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Advice for Lonely Widow?

I am a widow for 3 years to the man who had been my best friend since I was 17. 43 years go by, 4 great kids, and now 5 grandchildren, 3 who he never met. My issue besides this extreme loneliness especially during this Covid time, I never get to be with any of the children or their children (since last Christmas). There are 2 - 5 year olds, 1 - 4 year old and 2 precious 2 year olds. So now what? I don't see any ideas for a lonely widow who just wants to share all her love.

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November 9, 20201 found this helpful

I'm 64 and have been a widow for 17 years now, so I know first hand some of what you're going through. My first question is: Why don't you get to see your children and grandchildren? Even with the COVID pandemic, you could always do facetime over the internet. You need a camera on the computers at both ends to see each other, but most computers, tablets, etc. have them built in, so that shouldn't be a problem. If facetime isn't an option, you can always use the mail system to write letters, send cards, etc. You can also send email with your computer, even if you don't have a camera on yours. And there is always phone calls. So, unless there are family problems, there is no reason to not have SOME kind of contact with your kids and grandchildren.

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In my 17 years of being alone, I've stayed busy with all kinds of crafts. I've made baby quilts and knitted or crocheted blankets that I give to hospitals for preemies, I've gone through my older towels and blankets I no longer use and make pads for my local vet hospital, I make quilts, blankets, and cross stitch ornaments for Xmas presents to family and friends, I have a good size veggie garden each summer, I read a lot...I keep busy to keep from being too lonely. Before COVID, I volunteered at the local library shelving books, I read books at the elementary school and also helped with projects in the Kindergarten rooms, I volunteered for class field trips as a chaperone (so many parents work and can't chaperone), I helped with local scouting groups,.... just anything to keep busy and help out where I can. If you sit at home all alone ALL the time, it weighs heavy on you. Even more so for you, if you have no contact with family. I know with this pandemic, most of those options aren't allowed right now, but I'm sure there are things you can think of to stay busy.
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It may seem strange to a lot of people, but one thing I've been doing all these years, is that I write my husband letters. Of course I don't mail them, but telling him about special things that have happened to me, or keeping him updated on family matters that he's missed, make me feel as if he's still close by....it helps me keep my sanity. So Terri, you have to find things to fill your time and your mind. If not in contact with family for whatever reasons, try to find a way to break the barrier, and get back your family.
Good luck, stay healthy and stay busy !!!!

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November 10, 20200 found this helpful

Yes, I do stay busy...I'm a full time elementary art teacher with 800 students at 3 schools plus all the teachers & staff...busy in Church & Sunday School...I facetime most Sundays with my oldest daughter & her 2 boys-5yrs & 2yrs....2nd daughter is in Texas with her husband & 2yr.old daughter-we try to stay in touch & she seems me great videos of her daughter.Oldest son lives in the same county but his wife has told me & my children that she has plenty of women in her life (ie.Mom, Grandmothers,Aunts,friends) & has no place in her life for me....their daughters are 5 & 4...haven't seen them in 2 years & recently saw my son for 1st time in over 18 months...he's way to busy & they either don't respond or tell they no time to have me as part of their lives...my youngest has a house less than 5 miles away...he works at home & shares the house with 3 or 4 other guys who are working from &/or attending college online..even before convid , he has battle OCD & rarely leaves his house....I retire in less than 2 years & after years of planning have no idea of my future....I miss loving on my children & grandchildren so much.....

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November 11, 20201 found this helpful

Terri,
I'm sorry your one son and his wife seem to not need you in their lives... that is unforgivable in my book. Have you tried telling them how much it bothers you that you don't get to see them, especially the grandchildren? I don't understand the wife saying "she has enough women in her life and doesn't need you". You are the mother of her husband and the grandma to her kids....what on Earth can make someone feel and say that ?!!

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I don't get it. All I can say is, KEEP TRYING TO BREAK DOWN THE WALLS.....maybe they will come around someday. You could at least try sending cards/ notes to the kids. Kids love getting mail. You probably won't hear back, but if they bug mom and dad enough about seeing or at least writing to you, maybe something will eventually come of it. Just keep hoping everything works out. Good luck and stay healthy during this pandemic.

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November 11, 20200 found this helpful

I have tried everything I can think of...yes during this long pandemic, I have sent them each a card with some kind of little surprise in them ie. paperdolls, stickers all kinds of little trinkets everything they like...the kids loved it! Heard back from the 2 other families & but not from the locals...I made special learning books & all kinds of things for them so I sent each family a small box of fun once a month...since this freeze out started about 4+ yrs.ago,it usually takes many,many months to get their birthday & Christmas presents,so, I began ordering from their AMAZON wish lists & have them delivered to their house...( I really felt like she never even let my presents come into the house--straight to the trash can &/or charity donations...it hurts my heart because all I want to do is give them my love....

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November 12, 20200 found this helpful

Terri,
You may not like what I'm going to say, but maybe with all you've tried and gotten no response, you would be better off to give up on them. Your son and his family seems to have no interest in connecting with you, and it's eating you alive. Get some counseling to help you cope with their indifference. Don't let their ways keep you from enjoying your life. If at some point they make contact again.....great.

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If not, at least you haven't wasted anymore time worrying about them. I know it sounds heartless, but maybe that's the way things have to be for now. All of our children grow into adults that have their own lives, and you just have to live with whatever time they give to you...not always what we want, but that's the way things are. See a counselor to save your own mind and feelings. I guarantee it will help you from letting things continue to eat at you.

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November 12, 20201 found this helpful

Do you think you might be focusing on a son who seems indifferent to having you in his or his children's lives instead of planning more interaction with available and loving children and grandchildren?

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Just a thought.
You seem to have a pretty full life but I know that I had to make adjustments and decided that although I love my children and grandchildren, they do have their own lives and I cannot expect them to fill my hours/days no matter where they live.
You may have to think about a part time job in a different profession, maybe something you've always been interested in or do more volunteering so you can fill part of your days with other people who may be in the same position as you.
I feel sure your teacher's union has a program available that helps retiring widow teachers with productive ways to move on after retirement.
I hope you are able to sort out your differences with your daughter-in-law but if your son does not step up and make some decisions then it is probably hopeless and even if he does make a change at this late date it may not always pleasant.

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November 13, 20200 found this helpful

Thank you for your lovely suggestions....I waited 61 yrs. to have my 1st grandchild & it has always been one of my most wonderful memories...the grandchildren are all between 5 & 2....all the grandchildren live out of state except for those 1st 2 that live locally with my son & wife...I do stay very busy and work & volunteer as much as possible..I even have a 2nd teaching job during the Summer....but, being alone for the 1st time in my life, not having my precious husband, our 4 beautiful children and now our 5 loving grandchildren seems to make it all worse....sorry about the whinning...

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November 14, 20200 found this helpful

Do not be sorry for expressing how you feel as that is one way to make thing better. Put everything out in the open and share your feelings with others who have been in the same place at different times in our lives.
We all know that some actions will help while others just fall short of making things better.
Keep loving your children and grandchildren but also keep in mind that not everyone will welcome your efforts or desires but do not let that stop you from caring. We just have to be sure we do not go overboard with making our love known or expecting it to be reciprocated in the same manner.

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November 14, 20200 found this helpful

Thank you for your concern...I do see a counselor regularly mainly to deal with my husband's passing and my son's indifference...I know I should not let my son's family issues eat me up....but, I know if it had been the one who passed- the son & his family would have taken my husband in & probably built him a home on their property & everyone would be happy...( they never had issues with him- son use to pick up lunch & take the babies over to have lunch with Grand
Daddy.. husband finally stopped telling me about it because it hurt me so much.......

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November 14, 20200 found this helpful

I know that indifference by children can be devastating but at least you are working on the issue and that means you will one day find out that it is not always the same with mother-in-laws and father-in-laws and that could be because mother-in-laws are many times considered a 'threat' to the family as they see it.
Finding ways to have happy, peaceful thoughts may help you with this time period you are going through.

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November 12, 20201 found this helpful

It's good that you are keeping busy. This is a sad time for most of us. They are working hard (Doctors) to get us all back on track. We have to be safe and do what we can to stay in touch without face to face. Keep in touch by phone, computer, cards, face time. Also let your family know how you feel and how to update your current status to more communication, that is the key!

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