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This room is for those who have lost a spouse and need support or who can provide support to those who have.

Saint Paula is the patron saint of widows and Saint Stephen is the patron saint of deacons
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I flew into Boise to see my parents, and I am reminded anew at how much I have changed and how much I do not relate to most people my age. My parents treat me like I should quit my job and stay at home. REally? At 50, I am supposed to live alone without outside contact. I would be drooling on myself...They also introduce me to all of the eighty year old widows who tell me things like, "You were only married 23 years. Honey, I was married 52 years...blah, blah, blah." 23 years or 52 years....it never was going to be enough. I thought that I would take the opportunity here in Boise to go to a widow/widower support group not because I think I need it, but for a reality check. I figure every one is much older than me, but my parents go to Sacred Heart, a big Catholic church. My mome asked me why I didn't go to the recovery group--you know, the one for recovering drug addicts, alcoholics, divorced people, etc. I was dumbfounded. REally? You want me to go to that group vs. a grief group? And, if I go to the grief group, you want to come? REally? Yes, my mom is coming with me. Eye roll. Add to that, every where I go, my dad wants to tell people about how Phil died. Can I throw up? I still have a hard time going to mass alone. It is hard to sit with happy families and not wish that I had that still. It is hard to travel airports and watch happy military reunions. I find myself getting cranky. Why is it that pardigms change? I can't hang out with most of my married couple friends. That has changed, also. Maybe I should move to a deserted cabin (not on Pikes Peak right now--fires) in the mountains. I feel like I am a widow long before I should have been and when people ask why, what do I say? Who can understand? Okay...I feel better. Welcome to the rollicking world of Linda. Too bad none of my friends from here are in Boise. I would make you save me and I would buy you coffee and frozen yogurt. Just saying...
06/24/2012 new

Linda - I am not sure where you in your grieving process - the first year was the worst and 5th anniversary is was hard for me. It takes time to heal - allow yourself that time and don't let any steal your grief. Your grief is yours - no two people grieve the same way. Br gentle with yourself.

Blessings,
Ginger
hug Praying hug

06/24/2012 new

Linda, I hear you! It is a shock to find out how you have basically just disappeared...almost. You are not fitting in to any groups in existence around you at church or social circles you particpated in before..it is truly a strange phenomenon to be a "younger" widow...not a young widow---that's a different dynamic...not an older widow---as your parents introduced you to----again a different situation.


I really think we should just refer to our mid-range widows as the "Invisible Widows"...the ones that could be attending Mass because hubby was on a different shift and couldn't attend with her....The mid-range widow...disappears and cannot find her bearings...she is not simply single...she is not divorced...she was 1/2 of a whole and now she is -1/2 and yet wholly alone! Not old enough to be a "true" widow in society's expectation


I sit near the shoir in my church and, invariable there is a middle-aged couple in front that are very ahppy with each other, and I am glad...but when they keep their arms around each other throughout Mass...when they kiss on the lips during the Sign of Peace....

I had that...it is gone...it cannot come back...I feel embarrassed to feel cranky...it never bothered me before...Why am I cranky? I love love!


Yup....my life has changed...and it's not whining...or look at me or pity party time...it is SO outfield!!!!!!


Thanks for the topic!!!!

06/25/2012 new

(Quote) Ginger-791603 said: Linda - I am not sure where you in your grieving process - the first year was the worst and 5th ...
(Quote) Ginger-791603 said:

Linda - I am not sure where you in your grieving process - the first year was the worst and 5th anniversary is was hard for me. It takes time to heal - allow yourself that time and don't let any steal your grief. Your grief is yours - no two people grieve the same way. Br gentle with yourself.

Blessings,
Ginger

--hide--
Ginger -- you have reached the same conclusion about Linda -- that she is still grieving. Those of us who are widows know how grieving begins, but we can't know or predict when it will end. There's a time when grieving is a perfectly normal reaction to the events that took place. There's a time beyond which it becomes unhealthy and some outside help is recommended.

Linda -- you are still relatively new to the world of widowhood, and found yourself in it suddenly and unexpectedly. Use the time to re-invent and find yourself. What happened to Phil was an event; what remains is a process to work through. A grief support group, particularly a Church group, can be very helpful. Your mother wants to attend with you? Is she grieving, too? Perhaps, although I think it's more important for you to share in a more private setting that the support group offers.

Being widowed at any age is awkward. Young? Well, it's just not supposed to happen that way is the common thought. Middle age or older? Now what are we going to do? At those ages, it's rough starting over. Yet, with passing time, that awkwardness usually disappears or at least becomes less awkward. We go forward, having become stronger, yet realizing how vulnerable all of us are.

Cranky? Sure -- at least occasionally? Moody? Same thing. Certain future events triggering weepy moments? That'll happen to many people no matter how much time has passed. We can't forget or change the past; it's enough dealing with the present.

Other people simply don't know how to respond to those who are widowed. They might be clueless, not having experienced it themselves. But....trust that their intentions are good -- it's just that there are never adequate words to be said. A psychotherapist who lost his wife warned his sons that people will "say dumb things" at a funeral, but advised them to overlook what is said and take comfort in the fact someone is there for you, even if it's in a clumsy way.

Each of us has to work on ourselves, with the realization that our departed spouses aren't going to come back. Harsh reality but true.

In many areas, there are social organizations comprised strictly of people who are widowed. Our area has such a group and it can be beneficial, especially to those who have recently entered this different world. The group here is of a social nature -- diverse in religious faiths, so they don't pretend to offer spiritual guidance as part of their programs. Groups can differ from area to area though.

Linda -- if such an organization doesn't exist in an area where you decide to stay for awhile, you can begin one of your own. Many people who undergo tragic events find themselves channeling their energies into helping others who are in similar situations. (Something good coming out of something bad.)

In the meantime, it's ok to feel cranky. As more time passes, you'll find yourself fitting in, having patched up your own foundation which seemingly crumbled at the time of your loss.

Many blessings....

06/25/2012 new

Ray, I am a newbie, and I thank you for your thoughtful answer to the OP. You are fortunate to be able to avail yourself of an interdenominational/secular widow/ers' group. That would be a rich environment to learn how to grow in and through widowhood.


"Awkward" is a great term, actually. Thanks for the encouragement that eventually the awkwardness dissipates!


The door to the old age relationship that was anticipated?...that handholding old age couple or that older couple dancing at someone's wedding?...many others here find as "awww" moments....that was me...now, I must look away....I am not angry...I don't feel short-changed...it is just not an option anymore....That door to old age...the shack in the mountains...with a spare room for a kid or grands to visit...the door was opening...plans were being made for how to work all that...with sanity and grace...no lofty villas...just a shack and a woodburning stove kind of stuff...with access to a snowplowed road for access to senior healthcarel (of course! LOL)....and then that door slammed....hard and final...and as you so beautifully said....Now, what???????????


Death is cold...but conquered...Change is radical for the one left behind... I really try to join to the sorrows in His Passion, and in the tears of His Mother...we are not alone...the Comforter's role, that Paraclete...that Advocate...he sends up our groanings and unutterable prayers through the heavens...to a Daddy God's ears...Abba holds my hand...and permits me to lean on Him...It is the only way I can understand how to even begin to answer that question for me... your aptly worded summary of a middle-age widow....that question...Now what?


One of my big girl steps was to try CM...and I DO find the Forums inviting...thanks, Ray, Ginger, and Linda...



06/25/2012 new
(Quote) Barbara-863769 said: Ray, I am a newbie, and I thank you for your thoughtful answer to the OP. You are fortunate to be able to ava...
(Quote) Barbara-863769 said:

Ray, I am a newbie, and I thank you for your thoughtful answer to the OP. You are fortunate to be able to avail yourself of an interdenominational/secular widow/ers' group. That would be a rich environment to learn how to grow in and through widowhood.


"Awkward" is a great term, actually. Thanks for the encouragement that eventually the awkwardness dissipates!


The door to the old age relationship that was anticipated?...that handholding old age couple or that older couple dancing at someone's wedding?...many others here find as "awww" moments....that was me...now, I must look away....I am not angry...I don't feel short-changed...it is just not an option anymore....That door to old age...the shack in the mountains...with a spare room for a kid or grands to visit...the door was opening...plans were being made for how to work all that...with sanity and grace...no lofty villas...just a shack and a woodburning stove kind of stuff...with access to a snowplowed road for access to senior healthcarel (of course! LOL)....and then that door slammed....hard and final...and as you so beautifully said....Now, what???????????


Death is cold...but conquered...Change is radical for the one left behind... I really try to join to the sorrows in His Passion, and in the tears of His Mother...we are not alone...the Comforter's role, that Paraclete...that Advocate...he sends up our groanings and unutterable prayers through the heavens...to a Daddy God's ears...Abba holds my hand...and permits me to lean on Him...It is the only way I can understand how to even begin to answer that question for me... your aptly worded summary of a middle-age widow....that question...Now what?


One of my big girl steps was to try CM...and I DO find the Forums inviting...thanks, Ray, Ginger, and Linda...



--hide--
Barbara, I have taken a few big steps--joining this group, moving far away, and writing my book. I now travel all over the world independently. I also am considering the dating issue. I joined for the forums, but I actually am considering the next chapter. I also mentor others--military. Sometimes it is just so lonely and the pardigms shift so drastically, son't they?
06/25/2012 new

Linda,


As the kids I hang out with...the ones all around me......and other people's in the classroom...as THEY would say:"Go, girl!" biggrin

Yes, it is STILL so lonely and paradigms don't just shift...they self-destruct! :) I'm still dancing ....sort of like on hot coals! faint


Linda, thanks for the encouragement...those steps are major! Those are very major---but you are healing AS you go...that is cool! cool


(sorry for the slang...but my pure adult vocabulary is not taken out of storage often...except when I write) It is a young world that I am blessed to inhabit!...and THAT makes for more "awkward" widow world...but it's all going to be alright!Right??? LOL Looking up...always looking up, right? That's what you are doing...you are planting seeds for your future..Awesome!


See, there it goes again: a middle age wdow ----saying "Awesome!"---outfield for sure! rolling eyes laughing fluffy

06/25/2012 new

Linda,
Myself kens wha' ye are say'en.
Myself hast been a widower for 8 months after a marriage o' 49 years. Myself hast e'eryone tell'en me tha' ye need tae date, get rid o' ring.
How can poeple be sae heartless?
Myself ist at the point where myself dinna gae any where because o' it . If myself daest gae some place myself gaes wi' my son or daughter sae tha'
nae one will bother this grief'en auld Scot.
They say tyme heals, but how lang is it tae be?
GOD bless ye an' keep ye in HIS hands.
Mac

PS

Please excuse the wa' myself writes but if myself were tae try an' write in American Anglish myself would here taemorra try'en ta get it done.

06/25/2012 new
(Quote) Barbara-863769 said: Linda, As the kids I hang out with...the ones all around me......and other people's in the cla...
(Quote) Barbara-863769 said:

Linda,


As the kids I hang out with...the ones all around me......and other people's in the classroom...as THEY would say:"Go, girl!"

Yes, it is STILL so lonely and paradigms don't just shift...they self-destruct! :) I'm still dancing ....sort of like on hot coals!


Linda, thanks for the encouragement...those steps are major! Those are very major---but you are healing AS you go...that is cool!


(sorry for the slang...but my pure adult vocabulary is not taken out of storage often...except when I write) It is a young world that I am blessed to inhabit!...and THAT makes for more "awkward" widow world...but it's all going to be alright!Right??? LOL Looking up...always looking up, right? That's what you are doing...you are planting seeds for your future..Awesome!


See, there it goes again: a middle age wdow ----saying "Awesome!"---outfield for sure!

--hide--
Barbara, that is why I love reading your responses--you are FUN! I teach school and coach. Men my age usually bore me to tears because frankly I have a wicked sense of humor and I don't always behave myself. I am eclectic with music and humor. What can I say? I have a feeling that if we lived in the same place we would have too much fun together. Local widsters on the run. We take no prisoners...or maybe we do.
06/25/2012 new

(Quote) Linda-756196 said: I flew into Boise to see my parents, and I am reminded anew at how much I have changed and how much I do...
(Quote) Linda-756196 said: I flew into Boise to see my parents, and I am reminded anew at how much I have changed and how much I do not relate to most people my age. My parents treat me like I should quit my job and stay at home. REally? At 50, I am supposed to live alone without outside contact. I would be drooling on myself...They also introduce me to all of the eighty year old widows who tell me things like, "You were only married 23 years. Honey, I was married 52 years...blah, blah, blah." 23 years or 52 years....it never was going to be enough. I thought that I would take the opportunity here in Boise to go to a widow/widower support group not because I think I need it, but for a reality check. I figure every one is much older than me, but my parents go to Sacred Heart, a big Catholic church. My mome asked me why I didn't go to the recovery group--you know, the one for recovering drug addicts, alcoholics, divorced people, etc. I was dumbfounded. REally? You want me to go to that group vs. a grief group? And, if I go to the grief group, you want to come? REally? Yes, my mom is coming with me. Eye roll. Add to that, every where I go, my dad wants to tell people about how Phil died. Can I throw up? I still have a hard time going to mass alone. It is hard to sit with happy families and not wish that I had that still. It is hard to travel airports and watch happy military reunions. I find myself getting cranky. Why is it that pardigms change? I can't hang out with most of my married couple friends. That has changed, also. Maybe I should move to a deserted cabin (not on Pikes Peak right now--fires) in the mountains. I feel like I am a widow long before I should have been and when people ask why, what do I say? Who can understand? Okay...I feel better. Welcome to the rollicking world of Linda. Too bad none of my friends from here are in Boise. I would make you save me and I would buy you coffee and frozen yogurt. Just saying...
--hide--

hug hug hug Praying

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