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A place to learn, mingle, and share

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
Learn More: Saint Stephen and Saint Paula

Jan 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Lauren-927923 said: Katherine, I was suddenly widowed on a beautiful spring evening last April, when my husba...
(Quote) Lauren-927923 said:

Katherine,

I was suddenly widowed on a beautiful spring evening last April, when my husband went in to cover an extra shift from another crew on a rig move. Something broke or failed when they were lifting part of the rig floor. My husband was in the subfloor area, had no where to go and no one had made certain he was clear before they started to lift the floor. I am still half way in a fog most days. But, these are the things that helped and continue to help me get through each day.

One friend said to me: there are no words, I'm sorry doesn't cut it, so all I can do is tell you I love you and give you a hug. (BEST BEST WORDS)

Same friend said to me: Your only obligation to all of the other people is to tell them when and where the funeral is and it is up to them to get there etc.

Bring toilet paper, KLEENEX, paper plates and plastic ware. . .brilliant ideas I had never thought of before but helped tremendously, especially the Kleenex and toilet paper.

I knew immediately that the emotions I was experiencing were far beyond my control, the thoughts going through my head were insane and disjointed and bizarre, so I went to my physician immediately and asked her about talking to someone. I immediately began meeting with a counselor and that was both life saving and sanity saving. I was able to just talk about my husband, my pain, my fears, loss, guilt, etc etc and I was able to do so with someone who didn't know my husband, didn't know me. So while the counselor was compassionate and empathetic, I did not have to worry about inflicting my pain on him when he too was grieving.

Talk, talk, talk, tell stories ask people to share their stories of your husband. The absolutely most comforting things have been the stories. I posted on my Facebook page and asked for stories. I received dozens of stories, many I didn't know, that showed just how many people my husband touched, even in small ways -- young, old, friends, colleagues, so many it was beautiful. I go back and reread them.

One of my daughters set up a memorial page for him on Facebook as well and people may go and post there. It's been almost nine months now and the postings have tapered off, but it has become kind of a conduit for me, a place for me to write to him, to talk to him, to talk about our marriage and how things have changed, memories. Love letters if you will from me to him and shared with those who care to see or read.

One of the hardest things for me, was to encounter other people, who were overcome with their own grief at losing him, because I wanted to be able to comfort them and yet my own pain was so incredibly raw.

Also, realize that it will change your status and will change how you interact with your group. My friends have been wonderful and supportive but they often worry that I will get sad during events, or that they have to alter how we do things because suddenly I am the widow in the group. They are doing it in the most loving spirit and mean no harm at all, but it is different.

And, perhaps the hardest thing for me to have managed is this: Grief is an exceptionally powerful demanding entity. It rules you and not the other way around. I am on the whole a pretty private person and I have been horrified more than once because I just burst into tears and CANNOT stop, no matter who is there, no matter where we are and so it has become a lesson in humility. Everyone kept saying to me, don't internalize it, it will only come out in some other damaging way and it always made me want to laugh because this is the first thing in my life that I have been unable to control when it comes to my behavior and emotion. So I finally just accepted that the grief was in contro and let it happen, surviving the mortification of crying in front of people, being emotionally over wrought has in a sense been liberating and healing in its own right.

I hope there are some kernels of helpful info in there. And, big hugs for both you and your friend. I will remember her in my prayers.

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I am so sorry for your loss, Lauren. I sought counseling, too, for much the same reasons...and the nice thing is that it helped and we can heal. Fr. Fred told me the morning David died that I had started the next part of my life. That didn't happen for me until 4 years later. I am so glad it happens for others sooner and hope it has for you. Thank you for posting. I am sure your experience will be helpful as the OP continues to look for ways to help her friend.


- Elizabeth

Jan 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Brenda-74660 said: you will be in my prayers, so sorry for your loss
(Quote) Brenda-74660 said: you will be in my prayers, so sorry for your loss
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Thank you Brenda. It is nice to see a fellow Okie on the site :-). You may have seen the news reports of Pete's death, it happened on the south side of the city in April. And, the prayers help tremendously.

Jan 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Elizabeth-462557 said: I am so sorry for your loss, Lauren. I sought counseling, too, for much the same...
(Quote) Elizabeth-462557 said:


I am so sorry for your loss, Lauren. I sought counseling, too, for much the same reasons...and the nice thing is that it helped and we can heal. Fr. Fred told me the morning David died that I had started the next part of my life. That didn't happen for me until 4 years later. I am so glad it happens for others sooner and hope it has for you. Thank you for posting. I am sure your experience will be helpful as the OP continues to look for ways to help her friend.


- Elizabeth

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Hi Elizabeth and thank you. I am not sure I've started the next part yet either :-(. I keep listening for where and what I supposed to do or go but so far I haven't gotten a direction. I am sorry for your loss. Lauren

Jan 10th 2013 new
(Quote) Lauren-927923 said: Hi Elizabeth and thank you. I am not sure I've started the next part yet either :-(. I k...
(Quote) Lauren-927923 said:



Hi Elizabeth and thank you. I am not sure I've started the next part yet either :-(. I keep listening for where and what I supposed to do or go but so far I haven't gotten a direction. I am sorry for your loss. Lauren

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Since you are so close to Okc your Priest can recommend you for counseling at St Joseph's counseling located on Classen in Okc. The diocese pays for up to six sessions
Jan 10th 2013 new

Immediately following his death I was so numb I wasnt safe on the road. Someone offered to drive me to wherever I needed to go for two weeks afterwards. That was a blessing. I have a teen son who has emotional problems, and some wonderful folks just showed up to take him out for the day and once for a weekend. The relief of being able to deal with the grief without the additional pressure of dealing with his emotions was wonderful. The "business" of death is awful! The funeral plans, the will, the forms, forms, forms at a time when you are barely able to think is ultra stressful. A close relative and a stranger who belonged to my husbands retirement group were both godsends in walking me through all the paperwork and going with me to the offices I had to visit. Food, especially after all the casaroles in the fridge are gone, is always helpful, not for the widow or widower who probably doesnt want to eat, but for those they are responsible for is most appreciated. I didnt want to go out to eat, but loved those who just showed up and brought a reheatable or actually cooked a meal in my kitchen. And being available to talk without insisting on talking was great. Maybe one of the most helpful things that was done was a friend that just showed up and took over and sent me to bed for a nap.

What hasn't happened but what would have been appreciated was someone to fix some of the things he always fixed, or just show me how to do those things. Also a list of reliable trades people to do what he used to do would really help.


Jan 10th 2013 new

Thanks Brenda,

I thought about St. Joe's, but was able to get set up with a wonderful counselor at Goddard down at OU since I am a grad student there. Lauren

Jan 10th 2013 new
(Quote) Lauren-927923 said: Thanks Brenda, I thought about St. Joe's, but was able to get set up with a wonderful couns...
(Quote) Lauren-927923 said:

Thanks Brenda,



I thought about St. Joe's, but was able to get set up with a wonderful counselor at Goddard down at OU since I am a grad student there. Lauren

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Your welcome Lauren

Since Andrew and I had been seeing a therapist when he was younger at St Joe's not only did I get the same one but Monica attended my sons service when he passed away. For me it was a huge help not having to rehash stuff I had dealt with previously.....God bless Brenda

And it was for a little helpful parenting help being a single Mother when he was growing up......
Jan 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Joan-461057 said: What hasn't happened but what would have been appreciated was someone to fix some of the t...
(Quote) Joan-461057 said:


What hasn't happened but what would have been appreciated was someone to fix some of the things he always fixed, or just show me how to do those things. Also a list of reliable trades people to do what he used to do would really help.


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I am so sorry for your loss, Joan. As you said so well, the business of death is so awful. It is by far the most difficult challenge I have had to overcome. So true about the fixing things. After I woke up from the fog about 9 months later, I realized so many things needed to be done. I simply forgot I wasn't 25 anymore...so I climbed on the roof (the grace of God kept me from falling), I climbed under the house (didn't think about snakes until months later when I realized we had copperheads), I dug holes to plant trees and ended up at the chiropractor and so on...I know every widow has experienced this so unexpected side of loosing our spouses.


I finally came to the conclusion that things had to either just stay unfixed or I would have to hire someone to take care of it. I have dealt with the manly to do list both ways and have learn a lot of patience. The important list just got much smaller. There have been several nice gentlemen who have taken care of things without me even asking, especially in the beginning, but it still happens now 6 years later on occasion.

- Elizabeth

Jan 10th 2013 new

I wish I could express myself as well as you all have in the previous posts. I agree with almost everything said. I don't want one more person asking me, "How are you doing?", "You sure seem to be doing much better than I would be doing", "What are your plans for the Garden Center?" (the family business we've owned and ran for twenty years)...yet, if they DIDN'T ask, then I would feel slighted, as if they didn't care or were afraid my response would make them feel uncomfortable. I found a safe and honest answer is, "That's an easy question with a complicated answer."

The overwhelming grief at losing Paul physically hurts. He lost his battle with kidney cancer Nov. 3. We have three married daughters, an adult son, a 14 year old daughter home with me and seven grandchildren. Plus, countless extended family , friends, our church and the entire community of Loogootee who respected, admired and loved Paul. Our lives are all richer and blessed by knowing Paul. Our world is much lonelier and quieter now without him (he LOVED to talk - in person and on his ever-ringing cell phone, which he was buried with). I usually can express myself better when writing and I hope to find a safe, caring outlet here on this site with others who can identify with my painful loss.

Another reason I joined catholicmatch.com was because Paul insisted that I remain active, keep old and make new friends, and find a good Christian man to share my life with. He always looked out and cared for me in ways big and small. Simply taking the trash out the first time was a jarring wake-up call that the thousands of details he saw to each day, now, would not get done unless I did them myself.

In his typical, unselfish loving concern, he insisted that none of us 'get mad at God', if he was not healed here on earth, but only after death in heaven. He said we see our life's journey in a limited way, as if on a 8"TV screen. God is standing behind us viewing our lives on a huge, giant TV screen...He sees the BIG picture...we must trust Him that all is according to God's Divine Providence, for the good of our souls and that there is a reason why some are taken home to heaven and others are left to continue their mission on earth. OF COURSE we can be sad, cry, question 'why?', even beat the walls with our fists! Even Jesus cried when His friend Lazarus died.

My faith in God's promises and goodness has been bruised, but not destroyed. Prayers and grace sustain me. It's a miracle I have not gone insane with grief, but went right back to our store one week after Paul's funeral. Thank God I have this place to focus on and go to each day that we shared, worked together side-by-side with our kids for so many years and dearly loved. Paul did want me to be alone, so he has given me a beautiful gift and his blessing to accept the love of another man that God may send me one day. Thank you, dear.

Jan 11th 2013 new

(Quote) Katherine-868943 said: I hope this does not dredge up too many painful memories, but if those of you who were widowe...
(Quote) Katherine-868943 said:

I hope this does not dredge up too many painful memories, but if those of you who were widowed suddenly could please share the most helpful things to you in that first few days, we are trying to give large numbers of people ideas about what they can do to assist my friend who has been unexpectedly widowed. There have already been so many visitors to her home bringing food that we suggested donations to a fund or grocery gift cards instead, because the other lady & I who were helping were starting to get concerned that things couldn't be stored and would just end up being thrown out. Everyone wants to help but nobody knows how. Is there anything in particular someone did or said that helped you? Were there any issues that came up a few weeks out that you wish someone could have been able to help with?

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I've never been married, but in the small towns where my grandparents come from many people offer to cook and bring meals for them the day of the Rosary Service and/or Funeral. It's a small gesture that is much appreciated by the family and visiting extended families. If he/she has kids, another way you could offer to help is to babysit for an afternoon so the mom can have a break. If it is your extended family, you could offer to help with thank you cards for those people who brought gifts, such as plants or flowers.

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