9 months a widow

9 months ago, I lost my husband of 40 years to Covid. He wasn’t feeling well on a Friday. By Tuesday, he had almost a 104 fever. I took him to the ER and that was the last time I saw him. He died 2 weeks later. I developed Covid and was sick at home alone for 6 weeks. I wasn’t even able to attend his funeral. I cry every single day. I attend grief share meetings but nothing helps with the pain and loneliness. I join in activities, but when I get home I fall apart. I’m afraid to face the future without him. He was my everything. I just look forward to my ending now since I’ve lost all the joy of living. I’m a devout Catholic, so I lean on my faith to face each miserable day. If anyone here can relate to my story, then you’ll know you’re not alone.

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Hello Barb.

I relate to your story in some aspects. I am very sorry to hear what you are going through without your husband. People say these things are life changing and you expect it would be bad but all the little details that change in your everyday existence right down to questioning of your own whole existence and beliefs are something that is so difficult to go through anyway but even more difficult without your person to confide in and give you advice because they know you.

Every little tiny part of your previous life now is just a fragment floating around… our whole reality shattered and there isn’t much help around about which pieces to put back or how to even put anything resembling a life together again.

Did we eat those meals because we like them or our partner? was our cleaning regime or standards like that because we enjoyed the outcome/process or to satisfy our partner? Did we like that music really or was it because it made them happy? Are we weak like people think or are we strong.

All routines from waking to sleeping even to things as fundamental as breathing are disrupted by being separated from a long term partner. I felt I couldn’t breathe for months and have panic attacks since… I used to breathe without him… why can’t I now… I don’t need another human just to breathe do i. its ludicrous.

I am 41, my husband died 9 months ago too. I can’t stand being called a widow. it doesn’t feel like me. I still wear my wedding ring. I didnt divorce him but now somehow I’m not a wife, I’m not married. I’m just floating around.

We’d known each other around 20 years and celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary a month before he died of his first ever heart attack. There were signs he might have one now I’m realising and remember more and more but we didn’t know. It was a complete shock. He knew he was dying and I told him he was going to be okay as my last words to him and he told me he wasn’t… he never made a drama out of being ill even when he’d had to go in the tropical hospital for suspected malaria… as he was dying he knew and told me. Trying to prepare me even then with his final words factual rather than sorry for himself.

Although those moments haunt me a lot I know they are precious because so many of you were prevented from being with your loved one. I’m sorry.

I wanted to kill myself for quite some months after he died. I just couldn’t see another option and was biding my time. Most minutes of every day felt like relentless mental torture. the worst pain I’d ever felt but… totally hopeless. I’d spent whole days crying and shaking.

But now it’s not like that. I am shocked again but also have hope again. I think I got this hope from my human relationships. This forum was a massive part of that. I’m not quite sure when the change happened but I went from feeling lonely in my soul to feeling like I have strings tethering me to the world again. This was as a result of close relationships with other humans.

We’ll never get over this but I think now that we can live with it as a part of us and be happy again. I never never thought I’d say such a thing but here I am awake in the night… not crying… alone but no longer feeling alone. I feel I will live again even if I don’t know the form it will take.

By coming on this forum I think you’ve taken a step that can potentially help you a lot. Keep breathing, keep writing on here… I hope you will also find it as helpful as I have. Take care and you are not alone in these feelings.

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Thanks for your kind words which were spot on. I do wish I was further along in finding and accepting my place in the world as a single woman as you are, but I’m not there yet. I, too, still wear my wedding band and always will. He’s still my husband emotionally, if not physically any more.
I had a dream last night that we were lying side by side, and I was holding on to him so tight I was perspiring. But I said to him “don’t let go because if we let go of each other you’ll disappear forever.”
He was my rock, as they say…my teacher, my tour guide to the world around me….my chef, my dance partner, we laughed together, had our own special way of communicating, He loved to go shopping with me. Not many husbands do! We took such good care of each other. Perhaps, we loved too deeply. So, no I’m not ready to go it alone. I am trying as I have no choice. I was blessed to have had this amazing person share my life for 40 years. But lately I find myself wondering if it really is “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”. There’s a price to pay either way.

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