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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
Learn More: Saint Stephen and Saint Paula

My wife died January, 2009 from cancer. We had celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary the previous November. The first anniversary after her death was an extremely emotional time. Each successive anniversary after that got a little easier to take. This November 7 would have been our 20th wedding anniversary. I have already been dreading this anniversary since June. Anybody else have a similar experience?
Aug 2nd 2013 new
Philip, I am not a widow, but I did have a very unusual anniversary to deal with. It affected me for many years. On our fifth wedding anniversary my former husband was hit by a drunk driver, Massive trauma, many complications, very critical for over a week, and left with a residual brain injury that changed his personality, temperment, memory, IQ, and judgment. In reality, the husband that I knew did not come home from the hospital. Someone that had some of his characteristics and features did, but it wasn't the guy that kissed me good-bye and said "Happy Anniversary... have a great day" and left for work that morning. For many years afterwards the few days before and the actual date of the "dual" anniversary I would have feelings of anxiety, be insomnic, was irritable, tearful, and just wanted to be left alone for the day or two or three. My former husband would want to celebrate our anniversary, and it was awful for me. I was told I was selfish, ungrateful, dwelt in the past, harboring anger, resentment, and blah, blah, blah by friends, family and even counselors. It really was a form of PTSD, but no one thought recognized it, nor thought that I should have the support, space or permission to grieve. It was a grief that had to be grieved over and over, in stages. My former husband didn't live through it like I did- he had no memory of the event, nor the weeks afterwards because he was unconscious and had no memory after he became conscious. The positive part is that I did heal, the pain lessened, and it did get easier. The "anniversary" wasn't some sort of horrible flashback to "the phone call" and the moments in the ER and the ICU, the smells of antibiotics, blood, and the days of shock and fear. It takes time, and everyone has a different temperment, different personality, and different experiences that affect how they move through through this process. Do you have a grief counselor, a spritual director, a wise priest, or a support group to help? I learned that I needed to take a few days off before the anniversary, spend time in prayer and self-care (adequate rest, good nutrition, gentle exercise) and just feel it and validate it for myself. It was very healing and got better. Hang in there. God Bless :-)
Aug 2nd 2013 new
Suzanne, I am so sorry for what happened to your former husband and you.

I am used to feeling sad around the anniversaries of her birth and death dates and other holidays. Just thought it was strange that the wedding anniversaries were getting easier to take until this one coming up that ends in a "0". Maybe because I have had more free time to think and dwell on it recently; not as much the past week or two. I am usually much better the day after. I can talk to my priest if needed, but I am hoping it won't be necessary.
Aug 3rd 2013 new
Thank you Philip. It was a difficult time in my life, and spread over many, many years. However, time does heal. I only share it to give you hope. I know that its made me much softer, gentler, empathic, and caring. I hope that in time you are able to take your experience of your late wife's illness, death and your healing journey to become closer to God and stronger emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Until then keep taking care of yourself. BTW, the sister of my dear friend is actively dying this weekend. She is leaving a husband and three children, ages 3 to 14. I found that praying for those who were in similar situations to what I had gone through was very helpful. Perhaps you can offer your prayers and suffering for this man who is soon to become widower. Peace of Christ be with you.
Aug 3rd 2013 new
Suzanne, my condolences to your friend and your friend's family. I hope your friend's brother-in-law will have a lot of support and look into support groups for him and their children. I will add him to my prayers.
Aug 18th 2013 new
No pearls of wisdom.....I am beginning my first year of "firsts". That's what my friend who lost her husband 2 years ago calls the first year without a spouse. I thought Father's Day was the pits....I want to hide for my birthday tomorrow. I think the hardest thing is to not having the profound relationship I had with my husband. Tomorrow I will run as far as I can in the morning until the ole bod gives out. I thank God I own my own business. I will stay home tomorrow. My office administrator can carry the show. Pray my family forgets about tomorrow....no fake smiles....i am a truly happy, fun and light hearted person but this is stinky.
Aug 18th 2013 new
Philip
I feel your pain. I lost my husband 6 1/2 years ago and the "special" days are still the hardest. Although some of them are easier to deal with now, there are still some times when I really feel blue. Luckily, I have had my job to keep me busy. The hardest part for me is going to weddings & anniversary parties, especially family ones where I really have no option. I have been blessed with a big family of in-laws and they are so caring & supportive, but it is still hard to be the "one" without a spouse and miss him dreadfully at those times.

I celebrate my late husband's birthday every year with a Dairy Queen ice cream cake with my youngest daughter (39), whose birthday is the day before his. I think it really helps us both. The other days I usually try to work, if possible. I find keeping busy helps a lot.

I'm no grief counselor or in a position to give guidance, and what works for me may not work for you, but I still find that when I am really feeling blue and missing him, I watch a sad movie and just let the tears come. Sometimes it just feels good to "let it out". And then watch something funny to get me laughing.

I count my blessings every day and am so thankful tor 38 years together. Try to remember the good times & celebrate your special day.




Aug 18th 2013 new
(quote) Terry-963699 said: No pearls of wisdom.....I am beginning my first year of "firsts". That's what my friend who lost her husband 2 years ago calls the first year without a spouse. I thought Father's Day was the pits....I want to hide for my birthday tomorrow. I think the hardest thing is to not having the profound relationship I had with my husband. Tomorrow I will run as far as I can in the morning until the ole bod gives out. I thank God I own my own business. I will stay home tomorrow. My office administrator can carry the show. Pray my family forgets about tomorrow....no fake smiles....i am a truly happy, fun and light hearted person but this is stinky.
Terry
I am so sorry for your loss & what you are going through. Indeed, the first year of "firsts" is the hardest. No matter how much others tell you, it is one of the hardest things you will go through in your healing process. The only advice I can give is that keeping busy helps keep your mind off of the day. Celebrate or not, that is your choice. I'm sure your family can respect your wishes.
I will be praying for you.

Aug 18th 2013 new
It was common for me and Linda ( late wife), any special day; get fire in the the pit and open up the "party supplies) have a good remembering
Aug 18th 2013 new
My husband will be deceased fours years on Friday. This morning, I started thinking about him and the up coming anniversary and I realized he was not able to get out of bed on this date and I called the priest and had him anointed. On the 19th, the hospital bed was delivered. On Sunday morning he had shortness of breath and I called Hospice but the nurse refused to come out. I prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet for him (his favorite prayer) and then told him he could go to God. At 8:30 AM his regular nurse called and told me he needed oxygen but she could not come until noon or after. As I was still trying to get help, I looked over and his hands were in prayer and he passed into Eternity very peacefully. We were both blessed during his Cancer and I know it is because I had a healing Mass for him every week. When the anniversary comes close, all of the memories come flooding back. I have all always been thankful that he looked forward to the next life and did not want a miracle. I always pray for those who are loosing loved ones. I know the pain of loosing a loved one. God Bless all widowers and widows.
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