Thirteen years after her husband’s death

Young widows group offers support during a ‘scary time’

Founder of new group for widows and widowers hopes she can help herself as well as others who have walked in her shoes

In death, as he was in life, Shirley Bey’s husband remains her only source of support.

But, 13 years after his death, she feels the need to branch out, to shed the relentless loneliness of widowhood.

She hopes that by starting a new group for widows and widowers, she can help herself as well as others who have walked in her shoes.

“It has been 13 years since the loss of my husband to cancer. I have most things under control but the most difficult thing is that I am still very alone,” said Bey, who has no children, and no close siblings.

Since her husband’s death, she has adjusted  “quite reasonably” financially and to being on her own.

The marriage had plenty of challenges, not least of which was her husband’s alcoholism. Leaving was never an option and then, after he overcame his addiction, “I loved him more and more and had the greatest bond ever. He is my only support, even when he is gone.”

As the days following his death merged into weeks, months and years, Bey became increasingly disappointed with the attitude of family and friends towards her widowhood.

Ironically, becoming independent was isolating, and the comments of well-meaning friends sometimes left her cold.

“Because no one wants to open up or be close, it’s hard to start a relationship at this time,” she said.

Losing a life partner can be traumatic, she said.

“This is a very scary time for anyone widowed, and has been for me,” she said.

“I am fortunate that I did not go into a depression which I saw coming. I made sure that I looked after myself in the best possible way and kept thinking good thoughts about myself.”

She says that after 13 years, she’s learning to be more assertive.

She recently attended a grief counseling group where she found the support she had needed for all those years.

“Now I feel a sense of relief and am able to move forward and have my life back. I feel more complete.”

Bey has managed to restore her social life and expand her support network, thanks in part to the weekly chats with other widows who meet every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in the Mocha Room Cafe, 20300 Fraser Hwy.

Although the group started out for widows only, Bey said she welcomes widowers as well so that they, too, may benefit from support and conversation over a cup of coffee.

Bey can be reached at 604 510-2610.

Just Posted

Langley retreat focuses on exercise for people living with Parkinson’s

For the second time, RISE organizers are hosting a four-day wellness and exercise event at Trinity

Is this your stolen stuff? Edmonton police post pictures online

Langley residents may be among victims of a three-year-crime spree that began in B.C.

GREEN BEAT: Langley students join fight against invasive species

Invasive species action from weeding to watching, what actions did you take to tackle this issue?

Langley’s Wyatt twins make Pan Am team

Wyatts back home after completing freshman year at University of Memphis

COOKING IN LANGLEY: Baffled by mis-information, especially when it comes to nutrition

In this Chef Dez column, he’s asking readers where they’re getting their information

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Parents of BC murder victim want personal belongings returned

Lisa Dudley’s parents, Rosemarie and Mark Surakka, were at the Mission RCMP detachment Sunday

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read