Widowed Twice.

Hello everyone,
My name is Ann and I was first widowed 20 years ago when I was 52 and again this February age 72. I know how difficult it is. Everyone grieves differently. Everyone’s grief is so important no matter what the circumstances. I will not give you advice or the usual platitudes that are said to all who are grieving. People mean well but they do not understand what is going on inside us. People have said to me you have been through it twice so you must be able to cope. No, when I was younger I was still working and looking after the family. When you are retired you spend all your time with that person. So it is different. How do I cope, I cannot tell you. I struggle through the day but the evening is worse. I know my husband is gone I have accepted that. I know I have another journey to travel one that I do not wish to go on but I will. To everyone on these pages I wish all of you love and to find courage
to continue


Helllo. I’ve been there too like you I was widowed 18 years ago aged 54 and again 16months ago at 72. I too went back to work after my husband died it gave me a focus and routine and my sons needed my support. This time I’m older and retired and hoped we had a future and years in front of us ,this time it feels like a double whammy and being on my own seems so much harder particularly as it brought back all those feelings of grief back to the fore again. All I would say to those who say it must be easier having been widowed before is JUST WALK IN MY SHOES FOR A DAY AND COME BACK AND TELL ME HOW EASY IT IS Take care x


Can I ask you both, is it different the second time? Both the love and the loss.

My husband was the love of my life. We were together from teenagers until he died last year aged 39. I can’t imagine ever finding anyone I’d love as much as him but also I’m only young so it is going to be a lonely life, if I never move on eventually.

Then I’ve wondered how would I cope losing someone else, when my husband died, I thought I was going to die also. I went into terrible shock for months, I pretty much had a nervous breakdown. Part of me thinks I couldn’t go through it again. Although as I’ve said, the first cut “I thought” is the deepest, but you’re both saying it’s harder. That also puts me off finding someone too. I don’t think I could go through this again.


I didn’t expect to meet someone and fall in love again but I did and was lucky to have two good men in my life who loved me . It’s harder this time because I’m older and expected that we would grow old together. It harder adjusting to living alone because you feel more vulnerable and isolated from the world around you but hsving said that I wouldn’t change a think.


@Shirleymc @ghostwoman999 hi I’m so sorry for your loss of your partner’s. Must of been so hard losing both love of your lives. I recently and suddenly lost my husband. He was 53 years old and I am 56. So not young or elderly. What I find hard is that my husband life has been robbed and our future plans and dreams have been robbed. Did you both have these thoughts and feelings about your younger partners lives being robbed. Sorry to asked xx


Yes , my first husband died in Majorca 2 days into the holiday. Heart attack. He was 59 and we would have celebrated our 25th anniversary. it has been 20 years but I can still go back to the very moment. I kept a daily diary and looking back I was a different person. I hate to use the expression time heals. it was not until after 6 years that I had changed and realised i had moved on. I never thought in a million years I would every be happy again but I had 13years with my second husband. It was a cardiac arrest at home. I was able to start cpr which got his heart started and the ambulance was only 3 mins away. My husband lasted 6 days in hospital but he was sedated and there had been a lack of oxygen to the brain . he never recovered but we got to say our goodbyes and he had a peaceful death. Before we left the hospital as we were saying our goodbyes, there were tears in his eyes. There are 2 bodies of opinion on this. The medical reason is the tear ducts. The other is somethingI had never heard of " death tears". For centuries this rare tears has been seen. It was believed that it was the dying saying there goodbyes. many palliative care nurses have seen this. So I take this to my heart and fully believe somewhere in the brain he heard us. My husband was a very clever man and interested in the human brain. He would say often that we can land a man on the moon but so many paarts of the brain are undiscovered. This is were I draw my courage from.


I understand, I too had hoped we would have had a few more years. I am still in the early stages of grief but I know that I some point I will leave to stay near my children Just now is too soon.

@ghostwoman999 and @Ava2 thank you for your reply…I’m so sorry that you have gone through so much grief in your life. I went to work on the Saturday and Sunday I got a call from my son to say that dad had collapsed. He rang the ambulance which took 4 mins to reply. Because my husband was still responding they put the the category down to 3 which is a 90 mins call out so time I got home no ambulance but my husband wasn’t responding or breathing. I did CPR but no luck. The ambulance came quickly but too late.
My husband was 53 and we just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. I’m absolutely heart broken and wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my son. Life really is cruel. Hugs to you both x

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I have now been made a widow twice I was 49/50 when my first husband died suddenly from a heart attack. We had been married forever. I was then lucky enough to have met someone else. He died two months ago from a brain tumour. I am now 71. Their deaths were very different my second husband really suffered with confusion, etc. At the end he was not the same person, but I still loved and still do love him. People say oh you will be fine you know how the bereavement process works. That is so wrong as this time is absolutely nothing like the first time. My first husband died suddenly no warning no time to say goodbye or I love you. My second husband died slowly and horribly. I lost him piece by piece, I watched him suffer and all I could do was care for him and love him. No two bereavements are the same and everyone deals with their grief in their own way. What we all need is support and a little bit of understanding.


@Alba I’m so sorry that you have had 2 bereavements in your life. Life is definitely unfair and cruel. I lost my husband suddenly at Christmas. He was 53 and I am 56. I went to work on the Saturday and Sunday my son rang me to say that dad had collapsed. Time I got home he was gone. No closure and no chance to say I love you. My husband life has been robbed and our future plans and dreams have gone. I cry every day and feel so guilty that I didn’t notice that he was so ill. I miss him and feel so lonely without him xx


I am so sorry for your loss, there are no words to say except there is another journey ahead for you.


I have been reading this thread as so much of what you have all said resonates with me. I am so very sorry for the loss of your partners.
My situation is different, I lost my mum who I lived with 9 weeks ago to pancreatic cancer with her only having been diagnosed less than 4 weeks beforehand. We were extremely close and did everything together. I also lost my dad in Jan 2021 and was still trying to process this when I lost my mum.
I agree that so many people seem to think I should be over it by now which I find unbelievable to be honest. There is no way I could just ‘move on’ and pretend nothing has happened. These people obviously haven’t suffered major losses (lucky them) and do not understand at all. They are just thinking, oh it’s happened to her again so that’s ok, she’ll be ok. Like Ava said, it might not always be my turn, it can happen to anyone unfortunately.
I didn’t want to muscle in on a subject that hasn’t affected me personally, but I wanted to offer my support and say that I understand some of the heartache you are all experiencing x


It takes a long time to get over the loss of someone you love grief takes its own time and the healing process is different for everyone. You don’t get ‘over it’ you eventually come to terms with a different way of life

Thank you for your reply Ava, grief is so hard to deal with isn’t it. It is so comforting to communicate with others who understand how I feel and, if it wasn’t for this site, I don’t think I would have found anyone that could relate to how I’m feeling.

I think I am going to ask for counselling. I did want it straight away as I felt desperate, but was advised to leave it a while so that I could gain the full benefit. I actually think that was good advice and I think I’m ready to speak to someone now. I’m pleased to hear that it has helped you and they gives me some hope.

Sending you lots of love xx


Hi Ann
I am so glad you posted a message.
And I believe it must so difficult second time of losing a loved one as you must go through all the sadness and feelings of loss again and that must take its toll on your health and wellbeing.
I lost John nearly 8 mths ago after 38 yrs of being together. It doesnt get any easier. I am carrying on with a life I dont want , like you and hate every day. It is awful and tears come every day still.
I wish I could have gone with him.
I met friends, people and keep myself busy but people dont understand how you feel but I know they mean well. I am 70 and feel life is over for me now.
Love to you Ann and to all that are feeling like me every day.
Thinking of you all. Xxxx


Same here. My first husband died at age 42 in hospital after having what was supposed to be a straightforward procedure. Complete shock and ended up being asked to give consent to switch off his life support. A long time ago now but my daughter was 18 and still at home, I was working, had my mum and other family members plus good friends.
Had 26 years single and met my second husband when i was 68. We married when I was 70 and he was 75. Sadly only had 4 good years together before he was diagnosed with cancer.
The time we did have together was amazing , had lots of fun and laughs plus lovely holidays etc. It was so nice to have someone of my own and I was probably being blinkered to think we had years ahead of us. Felt very cheated when he died at Xmas 2021 but try to just think of how happy we had been if only for a short time. Must say i feel really old at times now though i am lucky to have a lovely family and good friends.
It doesn’t matter what age you are when widowed and how long you have spent together - it is still painful.


It is very difficult to cope with a second loss. My worst time is around 8pm. This is the time we would normally have our chat together and just the simple act of someone making you a cup of tea has gone. My mind drifts back and forward and I know that is what to be expected. I have joined a few clubs which is out of my comfort zone. I don’t do joining in or any type of club I know though that I have too even though inside my head is screaming at me not to. Life is not over this is something that I learned. It is easy just to go into the dark room and never come out. I have to
fight with myself because some times during the day or night I go into the darkness but I know I am not meant to be there. It is a natural feeling in grief to be like that. I know I have to as I said before travel another path, of course I do not want to but travel it I must not just for myself , but for my family and especially for my late husband. Mainly though for me. Keeping busy helps but not too busy as you have to cry and grieve and not detach from it. By doing this it although you might not be aware you are on your journey. Take care everyone and most importantly look after yourselves. Ann (from Glasgow Scotland)


Hello I too struggle on some days more than others. I spent last week with family and relaxed but this week the anxiety is back and I feel so lost and alone. I know I can’t turn the clock back but at 6am evert morning I just wish he was here to share that cuppa with and have a chat about nothing of any importance. I just lie here wishing I could sleep another hour or so but it’s not to be. It seems so much harder to shake off those feelings grief ebbs and flows like the tide and when those large waves come it takea all your energy just to ride them untill they reach the shore again . X


Your words ebb and flow are exactly the right words to describe how it feels. They stay with us forever its just that it changes. I always think that I have been thrown of the lifeboat and waiting to be rescued again. The one think I do know is that the rescue will happen but when we never know. Take care. x


I seem to struggle most in the morning because I have to live through a whole day without y husband and yes there is a huge difference between my first husband dying than my second husband I’m now retired from work and although have really good friends it doesn’t make up for the loneliness I now live with