Yes, unfortunately that is why they told you that you would have to get a waiver or leave the US for an appointment in Mexico. They are correct because a person who is here illegally as you are right now, can only get their legal residency inside the US if they marry a US citizen. Since your husband was only a resident, even if he had not passed, you would not be able to get your residency inside the US. He would have needed to become a US citizen first and then you could get your residency inside the US. The other choice is for you to attend an appointment interview in Mexico and once you are there- it's a 2 step process: you would need to ask for a humanitarian reinstatement of the original petition from your husband since he has passed and then if that is approved, you would need a waiver for all the time that you spent inside the US illegally (without status). That is the I-601 waiver but in order to be approved for that you will need to have a new US citizen or resident spouse or US citizen or resident parents. Otherwise it will be denied.
You can appeal the recent decision that you received but you would lose because unfortunately, USCIS was right.
Here is information on humanitarian reinstatement and the I-601 waiver if you decide to leave the US:
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