how becoming a widow at 60 changed my life
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How Being a Widow at 60 Changed My Life

(Last Updated On: August 14, 2019)

When you marry the love of your life, the last thing on your mind is that you’re going to lose them before having the opportunity to grow old together. And that’s probably a good thing. Focusing on the “what if’s” is no way to live, so most of us don’t do that. But sometimes those far off possibilities become realities.

I live by faith, knowing that my future (our future) is in God’s hands. So the experience of being a widow at 60 absolutely changed my life forever. There are many challenges of being a widow, especially at a relatively young age.

But it didn’t remove any chance of happiness and fulfillment for me, although at the time that was hard for me to see.

My husband and I knew that his health was failing, and he told me months before his diagnosis that his days on earth were numbered. He could feel it. And as it turned out, he was right.

We had many discussions about what I would do after he was gone. He told me what he wanted for me, for my future, that he didn’t want me to mourn for him too long, but get on with my life. He knew I would work too hard (of course he was spot on!) and encouraged me to grieve in ways other than working 24 hours a day.

It helped me to be able to talk to him, try to prepare myself as much as I could, for his leaving. Honestly, though, nothing prepares you for the moment when your loved one is actually gone from this earth.

The hours, days and months after that were a brand new experience as well. This is how I survived the loss of my man… my love, and started over in my 60’s.

The way I worked through my grief is unique to me, and may not be effective for others. If you have been touched by grief and the loss of a loved one, know this: you have to find a way to express your grief, feel it, and continue on with your life. It has nothing to do with forgetting the person who has passed, but everything to do with your own health and well being.

Being a Widow at 60 Changed My Life
in 3 Significant Areas

Starting over in your 60's, becoming a widow

First, I was on my own after 20 years in a relationship that was extremely close.

My husband and I worked together, played together, and spent almost all of our time in each other’s company.

If we were near each other we were touching in some way. Always. So the fact that he was not physically near me any longer was a huge black hole of emptiness at first. I was on my own in a physical sense.

Our life had taken a downturn financially several years before his health declined, so we were not in a strong financial position. Fortunately we had taken out life insurance policies years before, so I had a fresh start in that area and didn’t have an immediate burden to meet the budget obligations.

I’ve always been an independent thinker and a career risk taker to some extent, so this was something I had done before in my life. It was time once again to be the sole source of income. I was on my own in a financial sense.

Although we didn’t do a lot socially, when we did go out, even if it was just up to the pool in our community, it was the two of us. When I was able to think about heading to a restaurant for a bite to eat, or taking a break at the pool, my best friend and soul mate wasn’t there. I was on my own in a social sense.

Second, I had only myself to care for, and about, in a relationship that was now just one person. Me.

That took some adjustment, actually a LOT of adjustment. I had been working on growing my home staging business while caring for my husband. That care slowly turned into a 24/7 responsibility. I would do it again for him in a heartbeat, but it was tough.

When I thought about the fact that my life was now simpler and I could make decisions that were best for me, I felt guilty even thinking that. How could I feel good about going somewhere, spending money, doing anything, when my man was gone?

He’s been gone for over three years as I write this post and I still sometimes have those thoughts. But I know now that this is the way my life is supposed to be at this time. I can be happy and care about what is best for me, and that is okay.

Allowing myself to go down that rabbit hole of guilt would have been self destructive and kept me from moving forward with my life, which brings me to the third area of change.

I had to make a decision to move forward, or to live in my grief and remain in that sad, lonely place.

The challenges of being a widow can stop you in your tracks. This is how I have moved forward in my life being a widow at 60:

  • Faith and confidence that the Lord knows what is best for me, just as he knew what was best for my husband. I may not understand it fully, but I know in my heart that He has a plan.
  • Trust in my family and close friends, who were all there for me. It was up to me to allow them to help when I needed it most. Asking for help is not easy for me, and I don’t often reach out. But my kids, parents, siblings and others (you know who you are :)) literally kept me going for the first few months.
  • Living one day at a time, not looking back, not worrying about tomorrow. This is so much easier to write about than it is to actually do, day after day. But that is what I have told myself every day. “Don’t look back or try to re-live the past. It’s done and over. Love what you have today and be grateful.”
  • Share my life experience with others. That is how this blog was born, and although the main focus is on lifestyle topics like natural aging and healthy living, how we face adversity affects everything else in our life.

Support Groups for those who have lost a spouse:

SAMSA National Helpline

10 Places Grieving Widows Can Get Help

GriefShare

Grieving.com

Being a Widow at 60
What’s Next for me?

How to cope with being a widow at 60

I can honestly say that my life is good today. Do I miss my man every single day? Absolutely. Do certain things like songs, scents and places bring tears? Yes. Not as much as in the past, but sure, I still cry sometimes.

But when you live for today and appreciate what you have now, in this moment, you don’t go back and wish for something that is not possible.

Today, I am residing once again in the Midwest with family close by. There is nothing more important to me right now than being close to them and having the opportunity to be a part of their lives. That is number one for me.

Growing my blogging business is a high priority, and I’m focusing on learning as much as I can in order to create a viable opportunity for the future. I’m putting my heart and soul into Inspire My Style!

Am I thinking about retirement? Not yet. Not ready for that.

Am I pondering relationships? Honestly, no. I made one very quick foray into the online world of meeting people a couple of years ago, and that experience quickly told me that I was not ready for it, so I let it go and didn’t look back.

When and if the time comes that I meet someone special, my life will take another turn. But I’m not looking for it at the moment. And that’s okay with me.

Have you lost someone who was near and dear to you? It is devastating and life changing for sure, but time is a healer. It might be an overworked phrase, but the passing of time plus an unwavering faith, support from those I love and living for today have been the most significant, helpful resources for me, being a widow at 60.

Candi Randolph Midlife Blogger


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How becoming a widow at 60 changed my life

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19 COMMENTS

  • Sue Danielsen

    I so understand and appreciate your thoughts and comments. I know there is joy in the morning. Keep going! You are doing great and you will see him again !

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Thank you so much, Sue, for your words of encouragement. xo

  • I lost my husband when I was 47 and he was 49 to cancer when my kids were 11 and 13. I’ve been living with a boyfriend for over 10 years who now has cancer so I’m going through it again. It’s nice that you were so cloase to your husband and that he cared about your welfare so you could move on. It makes a difference. It can be really hard when finances are tight but we survive and thrive.

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      You’ve been through so much, Rebecca, and it sounds like the challenges continue. I’m glad to see that your attitude is so positive. One day at a time…

  • Such a beautiful post Candi and I’m not sure how I would react if I lost my soulmate. You have provided some comforting and helpful insights for others who find themselves in this situation. My husband is 9 years older than I and just turned 71. Lately I’ve been realising that life is endless and I want us to enjoy our time together after spending the last 11 years devoting our time to his parents. You have a wonderful attitude and a beautiful soul Candi and I’m sure your husband is looking on and feeling very proud of his wife and partner. xx

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Yes, enjoy every day and moment that you have with your man. I’m so glad you have the time to be together and focus on each other. xo

      • Hi Candi, yes after 11 years of putting our life on hold I am enjoying time in our own home together. Even if we don’t talk because we are both doing our ow thing at times, we know each other is there and it is comforting. Thank you for joining us at #MLSTL and sharing your story. xx

  • 1010ParkPlace

    I’ve lost two husbands to death. The first one to cancer when I was 37, and my darling James when I was 60. I’m now 69 and like you, I’ve found my way without him. It’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. While I have great friends, I have no family. In so many ways I think God created women to be stronger than men and surviving after the death of a spouse is one of them.

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      You have been through some tough time, Brenda. Losing my man was the most difficult time of my life, and you’re right. It takes strength to move forward and learn to enjoy life again. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Dee | Grammy's Grid

    Glad to hear that you’re coping and learning to be by yourself. Things like this break some people but for others it only makes them stronger. I wish you the best ♥

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Thanks so much, Dee. I decided that becoming stronger was the better choice.

  • Michele

    I will soon be 60 and I can’t imagine losing my husband. It must have been incredible difficult for you and of course you think of him often and will miss him always. I remember that after my Mom died, the thing my father said he missed the most was just her being next to him and touching him. It is such a simple thing, that we don’t realize how important it is.

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Yes, it is the smallest, simplest things that can be so difficult, Michelle. Thanks for your kind comments.

  • Debbie Harris

    This was an honest and caring post Candi. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and actions. Wishing you well in your future. #mlstl

  • Hi Candi – I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to lose your husband. I’ve been with mine for 37 years and you’re right about the closeness. Just having a “wingman” when we go out socially means a lot to me. I admire the fact that you’ve managed to move forward and to make choices that have put you in a good place, and it was nice that you had time together to discuss things and to know that he’d be happy with how you’re going. I’m also really glad that you now have family near – that is an absolute joy isn’t it?
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Yes, Leanne, being close to the family again means so much to me. I live one day at a time and don’t sweat the smalls stuff, because I understand how precious life is. Thank you for sharing!

  • Samantha Smith

    What a beautiful post Candi, and so nice to ‘meet’ you. I can’t imagine being without my man, he means the world to me and we do so much together, I fear I’d be quite lost without him. A scary thought. As you say, take every day as it comes and live your life to the full. It sounds like you have a wonderful family around you and a positive outlook to help you through. #MLSTL

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Samantha, so glad you stopped in! Yes, it has been a difficult transition living without my man, but my faith has helped me be strong and live one day at a time. The family close by is wonderful and life is good.

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