How young is a young widow?

I was 45 when John died. I didn’t think I belonged in the elderly category of widows, those over 75 say, who have lost their spouses. On the other hand, I wasn’t young anymore either. I feel pretty well seasoned, especially now.

So in looking for support after John died, I had a little trouble figuring out where to go, what category I fit into. Also, we didn’t have children, which made things different. Most of the younger widows had children to raise, a whole kettle of fish I couldn’t even begin to understand. Now I’m in specialized sub-category:

>Widowed

>Middle-aged

>Childless

>With dogs.

Old enough to have been entrenched in marriage and all that a long relationship entails. Young enough to have another life ahead of me. Old enough to be enraged at having to start over after all those years of work. Young enough to know starting over is possible. Old enough to know children of my own are out of the picture. Young enough to be resentful of my friends with loving families of their own. Old enough to have experienced over twenty years of a deep loving connection with one man. Young enough to feel cheated at only twenty years.

I still don’t know where I fit in on the scale.

Born in 1961. Married in 1990. Widowed in 2007. Blogging in 2009.

8 comments On How young is a young widow?

  • Sooo me. 52, no kids, 2 dogs 26 yrs. He was the cook. Cheese crackers and wine for dinner. thanks

  • Today is my 45th birthday, and my daughter’s 23rd. My husband died last night, the 25th of October at 7:39pm. It hasnt even been twelve hours yet. I’m glad i found this blog when I typed into google the question that nobody could answer for me. They’ve done it for a stillborn child, for a parent. Not for a spouse, lover, best friend, LIFE mate. We only had 23 years together. He had cancer, but we’d only found out at the end of August. And now he’s gone, but he is still so very here.

  • me.. 26, 4 children, 1 dog, together from 13, married at 21, widowed at 26.
    he died in a car accident, 2 days after our second daughters 4th birthday, we hadnt seen him in a week due to school holidays and work. 3 days before our last daughters first christmas.

  • Thank you for your blog. Born in 1979, single until meeting my husband in 2010. Married 2011. 3 days into our honeymoon we find out he has brain cancer. He died March 9th 2015. Not even 4 years with the man who was supposed to be my forever. 2 year old child and 1 dog. Big empty bed. I miss him every second.

  • I really needed to hear this. My husband, John, passed away a month ago. I quit my job when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. For 11 months I was his nurse. No he’s gone and there is nothing. I am 30 so I also fit into “special subcategories”.
    -widow
    -young
    -childless
    I do have a step-daughter, but she’s all ready withdrawing. Understandably, the house, me without John (we were inseparable for 7 years) all is so much for a teen to deal with. I don’t see hope. All the help is for widows with children, or over 63. I’m being told that I’m young and should move on. I really feel like now that my partner is gone I’m out the outskirts of the circle and I’m not allowed in. I was tough for him while he was sick. Now I’m just broken and alone.

  • My husband Jim passed away suddenly on July 17 in a work accident. We were both 37. We had just sold our house in April and moved in with his mom until we found our new home. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at things, that hadn’t happened yet. We were also trying to start a family, that also didn’t happen. I even had asked at the hospital after the accident if there was any chance of harvesting his sperm, but no luck there. My biggest pain now is that all the hope and dreams I had for our future together have been crushed. He was my best friend. We did everything together. My purpose in life is gone. I am a widow, childless, and homeless until I figure out where I want to live. I just wish I could see a light at the end of this tunnel.

  • I have released that I am not alone purely through reading the comments on this website….thank you everyone. 7 weeks and 2 days since my husband died. It feels like it is getting tougher not easier….I have a dog, I am 56…no children together but 2 each from previous relationships…all grown up.

  • This is exactly what I’m going through, I think in one of the comments was almost my life to a T…I will soon be 45 my husband, love of my life, passed away in Oct 23 and he had cancer we found out when it was to late for treatment, I’m so glad I looked up a blog for widows, I honestly don’t know what to do with my life right now and I know I don’t have to think about that, but I do
    Nicole

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How else do I know what hurts and what helps? Because not only were they done to me… I learned through this process that I am certain to have done the very same "Don't" things to others at some point along the way. If you're one of them, I am genuinely sorry. I'm trying to learn.