I was 18 when I married, so knew no other man. Life is lonely it does get easier. I am told you never forget. The times of sadness germs further apart. I still shed a tear or two. I will never forget him .

        Regards
        Patricia

      6. John Wilson

        I lost my wife on this day 3 years ago in 2014. She took her own life by hanging. I am 50 years old – Soon to be 51.

        I just wanted to tell you you are not alone, I wish I had the answers but I don’t and I too am lost.

      7. Russell Gosselin

        I relate so much since I lost my wife in a similar way Oct. 4, 2014. I isolate from the world as many days a week as I can since I can’t hide my pain . I’ve lost will to live but force myself to go on as best I can , pretending to be OK for the children and grandchildren’s sake. Thanks for sharing

      8. Russell Gosselin

        I’m grateful to discover I’m not the only one devastated by losing a spouse and finding it impossible to carry on. Maybe God has not abandoned us?

    2. Howie

      I became a widower in July after my wife lost her 17 year battle with cancer. I am still in disbelief. After 39 years I am suddenly a very lonely and envious person. I am an emotional mess…trying to adapt to everything. She was a great companion and we were told suddenly she had 3 days to live. So sudden. I have a great network and extended family. They are trying to help….but they have their own lives….mostly couples.

      1. Cynthia

        Hello Howie,
        I lost my husband of 17 years on 8/4/15. He had a terminal illness. Hold your memories dear as I call upon them daily.
        Cynthia age 53.

      2. Emma

        HI Howie,
        I lost my dear husband for 23 years of sudden heart attack, on June 26, 2016. at the age of 50 I lost my husband without saying goodbye, he was not sick at all. I used to have friends around me but suddenly they’re gone. I have no relatives . I’m alone, lonely and scared. but I have to be strong and keep moving, (one step at a time) for the sake of my kids both are teens,… It’s a crazy life.

        1. Lucy

          Emma, Our lives seem to be in parallel. Lost my husband of 15 years suddenly to a heart attack (he was 48)…never sick and never missed a day of work and then fell over right in front of me. I have two teen boys at home too. Crazy life, indeed. All of our couples friends have disappeared and I take it one day at a time.

        2. Rosie

          I lost my husband in July 16, killed in an accident, never said goodbye. Dreading Christmas, just want to shut myself away, have 4 children the youngest 11 all just want to forget Christmas and everyone thinks your life has gone back to normal just missing the main person

          1. anne zerishnek

            Rosie, so sorry for your pain
            My husband died in 201, we have three sons in early twenties. Christmas was huge in our house, David loved it and always went over the top. The first Christmas without him I was stressed and worrying about getting through. It. We talked about it and gave ourselves permission to just get through it. We didn’t really celebrate it or even have a tree. This second year we did, but in our own new way
            Each year you’ll be a tiny bit less raw and find your new way. Impossible to believe at first. Thinking big you

      3. Nancy cressler

        17 year battle is unheard of . God Bless . I am 61 and lost Jonnie in 5 months. So sorry .

      4. Elin

        Same with me too it has been 15 years when I was in my thirties and I am still missing my husband just like yesterday,every new year, every special events.. My hearts feel so sad lonely and missing companionship I dare not think of the future life

      5. Rob

        I to lost my wife of 32 years. I was in the hospital for back surgery fusion , than found out my wife who was disabled had passed suddenly. My entire marriage i took care of her but did not support her as well as i should have. I worked so much, i was the only income.
        I have some survivors guilt. its been 20 months and i feel stuck at times .
        unable to move forward yet tired of the loneliness..
        I some family support but after the dust settles and the smoke clears its you against the world again. when your over 60 it seems harder to care . most think i am coping well, but to be honest i do feel stuck. that is the best way i can describe this life altering painful experience. I never thought i would join this club, i always thought i would go first with all the stress of living with a alcoholic disabled spouse.
        I guess God has a plan for me although i am still clueless.
        my daughter seems to be moving forward and i thank God for that.
        I wish everyone in this club that no one wants to be a part of inner peace and comfort of those who they lost.

        1. Je

          So sorry for your loss.

          I too feel stuck in grief sometimes, I’ve been widowed twice in the last 5 and half years. I don’t know if I want to date again but I sure do miss my spouse .

        2. Sue

          I am so sorry for your loss.
          I will remember you in my prayers.
          My husband lost his battle against cancer in 2015.
          We were married for over 35 years.
          My family has been very supportive,
          but until you walk this road, you have no idea.
          Some days seem okay
          yet there are days when I will just break down in tears.
          “How are you?”, they ask.
          “Fine, fine”, I lie.
          If they only knew, but there is no sense in worrying them,
          because there is nothing anyone can do.
          Every day, I pray for strength.
          One day at a time, hoping it will somehow get better.
          This is the first time I have ever lived by myself.
          I grew up in a large family, then got married and had kids
          of my own. They all have their own lives, and live far away.
          For the first time in my life, I am alone, very fearful
          and trying so hard to fight off the extreme sadness
          and the brutal loneliness,
          I have a million questions, but not a single answer.
          I just don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.
          I feel so guilty for still being here and ashamed by my weakness.
          The days are so long and there are nights when I barely close my eyes.
          Please God, help me. Help us all.
          Please know that others care.

        3. Lucy P-S

          Rob, you mentioned your wife was an alcoholic and I want to encourage you to seek out Al Anon as a support group. When my husband was rushed to the hospital from kidney failure, I not only had to face his eventual death but to boot he had controlled all the finances and had used everything to keep his business going. We had to sell our home, pay his government debts and move in with my Mother in another city. What a nightmare. Although my husband wasn’t an alcoholic, my father was and I knew I needed to find a group of people who could help me with my situation now. My husband was a workaholic, compulsive debtor and had a gambler’s mentality but he was honestly a kind and loving man, save for the financial fiasco. I went to Al Anon and honestly it was the best thing I ever did. I tried every group in the city and found two I really liked. There I met people who were non judgemental and supportive. A year and a half later, those friends are the best people in my life. My family is large, I have 6 siblings none of whom offered any support despite years of our generosity towards them and their children, its been a terrible reality I had to face – my illusion of being in a big happy family was crushed. If it weren’t for my Al Anon companions I would have fallen apart, especially since the death of my husband in April of this year. They are the ones who call me almost daily and they are the ones I turn to for help. I have lost everything and at a time in life when I should have enjoyed a comfortable retirement…well to be honest my plan was to be self employed and get back to my writing projects but it seems the Universe has other plans for me. As I write, I am now having to deal with my mother’s eventual death, she has a bad heart and has been on dialysis for almost 5 years, so it’ll be the death of two of the most significant people in my life. I was married for 39 years and I lived a pretty affluent lifestyle at one time…its been a life altering time but there is a silver lining. I am finally seriously seeking a spiritual journey something I have always had a calling for but I was always too focused on my partner and my family. Its typical behavior for those who have lived with alcoholics to be enablers, codependent upon relationships, people pleasers and fixers. Its a role I’ve played since childhood and familiar. I am now free to become what the noted psychiatrist Carl Jung called my authentic self. This is where our true happiness and fulfillment lies in the end and its a goal worth pursuing. But no one can do this journey alone, we weren’t meant to, so I would encourage you to try Al Anon or some other legitimate support group. Good luck…Lucy

    3. Margaret

      I lost my husband a year ago and I’m 65. I had to sort out a tremendous amount of things that were left undone by him. I had to close and sell his business and pay off many debts. I just said ” This is what life has given me , I will do the best I can “. After a year of very hard work I sorted it out . I am alone at home . Now my favorite saying is :” You can’t stop the leaves falling off the trees “. Life and nature were designed for us to come and then to go. Just look it straight in the eye and say . ” I get it , that’s what it is , I accept it .” I take things day by day and live in gratitude for all that is good. I am healthy , I have kids , I can help and do things . My goal is to make each day good and as happy as possible. It’s working and if I feel a bit alone , I make a point of doing something for someone and it makes me feel better . I believe my husband’s soul is in the next world and wish him the best . One day we will all get there . What works for me is to make the best of what I’ve got , live in gratitude and look forward. Maybe I will be on my own for the rest of my life and if so I will try to make it a life I can look back on and say, ” I made the best of it and enjoyed it”. It’s a long journey and I hope a good one . I understand that my attitude will determine how good it will be. Here goes to whatever may be . All the very very best wishes to all of you too.

      1. Andrew Dowling

        Thanks so much for sharing Margaret, that’s such an inspiring way of approaching things. I hope you don’t mind but I’ve shared your words with one of the widows forums on Stitch, as I think many of our members would really relate to your words and find comfort in them. Thanks so much!

      2. Mo

        Hi Margaret,
        You are 64 and I am 69 so we are of the same generation. I am divorcee, 2 grown up children, and grand father of two. they live in Southampton and Norwich. I live in France (Avignon). I am a university educated, speak fluent French and have a good command of Spanish. I am a retired marine consultant but still active when I am required. I love music (I play gentle easy country songs on my guitar). Perhaps we could further a conversation and become friends who knows?

      3. Erica Dretzin

        Oh , this is SOOOO beautiful, what you said. I wrote the part about looking death straight in the eye, getting and accepting the cycles of change. Life IS change. I am 64 and lost my husband of 24 years 1 1/2 years ago. He was my deepest love and dearest friend. His words bubble up in my thoughts ALL the time. I remember near the very end he said” All couples have to say good-bye to each other someday” It never occurred to me,Mark’s death was simply inconceivable to me. I believe that we are in a sense “hardwired” as a form of protection from knowing grief until it is our time. I truly feel that I have experienced a kind of insanity with his loss. HIs death continues to rock my world without mercy. Grief has been like a Sunami ‘for me.
        However, my Faith asks me not to answer the question why,but rather how, How can I go on and make the best of what I’ve got. I stand up and fall down every day and I am learning to forgive myself for ALL the mistakes I have made and will make on my own. But most of all, I want my husband to be proud of me, proud of my courage to go on without him and make a meaningful life. I will ALWAYS carry him in my heart,I see our love as a legacy to the beauty and great Hope that blossoms from this kind of Love.
        Thank you all for sharing. Sending love and HOPE to all. Erica

      4. Rob

        I to lost my wife of 32 years. I was in the hospital for back surgery fusion , than found out my wife who was disabled had passed suddenly. My entire marriage i took care of her but did not support her as well as i should have. I worked so much, i was the only income.
        I have some survivors guilt. its been 20 months and i feel stuck at times .
        unable to move forward yet tired of the loneliness..
        I some family support but after the dust settles and the smoke clears its you against the world again. when your over 60 it seems harder to care . most think i am coping well, but to be honest i do feel stuck. that is the best way i can describe this life altering painful experience. I never thought i would join this club, i always thought i would go first with all the stress of living with a alcoholic disabled spouse.
        I guess God has a plan for me although i am still clueless.
        my daughter seems to be moving forward and i thank God for that.
        I wish everyone in this club that no one wants to be a part of inner peace and comfort of those who they lost.

        ty for those inspiring thoughts. I remind myself of the very words you speak. I am not there yet but i am fighting every day. its been 20 months as i said before . the solitude an loneliness is not a powerful enough word.

        1. IRIS VANSCOY

          Rob, I feel that no matter what people will say to make you feel better just doesn’t work. I have been a widow for 10 years and now I can say that I feel entirely different. It hurts when your spouse dies and you are left alone. Our kids, friends go on with their life but what you feel inside doesn’t heal very quickly. In fact, it may never go away but I finally reached that peak where I want to meet someone and share my life with that special someone. I am 65 years old and I deserve to have a man in my life. It is so much more fulfilling when you have someone to share your life with. Words from other people did not help me, no one knows how you feel inside. There is emptiness, loneliness and your heart just aches for that person. I can only wish the best for you…

      5. Lucy P-S

        Oh Margaret what a similar story, we’re both the same age and I know what its like to be left cleaning up the financial mess. I feel so stupid at times, considering I have a university degree, an avid reader, researcher, have always been an amateur psychologist with astute observations about others and a life long self improvement seeker, I just didn’t see what was going on in my husband’s business. Well, I guess that makes some sort of sense given his work world was like this whole other universe he occupied and totally separate from our personal and home life. Your reminded me that the best way out of the depths of negativity is to focus on gratitude…some days it may be as simple as being grateful for my 10 fingers and toes or that I was born in a country as wonderful as Canada, where our health needs are cared for. Changing one’s mindset to see the positive in everything, or at least the lesson, is a skill that has to be practiced on a daily basis. Thanks for reminding me of that.

      6. FM

        Yes, you are on the right-path! By Being Grateful for what you do have, and your outlook on “where your life is now!” I wish ALL people going through Grief or not (yet), could SEE the Light, even while in some darkness! It is there…Just Look for even a tiny dot of Light and stay Focused on that to Carry you through, as you navigate Your Own Life as Best you can…keep it Focused on that Light! I just made it through a year & a half of getting all that needed to be done (All by thyself! Cause no one to help), after my spouse passed in Dec. 2015.
        If only people would just have a sense of humor (watch funny movies or shows), know how much good music helps (dance…move that body!), and do not be too hard on thyself! Focus on the Good stuff. Ingest the best…Let Go of the rest!
        Believe it or not…we aren’t really alone…and…we are All Loved Unconditionally! Peace to All!

    4. Ching

      I lost my husband to cancer, he died on Aug.6 2015, ever since then my life been miserable.
      Then my daughter encourage me to join the dating site, I meet a guy who I thought he was the one, at first I seen all the good quality that woman was looking to a man then he became very controlling. So I ended the relationship.
      Now I am trying to move on
      Cheers

    5. Sharon

      Lost my husband 18 months ago..sometimes I feel very alone. I would like to find a man that I could talk to. I miss talking to my husband.

  2. Florence

    i would love to see who’s available I want to get started

    1. Rahul

      I am sirious love i am ready but this time am poor.

      1. Hay

        Hola

    2. Larry

      Being alone after a wife’s death was difficult. I just want to be ALIVE again!. I’m tired of doing things alone!. I’m 55yrs widower with a grown up son! Can I truly meet someone for long term relationship?

      1. D

        Larry, I too have been left alone at this time in my life. I’m like you….I want to feel alive again, I miss the companionship. Good luck to you Larry, I don’t know where you live,,,,if we were closer, we could have coffee, or just good conversation.

        D

      2. Kathryn

        Hi Lary,

        Yes, you can meet someone. It will just take that same determination, time and many layers of investment (not just monetary). Believe it or not, she is looking for you too! Yup, it’s hard at this age, but keep going. If you think you’re worth it, she will too. Hopefully you’ve thought about what the term relationship means for you and what you’re looking for, be it marriage, long term and in separate homes (situations vary), living together only, what you can live. Keep it up and you’ll find the person who is looking for you!

        1. Joe

          There’s no question that the loss of a spouse creates an economic hardship for most people in their 70s and up, and this point brings up two old but important facts about marriage, which is probably the ultimate survival tool for most of us. Aside from the fact that marriage (hopefully) removes loneliness, it has always been, at unless until around the 1920s or so, mainly for economic purposes (i.e. G. Washington, A. Hamilton), and in Europe served as a political methodology. In these current times, the economic value of marriage is very important and if both parties are able to have a friendly relationship, then marriage is beneficial, as long as both halves of the undertaking are willing to contribute to the partnership. This is not an easy undertaking, and is actually much more difficult for the elderly to do than younger people, but when a marriage partnership does evolve, life for the participants will become more comfortable…

      3. Rochelle

        Just getting to know others like my self only kind, thoughtful and non violence and funny and wise.and decent to be around.loves animals and children and your happiness.

      4. Mary Kay

        Hi! Yes you can meet someone. That someone can be me. I am 51 years old and a widow. My name is Mary Kay. I have been a widow for two years now and would love to talk with you. Please email me back. I have one grown daughter who lives on her own! I am a lonely widow and would love to meet and have a companion in a man lover and soulmate. If you are out there get I. Touch with me please. I live in Ohio Thanks

      5. Janice

        I am 54 year old widow & my children are 19 & 24 . I lost my husband 11 years ago but I have yet to date & online doesn’t appeal to me . I don’t know where to turn because I miss having a man in my life .

      6. Janice

        I am 54 year old widow ,since 2004 . I would love to meet a nice
        man even just as friends . We share something in common that no one could understand unless you actually been through it & even then it’s so Personel . I believe now I am ready

        1. Stephanie

          Me too

      7. Grace

        Same as you,am lonely after my husband is gone,children are on their ways.life is sometimes so meaningless to me,,,,,,,

      8. Kathie

        Hi my name is Kathie,, I am not s widow but my husband took off 15 years ago and moved to Asia with a woman he met over there, I felt like it was a death, he suddenly left me and his 3 children. Then 10 years ago I lost my 21 year old son in a tragic accident while he was a senior at the University of Vermont. My life was devastated and the journey to survive and still raise my two daughters was unbearable . Well I recently moved to California to start a new life since both my daughters have their careers here, I would love to meet someone that has empathy and compassion , if you read my profile you will get to know me a bit…. Thanks for listening.

      9. Maria

        Oi Larry tudo bem. Também sou viúva e sinto-me só. Podemos conversar…

        (English Translation: “Hi Larry okay. Also I am a widow and I am alone. We can talk…”)

      10. Claisia

        I m alone too. I lost my husband two years ago and would love to have a friend to be able to talk too. I was born in South America live in London and work with adults with mental health

        1. Andrew Dowling

          Hi Claisia,

          Why don’t you sign up for Stitch? You’ll find we’re giving lots of people different ways to find friends to talk to, both in their area and around the world.

          Regards,
          Andrew.

      11. Stephanie

        Hi larry….lets chat.

    3. LEE

      Sure sign me up !Lee

  3. violet

    Been a widow 3 years. Adjusting back to single life was not as difficult as I had thought it would be. I believe that my dog Arfy has been my strength to move forward with life. Now I’m ready to meet new people in my life and hopefully make new friends.

    1. Sue

      I love your dogs name!! Adorable <3

  4. Marty

    This article is so true. As a widower of 8 years, I see myself in just about every phase.
    What is not brought out and I feel is very important is the negative feelings that rise from being alone. The slights, misinterpretated comments that lead to a falling out or parting of ways of family or a previously valued friend. These are byproducts of being alone and have to be dealt with before damage to relationships happen.

    1. Marcie Rogo

      Thank you, Marty for sharing those feelings. It sounds like a lot of people feel this way, and we are so sorry for your loss.

    2. Pam

      Sorry for your loss Marty. Although society is more forgiving even in the face of divorce, you can still feel lonely, ostracized and different from your formal social circles. I never thought it could apply to widowhood also. I remember my Dad going through the same thing. He chose to continue his life alone and has never looked back.

  5. Violet

    Experiencing a loss is difficult. Finding yourself alone once again at home is not easy especially when we stubbornly insist to hold tight to what we had; to the way it was back then when my other half was still here. Embracing this new life as a single is not easy and many of who we thought were our friends now behave differently because they now think we are after their men, this action hurts! Still, it is up to us to dust off and say to ourselves, “I am still in this game called life”! And I want to live it to the fullest on my terms… if you agree then you can jump unto my band wagon and if not then I don’t need you in my life. I think of my dead husband everyday, but I don’t let the memories the we had hold me back from new experiences. Remember it’s not over until the ‘fat lady sings’! Remember YOLO! You Only Live Once!

    1. Karen

      The comments about how “friends” treat you are mostly true. My husband passed away at age 59. It was a huge funeral with lots of support pledged to our family. The difference is that socializing no longer includes couples dinners or couples activities unless it’s a big party or a whole family activity. . The women all want to do lunch, which is nice, but I miss that male energy and have no interest in stealing anyone’s husband.
      In fact, since 2002 I’ve never been invited to the kind of dinners we used to enjoy except for once recently; a neighbor asked me over with a couple they know. It was great! It felt normal again. So, that’s the social part I have missed quite a bit.
      Otherwise, I’ve learned to be pretty happy.

      1. Jo-Ann

        I understand so well! My husband passed away a year ago after a year of declining health. I do lunches and movies with friends, and the occasional party or group event, but so often I will learn of an event on a weekend that looks like fun, but not by myself! My husband was a wonderful guy who could fix or build anything I needed and was always up for fun. I miss all that. On top of losing him, nearly all my family have drifted south in the last year, leaving me with more difficult decisions to consider.

        1. Daphne

          This may sound absurd, but finally, it’s so nice to hear someone say the things that I’ve been thinking for this past year, my first of widowhood after 35 years of marriage. I agree with you 100%, I have great friends but I’m getting so tired of hearing women complain about their…fill in the blanks. I would do anything to trade shoes with them and have my husband’ snoring to complain about now.
          Instead, I have my dogs to snore me to sleep.
          What I wouldn’t give to dress up and go out to dinner, not a third wheel or a pity invite.

          1. Sandie

            Hi,
            I am an 8 year widow as of May,1,2016. I noticed the time of your post. I find nights to be the hardest time to pass without feeling lonely. I have lots of energy so I can keep busy during the day but I wonder will nights ever get easier?

      2. Dawn

        Karen, I have been widowed since 2006. I do love my friend who sees no threat in me speaking to her husband or in him joining us. Generally we all laugh and have a good time and I remember it really not so bad to be alone! I find I have to do almost all the inviting with my friends. People are very busy

        1. Dorothy

          Dorothy, l have been a widow for 4yrs now and l tell you this life of widow hood has not been an easy task, l have two daughters, my husband was involved in an accident and perished on the spot, life has never been the same again

          1. Connie

            I to have been a widow for four years and it seems like all of my friends have seemed to disappear , I was told I seem so sad and just can’t socialize with my friends anymore all though I try they see right through me , so long story short they just don’t invite me anymore my life is lonely and don’t no how to go about making new friends I feel alone am I the only one..

      3. Joy

        My husband passed @54 yrs old. I agree with u completely. I miss the male energy in a conversation. I don’t go to bars and I haven’t had an interest in dating yet. But I do miss the conversation.

        1. Steve

          Can relate. Lost wife in March after 40 years of marriage. Gets lonely!

  6. Debbie

    I have been a widow at 45 left with three children 18”,,14″‘,,,12 in 2006. it has been a very long road,, of isolation due to friends suddenly not knowing what to say,,,then not being invited to things we always were invited to as I was the odd one out ,,,and then yes friendships seem to take on this just an acquaintance role,,
    I miss the company,,the laughter the silliness that friends have,, I’d love to find a dinner, movie,,tv,, etc friend,,I am a widow not ready to give up yet,

    1. ray

      I feel the same way since wife passed with cancer! I feel the same ! How far are you from Pennsylvania! Contact me if you want you sound very sincere!

      1. Trish

        Hi Ray,
        I just came across your post from Sept.I lost my husband 15 months ago.I feel the same way .My friends are all married and have busy lives.It seems the stay away ,like widowhood is contagious or something lol.Well anyway ,I’m from Pennsylvania.I was wondering what part of Pa you call home ?

  7. Ida

    I became widowed at age 55, and now almost 8 years have passed. It has definitely not been easy coming home to an empty home, with nobody to talk to. I am fortunate in that I still have a full time job, to keep me occupied. I have joined numerous dating sites, to only encounter scammers. Yet, I have not given up on finding a companion in my life. I think what hurts the most is the feeling that I am “emotionally starving.” It would be nice to get a kind word, a hug or a kiss from someone. We all need friends and affection in our lives. Many people have told me that when I least expect it, I will meet someone special. I just hope that they are right.

    1. Marcie Rogo

      Dear Ida
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience. There are so many people who feel the same way and have also had a terrible tragedy. The last thing you need is to put yourself out there only to get fake profiles and scammers terrorizing you. That’s why we’re doing it differently at Stitch, including a thorough identity check before anyone can community. I hope you’ll join us and take care,
      Marcie

      1. reju

        Hi Dear,
        I chance read your story and I’m touched by your grief. May God soon open up a way to put you back on rail is all that I pray. I shall carry remembrance of an unknown YOU in my prayers.

      2. Kevin

        Sorry for your loss Marcie otherwise I would like to be there for you if u don’t mind. I have no kids, had a long relationship that ended painfully before marriage but would like to spend my life with a lonely widow.

    2. Mark

      Ida,

      I’m sorry for your loss. Like you, I’m a widower and my wife passed 9 years ago. To be blunt, it sucks! I do like travel, but why travel if you’re doing it alone. I end up watching the various channels on where I want to go. Online dating isn’t kind to widows/widowers. It seems like a badge of courage to be divorced 4 or 5 times, but a curse to be widowed.

      I feel your pain. I honestly do.

      A friend of mine told me that Prince Charming had to put that slipper on lots of feet. He also said “Unfortunately, he also had to touch a lot of ugly, stinky, dirty feet too!” 😉

      1. Sue

        I guess Prince Charming had his version of kissing frogs! Keep that shoehorn handy, you never know where Cinderella may pop up!

        1. oliver rooney

          looking for a good women wife passed away of cancer in jan I like traveling dancing love cozy nights friendly love hugs kisses and warmth good natured lol oliver

      2. Penny

        Mark so true. If you want to talk please respond

      3. Lynne

        Hi I am a widow also of 8 years and even though you still gave your friends it is no longer the same, because the invitations to BBQ eye are only for couples, and if you are not into the pub and club scene now you are on your own it is very difficult to meet people. You go one sites looking for someone to share with and there does not seem to be genuine people there. I am a very young 66 year old and I would dearly love to find someone to share the future with. Lynne

        1. Doris

          Yes, difficult indeed in this day and age to be a widow/ widower or just single after a certain age; particularly for women — we become invisible, like it or not. I am not at all bitter, just a realist…. While our gender ages , it seems males, irrespective of how old they are , are regarded as distinguished…. a myth that should be dispelled immediately.. The fact is there are far more women available to take advantage of your wallet… The only thing that makes you marketable after 60

        2. Doris

          Yes, difficult indeed in this day and age to be a widow/ widower or just single after a certain age; particularly for women — we become invisible, like it or not. I am not at all bitter, just a realist…. While our gender ages , it seems males, irrespective of how old they are , are regarded as distinguished…. a myth that should be dispelled immediately.. The fact is there are far more women available to take advantage of your wallet… The only thing that makes you marketable after 60.

      4. Carol

        I agree with you online dating isn’t very nice to us widows widowers, I have been married twice and have lost both husbands to cancer, I tried online dating and ended up meeting 2 scammers, just not for me. Question why do you think the online dating sites dislike us? Thanks for your comments

        1. Andrew Dowling

          Hi Carol,

          Really sorry to hear about your experiences. I don’t know that online dating sites in general dislike widows specifically, I actually think they provide a pretty terrible service to everyone out there. The main issue is the problem with scammers — I don’t think people understand just how bad this is on most dating sites. That’s why we built Stitch, which has such an emphasis on safety and trust from the ground up. It’s also more community based which helps keep the scammers away (it’s very hard for a Nigerian scammer to turn up to a coffee event in San Francisco and impersonate someone else!). If you’d like to try it out we’d be interested to hear what you think … it’s free to be a Limited Member and you don’t even need to use the dating aspect, you can just be part of the community, join in the forum discussions and come to events in your area — from the sound of things you’re the sort of person we created it for so we’d love to have you join us!

          Cheers,
          Andrew Dowling
          Founder
          Stitch

        2. Marilea

          Hi Carol, The reason that online dating is not compatible for people like you and I (I lost my husband age 47 to cancer just last year ~July 2015) is because we have a unique circumstance and most people on the online dating site are in a totally different category than we are. Our lives were going full speed when they were abruptly halted. Others in the online dating world have never really had a ‘loving’ relationship and that’s why they are single. It’s pretty simple, I think. That is why I won’t join any of them. I wonder if this site is any different? I am going through my 1 year anniversary having lost my husband and I’m just not sure.

      5. Joy

        Are u near Washington state?

  8. Julie

    I can so relate to the widows I have just been reading about.i was widowed at 47yrs,was a massive
    shock to the system.I dont think I would have made it without the love of my 2 girls and my wonderful dog Monty.I had a relationship for 8yrs which turned out to be a terrible mistake.that was 5yrs after Mick passed.It makes you very wary of meeting the opposite sex. I like being on my own most of the time but nights are quite hard sometimes you tend to miss conversation.,also keeping true friends can be hard , they seem to think you are a threat, which is silly.Anyway I soldier on I have a lot to be grateful.,fairly good health nothing major. I love all kinds of music and I am lucky to have good hearing to enjoy it.

  9. Mark

    I’ve been widowed since Jan. 2006. At the time of her death, I had two children, ages 15 & 12.

    To me online dating is a necessary evil, believe me that I should have put in capital letters the word EVIL! As a widower, I’ve been insulted many times from women. I remember my first experience, at dinner, I mentioned that I was a widower. Her response was “I don’t date widowers! They are so screwed up. My response was that it is on my profile.” There wasn’t a second meeting.

    Another time, I was going out with someone for about 3 weeks. I decided to cook her dinner at my home. Now at this point in time, both of my children were in college. Anyway, we had dinner, watched tv. After dinner, she informed me that she didn’t want to go out anymore because I had a photo of my late wife hanging in the home. She said that if I was over my late wife there wouldn’t be any photo. This one photo was of a family trip of us to Disney. I told her the photo was up because it was my children’s mother and they were still here when college was out.

    I have tried it since late 2009. I’m not a drinker, so the bar scene is out. I live just across the Pennsylvania/Maryland border and looked into those ‘meeting’ groups. The nearest ones are in Maryland, a 20-30 minute drive (which I don’t mind). However, I’m told that I can’t join because I live too far. I honestly don’t know about online dating – it just seems that people want perfection to the N’th degree. It just seems that common courtesy, empathy and compassion are thrown out.

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for sharing your story — I’ve heard similar comments from people in the past (both men and women) about widows and widowers … but at the same time I’ve also met hundreds of people with much more open minds and I honestly believe that it’s the minority of people who are like that. There is no doubt however that the dating game itself is very daunting and filled with challenges! That’s why we’ve tried to create an environment where people can meet around activities without the pressure of dating, and figure out whether they enjoy activities together before they take the leap into online dating. We know we’ve only got a small community in your area but we are growing … and you can always suggest something you’d like to do in Stitch and see if people will come to you! Stitch is very different from those “meeting” groups in that respect — it’s meant to give you the option of choosing what you want to do, when you want to do it, and see who else wants to join you. We’d be interested to know what you think!

      Regards,
      Andrew Dowling
      Founder & CEO
      Stitch

      1. Abbey

        Too bad for me if this is only in the US… I am a widow of two years and I can say that maybe am doing good except for the fact that I really miss sharing to someone the things I have accomplished for the day…

        1. Andrew Dowling

          Hi Abbey,

          Thanks for sharing with us. Please note that Stitch isn’t just located in the US, we’ve got members right around the world in a whole range of countries (Australia, UK, Brazil, Japan, South Africa, etc). Whereabouts do you live?

          Regards,
          Andrew.

          1. Sue

            Do you many members who live in the UK? I have recently tried to sign up but have not received a reply.
            Sue

      2. Joy

        Andrew,
        Do u have anything scheduled in eastern Washington state?

    2. Susan

      WOW we need to be friends. I will NOT ever be on those dating sites. I even “Interviewed with an “Elite” matching group…What a scam. I decided to do it the old fashioned way. Any guy who cannot deal with my late husbands ring on my right hand can stay away. You have EVERY right to keep MORE THAN ONE photo of your late wife in your home .
      Losing a spouse to DEATH is NOT THE SAME as a divorce!
      It is NOT you it is THEM!
      Do what is right for you AND your kids! They come first.

      1. ray

        I agree I have my wedding band on and will take it with me to the grave! I love your attitude!

      2. Lida

        I 100% percent agree losing a spouse not comparison to getting divorced and I keep pictures out also. If a person has a problem with my love for my late husband it their problem not mine. I say don’t let my door hit you in the ass on your way out of it and my life.

    3. Dot

      Mark, I think you have been dating the wrong women! How cruel to say you should be ‘over’ the death of your wife. Not all women are like that and I hope you meet someone nice soon

  10. Lori

    Being widowed suddenly, unexpectedly, can be a make or break proposition. For me, at least, I had to decide to sink or swim and in fact how to swim again if that’s what I choose to do. I’ve heard there is an old and wise Jewish prayer asking God to “not allow me to die while I am still alive” and for those of us left behind that is certainly the issue. I’m learning to “swim” again but my objectives have changed. I prefer to consider that while I lost a dear spouse I was given a nearly clean slate to doodle on as I please (or can afford!). Dave left me with all the tools I need to begin a new and different life, and I honor him with my new happiness. I’ll never have the life I had with him–and I’ll never be 40 and happily raising kids again either, but that’s no excuse for missing out on the engagement and joy to be found in a life at 60 plus. One month into my new devastated, widowed life, a wise widow told me the trick to successful widowhood was to be happy and sad at the same time. That has been my mantra; to live fully and with as little fear as is prudent. It’s really hard but what the hell, I’d rather have a “blast while I last” than spend the next 20 years ruminating on what might have been.

    1. Sally Kuizon, Jr.

      Lori,

      Try visit http://www.widowhoodcircle.ph and help us make that site meaningful.

  11. bernie

    theres nothing worse than evenings for me time goes so slowly,although family are absolutely brilliant its never the same.I dont do dating websites as I would always be making comparisons ,but it would not be fair to prospective partners. Its so nice to chat to someone who has and is still feeling emotional

    1. Janice

      I live in the Chicagoland area ,
      I would love to get to have some friends who truly understand the
      PROFOUND loss & secondary losses that widows & widowers experience . My kids are now 18 &
      24 – I think it’s time I have done something about it .

      1. Roxanne

        I agree that finding someone that understands such a monumental loss would be a blessing. So many move away from you when they can’t grasp hold of how devasting losing a spouse is. I hope you find what we all need. I am from upstate New York.

      2. Janice

        Hi Janice ,
        I live in Glenview . My husband died in
        2004 at age 45 . I have an 18 & 24 year .
        It’s so hard

  12. Ruth

    I became an instant widow In May 2007. We were in a car wreck and he was killed and I had severe injuries. I was widowed at 51. He was 54..I am now 60. Tried this online dating and it is crazy. I just hate being lonely. I have taken some trips and such with friends, but miss a spouse. I guess it is probably not going to happen, but I keep hoping!!

    1. bernie

      I certainly know how you feel although i never would try dating websites ,I like the thought that im not on my own,but it does nothing to ease the heartbreak good luck with your future bernie

    2. Sally Kuizon, Jr.

      Ruth,
      What if there is a community of widows and widowers where you can consider family? Would you like to join?

  13. Colleen

    Hi
    To all the widows /widowers out there I agree with you dating sites are necessary but utterly useless when it comes to finding a real person. I have tried many had dinners and coffee dates with little success. I now beleive in socializing with groups being out there and meeting people. As a widow of 8 yrs (this week) I find being independent spending my time volunteering and in the company of family and good friends has bought me greater satisfaction.
    I have cruised alone a couple of times made many friends on board, movies and dinner alone are quite interesting. Waiters are always attentive.
    My advice remember your loved is always with you in spirit and he or she has wanted the best for you even if it means being on your own for the rest of your days. I would love to meet somebody special but they have all been taken!

    1. Bernie

      I can only agree with you I’m a widower of 9 months I have never tried dating online websites find them untrustworthy,I tried holidaying on my own but it wasn’t to my taste,you may have a point about a cruise I think I’ll give it a go thanks for the advice

    2. Robert

      Hello Colleen, I can’t agree more, dating sites are a complete waste of time and the opposite of how we meet that special person.
      Did you find may singles on the cruise, and if so approximately what is the age group on board?

      Robert

  14. violet

    Hey All,

    I first heard of Stitch on an evening news segment. I went to the site and joined up. I, too am a widow and recently retired. I understand the difficulties of maintaining relationships now that I’m the single. Because of this I choose to meet new people, make new friends. Although, I’ve only attended one event (I had a great time and met great people!) I felt comfortable and safe. I’m looking forward to an upcoming event. If all goes well there will be 20 of us. My intention is to keep an open mind. If I click with someone cool and if not then that’s cool too. I want to be with others and laugh… should my prince charming come to be then so be it! In the mean time let’s enjoy life!

  15. Kathryn

    Hi everyone….

    I just wanted to say how excited I am to find this site. I haven’t read many blogs, or followed someone on line etc, no less posted anything – ever. I am generally NOT comfortable with technology, but here I am. So this is my first introduction to the world of posting (…deeep breath…). Hope it’s safe (in every aspect of that word).

    As a widow of almost two years now, like everyone here, I do not care for it. At all. (Long but beautiful story short, if you can believe it, we met as patients in a dialysis unit 12 years ago, me and my 30s and he in his 40s. First marriage for us both. After a year of getting to know one another along with a true and unique empathy and relatability for the other person’s health challenges, we married. In amazement, we both received kidney transplants 3 years later, just 9 weeks apart. He waited for 6 years on the list and I waited for 13. Astounding. ) Silver linings are sometimes where you reeeally least expect them to be. Sadly, with diabetes at the helm, a failing graft and a surprise bowl-full of lukemia, I lost the love of my life while holding his hand and kissing his forehead as he took his last breath. What a privelage. Heartbreaking, but a privelage. This on the heals of taking responsibility for mom, then dad and saying goodbye over a 5 year period. We all have a story and this is mine, or was. “And then there was one……”

    Anyway, the point here being that we have all been through the impossible in our lives but are all still here – striving, mostly feeling determined while remembering, treasuring and looking for positive moments in each day and hopefully moving forward in the various forms that that takes. Surviving for me, even at this point is making a conscious effort to compartmentalize grief the best I can…not forgetting or not feeling sad at any given moment…. but attempting in spite of not succeeding consistently.

    Widowhood really, really stinks. It’s lonely and boring, untethered and isolating. But I think that part of the key to all this is shifting that focus toward appreciation of those who DO care for us, about us and hold our delicate hearts gently, even though the comfort and primary source of support is not coming from one main person. I also know that as disappointing as it is to be “excluded” from the couples thing, it might just be that those people are not intentionally leaving someone out? They’re carrying on with THEIR lives like we did when we were with our wife/husband.

    A few reflections :
    Bernie …. Yup, you, and I suspect everyone else who is out there looking to establish something new but just as meaningful in the relationship department, are going to compare the relationship you had with what might be possible now, with someone else. Natural – and I think, somewhat necessary because if you didn’t, you might run the risk of not being human! That connection with your wife will always be there and felt. We can’t go back and (I suspect) neither can the person who you’re on a date with. I truly hope that you don’t give up. Indeed, as the anology suggests, that glass slipper has been tried on by my maaaany women!!!! Makes me laugh!!

    Colleen – yes, like you say, I think my husband would want me to have the best that is for me. But I’m here now and it’s up to me to determine that trajectory of what is best. And yes, I still use his memory to as “guidance” in the back of my head. But basically it’s all in my hands because I’m here and he is not….sigh….
    Karen – Horray for dinner with friends! THEY are your true friends!!!
    Lori – I can relate. It’s sink or swim. I’ve been treading water and keeping my head above it and am finally learning to swim again.

    A last thought….
    ….when he first passed on, I told myself that I am not the first, the last or the only and it’s going to be my job to create some sort of forward movement in ways in which I am able. For now and “next”, I’m incrementally gaining back courage to maintain (…anohter deeeep breath…) , and not-so-secretly hoping to find someone else, or maybe they’ll find me, No dating (yet? who knows). Honestly, I’m not even sure what that means. I wonder if others had to find their own version of stabilization first like I continue to do?

    It is taking time, but I am getting there. I don’t know that men and women are different in this way, just perhaps in the expression of it. At the end of the day, it’s about connection which the average person wants/needs to be and feel. Perhaps that’s the fundamental reason I am writing here. So thank you all, for your patience listening, sharing your findings in the world of internet dating, advice on placing yourself in an environment with people, staying wary of the opposite sex (I’m convinced that goes both ways) and so much more. I look forward to reading more posts as they arise and might be brave enough to post again……

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi Kathryn,

      This is one of the most wonderful comments any of our members have ever shared on our blog — thank you so much for sharing. Yours is such a beautiful story, obviously one with a lot of sadness but ultimately what struck me most was the message of hope. (That, and the need to treasure each day we get on this world!) I can’t think of a better expression of what we’re trying to create with Stitch, and I hope many people read your comment and take strength from it!

      Look forward to hearing from you more as you get involved with the Stitch community!

      Many thanks,
      Andrew.

      1. Kathryn

        Hello again….

        Many thanks to you Andrew and Marcie for the supportive and welcoming comments! I am in the Boston area and like anywhere else, find it hard to get “established” again. But for now, it’s one day at a time. If there are events by Stitch around here, I’ll consider participation.

        Bernie – the sharpness of your pain will subside, I promise. I never though it would, but it does, even as the memories float through!

        Kathryn

        1. Bernie

          Thank you so much for your kind words I find I’m ok some days then I just breakdown, I sincerely hope your right ,but isn’t that a natural occurrence when your still grieving.thought about counselling but decided against it because as soon as I start talking &I thinking I get emotional ,once again thank you so much

      2. Elizabeth

        Andrew, I applaud your chat room but all of the participants seem to be so much younger than I. I am 69 years old and for 48 years 2 months was married to my best friend. We were both retired law enforcement officers. We had three children, one son and two daughters. Then on April 1, 2015 without any warning an aneurysm in his brain that we didn’t know he had ruptured and within an hour after just getting him to the hospital he went unconscious and stopped breathing. Like a fool I got him breathing again before they got the crash art in there. They immediately put him on a ventilator and transferred him out to another hospital. He never regained consciousness and died 12 days later. It has now been 17 months and although I am going through the daily motions if not for my little Yorkie I would be ready to leave this earth today. I am an old-fashioned person raised on a farm and my life has never been easy so I am used to being tight with money. I like to cook country cooking and enjoy working around the house and going to my church.. And of course watching cop tv shows. I would like to meet a widow who would just like someone to talk to, maybe to go out( Dutch treat) to a local restaurant sometime or just talk on the phone. I really feel like a widow that had a long relationship and a happy one with his wife before he lost her is the only one that would understand me and me him. I am not looking to replace my husband, because no one ever could. I don’t expect the gentlemen to not talk about his wife nor should he expect me not to talk about my deceased husband. Just a friend of the opposite sex so that neither of us have to be the odd person out. But I don’t think such a person exist. I guess my time is over. I wish you all good luck for whatever you are searching in your lives. May God bless!

        1. Andrew Dowling

          Hi Elizabeth,

          Thanks so much for your comment, and I’m really sorry to hear your story. People who haven’t gone through what you’ve experienced often struggle to understand what you’re going through. I can however say that we have plenty of members your age and older on Stitch — we have members all the way from 50 through to 92! And so many are widows/widowers that we’re thinking about how we set up a special group for them within group to help give each other support and understanding. It would be great if you could join us, I’m sure you’d be able to meet a kindred spirit or two!

          Regards,
          Andrew.

          1. Elizabeth

            I am sorry but I just learned that you charge a subscription fee. That was not my understanding. So therefore I ask that you remove my name from your subscription lists. Since my money is tight I don’t have money for this type of thing. Good luck to you anyway.

          2. Marye Gail

            Great idea; do it!

    2. Bernie

      There’s a lot of truth In what you say Kathryn,I am only recently a widower of 9 months so my memories are still strong.Who knows what tomorrow brings I suppose I’m still feeling self pity.I nursed & cared for my wife the last 2 years of her life had 5 wonderful children,9 grandchildren as it’s still raw I’m hoping to turn the corner I think stitch is a fantastic website just what the doctor ordered so pleased I joined

  16. Kathryn

    Hi everyone….

    I just wanted to say how excited I am to find this site. I haven’t read many blogs, or followed someone on line etc, no less posted anything – ever. I am generally NOT comfortable with technology, but here I am. So this is my first introduction to the world of posting (…deeep breath…). Hope it’s safe (in every aspect of that word).

    As a widow of almost two years now, like everyone here, I do not care for it. At all. (Long but beautiful story short, if you can believe it, we met as patients in a dialysis unit 12 years ago, me and my 30s and he in his 40s. First marriage for us both. After a year of getting to know one another along with a true and unique empathy and relatability for the other person’s health challenges, we married. In amazement, we both received kidney transplants 3 years later, just 9 weeks apart. He waited for 6 years on the list and I waited for 13. Astounding. ) Silver linings are sometimes where you reeeally least expect them to be. Sadly, with diabetes at the helm, a failing graft and a surprise bowl-full of lukemia, I lost the love of my life while holding his hand and kissing his forehead as he took his last breath. What a privelage. Heartbreaking, but a privelage. This on the heals of taking responsibility for mom, then dad and saying goodbye to my small little family over a 5 year time period. We all have a story and this is mine, or was. And then there was one……

    Anyway, the point here being that we have all been through the impossible in our lives but are all still here – striving, mostly feeling determined while remembering, treasuring and looking for positive moments in each day and hopefully moving forward in the various forms that that takes. Surviving for me, even at this point is making a conscious effort to compartmentalize grief the best I can…not forgetting or not feeling sad at any given moment…. but attempting in spite of not succeeding consistently.

    Widowhood really, really stinks. It’s lonely and boring, untethered and isolating. But I think that part of the key to all this is shifting that focus toward appreciation of those who DO care for us, about us and hold our delicate hearts gently, even though the comfort and primary source of support is not coming from one main person. I also know that as disappointing as it is to be excluded from the couples thing, it might just be that those people are not intentionally leaving someone out? They’re carrying on with THEIR lives like we did when we were with our wife/husband.

    A few reflections :
    Bernie …. Yup, you, and I suspect everyone else who is out there looking to establish something new but just as meaningful in the relationship department, are going to compare the relationship you had with what might be possible now, with someone else. Natural – and I think, somewhat necessary because if you didn’t, you might run the risk of not being human! That connection with your wife will always be there and felt. We can’t go back and (I suspect) neither can the person who you’re on a date with. I truly hope that you don’t give up. Indeed, as the anology suggests, that glass slipper has been tried on by my maaaany women!!!! Makes me laugh!!

    Colleen – yes, like you say, I think my husband would want me to have the best that is for me. But I’m here now and it’s up to me to determine that trajectory of what is best. And yes, I still use the memories of him as “guidance” in the back of my head. But basically it’s all in my hands because I’m here and he is not….sigh….
    Karen – Horray for dinner with friends! THEY are your true friends!!!
    Lori – I can relate. It’s sink or swim. I’ve been treading water and keeping my head above it and am finally learning to swim again.

    A last thought….
    ….when he first passed on, I told myself that I am not the first, the last or the only and it’s going to be my job to create some sort of forward movement in ways in which I am able. For now and “next”, I’m incrementally gaining back courage to maintain (…anohter deeeep breath…) , and not-so-secretly hoping to find someone else, or maybe they’ll find me, No dating (yet? who knows). Honestly, I’m not even sure what that means. I wonder if others had to find their own version of stabilization first like I continue to do?

    It is taking time, but I am getting there. I don’t know that men and women are different in this way, just perhaps in the expression of it. At the end of the day, it’s about connection which the average person wants/needs to be and feel. Perhaps that’s the fundamental reason I am writing here. So thank you all, for your patience listening, sharing your findings in the world of internet dating, advice on placing yourself in an environment with people, staying wary of the opposite sex (I’m convinced that goes both ways) and so much more. I look forward to reading more posts as they arise and might be brave enough to post again……

    Kathryn

    1. Marcie Rogo

      Kathryn,
      Thank you so much for being open, vulnerable, and inspirational as you share your story. We welcome you to our community with open and caring arms!
      Marcie

      1. Paul

        Marcie,
        I am a new member. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    2. Sally Kuizon, Jr.

      Kathryn,
      Hello there!
      Before I finished reading your piece, I thought already of asking your permission for me to post your comment in our website-in-the-making, http://www.widowhoodcircle.ph. Can I have your permission? Also, I’m inviting you to visit abovementioned site and help us. This website is meant to support/help realize the idea of having a real community or group of widows and widowers that come together regularly and undertake some activities of common interest, like making a retreat or undertaking communitarian projects to help sectors of society in need.
      Common ,Kathryn, help us.

      1. Kathryn

        Hi Sally,

        So glad you felt inspired by what I had originally written in my very first post ever in this world of internet blogging a few weeks ago and asking for my permission to re-post it on your site before actually doing so. Like all thinks in life, we must stay wary of all new situations and follow our gut and what we find comfortable or not comfortable with respect for oneself. In my original post I stated that I am generally not that comfortable with on line communication to begin with, therefore, having my comments re-posted on another site that I actually can not access (my computer won’t let me – “.ph” requires some other kind of server or something? I really don’t know.) makes me that much more anxious to enter yet another sub section of technology. The invitation to join your web site widowhoodcircle.ph. is sincerely appreciated, however, at this time, I respectfully request that you do not re-post any of my previous, current or any future comments that I might post from the Stitch web site. Why would you want to re-post my comments from this site to another site? There are many possible answers to this question, so before I, or anyone else for that matter, jump into something, I remain cautious. I am sure you and the others will find great success and hope that you do. I do have some questions/comments however: You state that you are striving to create a community of widows/widowers that come together regularly (um, like Stitch?), do activities of common interest (like Stitch?) and “making a retreat or undertaking various communitarian projects to better help sectors of society in need”. What does this mean? I can’t tell. The latter is most compassionate, certainly and I question if I’m sensing an undertone or trajectory of something else? Other questions or points of discussion surface in my thinking, but I think this is where I personally will leave it for this moment. My hope is that my response is received in the spirit in which it is intended, as gracious and inquisitive to you Sally and to the Stitch community. Not to be overlooked, being a widow, or just loosing your spouse in general is awful. The more available the resources the better. Support comes in different forms and as you garner your strength and opportunities, I will continue to wish you continuous forward movement Sally!

        Kathryn

  17. Trish

    I am glad ,I found this site .I have read your stories and it helps knowning ,that I am not alone in my thoughts and challenges I now face. My husband died 15 months ago he was 51 ,myself 49.My sons are grown and my friends are all married with busy lives. Very lonely this new life or lack of………

    1. Kathryn

      Trish,
      I know all about lonely. It has been very hard to get “re-established”, even two-ish years later. Many friends are busy and I find that within their business, now that I have a different perspective, I am ultra careful not to be intrusive or demanding. I love my friends dearly and I want to keep them and respect them. It seems that my platform of thinking has changed in that I don’t want to take away their time from them being together because it can be cut short at any given moment (as we have all experienced). Well, creating that different kind of balance, like we all work so hard to achieve in this life is always going to be tough. I have been quite fortunate in that the few and close friends that I have are compassionate and loving and as inclusive as possible. Interestingly (only generally), those who do not have kids like me, are more available. Yes, it’s a couples/family world out there. And yes, as you say, it seems like a “lack thereof” kind of life now. Looots of output of energy to keep going, of which comes in small doses for me. Now that the extreme sadness is a bit more in the rear view mirror, it’s a way of living that continues to take major conditioning…a tough sell that’s for sure. Veeery slowly, I find I am becoming conditioned.

      However, with this web site, it seems a little more doable to me. That total state of shock that someone here wrote about takes a while to absorb and work with, work through, but not work around since there’s no avoiding it! We can do it. All of us here. It’s hard, hard, horrid work to go from HAVING to do it, processing, processing, processing, then more processing, to CAN do it, even when we did not CHOOSE to do it in the first place.

      I hope all this makes sense to somebody out there. Thankfully, we AREN’T alone and this web site is here!

      Courage and strength to us all (and lots of Kleenex for those awful moments that, yup, hit you like a toad killer of a storm!

      Kathryn

  18. MaryDarlene Seeber

    I’m in the Widow circle of growing and learning too. My Husband unecpectedly passed 4+ yrs ago in his sleep & nobody was more shocked than me , as he was ( so it seemed) 10 times more healthy than me at the time. It’s been life-changing but has not taken my spirit for living my best life. I’m not completely there yet but after 4 years, just turning 50 and realizing there IS lots of living still to be experienced, I choose to live my best possible life each day. I only wish that were as easy as it sounds sometimes. I agree with the articles I just read — no matter the circumstances behind how we get to be alone we also have a chance to begin again and do the best we can to contribute in all we touch daily. Live your best virsion of Y O U . MD Seeber

  19. Sally Kuizon, Jr.

    I am 66 yrs old, a widower for five years come October 29.. Together with Mel, Gick, and Abel, we are in the process of forming a community for widows and widowers. At the moment we are creating a website named widowhoodcircle.ph. We are inviting those of you, widows and widowers who are interested to join the community. Help us to make our ( mine and your ) dream of forming a community we initially called “widowhoodcircle”

    1. Jo-Ann

      Sounds good. Where will it be located?

    2. sandy

      This is my first time I was your site and would like to join with you.I love your site because I think I will my true love.I am a widow of 59 years of age.hope to here from you soon.

    3. sandy

      This is my first time I was your site and would like to join with you.I love your site because I think I will find my true love.I am a widow of 59 years of age.hope to here from you soon.

      1. Andrew Dowling

        Great to hear from you Sandy! Yes please sign up for Stitch and we hope to see you as part of the community soon :).

  20. Lori

    Hey Kathryn, you make sense to me! Life doesn’t turn out the way you planned it and I sorta knew that but now I really GET it! The way I’ve been dealing with this is knowing that I have to face the reality of the situation. I have to get out of my lazy-boy and focus on the world outside my home if I want to be part of the world. I must take classes, teach workshops, go to the dog park, and join organizations– even if it hurts and it’s scary as hell. Every day it hurts to be without Dave and every day I’m scared to do something new but it’s so much worse to do nothing. Like you Kathryn, I cherish my friends and I am ever so careful about over taxing them, or cutting into their family lives. I do work-arounds; I try to see movies with my friends when their husbands are otherwise occupied (thank you sports TV), for a cruise I was able to talk two other couples into going –to share the burden I perceive to be me. The biggest and most important hurdle for me is to make new friends. There are thousands of widows and single women in my area (It’s quite a windfall for older single men), and most of them are in the same boat as me. I have to tell myself that I’m really not alone, that it just takes time to meet them and get to know them and eventually find a new great girlfriend or two…

    I notice I don’t plan much anymore. It’s helpful for me to try and just live the day I’m in. It’s easier to think “What am I doing today?” knowing that my ultimate goal is to feel comfortable and secure in my life ahead even if I’m forever single. I cry a little every day (like as I’m writing this) but then I MUST focus on being constructive with my time and energy. As a character in Cider House Rules used to say “Just be useful” and that’s what I try to do. Never before have I felt such freedom and such angst. This is an opportunity to see what I am and what I’m made of. I gave my life lovingly and willingly to my elderly parents, my growing children, my income producing (but not always fun!) job, my husband and saved a very little bit for me. Now it’s all about me and it’s a gift. And that’s how I’m choosing to frame this time of my life—otherwise it’s just too sad.

    1. Kathryn

      Hello there Lori,

      I have to admit, I was a little excited that someone actually responded to what I said, so thank you very much. You are clearly putting great efforts into your “new life”. I am very impressed. I can relate to what you said to making new friends you can call up to go do something with. This too, of course, takes time and either develops or doesn’t. But you gotta get out there and DO things in order to even expose yourself to people. Nothing is pre-set. I guess it never was, but it sure seemed easier before. Throw in some health challenges and it’s that much tougher. And yes, it is absolutely awful to be home alone, all day every day. Completely unhealthy and unbalanced, so, I try to at the very least go SOMEWHERE each day. It’s also profoundly opposite from going from
      100 MPH to 0 MPH. There again, an opportunity, or rather an essential, to creating a completely new structure in life. Like you were saying, re-framing how you think of it and now acting upon what you want and need. Feels uphill but little by little. I wish everything didn’t keep costing money however! I swear, maybe I should just sit at some coffee shop/restaurant/mall entrance and hold up a sign or something! Joking of course. Yes, the Kleenex come out, but sometimes I’m just plain old tired of feeling sad. I just want to have something else to think about or put my concerns and efforts into. The one thing that I can vouch for from the articles on this site is the one about finding something that somehow meets regularly. I forced myself to do this last winter because I was going out of my mind. I don’t know a lot of people, yet really, but we’re back in session now and it is incredibly reassuring to come back to something that gives the feeling of familiarity and group effort. Just though I’d mention this as it has basically saved me, I love it and highly suggest this for you and anyone else =)

      1. Lori

        You hit it on the head!–what I miss most is the familiarity of my husband. I’m dancing as fast as I can so I can’t say I’m lonely but I miss the inside jokes and the familiar pat on the ass as he walks by. I miss sitting on the couch together, watching re-runs and eating pizza and not caring if I have basil stuck in my teeth. It’s funny what you miss. As far as getting sick/disabled goes that is the scary scary part of this life. I broke a small bone in my foot 6 weeks ago and only got up to feed myself for about 3 weeks. It was so isolating. I hadn’t ever appreciated how fragile and vulnerable single living is. And they say adolescence is bad! You gotta to be tough to do what we’re doing.

  21. Mimi

    Thank you for all your comments. I am a recent widow of 6 months, who moved into a new area shortly after my husband passed away to be near my daughter and her family in southern California this past summer. Life here has been difficult to adjust to. I have no friends here and now that the summer has ended, I see less of my grand children who have all now returned to school. It gets lonely staying at home all day and night by myself. That is why I, too, make a concentrated effort to do something everyday that brings me outside, even if it’s just running errands. I frequent the libraries, the malls and recently, attended some classes for adults aged over 50 in the area. I joined the German/American club, because I speak German recently. I am making some friends at my local church where I just joined their choir and go to grief support groups everywhere including at the local hospice. All helps me adjust to being a single again. This time around, it’s different, though since I am now 70 years old. Life can be lonely at times, but I am making the effort to just be out there to meet people of both genders. Just try to be patient with yourself and others. Life can still be fulfilling with or without a partner. I am hoping that joining Stitch will also contribute to my finding more “friends” out there.

    1. Jo-Ann

      Mimi: I can relate! I was widowed almost 15 months ago and am still adjusting. I am 79, altho I can’t believe that either! There are so many things I enjoy doing, but not by myself. Whenever anyone invites me to do anything, I say yes, almost before the words are out of their mouth!
      To add to my situation, my entire family has relocated, within the past year or so, to the San Diego area, of course taking grandchildren (and my brand new great granddaughter) with them!
      We were all very close, so this is a big loss to me, even tho I see them when I am able. Thank God for email, texts and FaceTime!
      As soon as my daughter gets situated in her new home, I will be looking for a new home in Socal (I am in the SF Bay Area).
      I have mixed emotions about that as well, since this has been my home for many years. My husband still “inhabits” this home in many ways, and of course, I have friends, my gym, and the familiarity of my environs.
      But time goes by (too) quickly and I feel I must adapt or get left behind. As my husband used to say, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes”.
      Stay well, and open to new opportunities!

      1. Mimi

        Thanks for your reply. We, widows, must stick together. Have you ever considered relocating to where your daughter now lives? I, too, now live in San Diego near my daughter. It has been difficult making the adjustment, but I love being so close to her and my 4 grand kids. I am slowly building a new life for me here and making new friends. It is comforting to know that I at least have my family near by in the event of an emergency. And, she now has me too in her life again. It is not the same to just visit 2 or 3 times a year. The grand kids grow up so fast. I still have a 5 year old, 12 and 14 year old I can see grow up. The 17 year old is on his way out when he goes to college next year. I am their only living grand parent alive now and am blessed to have them in my life now that my husband is gone.

        1. Jo-Ann

          Moving t

        2. Jo-Ann

          Moving ton the SD area is certainly on the agenda. Once my daughter is settled in to her new home in Rancho Santa Fe, she will scout out some places that might be suitable for me. In the meantime I am trying to get rid of the flotsam and Jetson acquired over the past 25 years. Aside from the previously mentioned daughter, I have a son & family in Coronado, a son on Balboa Island , a grandson in Costa Mesa and a granddaughter and family in Point Loma. A little more than a year ago, they were mostly all here in the Bay Area, and my husband was still living. As you will understand, it’s been a total upset of life as I knew it.!

          1. Lori

            I just moved out of SD. You will find lots to do there. There are meet-up groups galore, lots of theater and philanthropic groups if you want to volunteer some. Unlike the Bay area it is hot in July, Aug, and Sept. & I don’t miss the heat! You can make a lovely life for yourself there–loads of people in our same boat. Have some fish and chips at Anthony’s on the Bay and tell them I miss them! Get Annual Passes to the Zoo and SeaWorld and your grandkids will love you even more. Have fun!

          2. Jo2

            Thank you for your comments. I am quite familiar with Coronado, since my son lives there. Not so much with the City proper. I did visit the beautiful Spreckels Theater year when my granddaughters danced in the City Ballet Nutcracker, followed by a fun dinner in Little Italy. I also visited and loved Balboa Park and the Zoo.
            I also visited Oceanside a few years ago. Speaking of Oceanside, have you heard of an over 55 . development called Ocean Hills Country club? I’ve been receiving information about it from a R E. agent and it seems to have a lot of amenities,altho the units themselves seem to be older than I wd hope for. Anything you can tell me wd be appreciated!

          3. Lori

            Don’t know much about Oceanside except there are some really scary parts and some really nice parts. The weather’s nice, tho!

  22. violet

    We have a slew of widows/widowers right here at Stitch…. Why is another site being suggested when those of us that are close can come together for an event. I went to the Comic Strip last Fri. (9/25) there was only one man there plus the 10 or 11 women. I loved it! had a blast! I love Paulette, but will share that at least half of the women there wanted to know where the men were?

    Instead of having tunnel vision and leaving your home because you are going to meet a man why don’t you just appreciate that we are new people meeting new people and that now with Stitch we don’t have to be alone to enjoy an outing, an event, a meal, a drink, etc.

    I have made several comments and have yet to get a yay or nay from anyone. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I have skills and can go back whenever I feel like going back. I call the shots in my life! I am independent and do things for me. I am open to make new friends and refuse to be used or manipulated by anyone I don’t care who you are “you will not take advantage of me”! I don’t sit on the pity pot and I actively seek out things to do. I am upfront and forward, but do have a good heart and will be there for the those that need me.

    1. Marcie Rogo

      Well said, Violet. Thank you so much for posting this. You have an inspiring outlook on life!

    2. Marshall

      Excellento! Violet. You amaze me. I like your thoughts on life. Your words sound that you are not judgemental at all. I am beginning to draw inspiration from your article Iam a new entrant to stitch & thank you for your words of wisdom

  23. Jeanie James

    Tonight is the first time I have ever looked oat a widow/widower site. I fell in love with my husband at 14 and we were married for 56+ year before his death. I’m not rich but OK and our 2 kids are semi OK. I have friends and activities but wish more were with singles because I hate the 5th wheel thing.
    I am a healthy, active old broad of 79 years old, that loves to have a good time. I try to always think of what the love of my life would say to me………..”be happy”. I want to be happy but not with an other man. I have two widowers that are putting the move on me. Both are wonderful men but I am not interested in either (or any) but do not want to loose the many years of friendship, dating back to elementary school.. I truly respect each of them and really liked their wives. How do I keep them as friends and not men friends……….what do I say when the invitations keep coming and I’m running out of excuses? I did not read all of your emails on this site but I did not see any answers for me.
    Therefore, I ask for any advice anyone has to offer.

    1. Jo-ann

      I, too am a 79 year old broad! I know what you mean. It would be nice to have a “plus one” for companionship with no strings attached. Damn those “little blue pills”! Have you tried talking to your male friends frankly but kindly as you did in your message? Who knows, one or two might actually be relieved to know how you feel!

  24. Doris

    Yes, this whole widowhood thing is not what I signed up for…it is lonely( despite all our female friends) and no special someone to share things with.. Los Angeles seems to be a particularly cruel town for women of a certain age. It seems to be all about the “arm candy” …women of substance need not apply. Did reconnect w someone from my past on Facebookand it seemed to work for 4 yrs until it didn’t because my dogs were now al of a sudden ” baggage”, when in fact they were around years before he came into the picture. Needless to says, it was over very abruptly and my head is stil spinning. I know the dogs were. “Red herring” , but couldn’t get him to confront me w the truth, whatever that may have been.

    Sorry for the rant, but need to get it off my chest !!

    1. violet

      Hey Gang,

      I know all too well how lonely it can be when we do not have that special someone to share with. I miss my husband for our time on the beaches of Puerto Rico, Aruba, Honduras, and places in Mexico. Our plan was to be together until we had his and her denture cups in the bathroom, but that’s not how it turned out. It’s going to be 4 years come Jan. 2016. There is so much about him that I truly miss and there are things about him that I don’t miss at all.

      I think that many people are fixated on wanting to have a long lasting romantic relationship okay cool, but what happened to meeting, making friends first? Sure I’m older now and only The Big Guy knows when I’ll be taking my last breath on this earth in the mean time I’m open to meeting new people, making new friends, experiencing new adventures and maybe just maybe I’ll meet that special someone along the way.

      Family comes first in my book. I’m blessed to have 3 adult children who are pretty stable in their lives with their families. All 3 let know that they love me and are making bets as to who will take care of me when I can no longer take care of myself. Not bad for a chick from the hood… (me).

      I have a life and don’t need a man to make me complete! Instead I’d like to meet a man that compliments me, that will respect me, that sees me as an equal. Rushing into things can only can sometimes leave a bad taste in your mouth. Please just come out with the expectation to meet new people and allow for the romance to bud and grow and flourish.

      What’s the rush? As my Mom use to say, “In a hurry to get to the cemetery” . Take it slow and let it flow!

  25. Lori

    Doris, Los Angeles IS probably crueler than most towns. SoCal is a haven for the young, the , the firm and the “remodeled”. But having moved from there to the mountains of Arizona I think my feelings of “alone-ness” would be about the same here as there. I think widowhood is like an extreme form of adolescence. Our bodies and minds are changing, our past experiences are so different from what we we can expect in our futures, and we really don’t know what’s coming down the pike. I’ve gained perspective, and I hope insight, thru this time without Dave. I’m with Violet on this one, there is so much good to be had to fill in the empty “man space”. Thanks, Violet, for admitting that you don’t miss some things about your husband. It seems almost sacrilegious to utter those words, but when the hard grief dies down there must be a small part in each of us, widowers too, that breathes a tiny secret sigh of relief. Of course we can’t tell anyone and are forced to tuck it away into a private corner of our mind. For me, I use it as a reminder that no life, no relationship, no partner is perfect. It’s each of our jobs to make the best of what we have now and to try to make that as full and complete as we can. I too have that urning (where does that come from, anyway, habit? instinct? someone to get lost in Paris with?) and I keep my eye open for that perfect guy, but I keep my mind open to the page that says “Yeah, he looks good now but well he sleep with my snoring dogs and will I have to actually cook again? and what if I don’t like his kids? or he doesn’t like mine? and maybe he hates traveling? yadda, yadda”. I’m concentrating on the idea that even finding even a really great guy is a net zero game. I’ll lose a little here, gain a little there; I might not get to sleep with my dogs anymore but if I get lost in Paris I’ll be lost with someone I love, sort of thing. I was married too long to believe in fairy tale romances but I do believe in the wonders and joys of a good partnership.

  26. Violet

    Thank you Doris. I as you do the desire to love and be loved is alive within me. I have met a man here and there, but not one was able to gain my trust. I’m not your nurse and I’m not your purse! Funny how one just wanted to know my financial affairs! Zero zero zero jerk! Another had no regard how sick I was feeling, another jerk. Problem is that at times we want something so badly that we allow ourselves to put down our guard, because just maybe I won’t feel so alone. I read often how Ms. So and so was swindled out of her money, jewelry, property or whatever for letting her guard down feeling sorry or trusting that person! Keep going out, keep meeting others if it’s for then your blessed if not then you’re still blessed for not allowing another to take you as a fool. Sorry there are many out there that are bad apples.

    1. Kathryn

      Hi Violet,

      Thank you for keeping it real here on a most unpleasant topic. Just a quick note, women do this too, target men and show their true colors. It happened to a few people I know actually, even relatives. Not a male/female type, simply the type who figures they’re entitled to someone else’s legacy and dignity. So indeed, keep your guard up everyone. Just make sure that when you feel that gut intuition when someone gets a little too curious or invested in your financial life, etc. your go to statement is that you feel so fortunate to have a financial person and an experienced lawyer. And make sure you actually do.

  27. Patrick

    A very interesting initial article giving a very thoughtful and sympathetic insight into widowhood. The only minor thing I’d take issue with is the continued reference to the “loss” of ones spouse. I didn’t “lose” my wife – she died! Lots of additional interesting and helpful comments here also. My wife died eight years ago now and I eventually learned how to carry on with this new life I’d never planned nor wanted. However, there is still much in life to be thankful for and to be enjoyed. I think I now better understand what’s really important and how to relish and enjoy the many little things in life I’m lucky to have. Companionship I still miss but hopefully this site will help with that.

    1. violet

      Right on Boyfriend. Like you I didn’t lose my husband he died! I took care of him to the very end. Please and when I say everything I mean everything! Not one member of his family (my former in-laws) did nothing but talk smack. Never did I get help from them to change a diaper, bathe or help feed him. His son even stole his money without me knowing. By the time I found out the cash was gone… Luckily for me I had set some to the side for his final good-bye. When Freddy died so did the make believe relationship I had with my in-laws! I was set free! Good riddance!

      There is a lot left on this earth that I care about and I’m moving forward. Meeting new people is simply great since I come without any expectations except to have a good time and maybe… just maybe I’ll that special someone that will fill that void to have a companion and if not well then “que sera sera”.
      Come on out to our upcoming dance at the Iquana Lounge I will provide a date once I return to NYC. In the mean time hang in, enjoy what you have and tuck away what is now gone…

  28. Jo-Ann

    i don’t know if I am in the minority, but I am not looking for a “mate” or another husband. I am 79 years old, healthy and still have all my marbles (I think!). I miss my husband every day. He passed away in July, 2014. I would love to meet someone who is looking for companionship, not romance. One of the most difficult parts of this new reality is the lack of someone to laugh with, share experiences and be a “plus one” at social events. I have women friends during the week to enjoy lunches with, movies, etc. but they are mostly married, so come the evenings and weekends, they are otherwise occupied, as was I not that long ago. As an added twist, for various reasons, virtually my whole family has drifted southward in the last year or so. We were quite close and saw each other often, so a lot of my time was wrapped up with them. We are still in touch, but texts and pictures and even visits are not as fulfilling. Volunteering and gym time help. Still, I find myself reading about a new restaurant, a show or other event and wishing there was a like minded companion to enjoy those things with while I have the energy and enthusiasm!

  29. Linda

    I too am an Overnight widow of 3 years now. Here one day, gone the next! I have a wonderful teenage son, that only because of him did I wake up and put my big girl panties on and GET BACK to living. I am not looking for a new husband, I am just trying to live life one day at a time, one step at a time. It is sad we have to go through losing our spouses…and for me my son losing his father. But I can say I have grown through it and I think I will be a better friend, lover and wife to someone if I ever decide to start looking again.

    1. Louise

      i have just joined this site.
      Like you all i am a widow of 2 1/2 years and still trying to come to terms with it all…
      It is very interesting to read your comments and feel that there is a whole coomunity of people going through what i am going through..
      I have 3 children and a job, so in that repsect i am lucky to be busy. Very true about not being invites out to grown up events…yes girl lunches, fundraisers. kids parteis..but I never forget when a couple kindly had us all over for dinner. I was used to candles and fine dining there in the past, as I do here, but it was corn chips and dip, and spag bol. I am a family now not a couple.!

      People say that I cope really well, but i dont have a plan B for coping really well! Its still teriibly daunting sad and lonely, and some memories are horrific..

  30. Patrick

    One thing that seems to come strongly through many of the comments here is the fact there is indeed a large community of widows/widowers who have learned how to carry on with this new life that none of us asked for or wanted. Old friends clearly change with many disappearing or changing their attitudes towards us as we no longer quite fit in the same way. We get by on a day to day basis because we have to but some days that feeling of now being alone can be overwhelming. One irony is that I now feel I’m a better person with a more balanced perspective on life realising now what really is important but sadly, too late. I feel many people aren’t actively looking for a new partner but would welcome some genuine companionship that understands their experience and can actively share in the many joyous opportunities that are often available. There can still be happiness but I do agree with Louise when she says it’s still daunting, sad and lonely and those horrific memories never really go away but then, why would they?

    1. Lori

      Amen, Patrick!!

      1. Doris

        Wondering if anyone on this site has looked into Daily strength. Org. I happened to stumble onto this site shortly after my husband died… It gave me a great sense of comfort to share my feelings with so many who shared the same loss that is so incomprehensible to many… The site allows people from all geographic areas to communicate and in the case of so many of us here in Los Angeles , we formed our own little chapters and organized our own gatherings. It was comforting to be able to meet these individuals face to face and share stories– happy and sad. Certainly made me feel less isolated. Just a suggestion.

        1. Patrick

          Excellent suggestion, Doris. I too joined the widows/widowers community on Daily Strength and found a great deal of comfort there in the early days after my wife died. It is a large and active community and although it includes people from very different backgrounds, beliefs, values etc I found a number of like-minded people who I connected with and, if nothing else, it made me realise that the feelings and thoughts I was experiencing were perfectly normal for anyone going through grief and widowhood. It also has the facility to write a journal which I know many also found helpful.

  31. Louise Robinson

    Are there any widows or wodowers who fancy a coffee and meet up? I am on the Northern Beaches!

    Louise

  32. karen

    I lost my husband 3 1/2 years ago. I am 60, And we had many friends. The first year everyone bent over backwards to help and entertain me. Then I noticed I was not included in the parties I use to be included in. It really hurt and I don’t understand why. I don’t flirt with the others husbands. So have learned, I need to develop single friends and move forward. But it is very lonely and this time of year makes me sad.

    1. Karen

      Hi Karen. I’m Karen too. Just lost my husband of 31 plus years. I feel so lost. Sometimes I don’t feel anything and other times I just want to crawl in a hole. It is like my anchor has been cut away and I am drifting to places I don’t want to go. It has only been a couple weeks and I don’t know how you all are doing it. The shock still hasn’t worn off.

      1. Karen

        Hi Karen, I have been struggling with a purpose in life, I was a wife and I am a mother and grandmother, but I don’t feel like anyone needs me. I am thinking I should retire but that is scarely by yourself. We use to have plan for that and I ask myself if I am strong enough to to follow that plan on my own… I am glad Christmas is over, it is such a drain on my emotions. I think I need to embrace the change in my life. I have no choice!

      2. Karen

        Karen, about how you deal with it, you have no choice! It is painful,and lonely and there is no easy course through your grief. I wish I could help you but I know you will need to work this out yourself. I and others can provide some support but you need to feel and get beyond the pain. Please contact me if you want to chat! Kind regards!

  33. Trish

    I live in Australia… Delighted to know others feel the same about dating sites…
    Been a widow now ten years…. Have travelled a lot on Miya own.. No family here.. One in USA and one in another state.. I try, belong to clubs…. Friends dissapeared after his death…
    What do you find helps on anniversaries? Christmas etc… I tire of inviting people in..
    Find gay guts best…
    Love some suggestions..

  34. Dot

    I was widowed when I was 42, my husband had had a heart attack 4 years previously when he was 42 but seemed to have recovered well so it was a shock when he had a second one at 46 years old. My two children were 21 and 18 and had their own lives and, I won’t lie, I have been very lonely since Alf died even though I have been out with friends it just isn’t the same as having a partner! I have dipped into Internet dating and found it really not for me as, although I always state in my profile that I have a lot of responsibility for my grandchildren at present, men seem to want someone with no ties. I have found it very hard over the years without Alf and would love to have someone in my life but no luck so far! I am now 60 and took early retirement to help my daughter with my grandchildren so the people I meet seem to be mainly in my daughter’s age group rather than mine!

  35. Joe

    Dot, you are still a young woman, so don’t hold yourself back by having a defeatist attitude…if you are really interested in meeting someone, don’t advertise your negatives…they won’t matter when you meet the ‘right person’…it is true that most men are happier developing a relationship where it is apparent that he will be the most important person to the woman, and it is definitely true that grandmothers are known to be extremely attached to their grandchildren, but you also have a personal life…my second wife was61 years of age when I met her, and that was certainly no impediment to our eventual marriage ()my first wife died after before our 42nd anniversary)…

  36. IRIS

    Anyone interested in a widow/widowers group? I have been a widow for several years so I know what it feels like. I would be interested in starting such a group but I would like to see if other people are interested. I am in the Crystal Lake, IL area, contact me thru Stitch if you think this type of group would be fulfilling

  37. JoAnna

    Like all of you, I too am a widow, but have been widowed twice now at 51 year old. I was a blessed with a wonderful son though and I thank God for him everyday. I was 20 years old and six months pregnant when my son’s father was killed in a fatal semi truck and car head on collision, two of his friends were also in the vehicle and killed too, so I had to attend a triple funeral for all three of them. I am lucky I did not lose my son from it all. I later married when my son was 1 1/2 years old and was married to his stepfather for ten years, but he was also killed a year ago in a fatal motorcycle accident in Colorado and was only 48 years old. My son is now 30 years old and has endured so much, which I think is the hardest part for the spouse left behind, seeing the children suffer and miss their dad. Not sure how I found this site, but I understand how you all feel. Being a widow is very lonely after a while. I also don’t think you ever get over such a loss, you just accept it because you have no choice, need to be strong for your children and by having an extremely strong faith and knowing that we WILL be with our loved ones again someday in heaven, where they will be waiting for us and which will be eternal. I have been alone since 1997 when I divorced my second spouse, so a long time. I agree it is very difficult to meet someone and being a widow or widower does evoke pity and some stigma. Is just very difficult for someone who has not gone through such to understand and I have high standards for who I date too and do not go out much, don’t enjoy eating out or going to plays or theatre events alone and though I have done so in the past, kind of tired of going with my single friends or other couples. Would be nice to have a male friend at times. God bless all on this site, try to remember we are all in this world for a very short time, we will reunite with our loved ones in the future in heaven and will then be with them forever. I am trying to enjoy the time I have left here for now and trying to be mom and dad both to my son. Ironically, his wife also lost her father in high school when he was also killed while pulling into his driveway and hit by a semi. Two of my son’s best friends lost their fathers to early deaths last year too and he helped them through all. One thing is for sure, none of us are alone, sadly so many have gone through the same and God carried us all through it. The good things that come from tragedy and loss are incredible strength and a complete lack of fear for the future, when you have been through the worst, what is there left to fear in this world? God bless you all.

  38. Gentle

    I am just two weeks now in widowhood, I am 36 years old I have two children one is 6 and 3 years old. I am in the state of confusion and need an older widow to talk to me pls.

    1. Regina

      Gentle, I would love to talk with you if it will help I was widowed in 2014 after 28 years with the best man in the world. I have good days and bad days and days when I dont want to feel anything but the world keeps moving on and I owe it to my family to do the same. Please let me know how I can help you
      I am so sorry for your loss and at such a young age with young children. You are in my prayers
      please let me know how I can help

    2. Kathryn

      Hi Gentle,
      Your Stitch name here is telling of how I hope you are being with with yourself – gentle. I can only imagine how devistated you and your children are feeling right now and I am heart sore for you. It does seem especially cruel that this person, the man you loved has vacated his place in your lives sooner than he should have, through no fault of his own or any body elses (although I do not know of his circumstance). But as painful as this is for you right now, you are incredibly fortunate to have who you both loved so much in your lives which is your children. Yes, it’s confusing and unimaginable that this is the position you are in at this moment. But remember, this is only a moment and you and your children have so much to look forward to. Just so much. Yes, daily trials and frustrations too: those of rearing two kiddos yourself (although I hope you have family/friend support near by), and all the other small and large details in life you will be captain of. That’s because this truly is one, big, huge trial right now and it does seem impossible and frustrating. But it will get better, incrementally. It WILL get better. The best way I can describe my experiences is that it has been like taking one step forward, three or four steps back. Then taking one step forward and two or three steps back, etc. I am at the point now where, most days it has evened out enough that I have come to acceptance and a “that was then, this is now” state of thinking, rather that a “I can’t believe this has happened, I just can’t believe it” kind of thinking. I now have a significantly less saddened warmth for him. Early on, people in support groups told of their similar, gradual processes like this and predicted that I would eventually come to this point as well. I didn’t believe them. Now I do. I hope you will always know how much you have been given and genuinely know and feel how much better a person you are for having had your husband in your life when you did. I hope also that you can rely on the foundation and richness you now posses because he was such a significant presence in your family’s life and will always be. Presence is a funny thing. Now that my husband has been deceased for just over 2 years now, his presence has changed. It as changed in that his presence is now tucked away in a sacred little spot in my hart. I think of him multiple times a day and yes, I miss him – a lot. And I will always love him. However, I’m finding that I have slowly developed the gumption to believe that I can continue on, move on, and hopefully look forward to a new and just as loving and committed relationship. My goal in sharing this with you is to not only encourage you but to be supportive and helpful. Loosing a spouse is certainly a grounding and humbling experience for each and every one of us in our own way and circumstance. The loss of my husband has essentially boiled down to two main things for me at this juncture: acceptance and gratitude, along with a more matured grief so to speak (as in, enough time has lapsed now so that my sadness is not as acute which is cousin to a sense of relief – relief from the extreme drain it was on me). Words don’t always fit neatly into what we’re trying to express, I know. But I truly hope that my response to you has been helpful and hopeful. I greatly hope that in time you will come to a centered peace within yourself as every day unfolds for you.

      Kathryn

    3. Carolyn Youngi

      Hi Gentle,

      My heart goes out to you in my thoughts and my prayers. I’ve been silently reading and decided to do just that until I read your note. I lost my husband in 2002 to colon cancer. He left me with 5 children to raise, so I didn’t have a lot of time to grieve. I had young children to raise and that kept me busy. As a young widow, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Your children expect you to be strong and their champion. Do you have a church group to go to for help? Hang in there, kiddo, God and your husband’s memory will get you through. Don’t dare think about dating at this point. You will have plenty of time for that later on. Please feel free to reach out to me for help and to offer advice on how to get your life back in order. I shed one tear on your behalf. It gets better with time.

      1. Joyce

        Where are you located? I am in Washington State. We have a group of widows here who meetup regularly.
        For a friendly circle of ladies who have been where you are in your life, log into Facebook and go to The Widow’s Zone FB page. We are there to encourage and support you. Please join our group.
        Joyce C.

        1. Karissa

          Gentle,
          As strange as it seems to the outside world a kind word allows us to cry… And crying is not bad! As single widowed mom’s and dad’s we put on the strong persona because our responsibilities increased exponentially without our partners. Just two years into being a widow myself, I feel like as sad as I am I have to be “ok.” Being on here or going to a group, just having kind ears and kind words helps… And the tears are ok, we understand and love with mascara running and noses dripping ?

  39. Jill

    I’m nearly 67, been a widow for 5 years, live in beautiful Cornwall. I try to keep fit, go rowing, kayaking, play badminton, walk my Golden Retriever every day. But I have no one friend to do all these things with, I find it hard to motivate myself., am envious of so many people especially couples! And some couples with whom my husband and I were close, have dropped me, which has knocked my confidence, and my ego is on the floor. I would love to fall in love again, but would always be too self-conscious to be intimate or share my bed. I have 3 sons, I don’t tell them all this stuff, it’s not like having a daughter ( there we are – I have 3 fine sons but am so envious of ladies who have daughters! ). How can I cheer up and be more confident and positive ?

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi Jill,

      Thanks for sharing your story with us — as I mentioned to Ann, you’re definitely not alone in your situation. If you haven’t done so already I’d recommend joining Stitch and sharing your story on our forums, as you’ll find that many people who have been through similar experiences will be able to offer you support and advice about how they’ve dealt with it. Finding a likeminded soul who understands what your’e going through can make a huge difference.

      Regards,
      Andrew.

  40. Ann

    10 months ago I lost the love of my life, my soulmate,my hubby of 38 years, all my hopes and dreams have gone, my darling never got to retire, so much regret, so much sadness, Ross had cancer, all our time and energy was spend getting him better, we never spoke about what if, now I 61 and a widow, I trying so hard to move toward, I have days like today when I just can not even get out of bed, family and friends just do not understand, do they think I enjoy feeling like this, I know tomorrow will be better, I travelled overseas for 6 weeks, I now doing all the things my hubby did, like the gardening , mowing the yard, fixing and painting the house, so much I can do,I not a person, person, my husband and I were very family people, family was everything to us, so I finding it hard to meet new people, I swim most days and walk my dog, Recently I got on a dating site, I love someone for company, someone to have a meal and fews drinks with, someone to travel with me not a forever, I had that, but is it only me,am I too fussy, after phone or emails, I find they not been completely honest, my well meaning friends, say join a club, do this or that, how do I move forward and have a full and happy life, when the very best part of me ,died along with my hubby, I use to be should a happy bubbly lady, with a nearly perfect life, sorry to ramble on, I get so darn angry some day, living alone sucks big time,

    1. Andrew Dowling

      Hi Ann,

      Thanks for sharing your story with us — you’re not alone in the pain that you’ve shared. Have you joined Stitch and shared your story on our forums? So many members of the Stitch community have had your experience, and many of our members would I am sure have a lot of support to offer you as well as their own experiences to share with you to help you get through this time. Sometimes all it takes is someone who has been through it themselves to understand!

      Regards,
      Andrew.

  41. Laura Hill

    Even thoughI am a young widow, of little over a year, and I am only 37, I have had to face the same things. I may have not had many years with my spouse but they were still precious to me. I face the social isolation, because the friends I have don’t know how to relate to me because they have families of their own and I don’t (we were unable to conceive). I have had trouble finding people my age to relate to because they are busy with their own lives. I also face economic hardship because, my husband didn’t have life insurance and I only have a part-time job as a tutor and its hard to get into the school system unless you know people, I don’t. I live with my parents, outside of town, because I can’t afford a place of my own. I face the grief as well as any widow does.

  42. Paula

    I have been a widow since 2008. People do not treat you the same. I will never remarry because my husband meant the world to me. His death was traumatic. I just want to fit in again.

  43. Paula

    I tried to leave a comment but I do not think it worked. Being a widow is the worst phase of my life. I don’t fit in with any social groups any more. I can relate to all. My husband passed away in 2008. I despize the online dating .

  44. Connie

    I too am a widow of four years I am 65 and can’t seem to move on most of myfriends have disappeared they say I can’t socialize I don’t smile enough when I’m invited to parties it’s hard for me to change I wish I could be who they want me to be but its hard I was married for 43 years and we did everything together I guess I should look into a singles group or something ,all of my friend are married I’m lost……

  45. abhi

    I lost my 36 year old husband to cancer in dec 2014 . It’s been 2 very difficult years . My son keeps me going.
    I have noticed my exclusion from social circles which makes me feel even more lonely. I deal with it mostly be reading and of course spending time with my little boy. But the loneliness and sadness never go away

  46. Anne

    I very suddenly lost my husband while vacationing on the East coast two years ago (we’re from the Southwest). He had only minor symptoms 3 days prior to walking into an ER. Was lung cancer, He was a healthy and active 65 year old, & we had been married for 45 years. He was hospitalized out east for 17 days. Even though I have always been a very independent gal, it’s his companionship, communication, strength, handyman skills, his caring and sharing that I miss more than words can describe. I am carrying on each day the best I can, as he would expect no less from me. He was my rock, and a honey of a guy!

  47. Grace

    I’m 66, widowed for 14 years. After the initial grief period I saw friends when I wanted to, took a few cruises, made a life for myself and my two dogs and have found happiness like I did for every other phase of my life. I love living alone, making my own schedule, volunteered for 6 years and my life is very pleasurable. I don’t date because I don’t want to. The trips I took with a girlfriend we’re ok but I stopped after two because it was a better time with my husband. This is life and I learned how to roll with the punches, live independently and love my life in everything I do. I wish u all well.

  48. mary

    that blog post that you all referenced above…I totally can’t relate. 51 year old sudden widow. I don’t get how that is even real. yuck

  49. L CHristine

    I lost my husband when he was 57 to cancer. I posted to Facebook that I had a catastrophic tragedy occur …that I had lost 21 people in my life at exactly the same moment in time. Soul mate, father to my children, my morning barista, my sparring partner etc. And my closet personal friend….you get the picture…..
    I have missed every one of those people in my life every single day…the most personally effecting though is my very best friend. He was the go to person…the one I could talk everything through with. He’d listen and respond when he could. He gave me advice when asked and we poured over our hopes and dreams and desires endlessly. Now, I am faced with silence. I have tried to engage with other people in this way but it seems all too much for them to handle and in some cases I’ve lost them too. So with each passing day it’s driven home over and over and over again now closely entangled our lives had grown…how much we had lived for and loved each other. I don’t think anyone who hasn’t lost a soul mate could ever understand the depth of loneliness, sadness, and hopelessness one feels for a very very long time. ..I cry every day…for much of it…I even cried at work today and he’s been gone for 3 years.
    I know that he’s gone. I also know I need to have a male in my life to share with…not from a physical perspective but from an emotional one. And then, there’s the guilt about that……

  50. Sarah

    I lost my husband on halloween 2016. He was only 29, i found him dead on sofa. He died of a heart attack. He kept fit by playing football so was a complete shock. Our little boy was only 8 months old when he died. I will always have the image of him in my head, and my son screaming as i was inconsolable. i am trying to keep busy with my boy.. but it is hard being a 28 year old widow. I feel like my future has been robbed from me.. we had planned to have another child when our first was 2. Im so gutted that my son wont have a sibling.

    Does the pain ever stop? I have ro watch friends getting married.. falling pregnant … doing family things.. i am so jealous that i am missing the family thing..
    I know that i have my boy but he doesnt have his daddy and he wont remember him.. and it breaks my heart.

    Is there any other young widows mums out there that have pulled through??

    1. Ellen

      I’m not as young as you but my husband also passed while we were both way too young. We had our dreams and plans too & it’s hard to accept sometimes. Our 6 children struggle without him, as do I. But it’s best to look for the blessings in our life and keep moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other. It’s been 5 yrs ago for me & I still miss him terribly. The tears don’t come as often and the good memories of happier times have replaced them. There’s a great book on Amazon I recommend called ” Good Grief, I need Relief” by Joyce Webster. It’s informative, & a very helpful & practical book.

  51. Karissa

    I have never been on this site before, but I find myself seeking understanding. I lost my husband two years ago, suddenly. There was no preparing…he came home form work, took our dog for a walk and began dying in our bed…I did called 911, pulled him onto the floor to do CPR, while our daughter flagged down the ambulance. The paramedics simply told me to stop… I still remember the moment I felt him leave. I questioned myself for months…could I have done anything else…something that would have saved him?… On top of that, he and I did contract work for the music industry…so I had to find a “real” job to support our daughter because he was only 38 with no life insurance. I had no one to lean on…I had one week to grieve before I had to suck it up and support our 16 year old, because “we are strong” and “he would want us to be ok” – This is my survival mode. I have been in this mode for 2years now, and I am tired! I have become emotionally isolated; no one wants to listen to me unless I pay them of course… New “friends” have no idea what to say…if they saw me cry they’d suggest we should “get a drink”; as if that won’t depress me more. I want a hug, and to cry, and be understood more than anything! And then I realize why I miss him so much… because he was that person; my safe place where I was always understood. 🙁

    1. Flo Reynolds

      Know exactly what you mean. Just be nice to have someone to put their arms around you and let you cry until you can’t anymore. It has been almost two years for me also and I am so tired of being “the strong woman” all the time. I have really lost all interest in living. Everyone around me have gone on with their lives while mine stopped when he died. If not for my little dog I would not still be here. I am 70 years old and too old to start over again.

      1. Cheryl

        Flo:
        I know what you mean. I lost my husband in February, 2017 and the pain is still pretty raw. I want his arms around me to comfort me when I cry, which I do alot. And for him to tell me it will be all right, which I hope one day it will. I work, so at least that keeps me occupied, but when I get home, it is very hard. Thank goodness for my cat, Pearl. She has comforted me alot.

  52. helen hoffman

    I am 70, retired, and have no family. In January, I learned I have breast cancer, and two days later my husband was told he had 3-4 months to live, as he had stage 4 head and neck cancer. He will die of suffocation or a massive bleed. He has been home with hospice for a month, and death is close. My cancer treatment has been postponed, though I did have the mastectomy in March. I am grieving, grieving, grieving, and so afraid. My husband and I are soul mates for 22 years, and I feel like there is no purpose to my living once he dies…why have treatment for breast cancer and all its side effects while I am also in deep grief and alone? Help!

  53. Rose

    My name is Rose, I’m 47. I’ve been a widow for 21 yrs. I was married for 15 months, during my marriage in 1994, several months later I had a daughter , june 1995. Less than 7 and a half months later, on February 11,1996 my husband died. I have never seemed to date anyone else. My grief and pain is surreal. I miss my hubby so much. Is it possible to die from a broken heart. I refuse to date anyone anymore. I have seen my husband’s face twice as I closed my eyes. I feel like I really don’t have anyone to talk too. Is it normal to remain a faithful widow? I isolate myself from the public, I trust no one anymore. Is it normal. My daughter has her own life now, but me, I don’t have it in me anymore…

  54. Mindy

    Don’t know who reads these comments. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one. I lost my husband of 28 years last July 2016 just 8 weeks after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was my best friend and my soulmate. We were very happy and were always telling each other how blessed we were. We didn’t have many friends or much family but were okay with that because we had each other. We had one son who had just gotten married and were expecting a baby girl when my husband received his diagnosis. Our granddaughter was born 6 weeks after he passed (12 days before what would have been his 48th birthday). Although I was sad, in the beginning I felt some comfort in knowing that he was in God’s hands and everything happens as it should according to God’s plan. However, as the time goes on, instead of feeling better i feel worse knowing that I will never see him again in my earthly life. And my grief and pain are making me question my whole belief system and my reason for being here. I recently tried to date to ease my loneliness. I dated one man for 2 months and he did not treat me very well at all. I was communicating online with another man for about 3 weeks and when we finally met, he decided he wasn’t interested in me after all. The rejection on top of the extreme pain of losing my husband has felt like it’s almost too much to bear. In addition, my only son is going through his own grief along with caring for his family. So he won’t have much to do with me. My issue is that I no longer want to live because my life as I knew it is no longer and I just don’t see how I’ll ever be able to feel that my life has any quality ever again. I just don’t really understand why people become angry when someone says they no longer want to live or mentions suicide as an option. Emotional pain can be every bit as debilitating as physical pain and yet we put our beloved pets out of their misery when necessary but it is considered a sin to do so for ourselves. Also, I’m starting to question as to why God won’t take me to go be with my husband, but instead takes the lives of younger people and children who want to continue their lives more than anything. It just doesn’t make sense. ☹

  55. Debbie

    The man who was to become my second husband, who I met through work, as he was my supervisor, moved in with me in 2012. The first day I saw him, I fell head over heels In love with him, I had butterflies in my stomach. I still feel this when I think of him, and look at his pictures. 2014 while sitting in the garden, he put his arm around me, looked me in the eyes, and said ” I love you very much, will you marry me” I was ecstatic, I couldn’t stop smiling. We decided to get married 4th September 2015, the day was beyond perfect. A week after getting married, we were told by the GP, my husbands symptoms were serious, 10 weeks 2 days after getting married, my husband died at home of liver, lung and bone cancer. Those 10 weeks I watched him being stripped of everything we take for granted, eating, drinking, blinking, swallowing, talking, moving. 16th November at 3pm, I heard him take his last breath, I told him, I loved him, I kissed him, placed his hand across his chest, then he was gone. 2 years on, I feel very sad, cheated, angry, if inside ourselves we have a switch for interest, and enjoyment in life, then mine is off, as at the point my husband died, I did too. Many a time I’ve wanted to be with him, to escape the pain I feel, as it can be so intense. 27th November was his funeral. My heart feels like it’s been ripped out, ripped to shreds, and stamped on. I love and adore my husband Jay, with all my being, he was my soulmate, and he was cruelly taken from us at the age of 45.

    1. Joyce

      I’m so sorry for your loss. May you find peace and comfort in the good memories .

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