Topic: About the Widows Walk

I lost my husband about 2 1/2 weeks ago.  He battled intrahepatic CC for 9 months.  Today would have been our 45th wedding anniversary.  USAA sent me some booklets on grieving, etc.  One phamplet is titled About the Widows walk.  I thought I would copy it here in hopes that it helps those who have lost a husband.  This is how it goes.

Along the seacoasts of our country you can still see examples of the small observation platforms built atop Early American homes.  From this vantage point one could watch for ships returning to harbor.  In those days a large segment of the population was involved in the whaling industry and other maritime activities.  Many men's lives were lost as some ships never returned to port, and others that did reported crew members dead or missing.  Thus the lookout became known as the widow's walk because so many women were widowed by the sea.

Each of us who has lost a mate will spend a time on the widow's walk.  Now you are pacing that walkway, searching for the ship that sailed out of your life.  Without your captain and without a map you are facing the vast horizon of your own uncharted future.  For me, it was a distant and intimidating view.  Eventually I discovered within myself as you will discover within yourself a compass I did not know I had until I needed it.  In my own widowhood and in preparing this booklet I found no ways avoid the widow's walk.  It is a passage each of us who has been left behind will make.  I did learn ways to shorten the journey and to ease the worrow along the way.  And I want to share them with you.

This introduction of this phamplet brought tears to my eyes.  I know I must learn to stand on my own two feet.  How I will do that I do not know.  But I have no choice.  The only peace I find is that I know my husband is in a better place.  He is no longer suffering.  Now I must find my compass so that he knows I will be ok. 

I hope this will help some of you out there.  We have no choice, but to learn how to survive.

Re: About the Widows Walk

Janet,

Thank you for a wonderful and inspiring post.  I am so sorry to learn that your husband has passed.  You have my deepest sympathy.  Yes, it is some what comforting to know he is in a better place and no longer suffering.  It is those of us who are left behind that now have to learn how to go on without them.  Our lives will never be the same, but the pain does easy some with time.  Keep him with you forever in your heart and memories.  Take care.

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: About the Widows Walk

Janet, I loved the post. And it is so true. I have said before that when you become one again, all the dynamics change and it's not that people don't care, everyone just gets caught up in their own lives. You will find your way in due time. As Darla said things do get easier. I find that when I have my teary moments they are more because of remembering the wonderful times and not in remembering the CC. I believe that you Darla, me and all the rest will be fine simply because our husbands would want it that way. When the time is right, you will take that first big step forward and not even realize that you are doing it, it will all just happen, timing is everything and until then we are all here for you!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

4 (edited by Deb_ Sun, 17 Jun 2012 15:20:09)

Re: About the Widows Walk

Janet,

I'm truly sorry for your loss.

It's such early days for you. My husband died exactly 5 months ago today and I still consider it very early days. Just take each hour as it comes. Do not plan yet to "stand on your own two feet". It's too soon and that's too scary. Take all the time you need and just do whatever you can - if that means barely getting out of bed some days, well so be it. The pain and grief are so raw now.

I love this advice that I recently read. I think of every day so if I'm having a day where I'm upset or a day where I feel like I should be doing more I remember this and I just go with the grief: "Let the grief take you where you need to go. Your grief is wiser than you."

Love and peace to you Janet and thank you for sharing that beautiful story.

Deb xxx

"The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares." [Henri Nouwen]

Re: About the Widows Walk

God bless all you dear, sweet ladies.

My beautiful daughter, Lauren Patrice, will live on in my heart forever.

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based on my experience as a caretaker for my daughter, Lauren and from reading anything I can get my hands on about Cholangiocarcinoma. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: About the Widows Walk

Janet, Yes thank you for this quote. It is so true how we can't avoid this walk but must find our own compass through it. It is challenging, and heartbreaking but strangely has it's rewards as well. ( I am just beginning to see them). My compass has gone from guiding me a day at a time to about a week at a time now. I guess that is progress.
I read today that the hardest grief you have to bear is the temporary separation of your loved one. It is a nice way to look at it, that it's a temporary separation, for I believe we will reunite one day. Take care.
Hugs. Nancy

Loving my husband from afar.

Re: About the Widows Walk

Janet,

I am so sorry to hear about your husband's passing.  I am sending my condolences to you and your family.  I know this must be a trying time for you; yet, you are able to post this lovely message.  My husband is also very ill with this terrible disease; he has lost 41 pounds in the last month.  I continue to pray that he will somehow get better, but he continues to get weaker and weaker.  Sending lots of hugs your way,  PeggyP

Re: About the Widows Walk

Dear Janet,
   I too am very sorry for your loss. I lost my husband a little over 7 months ago and I'd like to tell you that it gets easier by now but I really can't. This walk is a rollercoaster ride just like the disease process was. Some days are better than others. Someone told me I had to find my new groove, I kind of like that phrase rather than having to redefine myself. I will always feel like Tom Lloyd's wife whether he is here or not. I don't like being a widow, I doubt if I ever will and unless you've experienced what we have others can't truly understand what we're going through. Usually other women say I can't imagine what you are going through and I say no you really can't. I thought I could imagine how hard it was going to be, I had over five years to contemplate it,  but it is so much harder than I ever imagined. I miss him more every day. Right now you are just in the beginning stages of your grief. I was doing pretty well at your stage, I think most of us do because there is so much activity and people are still actively involved with you. But as Lainey said the dynamics change and people move on and expect us to move on too. That is much easier said than done. I have a lot of physical work to do with my business (farming) and I think that is a blessing and a curse. I think staying busy is very important and staying active physically is the best. I got a new puppy so I have been taking her for long walks everyday and it's been very therapeutic. I've been thinking about yoga, too. We all have to cope in what ever way works for us. Like you said, we have no choice! The only, only, good thing about this new groove is that I can eat or not eat whatever I want. One hot night in May after a hard day in the greenhouses I told my daughter that I ran to the store and got chocolate mint ice cream and Corona for supper. She said what did you do, make a float? I thought that was pretty funny but hey, if I had wanted to I could of. I haven't lived alone for over 32 years, so it seems so strange to be able to just go and do things without anyone knowing what you're doing, where you're going ,etc.
           I hope you find your new groove too. It will take time. Just know you have friends here that honestly do know what you are going through! Take care of yourself,   Mary