The Plague of Depression

Here you are, grief has led you steadily down the road and straight into what many widows call “the plague of depression.”

This is what we consider the most difficult part of grieving.  It’s a time when we are likely to eat like a body builder or not eat at all.  It’s a time when we are either sleeping for hours on end or not sleeping at all.  It’s a place of hopelessness and to be completely honest, it’s a very dark and frightening place to be.

Those that have been widowed for a while have all experienced what you’re going through, this seemingly bottomless pit, and we have made it through to the other side.  Do not despair.  This, too, is a normal part of the grieving process and I’ll tell you right up front that the worst thing you can do is to isolate yourself from others.

You’re stronger than you think.  I rode the emotional roller coaster of shock, anger and all the pain of grieving and it made me sick.  It took me a while to understand that I was stronger than my grief.

One reason depression comes on so strong is that grief changes every aspect of life.  It’s much more than the fact that you’re on your own.  Your living arrangement has changed, your financial situation has changed and your friendships have changed.  You lose some friends who are too uncomfortable with grief or were more “his” friends than yours.  You may find yourself seeing less of the couples you’ve always done things with.

For my grief, it wasn’t just a mountain to climb.  It was much more than that.  I would survive, would get past this horrible hell I was living in.  I would live again, laugh again.  The pain was there (still is, sometimes).  The heartache still felt unbearable, but I had started to heal.

Be encouraged and know that the depression, deep sadness and being lost does not last forever.  You go through it.  You don’t stay in it.  You will get out, but this is your journey to travel, so travel it you must, just don’t get struck in the darkness.  Keep going till you see the light.

Mary Francis,  Blog – The Sisterhood of Widows

10 Responses

  1. Nicole Sisnett Hunte
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    Thank you for this Mary Francis. I’m definitely in that place now. Just getting through one day at a time.

  2. june483
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    Yes ! I never understood Depression, till I experienced it. Now I understand it so well. I also feel like I learned a bit about addiction as I could think of nothing else in those early days, just could not clear my head and spent every minute trying to focus on other things to no avail. I look at my newborn grandchild who cries every time she first wakes up and think, is she thinking what I was every time I woke up in those days, not this life again, I want my old life back….. I am so much better now but still a work in progress, it’s been almost 3 years for me.

  3. Luanne Reilly
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    Yes, I too have experienced depression and nobody could help me. I had to get through it. Unfortunately the results of depression caused me to not take care of myself or eat right and get sick. I’m better now and things are looking brighter, although the sadness still appears I have learned to move through it with more positive activities. I too wish for my old life to return, however I know that it won’t. I tell myself life is a gift and my loved one would not want me to remain this sad.

  4. Leila Albers
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    Dear Mary,
    I would like to know how I can join your private widows Facebook group.
    I lost my husband over two years ago and still going through all the moments you described. Honestly, it is very hard to speak with family and friends who don’t really know what you’re going through. I have no desire to do things I used to. My kids often send me videos to cheer me up – they are really my reason to be moving forward.

  5. Mara Kurtz
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    Thank you for this post. Depression does feel endless. It’s three and a half years and each day has felt endless. But I do have moments where I am distracted, engaged with people, actually enjoying my work. Nevertheless, there is hardly a moment in the day when I am not thinking about John and our life together. Incredible loss.

  6. Sheri
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    Very well stated! I to have (and still do) have up and down days and it’s been 15 yrs as a widow. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and I know certain times of the year tends to be harder… and I allow the grief to enter once again… but I get through it once again. Chin up and stay safe and strong

  7. Tralonda
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    Thank so much Mary everything you have talked about I am going through right now. I trying to get through this darkness.

  8. Pamela Olson
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    In January of 2019, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After my treatment was complete, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. 1 year, 2 months and 8 days ago I lost him to stomach cancer. I don’t feel like I see in color anymore. His absence is palpable. And now, this week, my father-in-law has gone into hospice for blood cancer. I am numb.

  9. Patti jean
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    It will be 2 years since my husband Nick died. I have my kids & sisters that have gotten me through. And still, I feel always alone. My biggest fear was always.. what if I get sick? Well I did. I had a very rare occurance, a CSF (spinal fluid leak). It was spontaneous (almost always from a head trauma). Which I never had so they still don’t know why it happened. They did repair it (brain surgery )! Fortunately I stayed with my daughter after 2 weeks in the hospital, then the next week went home with my daughter, then son & sisters took turns staying with me. I’m sure just saying that, everyone thinks I’m so lucky, & I am, but it still doesn’t help with my depression & sadness. I ask God to give me strength & patience & to not let me be a burden on my kids. I pray to be grateful for everything & everyone I do have.. it’s just so difficult to be grateful when you’re grieving. ONLY a widow can understand the loneliness.. this journey. 😢
    Patti jean

  10. Donna Pinto
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    I too am suffering as well. It’s been a little more than 2 years that I lost my husband of 40 years and I just can’t seem to climb out of this dark cloud. Upon awaking each day, I remember my station in life now, completely alone and start crying while telling myself “no crying today Donna”. Sympathy from family and friends has really dismissed to nothing after the first year alone and I can go an entire day without contact or conversations with anyone. I don’t want to be that person who constantly bothers others just to hear a voice on the phone. I just feel I should be in a better place after 2 years and wonder if it will ever ever get better.

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