I Am A 34 Year Old Widow....

I met the love of my life when I was 16. We have been together ever since and have 2 beautiful children. My daughter is 15 and my son is 11. Brad passed away on June 22nd. It's been almost a month and it feels like it was yesterday, and it feels like it was years ago. I am at a loss to describe how I feel. I get up in the morning and I get out of the house as quickly as possible. I try to stay busy and keep the kids busy as well. I keep my brave face on all day, it's the nights that are hard.
Brad was everything a father and husband should be. He was there for us and a true family man. He was a truck driver up in the mountains working in the logging industry. He was riding on the running board of a semi truck trying to help out a less experienced driver when the truck overturned and landed on him. It was very quick, which I am grateful for, but at the same time...no time to say goodbye.
If it weren't for my children, I would have followed him in a second. Now I am trying to cope with this new life without him. I had life insurance and I am struggling with the guilt associated with the fact that we are being compensated for his death. Brad and I always struggled to make ends meet and lived paycheck to paycheck most of our lives. We always talked about the things we would do when "someday" we had more money. Now here I am, pretty much set financially and able to do and buy all the things we talked about, but he isn't here to enjoy it with me. It feels wrong.
I also find myself thinking about meeting someone. It's so weird because I loved him with my whole being. Why am I thinking about dating when he has only been gone such a short time?! I can't figure this out, but it adds to the guilt. Is this normal?
honeybeemd honeybeemd
5 Responses Jul 20, 2010

My husband died in 2006 at the age of 46. We were married 23 years. As someone else said don't rush into things too quickly. There are certainly different waves of the grief. I know it is an overused statement but it is true..take it one day at a time. Sometimes it is just one hour at a time. It has been painful at many times, but I have learned I am stronger than I thought. For probably the 1st year I cried almost every day, but now the tears are much less frequent. I still miss him, but have learned to make my life alone. It was difficult at first to make decisions when, at least for me, I was use to thinking in terms of WE and not just ME. We do each grieve differently.<br />
I think the guilt is normal. I have had that at times too, but don't let it stop you from doing the things you need to do for yourself and your children.

Ironically, I am 34. I am a widow since December 1st, 2009...We have a son. My husband was the oxygen in our family. I really can relate to your story. There are so many things you think and feel...especially when it ends suddenly, as it did for us as well. I'm sure there are many differences in our lives.....The only thing I can note is that I have no intentions of ever wanting to be with anyone ever again. I don't want anyone else's influence on our lives. Our lives were full and rich. I am grateful for what I had. I know he is waiting and will be at the gates of heaven when we arrive. I will live my life keeping his legacy alive. He was so good to so many- our son should know. Everyone should know....<br />
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Good luck to you. They say grief comes in waves. I am still trying to climb out of the first one that knocked me down. It's true- a counselor told me....you learn "fake it to make it".

No I agree, and I can't imagine following through on these emotions I am having (regarding dating) I think you are right...I am just so used to having someone. I have never been on my own before and I don't think I know what to do with myself. As far as the guilt about the money, I am working through that by telling myself that we will do the things that Brad and I always talked about doing. Paying off all of the debt, buy a new car, even buy a house so that the kids and I have roots laid down. The rest will go into savings for whatever uncertain things may come up. I feel like I may be also just rushing to try to "patch the hole"...make time go by faster so that I can stop feeling like my life is in the spin cycle. I need some sense of normalcy, but at the same time...that makes me feel like I am pushing him under the rug.

I'm very sorry for your loss. I couldn't imagine what it's like. And I wouldn't want to even try. I can imagine how hard the nights alone are, tho. You're missing a physical warmth, and a mental security as well. The financial means you have gained is a blessing, and even though I can understand the guilt about where it comes from, think of what he would want you to do with the money. At the least, he would probably try to endulge you. However, since he's not there to enjoy it with you, maybe you can use a small bit of it to do some good in the world. Not necessarily donate it, but do something helpful. But that's just an idea, you don't have to, but it might help your heart. As for the loneliness, I wouldn't dare tell you how you should feel. I think that it's natural to feel vulnerable after this, and you're taking care of everyone else, you probably just want someone to take care of you. But nothing will replace him, and I don't want you to find yourself taken advantage of in a vulnerable state. Nor your children, they probably won't know what to do with another male figure if they see one. Although at 15 and 11, they probably will be putting things together pretty fast. I say take your time with it, but talk. Stop putting up a front, find a way to express yourself. Let it out. You need a friend more than a lover right now, I'd say. But again, that's not for me to decide. You take the pace you were meant for. I hope everything works out for you and keep up the courage.

i'm no expert so this is just my opinion.<br />
there is no "normal" way to grieve. you loved your husband and you were faithful to your marriage. only you can decide when you are ready to start dating again. there's no time period that makes it more or less right. but perhaps you are just feeling lonely and want someone to comfort you. that's all right. i don't think you should feel guilty that your husband made sure you and your kids would be financially stable in the event of his death. that's a good thing. he wanted you to be able to be happy and live comfortably even if he is not there to physically enjoy it.<br />
just take the time to grieve in your own way. don't worry about what is normal or what other people think of how you handle this extremely personal and life changing event. be good to yourself and your kids and everything will work itself out in time.<br />
God bless you in your time of suffering.