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  • FIRST POST
    • Buggins
    • By Buggins 25th Jan 18, 8:49 PM
    • 315Posts
    • 223Thanks
    Buggins
    Self help thread. I am a widow coping getting on with it
    • #1
    • 25th Jan 18, 8:49 PM
    Self help thread. I am a widow coping getting on with it 25th Jan 18 at 8:49 PM
    Just wanted to put this thread on to replace the missing one. Worried that some people who have been following the old thread might really need it sometime and won't get the support they need/want. It has, and still does, help me.
Page 21
    • shabbychic12
    • By shabbychic12 11th Apr 18, 9:04 PM
    • 90 Posts
    • 498 Thanks
    shabbychic12
    I was widowed a couple of weeks before l was 50 and it been 3.5 years without my DH. We were together 32 years which is a life time. I have met someone else he's not a replacement for DH and never will be but it's nice to hv a male to do things with, go on holiday with and have him look after me. He has 2 drawers for his clothes here and that will be it, no moving in. I love my own space now and can please myself what l do, buy or eat and
    I enjoy my own company. We are all different in how we want to spend our remaining years and l think we all know life is too short and we're only here once and l for one am going to make the most of it.
    2018 declutter and destress.
    2018 early retirement wannabe
    Save 12k in 2018 £1182/£12000:
    £28/week saver
    All this saving l'm turning into my Dad
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 11th Apr 18, 9:51 PM
    • 30,977 Posts
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    seven-day-weekend
    That's an excellent point Wort. Fall in love again, build a new life to suddenly be widowed all over again. I think for me, once was more than enough.
    Originally posted by White_musk
    My neighbour has been widowed twice, from two happy marriages. She is still only just 65. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like
    • Crystallady
    • By Crystallady 12th Apr 18, 12:54 AM
    • 158 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    Crystallady
    Hello everyone, I'LL be been lurking on this thread trying to take some solace from your advice, but I must admit I am struggling to come to terms with my husband's death.
    He died on 2nd March, only 10 days after they diagnosed secondary tumors in his spleen lung kidneys and liver and my world fell apart.
    We were one of those couples everyone nowadays thinks badly about because of the age gap. We met when I was 17 and he was 36 (very handsome looking at least 10 years younger) and we had 45 wonderful years together, married 41years and now he's gone.
    I want him back so much the house is so empty without him. We have a son who is married and was very close to his dad so he is suffering too so he doesn't know the extent of my grief.
    My husband had Crohn's disease, had surgery in 2013 and ended up in intensive care for 10 days so I gave up work, initially to look after him while he recuperated and afterwards just to spend time together,so we had been together 24/7 for the last 4.5 years.
    People say take comfort from your memories but they just remind me of what I've lost and I get that empty bereft feeling.
    I always knew he would probably go before me because of the difference in our ages but I didn't expect it to hurt quite as much. I really don't know how to survive this, he adored me, told me he loved my numerous times a day, we could finish each others sentences and I miss not being able to talk to him.
    I've managed to get a part time job, it's only temporary but gets me out and because it is with strangers I don't have to explain about David so can keep it together whilst I'm there. Once I'm home everything comes flooding back and I'm so lonely but at 62 I don't want to work full time again.
    My life just doesn't seem to have a purpose now, there are no plans for the future as I don't have him to share it with, and I certainly don't want to share it with anyone else, no one will ever love me as he did we were soulmates and he was the love of my life.
    Sorry this is so long and thank you anyone who takes the time to read it.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 12th Apr 18, 6:55 AM
    • 12,446 Posts
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    kittie
    hugs crystallady, I am so sorry for your loss and welcome to this group of friends, we know what you are going through and are here for each other and for you
    • wort
    • By wort 12th Apr 18, 8:01 AM
    • 791 Posts
    • 10,342 Thanks
    wort
    Crystal lady , we hear you, what you say is what all all of us have felt, and still are feeling to different degrees. It's still very raw for you, my hubby was 9 and half years older, and after 30 years together, it was a terrible shock that from perfectly healthy, we had to cut short our holiday and take him to hospital where he was eventually diagnosed with secondary cancer in the meninges of his brain. He died a couple of weeks later.

    I'm 10 months in and it seems like yesterday but also forever ago. Unfortunately there's no easy way to grieve, I'm sure if you've read any of the stories on here you can see how affected we all are and can sympathise with you unlike others who haven't lost their soul mate.
    Please take care of yourself, I work part time but everyone knows, and that has upsides as well as they can allow for your situation should it be needed. So maybe think about letting them know.
    Do you have any family or friends you can talk to? Or have you thought of seeing a grief counsellor? I didn't think it would help but saw one through the gp, and just offloading all your emotions to someone who is a complete stranger who just listens was very helpful.

    Are you eating and taking care of yourself? There are some books , I read death and how to survive it written by Kate Boydell, which is much lighter than it sounds, she has a website with a forum called merry widow. Just knowing others have been in your position and been feeling like you can help.
    The macmillon co- ordinator said to me it's sh!t isn't it! And when people ask how I was that was my reply. Because it is! It's unfair and you will feel dreadful, but broadening your own life is key I feel, so accept invitations to lunch, or coffee with friends, they might not know what to say but it helps.
    Always remember you can vent to us here whenever you need to we are here with hugs and much love, and will hold your hand.X
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • Crystallady
    • By Crystallady 12th Apr 18, 10:58 AM
    • 158 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    Crystallady
    Thank you both for replying and for your kind words (I'm crying again), I think last night was one of the worst ones I've had.
    I found our first passport (1978) when I was clearing out some drawers and we look so young and him so handsome I just yearned for that time and for him
    . Eventually got to sleep around 2.30 after crying bucketsful so have really sore eyes today.
    I am eating OK and as I always sorted the finances out I can cope with that no problem. I am always the strong, logical, practical one, the calm "don't panic" person who provides solutions so I think I'm frustrated that I can't solve this.
    I still have the feeling that my life has lost it's purpose, before we looked after each other and supported each other but now I have no one to look after (apart from my cats) I can be here for my son but he's got his own wife to help him so doesn't need my support very often. Anyone know how I can find a purpose ?
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 12th Apr 18, 11:34 AM
    • 10,422 Posts
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    lessonlearned
    Hello Crystallady....what a lovely name.

    I am so sorry to hear your news. Welcome to the club that no one wants to join. I hope we can help and support you.

    Itís good that you are practical and are used to handling money and making decisions. Thatís one less hurdle for you. Getting to grips with all that when you are not used to running things must be very difficult.

    It is still very early days for you and right now you must be reeling from shock and grief. My advice is try and not think too far ahead just yet. Just try and get through the days, eat as healthily as you can and if you cant sleep at night, then have a nap during the day. Right now you need to look after your physical self as well as your mental well being, so a bit of TLC and gentle healing.

    Luckily summer is finally in its way, so let the sun works itís magic. Get out in the fresh air and take solace in nature, even if itís just sitting in your garden.

    As for finding a purpose. That is the big one. I have now been widowed for nearly 4 years and I am now doing exactly that.

    I have gone back to college and I might even get a part time job. It has taken me a long time to think about what I want out of life and how to get it.

    The other thng I would advise is not to make any big decisions or take on too many commitments. Maybe a bit of voluntary work if you feel up to it. Or perhaps look at joining some local groups, like UA3.

    I joined a group of widows called the Jolly Dollies, all widows. They meet for lunch every so often and arrange various outings etc. My local grouo is not very active but I have made a few friends who I now see independently of the group.

    I find itís all trial and error, we just need to find things that work for us. But I have found you canít rush things. Well I canít, I have to go at my own pace. Some days are better than others.

    Sending you a hug......
    • kittie
    • By kittie 12th Apr 18, 12:42 PM
    • 12,446 Posts
    • 78,951 Thanks
    kittie
    my younger brother had a little time to come to terms, his wife had an aggressive cancer, he became a blood biker, he is still working but the blood biking is filling his time and making him new friends. He also gets himself out and about, fishing with friends etc.

    I went on steam train rides, always getting chatting with other people, I went on a safe saga cruise as I desperately needed a break away from here but the most satisfying was a carving course and since then I joined a group of like minded people. Other hobbies also enabled me to join groups. I became busy, searching for something to fill that hole in my life

    That hole is filling now, ever since I decided that I needed to move, to go from our joint home to my own home. I came here because my husband was so keen to move to this special house. I felt in limbo on my own, it took me three years to decide that my home was holding me back, during which I kept on with maintenance and getting rid of clutter with help from the wonderful marie kondo thread. I always kept very busy, as did my brother. It helped, I didn`t think of a purpose but step by step it lead to a purpose

    A daily list helped me so much, never going to bed without something to do and knowing what to eat the next day. I still write a short list now, when I feel myself drifting

    That yearning feeling crystallady, that is what tore me apart at times, the dancing and the happy close times. I still get that ache deep inside
    • wort
    • By wort 12th Apr 18, 3:00 PM
    • 791 Posts
    • 10,342 Thanks
    wort
    We can all definitely identify with that yearning to turn back time, 2 years 10 years etc. I've said before I talk to him around the house , in my head sometimes out loud , it helps me. I echo the others don't rush to find a purpose, you need time, to come to terms with your life as it is now, I keep busy, I've decorated , decluttered, gardening anything really, I'm lucky my family are close and call most days when I'm not working. I go to yoga and a pub quiz with my sisters, it's about not letting your life become too insular. But you are doing well if you're working already, as LL said it's very early days and those crying bouts just seem to rise up and hit when you least expect them.
    Much love.x
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • Crystallady
    • By Crystallady 13th Apr 18, 11:09 AM
    • 158 Posts
    • 178 Thanks
    Crystallady
    Morning everyone.
    Managed not to cry myself to sleep last night - so that's a positive.
    Plumber is here for the next week or so upgrading my central heating as the other lot was 30 years and started to develop leaks .
    Also I 'm choosing colours for decorating when the plumber has finished so something else to keep me occupied. I always chose the colour schemes anyway as David like a lot of men had no sense of what colours go together.
    I find doing the things we once did together or those he did himself or organised are the most difficult to do without getting emotional - understandable really as there's someone missing from the activity.
    Thank you all for your help, it is comforting to know that I am just going through the process and it will continue for as long as it takes.
    • White_musk
    • By White_musk 13th Apr 18, 3:06 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 647 Thanks
    White_musk
    Hello Crystallady, I'm so sorry you're in so much pain. I could say it gets better with time but learned from my own experience, platitudes, while well meant do little. The one solid piece of advice I will give, as although it's been passed along already is so important - try to eat as well as possible. If you don't manage much else, eating something as nutritious as possible is so important. Also keep fluids up, everything else can wait until you feel you can face it. Hugs.

    Really busy day yesterday, I didn't get on here at all. I was so tired I was in bed just after 9pm. Today is a little more relaxed although for some reason I still seemed to have a pile of chores to do. Most done now so all's well.

    Still grey and ickky today although it is a little warmer, I have had the heating on for an hour or two when I first got up but not since.

    Hugs.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, wisdom to know the difference.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 14th Apr 18, 8:41 AM
    • 10,422 Posts
    • 65,684 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    My neighbour has been widowed twice, from two happy marriages. She is still only just 65. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    I used to be a manager in a sheltered housing complex. One of my ladies was well into her 80s. She had been married and widowed 4 times.

    I have to say she was inspirational. Always jolly, happy and smiling. When we had a new resident who was feeling a bit lost and overwhelmed she would be one of the first to welcome them and make friends with them, taking them under her wing as it were.

    She was a remarkable woman, because despite having her own health issues she was always helping others. She was just a beacon of light who radiated joy and happiness.

    No wonder she was such a man magnet......
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 14th Apr 18, 1:27 PM
    • 10,422 Posts
    • 65,684 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Finally.....thereís a nice yellow ball in the sky, giving off heat and light. I am sat in a deckchair, just having a cuppa, taking a break from gardening and just enjoying the warmth.

    Photographer coming on Monday so want to get the garden looking good for some nice outside shots.

    The house is looking lovely even if I do say so myself. Spent most of yesterday refurbishing a Victorian tiled floor. It has come up a treat. Definitely a wow factor in a period property.

    I have found two white feathers.....one from mum one from my husband. They are guiding me and approve of what Iím doing. I have tried to move before but just couldnít seem to get all my ducks in a row. This time it just feels right.

    House goes on the market next week. Wish me luck.

    Hope you are all well and that the warm sunshine lifts your spirits.
    • White_musk
    • By White_musk 14th Apr 18, 4:13 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 647 Thanks
    White_musk
    LL, so pleased your house is all ready and beautiful. I'm sure now you have it all sorted out it will ease the stress of moving. I was beyond lucky, my old house sold almost immediately, it was almost like everything was aligned to make sure this move happened, perhaps that was my white feather?

    Yay, we have sun here too. The window cleaner came this morning and I can see out of the windows. I'd done inside but he has done a lovely job of the outside. I'm sitting in the living room and the sun is pouring through my nice clean windows.

    I'm looking at kitchens, I have no idea what I would like so am looking for inspiration. My last house had a galley kitchen which I very soon learned to hate, this house has a smaller but square one which I love. I have tons of cupboards and don't want to lose many if any of them but maybe other storage solutions could be found. Storage is the biggest problem I have here so don't want to lose any of what I have. I won't go with a fashionable kitchen but one I like. I'm beginning to feel a little excited but a big bit daunted too.

    Hugs.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, wisdom to know the difference.
    • poppy811
    • By poppy811 15th Apr 18, 12:11 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 1,308 Thanks
    poppy811
    Welcome Crystallady I hope you will feel amongst friends here. I don't think the pain ever goes away but it does become less fierce over time and the depairing days come less often.

    Good luck to all the house hunters at the moment, nothing has come on the market in my price bracket yet but now the weather is looking up hopefully things may improve.

    Youngest son has just popped in to say goodbye he is off to New Zealand tonight with his little family to visit DIL mum who is terminally ill. I am out to lunch with daughter and 3 grandchildren for an early birthday lunch, her treat!
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 15th Apr 18, 12:34 PM
    • 30,977 Posts
    • 59,045 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    I used to be a manager in a sheltered housing complex. One of my ladies was well into her 80s. She had been married and widowed 4 times.

    I have to say she was inspirational. Always jolly, happy and smiling. When we had a new resident who was feeling a bit lost and overwhelmed she would be one of the first to welcome them and make friends with them, taking them under her wing as it were.

    She was a remarkable woman, because despite having her own health issues she was always helping others. She was just a beacon of light who radiated joy and happiness.

    No wonder she was such a man magnet......
    Originally posted by lessonlearned
    My neighbour who has been widowed twice is also always happy and smiling, ready to lend a helping hand and a wonderful mum and grandma to her family. It has been 25 years since her first husband died and ten years since her second husband, they were only married for a few years. Both her husbands died suddenly. One had a heart attack and one was killed in a car crash.

    I can't begin to imagine how awful that must be.
    • wort
    • By wort 15th Apr 18, 12:53 PM
    • 791 Posts
    • 10,342 Thanks
    wort
    Happy birthday poppy! Enjoy your lunch.X
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 17th Apr 18, 10:59 AM
    • 12,446 Posts
    • 78,951 Thanks
    kittie
    oh dear! I am finding that one day is merging with another, I need to find events and so on, things to look forward to. The highlights at the moment are from getting house maintenance done, like the paint touch up and today, some rendering. I cannot believe it but I am actually looking forward to painting a large expanse of outside garden wall render, none of it is higher than I can easily reach with one of my step ladders. Yet again though, it is solitary work but at least there will be satisfaction

    Doh, I have to do more than this and U3A will be in my line of vision after I have moved. Its awful hard to go from day to day to day, solo after never having lived on my own. Childhood I was the oldest of 7, then communal living in college, then married.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 17th Apr 18, 1:01 PM
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    • 65,684 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Kittie.....the simple fact is the human species was not meant to live a solitary life. We are genetically and biologically programmed to live with others or at least connect with them on a regular basis. So although there is nothing intrinsically wrong with living alone we do need that human interconnection. So your idea of joining U3A is spot on.

    I have to say I am not a joiner as such but even I am prepared to give groups like that a whirl, if you just make a couple of new friends then it is worthwhile.

    I joined Jolly Dollies and met a couple of nice ladies. I will also join another couple of groups, possibly U3A and maybe local meet up groups. I might take up singing again and Rejoin the choir and hopefully, when my knee is a bit better, I can join a dance class. I have booked a steroid injection for Thursday. I will need knee surgery in the next couple of years, in the long term probably both knees, but I'm holding out for as long as possible.

    One thing I have decided upon is from now in I will cultivate the art of saying "yes" to anything, to any invite that comes my way. I won't think "oh I'm too tired or I don't fancy it". I will just accept the invitation gracefully and embrace the opportunity to get out and about. There's a big world out there and I intend to engage with it whilst I still can.

    The photographer came yesterday and hopefully we go live this week. Let's hope there is plenty of interest and I get a nice straightforward sale. I have booked a viewing with a bungalow on Saturday.

    The house and garden are looking nice and I've not overpriced it so it should be an attractive proposition. Both the valuer and the photographer said it was a really nice house and that it should appeal to a wide demographic. I cant do anymore, it's in the lap of the gods now.

    I spoke to a broker yesterday about a small mortgage. He said there should be no problem. This means I don't have to raid my entire life savings, I would prefer to keep some capital back for my old age. you never know what's round the corner and I always think it's easier to spend savings than it is to build them up again so I would rather keep something back in reserve.

    I am a tad nervous about this move, there is a lot riding on it and I need to get it right to ensure a happy and secure future. It's hard making these decisions by myself, I really miss not having my husband to thrash out ideas with. Hey ho.

    I just need to trust my instincts and take a leap of faith.

    Sending you all hugs and healing vibes.
    • Elona
    • By Elona 18th Apr 18, 10:25 AM
    • 321 Posts
    • 3,218 Thanks
    Elona
    LL

    Good luck with house searching. Once you have a good idea of what is important, access to transport, shops, doctor etc. then don't forget to listen to your instincts. One of my dd's with the best of intentions suggested I move to a small village because it had a lot of social activities etc.. and was a lovely place and was a bit bemused when I pointed out there were only a couple of buses a day and I would be in a place I had never even visited . People project themselves into their suggestions and don't realise how daunting a complete change of location can be , especially someone on their own and in the first stages of grief.

    I am volunteering at the library this afternoon but an order of a spare pram/pushchair to be kept at my house is due to be delivered today so fingers crossed. DD and SIL have yet to find out how much space baby stuff like carry cot, pram take up in a car so if I have a spare carrycot, pram here then they only have to think about the baby, car seat, nappies, clothes when they come to visit for a night. I managed to find a system that was on sale brand new for less than a third of the price so snapped it up while it was still available.

    LL

    You have a lot of knowledge of houses and what to look for but it does feel different when you are the only one making the decision. Is there anyone close to you around the same age you could use as a sounding board?

    Hugs to all.
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