Five Years into Widowhood, Life Goes On

I still can’t believe that he is gone, and perhaps I never will.  And, that’s all right.  I never thought that I would be alone, and in my mind, I know that being alone is the hardest thing that I will ever have to do.  If you have lost the love of your life, then you know what I am talking about. You confront the same unbearable pain and heartbreak each day as I do, and you too have loneliness as your constant companion.

It has been five years since Eddie died.  My friends and family assume that I am moving on.  Little do they know that there are days when all I do is think about him, days when all I long for is to see his smile, and feel his touch just one more time.  Little do they know that after five years there are nights when I still cry myself to sleep.

They still believe that old saying, “time heals all wounds.”  I want to tell them that the wound in my heart remains open, and that time will never heal it.  But, they wouldn’t understand.  Time for me has only led to a form of acceptance.  A form of acceptance that comes and goes as it pleases, because there are days when you cannot accept the loss.  Yes, there are days when grief washes over you in uncontrollable waves of sadness.

I can’t help but think back to the day of his funeral.  I wanted to know when the pain would stop.  I spoke with his aunts who were widows too.  They were older than I was but I hoped that they would tell me how they handled their walk alone.  They were strangely silent as if it was something that I had to learn on my own.  All I wanted from them was for them to tell me how I could possibly get through this.  After all, they knew and loved Eddie.

They knew how much we loved each other.  They were there on our wedding day.  Why wouldn’t they tell me how I could live without him?  I wanted them to tell me that I was going to be all right.  But, as I said, they were strangely silent.

I could see the sadness in their eyes but they offered no magical means of making everything better.  How could they?  They knew how hard it would be for me, and when I look back now I know that they were just trying to be kind by not telling me how awfully hard things were going to be for me.

Months later as I struggled with my sadness I finally found an article that told me what I wanted to hear.  It was an article that was adapted from Lynn Sherr’s memoir Outside the Box.  Lynn had also lost the love of her life.  I read the article over and over.  I found such comfort in her words, especially the final paragraph which I will share with you now.

“Today the waves of pain are less frequent but no less intense.  I cry unexpectedly and then feel better.  I’ve learned to live without Larry but not to forget him; to honor the memory of what was, while functioning in the world that is.  To welcome the sadness that keeps us connected.  And every time I open my lingerie drawer, I realize that his ashes are fine exactly where they are.”

She wrote this several years after her husband’s death.  “Our wounds run deep, our undying love is forever, and staying connected beyond the veil brings us comfort.”

After reading her words, I knew that I needed to write about my walk alone, and how I too am staying connected beyond the veil.  My hope is that in sharing my journey I will in some small way bring comfort to others who have lost the love of their life.  So, I reach out to those who grieve for the love of their life.  I reach out in kindness to tell you that you will be all right.  You will find your way as I have.

Paula Ezop 2011

Paula Ezop

More Articles Written by Paula

Paula M. Ezop is a spirituality commentary columnist. Her inspirational columns Following the Spiritual Soul have appeared in Oconee Today, a South Carolina Scripps Howard publication. They are currently in: Celebrating the Success of the Modern Woman, Esteem Yourself, and Open to Hope. She has contributed to such popular books as Chicken Soup for the Caregivers Soul and she has written the foreword to Whispers of Inspiration, a collection of both poetry and prose gathered from voices around the world. Paula also co-authored a book in the Mommies Line, Spirituality for Mommies. Her Ebook Sparkly Bits of Spiritual Wisdom is available online, it is a collection of her inspirational columns. She has also written Sparkly Bits of Spiritual Wisdom – 29 ½ Ways for Women to Get In Touch With Their Spirits. Closest to her heart is her most recent book, A Widow’s Journey – Healing a Broken Heart. Wiggles Press has published her children’s chapter books, The Adventures of Penelope Star and the Mystery of the Three Dragons, and Lee McKenzie’s Summer to Remember – both are the first in a series. Paula holds the Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Elementary Education from Northeastern Illinois University. Her heartfelt and meaningful writing began as a means to overcome the loss of her husband. Paula has now written hundreds of articles and several books centering on life and faith. Her sustaining philosophy is that “we are more than the woman we see in our mirror.”

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  • Nancy says:

    Paula

    I came across this in a random search for something else…..and just want to thank you for such useful words. The pain will never go away – acceptance, at 20 months in, comes easier but the way forward will never be easy again. I understand too now why your aunts were so silent – I have also had conversations with others who are widowed and they too were kind by omission.
    Again, thank you.

  • julie says:

    Paula,
    I appreciate your candor. Most people do not want to know that the loss of a special love will stay with us for a very long time. The expectation (and hope) is that the sadness and pain will pass within a year or two. Staying connected “beyond the veil” is an effective coping strategy. If we can find a way to keep the relationship alive in our heart and listen for the whispers when they come the journey becomes much less lonely.

  • Jan says:

    Thank you for putting into words what I have been feeling in my heart. Although it has only been 1 year since I lost my love, I feel as you do that being alone is the hardest thing I will ever have to do, and I cannot imagine ever feeling differently. Thank you for letting me know that I am not crazy with these feelings,especially when those around me think that it is time to move on.

  • Paula says:

    My spirit has been touched by the words of those who have commented on my article. Knowing that others feel as I do helps to lessen the pain that we deal with each day. Our journey isn’t an easy one, but connecting and sharing our feelings brings strength and hope to the days ahead.

  • Diane says:

    It’s been exactly 20 months today for me. I spent 20 *years* alone before I met my husband, so I was used to being alone. The difference now is that after being with Allen for 9 years, I learned how extraordinary it is to be loved. To have it and then lose it, is insurmountable. And you’re right – friends don’t get it. They never will, until it happens to them. I have a certain level of anger at them. Thanks for writing this.

  • Mary says:

    I know, 9 months into this lonely walk, that in five years I won’t feel much better than I do now. No one I know gets this. Even many widows tell me it gets easier but I can’t imagine easier when a gigantic part of me is gone and a hole exists. I will grieve this loss forever. Thank you for being honest.

  • Paula says:

    You’re right, I don’t think anyone really gets it unless they have experienced it. I’ve never felt anger towards them, but I do envy them. I want to tell them how fortunate they are to still have each other. I want to tell them to cherish every moment that they have together. I want to tell them to live in the moment, laugh and smile, hug, and hold hands…

  • Diane says:

    Yes, Paula, it’s probably more envy than anger. I actually do tell them those things you mentioned. My husband and I were a part of a very large group of bikers, all over the country. It’s hard for me to see everyone happy and planning trips, etc. I know that sounds terrible. I’ve gone to some gatherings in the past year, but it’s too painful. Friends want me to come, but I’m not the same person anymore. Not only did I lose Allen, I also lost our whole way of life. It’s hard to find your place in the world after this loss, isn’t it?

  • Paula says:

    It is hard to find your place. I found myself living the life we had, following the same routine, doing the same things we did only now I was alone. My husband and I took pride in our home. When he died, I took care of the inside and outside of the house just like we did together. I tackled plumbing and electrical work. I did the lawn and plowed the snow. Then, one day it was like I woke up – I thought what am I doing? Suddenly, I felt it was time to move on – I had proved that I could do it but I was living in the past. I know what you mean about how painful it is to be with people that the two of you spent time with. I found it extremely difficult to be around our old friends, and even my sister and brother-in-law. I just felt even more alone in those situations, and it would put me in a depressed state. I now feel like I have to realize that I’m starting a new phase in my life – I’m starting all over – I have to create a life where I can find happiness again. It’s not easy but finding passion in the things I love to do is helping me to create that life. I agree with you 100% it is so very hard to find your place in life after the loss of the love of your life…your heart’s inspiration…but you will find the strength, you will find your way, I believe that with all of my heart…

  • Deborah says:

    It was 5 yrs. ago in November that I lost the love of my life. I never thought I would still be here as living without him was unacceptable. Yes, I am here, alive but have not found my way yet. I, too, having been living “our” life without him. My physical body has began falling apart the past few months and I know if I don’t learn a way to cope I will become sicker. I fight each day to do what I have to do, take care of our dogs, our home, my work, but I’m running out of steam. I’m so grateful that I know what it feels like to be truly loved and so grateful I was lucky enough to love a truly wonderful guy. Deborah

  • Cathy says:

    Cathy, on January 15, 2011 at 9:08 pm It has only been 2 1/2 months since I lost my husband in a tragic accident and I will never be the same. I can not find my way out of this pain. I have found the same reaction from family and friends…they want me to be alright so they don’t have to worry about me…they can not just let me be in sorrow. They always want to fix things or distract me from my pain…I can not even be around them any more because it hurts too much. They don’t call or stop in to see me because they don’t know what to do and they are afraid that it could happen to them. It is as if they acknowledge my pain they might see their own mortality or their loved ones. I struggle each day without my husband and it never get’s easier, I just do it. We had 29 years together and I will never stop loving him and missing him every day of my life.

  • Norma J. Erickson says:

    I lost my husband of 58 years last May after about 10 years of various illnesses, the main one being diabetes. The last year was very hard for me to watch him get weaker and lose strength. But I was also very tired from the 24/7 even though we had help 12 hours a week. It seems that now 8 months later I am just becoming so tired and achy. Is this normal to wait several months to begin the weakness I feel.
    NJE

  • Sonja says:

    Dear Cathy
    My heart goes out to you … I lost my husband in an accident 5 years ago… I feel your pain, and you will find a way, not out of the pain but by letting it become part of you and learning to live in a different way…. Your life as you know it has now changed dramatically and will never be the same, but hold on and follow the journey of grief, time will never heal but it will lessen the pain and if we are rushed or ushered away from our pain by well meaning friends and family we will never be able to form a scar over our broken hearts. We seem to take one step forward and two steps back but it has now taken me 5 years to take one day at a time….. And your love and his memory will be what carries you thru in your darkest hours.. I pray that God will give you the courage to go on… I know I have needed my husband in the last few weeks my only son 18 was killed in a car accident 6 weeks ago and without my husband here to share the burden I feel like i am never going to get thru this but I keep telling myself I made it thru Johns death I can do it for Mitchell as well…
    Cathy life can be savage and deal us some cruel blows but we have to try to keep going and hope one day we will get answers to our Why’s ???
    Hugs

  • Lindsay says:

    My boyfriend of 3 yrs passed away 3 yrs ago. At the time I was pregnant with our daughter… She is what got me through! But I think in focusing on her, I wasn’t able to grieve properly. It was very hard and I felt very alone… even tho there were so many people who were there for me! The town we live in raised over 8,000 dollars for me and my daughter at a benefit, which coincidentally was the same day my daughter was born! Even tho I had all of this support I still felt alone. And I really don’t think i coped with it properly.

    I’ve been seeing someone for the last 2 yrs, I actually have another son with him now. He is wonderful, but I can’t help think about where my life would be if he was still here… I recently talked to a psychic hoping to get some advice and maybe to hear from him and also from my mother… which I did from both 🙂 🙂 It was very emotional. But she also told me that I have a lot of grief that hasn’t been dealt with. So I’ve been seeing a therapist for it…. that’s how I came across this site. She asked me to try and figure out what stage of grief I was in… and honestly I still cannot tell you! But I am so glad I found this board. I can relate to a lot of you. And it’s been hard to find anyone to relate to at my age… I am only 25. So thank you all for sharing your stories! I hope that my story might help others also…

  • Joyce Franklin says:

    Dear Paula and everyone else who commented thank you so very much, you all have helped me in more ways than any counseling session I have attended. I lost my husband, Ken, August 27, 2010. We had been married for 7 years, 6 of those 7 years we spent fighting his cancer. On our wedding anniversary, August 16th, the doctor’s told us that the laser surgery he had last February did not work and there we no other options. They anticipated that Ken would have about a year. Well, that proved not to be true because not even 2 full weeks later he was gone. So in one sense Ken’s death was expected and in another it was not. We had heard these words before but always were able to find a doctor who was willing to try something new. Had we listened to the 1st doctor 6 years earlier and just accept what he said Ken would have died a long time ago. In my heart I really thought we would find another doctor who would still once again help us.
    I know it has not even been 5 months since Ken’s death, but one thing I already realize is that unless someone has lost a spouse there is absolutely no way they can ever understand what you go through. A good example of this is people, who mean well, keep thinking that just because I choose not to attend a Church service, because the main topic of the Pastor’s sermon is how wonderful marriage is, means I am slipping into a deep depression. And they want to save me from myself. They don’t have a clue. I wasn’t depressed I just don’t want to hear how wonderful marriage is right now; not when I lost my husband a little over 4 months ago.
    I now understand the pain my mother went through when she lost my dad. I definitely did not understand at the time (I feel so bad about that now). She would always say you just learn how to function and to accept it but it does not get easier.
    I am so thankful that I have found this website; I hadn’t really looked for one up until now. Guess I just wasn’t ready. There is something very comforting though realizing that so many people truly do understand…

  • Cathy says:

    thank you Sonja I felt better just reading your response to my post and I am so sorry for your husband and son’s death…an accident is so hard to understand…our loved ones are here one minute and then they are gone in a breath. People don’t understand our whole life changes in an instant…no warning and our life is never the same all our plans and dreams for our future are gone too. And it is the little everyday things I miss the most talking to him about everything…he is not here to share with anymore. I feel empty inside and there is a void in my life, what do I do?

  • Jillian says:

    In 1978 I was 29 and was determined never to settle for second best in a relationship, then along came a man who made me laugh and made me so happy I felt dizzy. We got married 6 weeks later. We had our first child exactly 40 weeks later. We argued, we loved, we laughed and we played together and faced hardships. I distinctly remember the last time we made love and thinking how wonderful it is to surrender to someone you love and trust completely. Our kids grew up and left and I felt sad. Then last February my husband went out sailing. I was still asleep when he left and I heard him say “I am going now. I have to go early. Here’s a cup of coffee for you my little sleeping beauty”. During the race he asked his friend to take the helm because he felt sick and wanted to lie down for a minute, and that was it. I am a counsellor. Sometimes I do grief counselling, but I had no idea of the pain, the relentless searing pain of losing the love of one’s life. I have just spent 5 months in Europe – walking the Camino in Spain, doing peace work in the Middle East and being with my daughter in Berlin. What was good about that is that I didn’t tell people I was grieving and they treated me like a normal person, not a helpless powerless person. They didn’t flee from me. It made me feel stronger and more like the old me, although inside I still suffered. I came home at the end of last year. 13 days later my house was flooded. The good thing is that nature solved the problem of what to do with my husband’s clothes. But the really amazing thing is that all those people who avoided me in the first 6 months; who couldn’t face death or my helplessness suddenly reappeared with mops, buckets, brooms, chain-saws and have got rid of the mud and debris. It has taken my mind off my pain, but after 10 days I am tired and emotional and yearning for that strong black-hearted funny man to lean on. And like so many others I can’t believe that he will never, ever be there for me again. I would like to write a book to tell people how to help people when they are grieving. I can even laugh about aspects of it when I’m with my kids (not” our” kids anymore), but when I’m alone I still fall to pieces and think “It can’t be true”. Thank you all for sharing. Like many of you I have learnt that the moments of indescribable pain and tears do abate – like the waters of the flood – and you get over each hurdle, and gradually, oh so gradually, feel a little bit stronger. Then I swear and curse and soldier on until the next wave hits me. Like many of you I am so lucky to have been so much in love, although even that feels like a mixed blessing. Realising that we are all in this together does help – a little. Jillian

  • Kayla says:

    I was given this site by my what was soon to be mother in law. I lost my fiance this past september from a very sudden death that I still havnt recieved the answers from. He died in my arms and there was nothing I could do. He and I were in love in high school but it wasnt the right time for us but we reconnected 5 years later and immediatly within 4 months we were engaged. We were supposed to get married this september 2011. He was absolutly the love of my life my sole mate and I struggle everyday to continue on. I am 27 and I feel so alone. I wonder if I will ever find true love again and then I almost dont want to becasue I just want him back, and I know Ill always compare the next person with him. I enjoy reading everyones thoughts it in someways is comforting but at the same time scary to know that this is forever going to be a struggle. No one knows me like he did even my family so its like i have to figure out who I am whithout him because I never planned to be without him. Its scary being on my own sleeping at night alone, dealing with daily hassles, not having that someone to call weather something good or bad has happened. I am a social worker and putting my all into the fkids I work with is all thats really helped get me buy for now. Thanks for all your thoughts its helpful to know there are others out there dealing with all of these same feelings and issues.

  • Linda says:

    My husband died on June 27, 2010 from brain cancer. We had been married 45 years. I quickly learned some old sayings are just not true – “Time” does not heal all wounds. It’s the greatest gift to ourselves at this dark time to NOT put everyone else’s time table on the grieving process. My mother e-mailed me a little while ago and reminded me of a passage from the Bible – “Lean not to thine own understanding.” Finally, for me anyway, my brain stopped hurting. I honestly thought my head was going to burst with the unanswered questions and pure pain. While the unending sadness and lonliness are constant companions, the ‘why’ is a questions I have put to bed. Someday, when Wayne’s hand reaches for mine and we walk into that Light together, holding on will have all been worth it. Hold on, believe you can do it and remember, you can never ask too many times for help from the only One who can give you the type of peace your heart is craving. God Bless.
    Linda

  • gene says:

    I lost my darling wife of 36 years only 8 months ago, and even though she had sufferred from cancer for more than 2 years, her loss still came as a terrible shock.-Nothing prepares you for that moment in time when her strong courageous heart stops beating, and it feels like your heart and soul have been torn out of your body.
    Suddenly you are so scared for your darling in case there isnt that better place after death, and that fear torments you constantly.
    You are angry at God for not curing her, in spite of the fact that she had so much faith, and angry at your predecessors, who didn’t do their part to help her get better even though you prayed to them so hard. It’s an irrational anger that fades, but the loneliness that you feel never seems to end; -suddenly the person more precious to you than your own life is no longer there by your side to share the joy the love the sadness and all the other emotions that you have experienced as one for so long. These emotions have now been replaced with insecurity,sadness and a longing to somehow wind back the clock to re-live every precious moment of your life with your dearest love, because when you were together you mattered so much to each other, -and then suddenly nothing,! -and so you sink into a corner fragile as glass for fear that the world will break you.

    Soon it will be Easter, oh how I dread those days, once filled with laughter and happiness , now replaced with a terrible sadness, which you try hard to hide for the sake of your children and grandchildren.

  • gene says:

    Today I continued to sift through all the many cards and letters that my darling and I had saved over so many years, each card or letter I find with her handwriting l hold so close to my heart, because like all the other reminders of her, -her photographs, her clothing, her voice on the videocam are all that remain and have become more precious than any jewel could be, It’s 8 months since her passing and my longing to have her near me is as strong as ever, my love for her is as bright as ever, . I try so hard to feel “normal” again but nothing works. I love and miss her so much, and the pain goes on -when will this terrible agony stop?

  • Joyce says:

    I lost my husband to lung cancer 3 months ago today. I happened to come upon this website while searching for something else. Thank you for putting into words what I can not. Every time someone says “how well” I seem to be doing after the lose of my husband, I want to scream that they do not realize what a struggle it is to get through each day. The worse is how people tend to ignore that he lived. While I realize that I can not live in the shadow of someone who has passed on, but I do find comfort in keeping his memory alive. It is a struggle trying to find my place in life again.

  • Paula says:

    My heart and soul resonate with your words, “It is a struggle trying to find my place in life again.” Yes, I know only too well about that struggle. After six years of trying to find my way I can say that I can see a glimmer of the woman I once was. I can feel her strength returning, and I can see her broken heart mending, scars have formed over the huge holes of loss that were once there, scars that she can now accept… Yes, Joyce, your grief has given you wisdom as you express what all of us who have lost the love of their lives have felt. Yes, it is a struggle trying to find our place in life again… but, one day you will feel your strength returning, you will see your heart mending, and you too will see a glimmer of the woman you once were…

  • Linda Moore says:

    My husband passed on 5 years ago, November. This makes the 6th holiday season without him. We had been married for 30 years, and it was love at first sight and I was only 16 when we met and 17 when we married. This year seems to be very hard again. I wrote the following this year around our aniversary.

    I CAN FEEL THE PULL

    He’s calling me, I can feel the pull.

    “Come be with me, my darling, my sweet. Cross over and be with me.”

    But my anchor is deep here with the living, yet my heart still aches.

    I can feel the pull of our love of souls still joined. I don’t seem to be able to sever it, and start anew.

    But I need to stay, fight the ache for love, and find a new partner.

    I can still feel the pull. “Come with me, and the pain will be gone.”

    But I can’t. My earthly dreams are yet to be fulfilled, they anchor me here.

    I can feel the pull both ways stretching me trying to dislodge me to fall one way or another, to sever me from one realm or the other.

    But I still wake each morning wondering about the master plan. How much longer will I ache?

    I still feel the pull and because I ache, I know I’m alive to face another day.

    This greiving is like a choppy sea. Some waves larger then others, but you know you will glide down the other side sooner or later, you just have to batton down the hatches and hold on. Well, I’m holding on. I know I will be gliding down the other side of the wave soon.

    It was great to read that I am not the only one who after five years, doesn’t find this an easy voyage.

  • Paula says:

    Linda,

    Your writing touched my heart deeply, I too feel the pull and ache that you speak of. Thank you so much for sharing this. And, it is comforting to know that there are others who after five years – what seems like an eternity still feel the loss, heartache, and grief that we feel. Again, thank you for sharing this beautiful and loving piece of your heart with us.

  • Lea Yelsma says:

    I lost my husband 5 months ago yesterday. Yes, he was the love of my life. The last thing he told me was that he loved me.
    I lost him to cancer that could have been avoided. He was too stubborna d the quality of life would not have been there.

    Since then I have moved to be near my daughter and grandchildren.

    Does it ever get any easier?

    I know life goes on.
    There are times I wonder why.
    I just miss him so much.

  • Dear Lea,

    It does get easier, and everyone has their own timeline for this to happen. When I say easier I mean the heartache is less. Honestly, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of my husband often. I speak to him in my mind, and feel very close to him even though his physical body is gone. We did everything together and I feel that we will do this together too – I will survive by keeping him in my heart always. We (that is my daughter and I) speak of him often, he is ever present in our lives only in a different way. I understand only too well how much you miss him, I miss my husband terribly too. Remember it takes time to get through the loss that you feel, but you will get through it, and the love that you share will always be there. That love is what sustains us through the dark days and helps us to heal and move forward. Remember the love…always…and it will get better…

  • larry says:

    My lisa died suddenly on feb 9th. We were married 27 wonderful years and were the center of each other’s world. I find myself sinking deeper into the abyss. If not for my three children who still need me, I would not go on. After reading the above comments about people still feeling the loss so strongly after five or more years, I yearn for a time when my kids will be old enough to do without me. Neither of us had any family and the isolation and lonliness is absolute torture. Once my kids no longer need me I will go to her.

  • Dear Larry,

    My heart goes out to you on the death of your wife of 27 years, I understand what you are feeling because I have been there, and I know only too well how lost and alone you feel. We also have a small family, and I understand the isolation that you feel. Your loss is so recent, and as I look back I remember how I pictured my heart with a big gapping hole in it. I never thought it would heal. Now when I envision my heart the hole is gone, but my heart still has the scars from the loss that I suffered.

    Everyone tells us that time heals, but in my mind time just brought me to a form of acceptance. Acceptance of life without the love of my life. I too longed to be with my husband, but I knew I had to go on for my daughter and granddaughter. I still feel that way – we are family no matter what their ages, we will always need each other, and I know that now. Somehow we find the strength to move forward, I hope that you too will find that strength. Take each day one at a time, remember the time you had together, and cherish the memories that you have, hold them close to your heart. When the waves of sadness wash over you, those memories will be what will sustain you through the darkest of days, and give you the strength that you so desperately need. Remember, the love that you shared never ends…

  • Jeremy A Howison-Haworth says:

    I found this site by chance. I lost my dear wife Sharon of 25years together in April 2013. I feel like half of me has been ripped open and I cannot stop crying. I feel so alone and everything in our home reminds me of her. People say “Time heals”…They lie !!!. I do not ever see myself living a life without Sharon. I write to her everyday, buy her little presents and cards on her birthday (I set them on fire so they will be ‘posted’ to her via the ‘ether-web’).
    I know its only been weeks, but it feels like a lifetime, and I fear of being on my own for the rest of my life. I know that sounds selfish, but we were always together everywhere we went, Sharon was my soul-mate and best friend, and the thought of spending the rest of my days on my own scares the living poo out of me. Yet I cannot envisage another person taking Sharon’s place.
    I talk to her picture and in my mind all the time and call out to her to try and contact me if she can….no contact as yet……

    So thankyou people, your words are encouraging. At least I now know that what I am going through, others have gone through, and maybe….just maybe…one day I can stop crying.

  • Alison says:

    Hi Paula
    I came across this today after a random search, my husband passed away five years ago and the words of your original post were exactly how I am feeling today, the thoug of actually moving on and finding someone else to share my life with feels me with fear, I also don’t think I could ever survive the pain I have felt again , having lost one love it would be unbearable to loose another.

    I noticed that you wrote your story a few years ago now and was wondering where you are now emotionally? Still the same or have things changed?
    Thanks Alison

  • Paula says:

    Hi Allison,

    It was six years after my husband’s death that I suddenly woke up – it was as if suddenly I could feel myself feeling like me again. It took me that long to find myself again, and move forward again. I became more confident in my decisions, I laughed a lot more, the holidays weren’t so terrible; I was finding my way out of the darkness of my grief.

    I still feel Eddie with me, in fact more than ever. I talk to him every day, and take great comfort in knowing that he is always with me. I call it our “love connection”. I know in my heart that no one will ever take his place, and at this point I feel that it is the right decision for me. I will be 68 next month and I am quite happy with my independence, and prepared for what and wherever my life’s journey takes me. I still work a full time job, I continue with my writing. I read everything that I can on spirit and find that there is so much more to learn…My acceptance is now complete, and my love for Eddie still grows as if he were physically here with me; even writing that gives me a warm feeling deep within my heart.

    I wish you all the best on your healing journey… I understand your pain, the pain eases but never completely leaves your heart. How could it when you have loved so completely? I like to think of it as the “widow’s scar,” a reminder of our deep and undying love…

  • michael says:

    thank you for your thoughts…. i now reach the 5 year mark of loosing my wife…. i understand your pain fully…..dont know why this empty space in my heart wont heal…. i dont understand why the lord called her back to him….i just keep going forward…. like im in a daze…. wish it could be better

  • Keri Hunt says:

    Thank you so much for all these posts. It has been two years since I lost my husband. He died three days before our 27th anniversary. So much of what has been written here resonates. I’ve already brutally learned that no one can understand where I am unless they’ve walked this too. I’m comforted knowing that others try to hide what they are still feeling too. And it’s good to hear someone frame what it will feel like years from now. I don’t know why I’m still here. Sometimes it hits me and I’m catatonic, unable to think or process or function. The world is never the same again is it?

    • Paula says:

      No, your world is never the same. I think about that too. And, I realize that how could it be the same? We lost the love our lives, our sweethearts, our best friends. All we can do is survive, survive and search for ways to move on. I hold on to my memories, they make life bearable. I think of him everyday, and I feel his love for me. You see, I really believe in our, “Love Connection.” I know, trust, and believe that our love is eternal – it never dies… They are by our sides, helping us to survive the darkest days of our lives. Yes, our worlds have changed forever, but it gets better. Our broken hearts heal, and we learn to accept the world as it is now. It took me a long time to accept, but there is no timeline, and we are all different. Eventually the dark days are fewer, and you find small sparks of joy in your life, and you accept. My thoughts are with you, as I understand your pain and your sorrow…believe in your love connection with your husband and take strength from knowing he is with you…

  • Jenny says:

    Thanks so much Paula for sharing. Next month it will be 2 years since I lost the love of my life to cancer. We were together 40 years. I am only 62 and have never lived alone before but can say now that I am surviving! I already know it to be true that staying connected beyond the veil brings me comfort. He died but our love never will…in fact I think I love him more and certainly feel him with me as I rebuild my life. Thanks for the comfort this site is bringing to all of us brave people learning to live physically separated from our true loves.

  • Valerie Dohren says:

    Hi Paula

    It is just over three years since losing my husband to lung cancer. I miss him dreadfully, it still hurts, and the loneliness never goes away. My heart goes out to all who have posted on this site, we are linked through a common bond, and that which those on the outside could never understand.

    I am a poet, and have been told that some of my work could be inspiring to others, so I am sending everyone the following little verse, which I hope may offer at least a little comfort:

    ‘Don’t Grieve Too Long’

    Don’t grieve too long, my darling,
    there’s a world where flowers grow,
    and you have tarried much too long
    veiled by the crystalled snow.

    Don’t linger in the twilight
    where the darkness clouds your mind –
    return to where the sky is bright,
    boundless and unconfined.

    Don’t be afraid, my darling,
    to go where the children play
    below the burnished, golden sun –
    walk in the light of day.

    Don’t grieve too long, my darling,
    in a place where life is done –
    behold the splendour of the world,
    dancing beneath the sun.

  • Terri says:

    Hi Paula. My name is Terri. I am also (5) years into the death of my husband Wayne.I have not yet to this day figured out how to move on as others think I should. I don’t date at all, cause it just doesn’t feel right to me. I don’t want to open my heart to anyone else. This still hurts as though it was yesterday. I visit the crematorium as often as I can stand. Sometimes it helps, other times it doesn’t. I think it just depends on the day. I don’t sleep for more than a few hours at a time. I feel his presence around constantly. Not sure if that’s good or bad. At the very least, its comforting. I did not have a relationship with his family. Their choice, their loss as far as I’m concerned. I do have 2 wonderful daughters who have been my rock since this happened. I no longer cry myself to sleep, but I am able to put on a “happy” face in public when I need to. I absolutely despise going anywhere where I know they’ll be couples, that, trips at my gut. So, I don’t go to weddings, anniversary celebrations,or any other venue that represents “love”. Valentines Day is the worst. I just wanna sleep all day. People say this will get better. I can’t see it. I wish us (me and you) luck on getting through the rest of our lives.

  • Margaret Couls says:

    After 37 1/2 years his last words were” I mean I really love you”. We had gotten married as teenagers. We never learned to fight. I do not know how he put up with me ( both of our attitude). He has been home with his LORD for over 7 years and 3 months. Yet tonight at church men were going to get the car for their wife due to a heavy rain, a younger married man went to get my car. I fell crying in the arms of another lady. I am in the club of widows and find no comfort except knowing the LORD has plans for my future.

  • Joy Wickins says:

    I too have lost the love of my life, Roger. I was with him from being 17 years old, and we were deeply in love all our life He died from cancer, in my arms at home. We were spared in many ways, for it was only really the last month that he became more unwell.., I do not tell my children how sad I feel, just really in pain and they both do a lot for me and I have a wonderful four year old granddaughter, who is so similar to Rog, and I look after her every week. He was and still is my best friend, the downside is the horrible loss you feel inside. I am very fortunate that I have seen him in spirit, on a few occasions, which is wonderful but still the pain of separation goes on..I suspect it is a feeling I will have always until my time comes to pass over..I love music, and that helps at night I will watch Andre Rieu we saw him together on holiday in Spain, just the September before he became ill in the following May. It helps me to feel connected it was as if that distraction was sent because of what was about to happen Sometimes I write him a letter, telling him how I feel, how much I love him, and hoping he can come and read it..On a positive note, I have read a wonderful book called Guided by Angels, by Paddy McMahon, which I would highly recommend where he talks about Love after death. saying that we will not only see our loved ones again but also resume our relationships with them in a more profound way. This thought is constantly in my mind, and makes me feel a bit stronger..Also I am aware there are many other people dealing with grief and loss I send my love to all hurting in this way..thankyou for letting me write this, perhaps in some way it will help someone

    • Jim says:

      I found my way here after a search about tiredness and aching opened the Samaritens website. I hadn’t considered I might be struggling to cope. Today started with me trying to provide my eldest daughter and her partner with a glowing, positive feeling after they told me last week that she is pregnant. She’s 27 now and owns her own home so I feel it is the perfect time for them. They’d told me Jenny had been scared to tell me. I’d noticed some incredible time lapse records of the pregnancys of some wonderful people starting their family lives on YouTube. I thought I’d share with them what a wounderful blessing it is and that they should cherish and value this time, taking care to look out for one another.

      The tears have not stopped streaming since. You see it has bought back into focus my loneliness, sadness and devastation of the loss of my lovely wife Viv, 6 years this August. I lost her to cancer after a two year struggle. I put my soul into trying to save her. My first three years since loosing her were filled with total sadness. My children wouldn’t discuss their mum with me probably because of it being difficult for them to face up to her loss. I just wanted to talk about Viv because I loved her and still do. We’d courted for two years and married 30 years ago. Up until her passing we were a family of four living at home. Immediately after Vivs death, my eldest daughter moved in with her boyfriend and my youngest left for university. So I immediately found myself very much on my own.

      I keep myself very occupied but find myself in tears suddenly. After the first three years the sadness I felt when I thought of Viv were replaced with love. Whenever I think about her, which is every day, I feel a pull in my heart that I know is love. After watching those beatiful time lapses of these 40 week pregnancys it took me back to our time raising our children and the pride I felt in my wonderful wife. This is killing me writing this. My tears are just falling off me.

      I concur with previous comments that the intensity remains but mainly now the hopelessness has morphed and now I’m mainly filled with love when I think of her. But still the tears come…. I don’t know what the future holds for me. I’ll look out for my daughters and try and help them see where the blessings in life are, if they’ll listen to their old man.

      It is understandable that ones who haven’t experienced this process may seem glib when they expect time to have solved the problem as if by magic. They just don’t get it! How would they? Their comments not meant in malice even though it is painfull to you. It will be less painful if you forgive their ignorance and let it go…

      I offer my warmth, love and appreciation in your coping…
      Best wishes Jim (UK)