Jump to content
Forum Conduct & Guidelines Document ×

starting over at 50


Recommended Posts

  • Members

My wife passed away less than 3 months ago. We both knew it was coming but no matter how prepared you think you are, you're not. She was diagnosed with ALS 2 years ago. I went from being her wife to being her caregiver.  I quickly learned that life can change suddenly and to never take anything for granted. The 1st month is more of a blur and complete shock.I really don't remember much. I miss her so much. We were best friends and did everything together.Even after her diagnosis and as her disease progressed I tried to find ways for us and enjoy what time we had left together. Her death still seems not real at times, like it's a bad dream. Sometimes I think I left her at the hospital and never went back to pick her up. I know that sounds silly, but it's how I feel. I'll be honest.... A part of me died when she 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope you can get something from this site and people who have been here. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members


I am so sorry for the loss of your wife. You will be feeling emotions you couldn't have conceived of. I can totally relate to her being your best friend, the non-reality of it all.

I find myself having to restart my existence at 51. My partner passed suddenly so we had no time to prepare. Like you I feel as if a part of me passed with her.

Whatever support is offered please grab it with both hands.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

I am so sorry for your loss, I had a good friend who died of ALS.  Our church family took care of him that last year or two, they were amazing as his kids did not come through.  It's a hard disease, I'm glad you could find ways to still enjoy some time with your wife even with this.  You are a very caring partner.

Even though we all find our own way through this, I wrote this compilation of what I've found along the way and want to throw it out there to you, I do remember one day at a time becoming my motto, also the looking for joy was a life changer for me as I've practiced living in this moment so as not to miss the little bits of good there are now and then.  ;)

Wishing you some peace and comfort on your journey.  We all welcome you here!


There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

This site uses cookies We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. and uses these terms of services Terms of Use.