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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 prayers and empathy go out to all of you, who like me, has been left behind. I have been a widow for 5 1/2 years. It was only last Spring that I really felt like a widow. Since then I have tried to recreate my personal life, not my family life, but my personal life. I'm building new friendships and expanding others, but it has been by the trial and error method. I would like to know how others have bloomed where they are planted after their spouse was gone. Like most people, I don't like making mistakes and I thought we might be able to share our experiences and help each other avoid some pitfalls and open up doors we might have left shut.

06/17/2012 new
I was once very quiet and shy. When Phil died in a very public way and I was forced to confront the media at every turn, I chose to speak out because every name that flashes across our TV is the name of a soldier who was loved...who had someone at home waiting for him/her. Every soldier wanted to go home. My family just happened to be so large and Phil's story so amazing that every one honed in on my family. I put a face on military loss. By speaking and then answering the blazing fire to write a faith based blog that is followed by many, and what will probably be my first book, I found myself, a purpose, and I worked through the thoughts and hard times. I fell into my faith and it has made all of the difference. Having said that, I can now speak to crowds and I can write to anyone or be on TV, but I still can't eat out alone, go to movies alone, go to social events alone, etc. It is interesting because I fly all over the country for marathons, but it is different. I am still working on the blooming part.
06/17/2012 new

(Quote) Elizabeth-462557 said: My prayers and empathy go out to all of you, who like me, has been left behind. I have been a...
(Quote) Elizabeth-462557 said:

My prayers and empathy go out to all of you, who like me, has been left behind. I have been a widow for 5 1/2 years. It was only last Spring that I really felt like a widow. Since then I have tried to recreate my personal life, not my family life, but my personal life. I'm building new friendships and expanding others, but it has been by the trial and error method. I would like to know how others have bloomed where they are planted after their spouse was gone. Like most people, I don't like making mistakes and I thought we might be able to share our experiences and help each other avoid some pitfalls and open up doors we might have left shut.

--hide--
Thanks for the prayers.Praying that all goes well with you.


I've been a widow for nearly 18yrs now.I always had interest in various activities so I got more involved in Church,sporting and crafts.I was blessed and thank God for those I have met along the way(good or not too great it was for his purpose).I have been working with God's help into briniging my sons to the gentlemen that God intends them to be.Their involvement in the scout movement and various sporting and religious activities have kept us all on our toes.


Thanks for bringing us so far dear Jesus.


God bless all the widows and widowers here and their families. Praying rosary theheart

06/18/2012 new

(Quote) Elizabeth-462557 said: My prayers and empathy go out to all of you, who like me, has been left behind. I have been a...
(Quote) Elizabeth-462557 said:

My prayers and empathy go out to all of you, who like me, has been left behind. I have been a widow for 5 1/2 years. It was only last Spring that I really felt like a widow. Since then I have tried to recreate my personal life, not my family life, but my personal life. I'm building new friendships and expanding others, but it has been by the trial and error method. I would like to know how others have bloomed where they are planted after their spouse was gone. Like most people, I don't like making mistakes and I thought we might be able to share our experiences and help each other avoid some pitfalls and open up doors we might have left shut.

--hide--
Life involves making mistakes -- they happen at all ages, all walks of life, different vocations. All we can try to do is minimize them. It's no different after losing a spouse. The main advice is not to make any major decisions for at least a year to allow enough time for the dust to settle in your mind.

It seems you're making friends and that's a good start. You'll want to be surrounded by people who bring some sunshine into your life and are supportive. The doom & gloom type just doesn't cut it. During your widowed state (from its onset 'til now) you've been "re-inventing" yourself -- discovering who you are, your likes and dislikes, planning for the future, handling financial matters and so on. As you make this progression, you'll be able to discern to a greater extent, who would make a true friend. But....keep in mind, there are no guarantees. We continue to make mistakes and that won't end. What we need to do is rely upon friends to listen and help present an objective viewpoint to you.

You might feel some sadness if you are alone too long, but by now you realize you can't re-create the past. The future? If you don't rush into anything that's radically different or something that is out of your comfort zone, you should do fine.

We're all works in progress, so keep at it....

06/18/2012 new

(Quote) Elizabeth-462557 said: My prayers and empathy go out to all of you, who like me, has been left behind. I have been a...
(Quote) Elizabeth-462557 said:

My prayers and empathy go out to all of you, who like me, has been left behind. I have been a widow for 5 1/2 years. It was only last Spring that I really felt like a widow. Since then I have tried to recreate my personal life, not my family life, but my personal life. I'm building new friendships and expanding others, but it has been by the trial and error method. I would like to know how others have bloomed where they are planted after their spouse was gone. Like most people, I don't like making mistakes and I thought we might be able to share our experiences and help each other avoid some pitfalls and open up doors we might have left shut.

--hide--
Life involves making mistakes -- they happen at all ages, all walks of life, different vocations. All we can try to do is minimize them. It's no different after losing a spouse. The main advice is not to make any major decisions for at least a year to allow enough time for the dust to settle in your mind.

It seems you're making friends and that's a good start. You'll want to be surrounded by people who bring some sunshine into your life and are supportive. The doom & gloom type just doesn't cut it. During your widowed state (from its onset 'til now) you've been "re-inventing" yourself -- discovering who you are, your likes and dislikes, planning for the future, handling financial matters and so on. As you make this progression, you'll be able to discern to a greater extent, who would make a true friend. But....keep in mind, there are no guarantees. We continue to make mistakes and that won't end. What we need to do is rely upon friends to listen and help present an objective viewpoint to you.

You might feel some sadness if you are alone too long, but by now you realize you can't re-create the past. The future? If you don't rush into anything that's radically different or something that is out of your comfort zone, you should do fine.

We're all works in progress, so keep at it....

06/19/2012 new

I'm beginning to realize that there are a number of things that I put off or did not pursue when I was married. I love to sail, but logistically, it was difficult when the kids were smaller, and going off for a week to sail and leave the family behind was something I just wasn't going to do--so we did family vacations, and I treasure every one of them (we did do one family sailing vacation, but it was very expensive; it was not something we could do regularly). But my last child is off to college in the fall, and I have realized that I can go sailing any time I can work out the time off from work. I'm even looking around for a small boat for local sailing.

And I have not been able to make pots since I started my business ten years ago, again family and spouse obligations just made it difficult, and my wife was ill for a long time. But I'm thinking about getting a wheel and a kiln and starting to throw again.

The big realization for me, that I'm still getting used to, is that I have much more free time. I'm still figuring out how to make good use of it.

06/20/2012 new
One person's "mistake" may be another's "masterpiece". For example, Ray gives great advice about making any big changes in the first year. I, however, wasn't about to commute 50 minutes each way by myself in all kinds of weather. So, I moved. That was more practical and convenient for me. (Not to mention, thrifty when gas hovered close to $4 per gallon.) The point is we have to do what we think is best when we think it is best. I've spent the last three years looking for the self that was individual before it was part of a twosome. That's been some tricky processing since the twosome was fantastic, and I would never want to deny that. But I needed to make sure that the "I" I once knew was still in there. Today, I can say that she is. As Andrew, I have way too much free time. I work full-time, belong to two book clubs, spend time with the grands, as appropriate, and eat out way too frequently. Other than my work which is magnificent and the church's stewardship efforts, I don't feel particularly useful. I am looking for the "Dummies" book on how to feel useful when simply reading for pleasure!
08/02/2012 new

(Quote) Cheryl-776902 said: One person's "mistake" may be another's "masterpiece". For example, Ray giv...
(Quote) Cheryl-776902 said: One person's "mistake" may be another's "masterpiece". For example, Ray gives great advice about making any big changes in the first year. I, however, wasn't about to commute 50 minutes each way by myself in all kinds of weather. So, I moved. That was more practical and convenient for me. (Not to mention, thrifty when gas hovered close to $4 per gallon.) The point is we have to do what we think is best when we think it is best. I've spent the last three years looking for the self that was individual before it was part of a twosome. That's been some tricky processing since the twosome was fantastic, and I would never want to deny that. But I needed to make sure that the "I" I once knew was still in there. Today, I can say that she is. As Andrew, I have way too much free time. I work full-time, belong to two book clubs, spend time with the grands, as appropriate, and eat out way too frequently. Other than my work which is magnificent and the church's stewardship efforts, I don't feel particularly useful. I am looking for the "Dummies" book on how to feel useful when simply reading for pleasure!
--hide--

Cheryl that is an awesome book idea. If and when you write it, I'll take a few copies. For now, I can really relate to that challenge of findiing myself, completing me as I think once was, discovering what is now possible and making a new life from it all.

08/03/2012 new

(Quote) Cheryl-776902 said: One person's "mistake" may be another's "masterpiece". For example, Ray giv...
(Quote) Cheryl-776902 said: One person's "mistake" may be another's "masterpiece". For example, Ray gives great advice about making any big changes in the first year. I, however, wasn't about to commute 50 minutes each way by myself in all kinds of weather. So, I moved. That was more practical and convenient for me. (Not to mention, thrifty when gas hovered close to $4 per gallon.) The point is we have to do what we think is best when we think it is best. I've spent the last three years looking for the self that was individual before it was part of a twosome. That's been some tricky processing since the twosome was fantastic, and I would never want to deny that. But I needed to make sure that the "I" I once knew was still in there. Today, I can say that she is. As Andrew, I have way too much free time. I work full-time, belong to two book clubs, spend time with the grands, as appropriate, and eat out way too frequently. Other than my work which is magnificent and the church's stewardship efforts, I don't feel particularly useful. I am looking for the "Dummies" book on how to feel useful when simply reading for pleasure!
--hide--
You bring up a good point, Cheryl, and that's one that doesn't apply to most people. For you, relocating was a good move -- practical and convenient, as you say. Apparently you are feeling more comfortable in a different location, as opposed to a long drive daily on your own. This isn't true of everyone -- they're not facing the same circumstances. Sometimes an abrupt change can be disconcerting, especially after a major change has already taken place. You might recall the stress factor scale that has appeared from time to time in various publications. It ranks and assigns a numerical value to major events that take place in many people's lives. Losing a spouse ranks high; moving also is way up there.

Also, as you appropriately pointed out, you've been looking for "yourself" as an individual. It's a wonderment how we don't soon recognize what we can do for a long period of time. We keep learning.

You seem to be on solid ground for the most part, except for having too much free time. Most people would be envious of that. That's another part of adapting -- finding how you fit into the world and its needs. You've gotten to the important step of recognizing this. In time, you'll find where you belong. Just keep working at it.

08/03/2012 new
Although my loss was that of an adult child not of a spouse so much of what I have read in here has been very enlightening to me as well. I spent 22 years putting my sons needs first, and since he was an only child my lists was great. My parents were such a huge part of his life so they have felt the loss also. I have been commuting to work fourty minutes one way for the past ten+ years and I am about to move closer to work. For me these are very exciting times, deciding where to live, whether I want to drive back to my old parish once I get moved or do I decide between the two churches which will b more convenient...the list goes on. One thing I have concluded is that I am ready to make some changes in my routine.....
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