Widowhood

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“My thoughts on widowhood… I never dreamed I would be a widow at 62.

My husband, who was 64, died of cancer. We had chosen not to have children and I am the eldest of four girls, all of whom live in other provinces. Both of my parents were also gone as well as my in-laws, so except for two cousins, I was truly on my own for the first time in my life. Never, ever, had I lived alone in all my 62 years. It was quite an adjustment.

I was still working at the time and worked for two years after my husband’s death. I was amazed at all the paperwork and things that had to be handled after a death, and especially so as my husband worked for the government. There were so many things to deal with such as getting all bills paid off, deciding to sell our house and find an apartment to live in, to sell my older model vehicle and get a brand new more dependable one as I had an hour’s long drive into the country for work each way, etc. Thankfully, my husband and I had talked a lot about plans for our future and he had given me some advice which I followed after his death. Unfortunately, my own health broke down and three months after my husband’s death, I ended up in hospital for a month. I was so weak when I was discharged (I had lost 40 pounds while in hospital due to my illness) that I couldn’t step up on a curb. I had to take physio to get my strength back and to be able to go back to work. Friends helped me pack and move.

Another problem was my dear husband’s cancer had gone to his brain and he had problems with his memory and confusion at times. I found out later that the bills he paid online such as our taxes hadn’t been paid and I had a few such things to straighten out.

It was very different to go to a restaurant alone – or anywhere for that matter. My husband and I were very close and did everything together. I learned to take a book with me and often thought how my mother would turn over in her grave if she knew I was reading at the table. I had left anything to do with our vehicles to my husband and it was suddenly up to me to get the oil changed, winter tires put on, regular tune-ups and so forth. Even getting groceries on my own was an adventure. We got them together and he always put them in and out of the car and into the house and even spoiled me by putting them away. In fact, I realized quickly how spoiled I was. ANYTHING that had to be done, I was now responsible for.

Widowhood was a game changer and an eye opener in many ways.

I felt I was a strong woman and intelligent enough to be on my own and I even felt a sense of accomplishment if I used a screwdriver to tighten a loose nob or something! Little things I never thought of before as my husband took care of them. I became the “third” person when getting together with married friends. Thankfully they did not abandon me and asked me to join them for Christmas meals, Thanksgiving meals, etc.

There is a lot more to touch on about widowhood that I have not mentioned. I have not touched on how I missed/miss my husband and soulmate. Little things such as do I still wear my wedding ring? How do I get a necklace on now that requires me to open delicate clasp with sore arthritic fingers that will not comply.

I feel I did exceptionally well after my husband died all have to say it was mainly because of my faith in God. He promises to always be with us and He has been all the way. He has lead me, comforted me, provided for me, strengthened me, and helped in every way possible. He has used my family and friends to help me and support me.

I retired five years ago this September and life has never been the same since the moment my husband died. But, as one of my sisters said, “life will be different, but, it can be happy and fulfilling, just in different ways.”

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14 thoughts on “Widowhood”

  1. My husband has been gone a year and a half now. He was 10 years older than me nearly to the day. My birthday came first and his was the next day. We were married for 38 years. I’ve never been through anything so disorienting, confusing and sad all at the same time. Our younger son lives here in town and was and is a tremendous help to me. My older son lives far away so much harder for him. My son includes me in things when he can and my family and my sister-in-law have been just wonderful. But life will never be the same and at 68, almost 69, I know I’ve lost a step. God will get me through.

  2. I was widowed at age 48. My husband died of Agent Orange caused diseases. He was 56. He was the social one, so I still struggle with loneliness. I am 61 now and have moved into a 55+ community with lots of activities. Things are looking up.
    Did you know you can buy magnetic jewelry clasps? They attach to each side of your necklace and then come together with the 2 magnets. Genius! God bless you.

  3. It’s a struggle no matter our age. I lost my husband to cancer in 1997 after 24 years of marriage. He was 48 and I was 43. Our son was a freshman in High school. It’s been 22 years and I still miss him. I married again and divorced after 7 years… we’re still friends…we drove to the courthouse together on the day our divorce was final. Go figure. I don’t think either of us were in love with one another…just good friends. I’ve dated off and on since then but not sure I’ll ever be more than friends with the men I date. My heart’s just not in it.

  4. I became a widow two years ago my husband also had cancer but he became diabetic sadly in UK diabetics don’t do well in hospital and David died 18 days after being admitted at first I seemed to be doing well our only daughter lives a three hour drive away she came at once and helped to get everything organised but she works and has a busy life what with work and being in Guiding Movement still she phones daily and messages on ipad all the time but I’m very lonely if someone had told me how I would be I’d have said never,l don’t drive and live in the countryside sadly I have arthritis that’s now got only being able to walk with sticks I don’t feel sixty seven untill I move I’m still crying and the missing has not got any better not really sure what I’m suppose to do other than get up every day but the one thing I won’t do is just lye down and die.

  5. I was 39, with 2 little boys, when an accident took my husband. I have been widowed, 21 years. Since I retired, memories have more time to haunt me, and they do, daily. When I was younger, and in restaurants with my boys, I would see couples my age (at the time) and feel anger. Now, at 62, when I see couples my age I wonder: dating, married, first love, or widowed?

  6. I have been widowed twice, most recently in January. I really enjoyed the details you talked about like paperwork and jewelry clasps and being odd man out. I still don’t eat out by myself. For your information, there is a Widow/widower group on Facebook that is good for us. Thanks 🌷🙏🏻

  7. I feel your pain, was 60 when I became a widow.. Tommy was 64..i moved from the US to the UK 4 months after he died… The first 2 years was a fog, after nearly 5 years now, I’m finding out who I am.. Had the support of my daughter and close family… Been a long road, miss him every day, but finally “getting there” hugs to you xx

  8. Hi, I am turning 65 and gave. Even a widow fir 4 years. Prior to that my husband had dementia and so had been gone girls get. He was diagnosed at 56. I miss the times together, going out for coffee or a drive. He was a carpenter and now I have to pay to get things down around the house. I have three children and my daughter is a single mum and has moved in with me. She has a one year d and a six year old. Life is very full but I still miss my husband. I am joining a few clubs and need to learn to do things on my own. I will get there

  9. Thanks for sharing. I also am a widow each day I put my life in God’s hands. At first, I could not go to church, which puzzled me and others. I prayed and soon with time I started back. That was my lesson one step at a time with God’s grace. Not to worry keep the faith.

  10. I too became a widow at 62 my husband also died of cancer. My husband was diagnosed and dead 6 weeks later. Lucky for me I had help from my youngest son who was as shocked as I was. He helped with all the paperwork. My eldest lived along way from us so he had to try to come to terms largely on his own, which was difficult. Relatives were not very helpful or bothered much about us. Many of our long term friends were very supportive including me in many things. But it’s not the same of course. It’s been 9 years now I don’t cry for sometimes weeks now but something will start me off. I just carry on wishing he was here not that I’m a hermit. I go out and on holidays with other widows but still miss him and our plans we had started to make. We have to accept, move on but still leave a room for our dead husbands. Good luck

  11. This is my story as well. We were married for 55 years and we were blessed with 4 wonderful children but none live near.August 8th of this year was 1 year anniversary of his death.Still trying to find me.

  12. I became a widow at age 50. He was a great man and friend. I was devastated and disoriented. I have 2 children and they were very comforting. I still have dreams about him which seem so real. Life gets different. God has carried me through tough times.

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