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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

Aug 18th 2013 new
Hi Philip,
My husband died suddenly 13 years ago Saturday. Today was my birthday. The tough part was that we were married only 10 months, so I spent my 46th birthday at the funeral home. Today was also the wedding anniversary of some close friends. They renewed their vows at the chapel where they got married and there was a picnic afterwards. At the mass that day my husbands name was in the prayers, because it was "his anniversary" of leaving for heaven. They were all whispering "happy Birthday" to me across the church. It was good to be with them today/ My birthday has never really been the same, and since we were married less than a year, I never had an anniversary!
HOWEVER, at the beginning of that first year, when he hung up the calendars for the new year around the house, he promised me he would never forget our anniversary. He lifted the page to October, and showed me that he had pasted flowers around the date, 10/16. I forgot it was there, till I came to that month. Then it haunted me. I kept seeing him standing in the kitchen with a bouquet of flowers from the supermarket, that he often bought home. On the morning of my anniversary I actually went out to the kitchen first thing in the morning to make sure there wasn't a vase of flowers there, just to prove I wasn't going crazy. Later that morning however, a vase with 10 red roses, one for each month we had together, appeared on my front porch, with a card that read "love forever, Bob's messenger service". One of my sisters, living in another state, "saw" the flowers on her way home from work the day before and had to send them. The marriage contract may end with death, but the love remains. Just after my husband died I almost didn't want to go to heaven, because I was so happy with him, and I knew it would not be the same. It took a long time to heal, and believe that heaven will make up for everything we missed, and we can carry on here.
Aug 21st 2013 new
It gets better. I promise you that it gets better -- but not soon and not smoothly, but in fits and starts, with a lot of backing and filling thrown in!

This fall will be 33 years since I was married, and 15 since he died. I usually manage to ignore the wedding date, but the death date falls near Thanksgiving, so the more people (who didn't know him) that I can crowd into the house, the better.

Aug 23rd 2013 new
Thanks everyone. Each anniversary while my wife was alive and healthy, we would take our son and have dinner at the place where we had our wedding reception. For the anniversary of the year my wife died (2009), I asked my son if he wanted to go back and have our dinner at the reception place, but he did no want to go (he was 12 at the time and a grieving book for children that I used recommended not to push anything, so I didn't). It would have been our 16th wedding anniversary.

Instead I watched our wedding video that night. The tears came when I watched the video, about 6-7 tissues worth (had the box with me). There is a scene in the video where she is dancing with me. She is so happy and beautiful and looking at the camera as if to say: "Don't worry about me, Phil. I am in a really beautiful place with God and I am not in any pain or suffering". Each anniversary since then has been easier to take. I am able to work that day. When I watch the wedding video, I am crying less each year (last year I think I only used 1-2 tissues). I just hope this year (the 20th) won't be worse than last year; in June I was already starting to dread the anniversary (didn't do it with the other anniversaries).

In terms of weddings, I went to two weddings (my cousins' children) so far since my wife died. I could only go the ceremonies and not the receptions. The tears started coming during the reading "It is not good for man to be alone . . ." and during the phrases "grow old together" and "till death do us part". My family understood.
Aug 24th 2013 new
Hello Philip,
hug Yes this is a cross we bear.Prayers and activities have helped.It was easier with my wedding anniversary because over the years I was concentrating on my son's birthday which was the following day.Anniversary of his death( which was from cancer also )became harder for me and his family since the unfortunate Sept 11 event was the same day.
Time has really made it a lot easier as well as involvement in the Catholic Church and other interest.
Aug 31st 2013 new
It's been 19 years since both my husband and son
died together. There are still many dates that tug at the heart. Dates
I will always hold dear. I guess I try not to set myself up to feel bad. I certainly will not go to the cemetery on those dates-looking at their graves only makes me feel worse. Nor will I pull out their photos. That would definitely bring on the tears. Instead I sometimes just call another friend or family member who knew them and share a story or even share a drink. It's nice to be with someone who knows your story
and can empathize with you. Good luck




Aug 31st 2013 new
It has been 16 months since my husband died so I have completed my year of "firsts". This second year has been the hardest for me. I am thankful and blessed that I had almost 31 wonderful years with Larry. The hardest challenge for me is learning to do all the activities alone that Larry and I did together. I have never been the type of person who enjoys being alone and I find myself struggling being a "loner"
My grandchildren have been a blessing for me on all the special days. We take time to celebrate "PaPa" on those days. I took the family to the water park and then to dinner on my husband's birthday. The grandkids sang happy birthday to their Papa. Sharing stories does help.
I have many friends who will call and make plans to go out or get together but it is not the same.
I do visit my husbands grave when I get to travel to the area he was buried. I mainly do this because my brother in-law always takes care of the family graves. He keeps flowers and bird feeders and sports pennants of my mother in-law and husbands favorite teams.This is his way of dealing with the death of his mom and brother.
I lost my two brothers and my husband within 70 days. I feel like I didn't get the chance to grieve for brothers.
Sep 4th 2013 new
I can tell you what doesn't work....saying it's been almost 7 years, so I'm okay, I don't need to do anything special. I cried all weekend, and everything seemed ugly. So next July 4th I am going to leave town and do something fun. That's what I had been doing, attend a Blues Festival in Davenport IA..and it was so much better. I usually go with my son, and we miss him, but what better place than a BLUES Festival! On my husband's first birthday, after his death, I took my son and his girlfriend to the Coralville, IA Mall. A place my husband hated. We had a great time, and I kept thinking, I hope he's in heaven, having a great time....he would really be crabby if I he was here at the Mall. What ever you do always keep in mind that God Loves you and He is in charge. He knows how hard this is. I really hope November finds you in a good place, with a joyful heart and good company!
Sep 4th 2013 new
I can tell you what doesn't work....saying it's been almost 7 years, so I'm okay, I don't need to do anything special. I cried all weekend, and everything seemed ugly. So next July 4th I am going to leave town and do something fun. That's what I had been doing, attend a Blues Festival in Davenport IA..and it was so much better. I usually go with my son, and we miss him, but what better place than a BLUES Festival! On my husband's first birthday, after his death, I took my son and his girlfriend to the Coralville, IA Mall. A place my husband hated. We had a great time, and I kept thinking, I hope he's in heaven, having a great time....he would really be crabby if I he was here at the Mall. What ever you do always keep in mind that God Loves you and He is in charge. He knows how hard this is. I really hope November finds you in a good place, with a joyful heart and good company!
Sep 4th 2013 new
How do you delete a second post? I hit submit twice, my computer is so slow. I need to pray for patience.
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