Six Months After My Husband Died

It has been almost six months since my husband of 62 years died. As an end of life educator I have taught about loss and grief, and even written a booklet about it. BUT what I didn’t really understand were the emotional thoughts and feelings of grief. I couldn’t and didn’t understand because I had not walked in those particular shoes yet. Now I have.

I’ve shared thoughts with you during this grief journey. My thinking is if I am feeling a particular way, then others must also.

SO, here is what I have experienced recently that would appear “wrong.” I think others must have felt this way also but have not wanted to talk about it.

Caring for Jack in the last couple years of his life was hard work. Our relationship was in one of those marriage dips. I was frustrated with him. He was frustrated with me. 

Then he died. For months, until recently, most of my thoughts about him have been on the negative times in our relationship - both recent times as well as those long-passed. The time he did this or that, the challenging times. I haven’t shared this with anyone because I thought it was disrespectful. Everyone was talking about how great he was and I was thinking about his flaws.

Gradually I am remembering some of the wonderful, good times we had. It’s like I had to process the negative to reach the positive.

So often when a person dies they are automatically elevated to sainthood. They become a perfect memory for all other relationships to be compared with. I hope by sharing this blog, you will consider how life is full of good and not-so-good experiences. In our grief we will process both the positive and the negative to make sense of how our lives intertwined with each other’s. For some, the challenging times are too hard to look at and process at all. For some, the positive will come first and the challenging later. For some it will be the challenging first to make way for the wonderful. 

Something more… about Six Months After My Husband Died

I'm sharing a review from a fellow widow who used my booklets as she cared for her husband. Please let the caregivers you know who are navigating the dying process of a loved one that these booklets will help support them on their journey.

New 5 star review End of Life Guideline Series Bundle

I relied on the information in these booklets to help me navigate the latter portion of my husband's death. They were clear, logical, compassionate and empowering for me. They are a must for a spouse trying to do the right thing, guilt-free for someone near the end of life. I bought 2 more sets to offer friends should they need help also. ~Paula P.

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Barbara, I listened to you today and others as they spoke of their path with grief. My husband passed quickly about 2 years ago. I have no regrets but I am so happy to read your blog today. His post mortem “heroism” is wonderful but it made me feel badly about my “not so wonderful” thoughts. You have just relieved me of some of the guilt. Thank you for all you do.
BK Books replied:
Hi Paula, There is no perfect relationship. When we can think about and process both sides I think we are more in touch with the reality of where our grief is leading us. Blessings! Barbara

Ron Payne

My wife, Linda, passed on 11/27 of Alzheimer’s & Dementia. We were married for 35 years and I was her caregiver until the end. All of my memories are good, she was my Bear and still is. I miss her so much. I have no bad memories, when we were younger she would get angry about something but that was how she got the name Bear. You booklets and articles have helped be so much. Please continue to teach, express and share.
BK Books replied:
Hi Ron, thank you for sharing. Blessings! Barbara

Shaine Harvester

Your message could not have been more on point for me.
I lost my sweetheart in December 2020. We had 34.5 amazing years of mostly “happily married bliss.” He was a young widower and I was a divorcee. We met at a neighborhood barbecue and 6 weeks later were married. I was lost when we met and he gave me so much love, strength and support that to this day I have to pinch myself that it was not all a dream.
Sadly, when he retired, he literally became a walking medical text book of ailments – from head to toe! Being a retired nurse, I transitioned into becoming a care-giver ad felt privileged to take care and protect him. AND then I was diagnosed with not only breast cancer but also lung cancer.
I think back to that time of biopsies, surgery, chemo, radiation and I had to have friends hold my hand as he just was not able to be that strong husband I had married. So while I was going through all of this, I was more worried about him than myself. I remember becoming so frustrated, angry and negative and to this day I hate myself for that. I would lecture myself relentlessly to change my attitude. I full understood his situation but it was hard to accept emotionally. I wanted him to be helping me a little and not me having to literally do everything for him all the time. I became resentful and immediately felt tremendous guilt for not being more understanding.
To this day I ask him to forgive me if I said anything that hurt him. I miss him beyond words and I am so thankful and feel so blessed that we met at a Memorial Day barbecue.
Barbara, your message gave me permission to forgive myself some more.
With much gratitude and in friendship

BK Books replied:
Oh Shaine, what normal reactions you have to your whole caregiving, husband dying,and personal illness happening all at the same time. I hope you can see what a great job you did and forgive yourself for any feelings of not doing enough and wanting consideration of you. You might write him a letter. Put all your feelings, positive and challenging on paper, tears too. Burn the letter and scatter the ashes to the wind. Release it all to the universe. Live your life with fulfillment, peace of mind and joy. It can be a gift to him but even more important a gift to yourself. Blessings! Barbara

joan m

It’s been 8 months for me and you express exactly what I’ve been experiencing. It’s so comforting to know that I’m not alone. Thank you.
BK Books replied:
Hi Joan, I’m sorry for your loss. This journey in grief is challenging. Know that most of what you are experiencing is a normal part of learning how to live without your special, or not so special, person, in it. Blessings to you. Barbara


hi Barbara
sending you strength to go on, no one will know what goes on until they go through it, it maybe hard but we have to go on because our loved ones that have passed on would want us to go on.
Thank you very much for sharing for others to know.
BK Books replied:
Hi Bessie, thank you for your words of encouragement. Blessings! Barbara

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